Real Extremists Are Being Exposed Over Benham Brothers Controversy

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  • Michael Brown
    Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries. He is the author of 25 books and hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio show, the Line of Fire.
By Michael Brown, CP Op-Ed Contributor
May 23, 2014|11:12 am

Since when did it become "extremist" to be pro-life, pro-family, and pro-marriage?

On May 10th I wrote an article entitled Anti-Christian Activists Will Defeat Themselves. Within days, my thesis was being confirmed.

Last week, Martha MacCallum, sitting in for Megyn Kelly on Fox, hosted a heated exchange between Dana Loesch and Democrat strategist Jessica Erlich "about the Benham Brothers being discriminated against for their Christian beliefs by SunTrust Bank, which had announced that they were cutting business ties with the twin brothers." (SunTrust reversed its decision 24 hours after dropping the Benhams, with apologies.)

Erlich began her comments by saying, "What I find sad and disturbing is that really what you have here are two attention-seeking reality television wannabe appearing brothers who are political activists who have an extreme agenda, and are trying to cloak it in this, sort of, you know, religious freedom characterization, and using that as a way to get, you know, their own business and drive that. And I find that very disturbing."

Unfortunately for Erlich, she was wrong on every point. First, the Benhams are Christian businessmen who never once thought about having a reality TV show. (They are close personal friends of mine, and I've worked with them in different capacities for years.)

To their complete shock, they were approached by some TV talent finders a couple of years ago with the proposal that they consider doing a reality show, and the rest is history. So, they were anything but "attention-seeking reality television wannabe appearing brothers." Is it possible that Erlich exposed her bias in her opening sentence?

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She next described them as "political activists who have an extreme agenda, and are trying to cloak it in this, sort of, you know, religious freedom characterization."

Is it possible to strike out on just two pitches? It appears Erlich did just that.

The Benhams are anything but "political activists," and they hold to their views based entirely on their religious beliefs.

In my 11 years of knowing Jason and David, I can't remember a single political discussion we've ever had, and the prayer rally sponsored by David in conjunction with the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina (where they live) was entirely non-political in content. It was a day of repentance and prayer for the church, where Christians confessed their own sins against God.

Erlich, however, seemed entirely incapable of grasping the fact that the Benham Brothers oppose abortion and homosexual activism because they are Christians. Perish the thought.

When Loesch challenged Erlich on several fronts, Erlich again referred to "their political beliefs," to which Loesch replied, "I just don't understand the anti-Christian bigotry. I mean the world is big enough for all of us, don't you think?"

Erlich responded, "There is no anti-Christian bigotry here. They have cloaked their political views, which are radical…[crosstalk] these are not Christian views."

This is really extraordinary. According to Erlich, who really seemed to believe what she was saying, it is not Christian to be pro-life and pro-marriage, and the only way the Benhams (or any of us) oppose abortion or the redefinition of marriage is because of our political beliefs. Seriously?

Does she not understand that the reason many of us hold to certain political beliefs is because of our religious beliefs? And does she not understand that the pro-life movement continues to grow in America – among young people as well – despite the secular media's attempt to cover-up things like Gosnell's house of horrors? (For those who are unaware, the video that surfaced of David Benham speaking in front of an abortion clinic in Charlotte was in conjunction with the clinic being temporarily shut down after years of egregious health code violations.)

Remarkably, Erlich claimed that, "They are anti-abortion and anti-homosexuality and those are their positions. Those are not the positions of most Christians, and for you to say that is outrageous."

Not the position of most Christians? Most Christians are in favor of abortion on demand? Most Christians support the redefinition of marriage? Is Erlich referring to most committed Catholics? Most committed evangelical Protestants? Which Christians does she have in mind?

Interestingly, a March 2014 Rasmussen poll found that "43 percent Favor Gay Marriage, 43 percent Oppose," despite the media constantly telling us that the battle is over and that Americans favor the redefinition of marriage. And in Ohio, gay activists have had to postpone their challenge to the state's ban on same-sex "marriage" because the polling data remains the same as in 2004 when the ban was passed, possibly because of increased gay bullying of Christians.

According to the data, "Only 33 percent of respondents are certain they would vote to allow marriage between two people of the same sex. Correspondingly, 52 percent of people are certain to vote to keep marriage as only between one man and one woman."

In recent days, Jason Benham has forwarded emails to me from gay men, stating that they abhor what HGTV did to them and that they are deeply disturbed by what they perceive to be ugly, anti-Christian bias. Surely they were not speaking only for themselves.

Although the interaction between the two women on the Kelly file became so intense it was impossible to make out what they were saying, Loetsch did rightly remark to Erlich, "If we're going to have a theological discussion, let's start with your name calling, your smearing of these brothers just because you're an anti-Christian bigot!"

The real extremism is being exposed.

Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, including Can You Be Gay and Christian, and he hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio show, the Line of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.
 

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