News that the Home & Garden Television (HGTV) channel has “decided not to move forward” with their new show “Flip It Forward” has Fox News host Megyn Kelly seeing red on her show this week.
The controversy began when David Benham and his brother Jason - who were scheduled to star in the new HGTV reality show – saw their bracingly anti-gay opinions made public.
It emerged the pair also have a history of anti-Muslim activism. In 2012 David Benham explained to the press that he and his brother had participated in a protest of the Democratic National Convention against “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation.”
Benham compared the national anti-gay marriage fight to the struggle against Nazi Germany, citing Leviticus’ prescription of death for having gay sex.
Benham also decried divorce and what he called the “demonic ideologies” circulating in the American education system. He also reportedly declared that “Islam takes life and enslaves it” and has protested in front of mosques while shouting “Jesus Hates Muslims.”
Despite their polarizing views, Fox News host Kelly framed the cancellation of their show this week as another example of the so-called war on Christians. Gays rights are in fact more protected in the U.S. Kelly scoffed.
“If HGTV had a couple of hosts who are about to launch a TV show and it came out that they were gay and then they pulled the plug on them because they're gay, the backlash would be enormous in this country, and that's because gay rights are more and more protected and recognized in this country. Christian beliefs and Christian rights, not so much,” Kelly concluded.
Kelly’s claims about gay rights are wholly inaccurate, however: religion is federally protected, but sexual orientation and gender identity are not. Gay couples cannot marry in 33 states, and they can be fired for being gay in 29 states.
Critics counter that it was the Benham’s bigoted comments, and not their Christian faith, that led HGTV to cancel the show.
By misleading the public, turning reality upside down, and claiming that the Benham’s show was being canned because of their Christian views rather than their controversial statements, it is a reminder how far some news anchors have to go these days to make discrimination look like principles.
But by claiming that everyone who does not support the Benham’s is the equivalent of an anti-Christian bully, after their jaw-dropping comments have already been made public, critics say Kelly is actually undermining the argument she wants to make in support of Christianity.
The Benham’s are not being punished for their beliefs critics say, they are being dumped for their bigotry. The only question is what took HGTV so long to unearth the two brothers controversial past?