Unfortunately for Jay H., when people actually read my book, rather than “homophobic rantings,” they find the opposite. As one reader noted, “[Brown] . . . freely uses life testimonies of people who were divinely delivered from homosexuality, and others NOT divinely delivered from homosexuality. This isn’t cherry-picked propaganda here...there are sections in this book that are very sobering for [an] evangelical believer to read.”
And so, readers quickly realize that I am no more the new Fred Phelps than I’m the new Michael Jordan, and the anti-Christian rhetoric exposes itself.
That’s what is happening with my good friends David and Jason Benham, Christian businessmen and committed husbands and fathers.
They were about to be the stars of a new reality show on HGTV that featured them helping hurting families get their dream homes, until a single post on RightWingWatch caused HGTV to pull the plug. (For those unfamiliar with RightWingWatch, the website is a project of Norman Lear’s ultra-liberal People for the American Way. The website references Christian family activist Phyllis Schafly 351 times, conservative political leader Gary Bauer 334 times, President Ronald Reagan 111 times, author Chuck Colson 57 times, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas 37 times, just to give a few examples. You can be sure most all of the references were not flattering.)
Shortly after HGTV announced its decision, a young man on YouTube opined that the Benham brothers were “the textbook definition of a psychopath” and that “they have no feelings, no consideration for other people.”
The problem, of course, is that the moment you get to know David and Jason – or even watch them on a TV interview for a few minutes or see them interacting with their families – you realize that they are not the ones who need help. It’s the young man on YouTube who needs help, and I can guarantee that if they had the opportunity, the Benhams would reach out to him directly to show him the love of God. (When I played part of this YouTube clip for Jason on my radio show, he responded with real compassion and concern.)
But it’s not just some anonymous YouTuber who is spouting such extreme, self-disqualifying anti-Christian rhetoric.
Dan Savage, a leading gay activist (and sex columnist) supported HGTV’s decision, comparing the Benham’s pro-family viewpoints to “white people” who used to “go on TV and say the most racist [expletive] imaginable (argue against legal interracial marriage, argue in favor of segregation) and keep their jobs and be invited back on TV to say that [expletive] a second time.”
Savage facetiously remarked that “hating the [expletive] out of gay people is something all Christians have in common,” titling his blog, “HGTV Cancels Reality Show After Twin Stars Anti-Gay Activism and Rabid Homophobia Exposed.”
What is rabid, however, is not the position of the Benhams. It is Dan Savage’s militant and vicious anti-Christian rhetoric that is rabid, and so, when reasonable, thinking people listen to Savage and to the Benham brothers, it’s easy to see who is filled with hate and who is filled with love.
Watch and see.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.