Real estate moguls David and Jason Benham have defended the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, arguing that the controversial law is not a sword, but a "shield to protect companies."
Last week, Indiana Governor Mike Pence approved a bill allowing businesses to defend their rights on who they will or won't serve based on religious reasons. Although similar to a federal law signed by President Clinton back in 1993 as well as laws in dozens of other states, the RFRA has received significant condemnation from protesters, who argue it discriminates against the LGBT community.
At the time, Gov. Pence explained that the law contains no reference to sexual orientation, and is not designed to discriminate. Rather, it is about affording citizens full protection under Indiana law and ensuring the First Amendment rights of people to not violate their religious beliefs in the workplace.
The Benham brothers, who last year experienced discrimination firsthand when HGTV cancelled their show because of their Christian values, recently took to Facebook to express their thoughts on the issue.
"The Religious Freedom Restoration act is a shield, not a sword," David Benham explains in the video. "It doesn't get offensive and promote 'hate' as the hype said. But it's a shield to protect companies, like, for instance, a Jewish-owned jewelry. It keeps the state from forcing him to create rings with the Nazi symbol on it. Or a Muslim-owned apparel company. It prevents the state from forcing him to maybe make T-shirts with the cross over the crescent, or even a gay-owned apparel company from creating T-shirts that say Leviticus 18:22. Homosexuality is a sin."
In simple terms--"the state should never force business owners to promote a message or an idea that conflicts with their beliefs," Benham argues.
"So this is what RFRA is all about, so Jason and I, even when we were fired by HGTV, never got onto them. We said, 'You know what? We live in a free country. If they don't agree with our message, if they don't agree with our beliefs, they have a right to fire us."
Laws protecting individual freedoms are important "because the state is now stepping in to try and force businesses to promote ideas and events and message that are against their beliefs," which is "un-American," Benham says.
As previously reported by the Gospel Herald, the Benham's house-flipping show, "Flip it Forward," was panned by HGTV after a liberal watchdog published an article in which they accused to the brothers of being "anti-gay" and "anti-choice" for their Biblical views regarding homosexuality and abortion.
Although urged to retract their beliefs and apologize to the LGBT community for their worldview, the brothers refused to compromise on their Christian values, risking both their jobs and their reputations.
"It is a spiritual battle," Jason Benham explained to the Gospel Herald in a recent interview. "This spiritual battle has taken place since the beginning of time, but we're watching it manifest more clearly now than we have ever seen before in America. The truth of God is what sets people free--Satan knows this; the powers of darkness understand this. The best plan of attack is to silence the truth. If you can silence Christian belief, if you can demonize it and make it look like it's hate filled rhetoric--which it's not--then you win the day. Jesus loves all people,but he does not love all ideas. Unfortunately, in America, we have ideas that are against God, such as a child in a mother's womb is not really a baby and so can be terminated at a mother's choosing. That's an idea that is absolutely against God."