A relative finished up high school at Carmel Christian Academy this past weekend. I attended without knowing they had the Benham Brothers as the graduation speakers.
And boy, what a bunch of whiny, entitled little jerks they are. They try to frame their clearly well-rehearsed shtick as being all about doing everything for God, but they seem to have managed to create an entire cottage industry around having had to pay a penalty for their bigotry…which, of course, wasn’t bigotry at all, just them holding fast to their “biblical principles.”
The show (and I use the term intentionally) begins with a video with dark dissonant background music, and fast cuts to the news shows with the hosts making their frantic proclamations about the violation of their free speech rights and religious freedom being infringed. This had to have been at least three minutes.
Let’s start with the free speech rights and religious freedom argument. Too many people obviously had to have slept through their civics’ classes, and don’t have a clue how the Republic works. It is true that the Constitution, in the Bill of Rights enumerates a right to freedom of speech and religious freedom, but people don’t read and understand the exact language. Let’s make this simple; HGTV has the same rights as the Benham Brothers. They have the freedom to decide who they will and won’t associate with their brand, and no one has a constitutional right to a TV show. If that’s so, I want mine.
The rights set forth in the Constitution and enumerated in the Bill of Rights impose restrictions on the government only. They say simply that the government can’t infringe on your right to go into the public square and say what you want, and that Congress can make no law creating a preferred religion or restricting a person’s right to worship as they choose. Notice, this is all about what the government can and can’t do, not what a private corporation must do. However, the conservative Christians make no bones about the fact that lying is OK, so long as you are lying for Jesus.
Then the brother’s take the stage, and start with a comedy routine about which one is the better brother, etc. They go back and forth, and it really is pretty clearly well-rehearsed. However, they spilled the beans on themselves at a few places, and I’ll try to explain all that as I go along.
First, it was their production company that was making the show, and they were the one’s shopping it around. It wasn’t this thing of HGTV chasing them down and begging them to come make a show. Furthermore, according to them, they first had an agreement with the Learning Channel, but then HGTV called with a better offer. They bragged about it turning into a bidding war. What’s so Christian about a bidding war…that’s about money?
And, of course they claim they were smeared by the homosexuals, just for their biblical beliefs. You know, their sweet ubiquitous, non-menacing religious beliefs. Well, those of us who follow this family (because the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree), know better. These are vile people who claim they don’t hate anyone nor discriminate, yet show up at Charlotte City Council meetings demanding the city not issue the required permits for Gay Pride each year…and they are there every year.
He’s compared LGBT people and their work towards equality under the law as a battle with Satan. Let me just borrow from the GLAAD Commentator Accountability Project (GLAAD CAP):
- Bemoaned “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation“
- Claims the Benham brothers’ battle against LGBT rights is a battle against a “parallel kingdom run by Satan” that “seeks to rob kill and destroy”
- Insists LGBT activists have an “agenda” that “seeks to capture the nation” and that is “evil, and wrong, and needs to be dealt with”
- Suggests his fight against the LGBT “agenda” is a battle against Satan; “it’s God versus the devil”
- Says Christians must be “willing to die” in fight against marriage equality and other LGBT rights
- Referred to America as having “spiritual AIDS,” citing President Obama’s support for LGBT rights as key evidence
- Equated fighting marriage equality with fighting Nazis: “If evil is being accepted and appreciated at the national level, aggressive Christian men must lead the charge against it.
- Equating the openly gay NFL player sexuality with heterosexual adultery, advised Michael Sam that his sexuality is “not healthy for us as individuals, or for us as a nation.”
- At City Council meeting in protest of a local pride parade, David and his twin brother referred to homosexuality as “destructive” and a “tragedy;” asserted that Jesus “refuses to leave [homosexuals] that way;”and Jason concluded by telling the council to “deny them every permit they ask for“?
- On company website, describes transgender woman as a “tragedy”: And dear old Dad chased a young transgender girl into a female restroom berating here…this was a young teenage girl, that’s the kind of bullies they are.
- Joined a coalition (including his father) who spoke at the Charlotte City Council meeting in protest of the local pride parade
- Says: “If you want to end [abortion and the homosexual agenda], elect Muslims. Sharia law will surely take care of both of those issues.
- Says marriage equality “erodes the moral fabric of our society” and “threaten[s] future generations,” which he coupled with the claim that “death is the punishment for homosexual sin“
- Joined colleagues (his father, Coalition of Conscience fellow Michael Brown, etc) at a local school board meeting where he spoke in opposition to an anti-bullying policy that included sexual orientation protections
So who exactly is the “smearee” and the “smearer” here? These are not the comments or actions of non-threatening religious believers. This is founded on hate and bigotry, and they can try to paint it other ways, but it is clear what they are all about.
It’s also clear they are excellent marketers, as they have created a cottage industry around this. If you visit the benhambrothers.com website, you’ll see they’ll be glad to sell you t-shirts, hats, books, media, and even off-shore IT services. I’d love to know how much Carmel Christian Academy paid them for the speaking engagement. I’m certain they don’t do those for free. Oh, and each graduate was given a copy of their book.
At their off-shore IT services, in non-Christian countries, they require Bible studies as part of working there. Imagine being poor, willing to take any low-paying job, but being coerced into having to study another’s religious beliefs to get that job and paycheck. How so very Christian of them.
I do not begrudge them their success in business, but don’t wrap it in a religious blanket and claim it to be part of some higher calling. That’s just heresy, and makes Christianity look bad.