Benham Brothers: Hang Magnolia Wreaths for Chip and Joanna Gaines
David and Jason Benham, two brothers who had their show cancelled by HGTV on account of "anti-gay" comments, called on Americans to show solidarity with Chip and Joanna Gaines, the "Fixer Upper" stars who came under fire last week for their pastor's beliefs on same-sex marriage. The brothers called on Americans to hang magnolia wreaths on their doors to show their support for religious freedom.
BuzzFeed attacked the Gaineses, not for anything they said or did, but for the declarations of their pastor, Jimmy Seibert of Antioch Community Church. Other outlets followed suit, quoting Seibert's views on homosexuality as beyond the pale and insinuating that HGTV should distance itself from the Gaineses. Even an openly gay man (and fervent supporter of same-sex marriage) condemned these attacks as "a non-story."
Adrienne Royer at RedState suggested that in solidarity with the Gaineses, Americans should hang magnolia wreaths on their front doors. The magnolia wreath symbolizes Southern hospitality and it played a large role in the Gaines couple's romance — which is why their book is called The Magnolia Story. When asked about the idea, the Benham brothers supported it and compared it to the Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day in 2012 where Americans showed their support for the fast-food company after CEO Dan Cathy had taken fire for opposing same-sex marriage.
"With Chick-fil-A people bought chicken, and with the Gaineses people buy wreaths — it's a great way to show solidarity with those who stand for religious freedom," David Benham told PJ Media in an email statement. His brother Jason agreed: "In the same way people showed up to Chick-fil-A in droves when Dan Cathy was under attack, showing solidarity with people of faith is something the church can and should do when persecution arises."
The brothers, who recently published the book Living Among Lions:How to Thrive like Daniel in Today's Babylon, told PJ Media they are "traveling the country encouraging Christians to stand boldly for their faith." Jason called for Christians to "refuse to bow down to the cultural pressures of today and stand strong in God's Word. This is the role God has called us into."
This is why David went further than just calling for solidarity with the Gaineses, saying that "the best thing people can do is to be a voice for the florists, bakers, and photographers that nobody knows about—the ones who are losing businesses for living according to their consciences."
The Gaineses have not yet spoken out about their own position on same-sex marriage, and the Benham brothers agreed with Royer that they need not do so. "They shouldn't be bullied into discussing their beliefs no more than any other business owner should be forced to share his," Jason argued. "There are times to speak and there are times to stay quiet. I agree with their decision to remain silent at this time, as it's clear they were being bullied into talking."
"The time may come for them to speak, and when it does we're certain they will make the right decision," Jason added.
His brother agreed: "We stand with their right to stay silent, but the thought mafia won't leave them alone. At some point, they'll speak—but never when they are bullied to do so."
As for the pastor, Jimmy Seibert, Jason had nothing but praise. "We fully agree with and support their pastor's position on the issue and are proud of him for taking a fatherly stand on the topic," he declared. "More pastors should follow his lead."
Next Page: But how have the Benham brothers been doing after their show got cancelled?