Rational Christianity: the Benham Brothers
The David and Jason Benham controversy has been well discussed in recent days. The media has been alive with shock and outrage over what the two brothers represent, both in terms of freedom of speech and the never-ending pursuit of “equality.” The real story, however, is how the narrative of “extreme Christianity” is being portrayed.
The Left never seem to position their arguments as rebuttals to the Right; they merely assert their views are obviously correct and anything opposing is equally as obviously incorrect. An example of this is expressed by Rev. Susan Russell, a pastor at All Saints Church in Pasadena, California, “And this week HGTV made the decision that it does not want to give air time to two brothers who, when they are not flipping houses for profit, are proclaiming that equal protection LGBT families is “demonic” and protesting a woman’s right to reproductive freedom.” The assumption being that clearly any criticism of homosexuality or merely being pro-life (or doing work for profit it seems) is inherently immoral. She finishes by declaring “As a Christian priest and pastor, my response is a big fat “Amen.”
Liberalism seems to have decided that the case is closed and all opinion is settled on the general issue of what is acceptable and what is not. The Huffington Post discussing the Benham brothers put “After Anti-Gay Views Unearthed” in the headline of their breaking story implying the two had been caught doing something they preferred to hide. The brothers were labeled “Anti-Gay, Anti- Choice extremists” by the original website that caused the controversy, Right Wing Watch. The brothers were accused of activism as though it had a sinister connotation. Their activism included participating in pro-life rallies, prayer rallies, and other general interviews.
In 2012 David Benham stated: “We don’t realize that, okay, if 87 percent of Americans are Christians and yet we have abortion on demand; we have no-fault divorce; we have pornography and perversion; we have a homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation; we have adultery…” at a pray rally at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC. This is what “extremist” Christianity looks like to the Left. But looking at the Bible, through Christian eyes, David is merely expressing the same concerns the writers of his faith shared.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11: “Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people…” A very basic reading of Biblical scriptures will give the reader a clear perspective on both homosexuality and the value of the unborn. Leviticus 20:13: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination…”, Psalm 139:13: “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb.” And Jeremiah 1:5: “I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb…”
As I understand Christianity, the purpose is to embrace the Bible fully and blend your life into the lifestyle prescribed within. It is absolutely a natural aspect of Christianity to be critical of the open acceptance of homosexual practices (the bible does not consider an individual to be exclusively ‘gay’) and even more so to be vocally opposed to the willful killing of an innocent person under the guise of “choice.” These two views are in no way extreme when looking at both the Bible and Christian practice rationally. For a person to embrace this faith and then condemn those who hold to the very words of that faith is irrational.
I have written previously on how there are no negative consequences to embracing this idea in Christianity as Christians do not act out against gay people or their rights. It is baffling to me how a person comfortable in their sexuality would find offense to the religious objection of a Christian to the physical practice of that sexuality. The Benham brothers are not accused of harming, attacking verbally or otherwise, discriminating against or even being dismissive or rude to gay people. David Benham responded to the controversy by stating “We love all people. I love homosexuals. …and my brother and I would never discriminate. Never have we -- never would we.” In the same article both brothers express: “Our faith is the fundamental calling in our lives, and the centerpiece of who we are. As Christians we are called to love our fellow man. Anyone who suggests that we hate homosexuals or people of other faiths is either misinformed or lying.”
The Benham brothers are not expressing extreme anything, they are merely practicing rational Christianity. They have shown no malice towards any group and have only exercised their influence towards important causes conservatives support. Their only crime is that they verbally proclaimed what liberals find offensive. The brothers should be praised for their unique bravery and their compassionate and calmly positive approach to what can only be described as discrimination.
Jimmy LaSalvia, a well-known gay conservative, posted on his twitter account: “In 2014 opposition to homosexuality is far outside the mainstream. Just like racism and misogyny. All of those things will keep you off TV.” He then further discussed this view in a blog post titled: Consequences where he lamented that “…the truth is that cultural standards and norms change over time, and they have found themselves way outside of the mainstream when it comes to the issue of homosexuality.” He argues that viewers would be “…turned off by the anti-gay fringe activism of the Benham Brothers.”
It seems holding a basic understanding of Christian (and Jewish) sexual morality while also defending the innocent lives of unborn babies is now considered “far outside the mainstream.” Perhaps this is a good thing. American Thinker contributor Robert Oscar Lopez wrote recently on the many ways liberal gay culture has embraced and perpetuated into their mainstream what most would be appalled by. It must be stated that this actual extremism in both the liberal and gay community is simply ignored. Why would anyone devote time to outrage over two brothers standing for their faith against great adversity when the liberal gay world offers far more relevant issues to oppose? Is it so desperately important to preserve the idea of being gay as a social norm that we must attack Christians for pointing out the very serious issues we choose to ignore internally? Wouldn’t rational, responsible and yes normal gay people side with Christians on these issues together?
The Benham brothers represent real Christianity and real devotion to faith. They deserve to be praised and imitated, not shoved into the corner to avoid the disapproving glare of the liberal masses. No reasonable person would need to distance themselves in order to prove tolerance. Furthermore no gay person should see them as a threat. They are successful businessmen who help struggling people with their homes. They stand up for life and they advocate for a better, safer world. They hate no one and they deserve our respect. They are what Christians are supposed to be.