Baseball Bros Not Safe at Home and Garden TV
As major league baseball players, David and Jason Benham were used to a level playing field. In Hollywood, they're finding out that for Christians, there's no such thing. The twin brothers, who were set to launch a home-flipping show on HGTV in October, found out this week that their program is being canceled before it even started!
The network had jumped at the concept of two siblings helping families buy homes they never thought they could afford. In fact, the project was so far along that the Benhams had already filmed several episodes in preparation for the series. Then, in a story eerily similar to Craig James's and the Robertsons', the twins got the news that they'd been dumped by the network for subscribing to a faith that three-quarters of Americans supposedly share. As sons of a preacher, the brothers have never shied away from their beliefs, which led them to back the North Carolina marriage amendment -- a stance the brothers seem to now be paying for, thanks to radical pro-homosexual activists like GLAAD, whose only answer to real diversity is harassment. Now, the same cultural elitists that tried to bully the likes of "Duck Dynasty" are back to silencing anyone who expresses biblical values -- even if those values are expressed outside the workplace.
That narrow-mindedness is sure to backfire here, since the Benhams' goal, like Catholic Charities', World Vision's, and others', was to help the less fortunate. Unfortunately, liberals don't care who would be helped by people like the Benhams. Forcing their sexual ideology is more important than the compassion they say they practice. Sadly, this isn't the first time the Left has been willing to punish hurting people in the name of political correctness. Catholic Charities lost a government grant to care for victims of sex trafficking -- simply for being pro-life!
So remind me again which side is the "tolerant" one? Who commissioned these thought police to decide what issues one can publicly advocate for? Why is advocating for animal rights acceptable, but advocating for the unborn not? Why is it okay oppose public prayer but not okay to oppose the redefinition of natural marriage?
In the meantime, those who've followed the Benhams' careers -- from Liberty grads to the Big Leagues -- know the brothers won't buckle on their beliefs. "If faith costs us a TV show, so be it," they told reporters. "Anyone who suggests that we hate homosexuals or people of other faiths is either misinformed or lying. Over the last decade, we've sold thousands of homes with the guiding principle of producing value and breathing life into each family that has crossed our path -- and we do not, nor will we ever discriminate against people who do not share our views."
Obviously, the only thing that needs renovating on HGTV is the network's intolerance. Join the thousands of fans calling on these producers to #FlipThisDecision! Tune in tonight at 9 p.m. (ET) when I discuss this on Fox News's "Kelly File" with Megyn Kelly.
The Probes and Cons of Capitol Hill
If there's a new f-word on t Hill, it's "facts." The President's party has been trying for weeks to keep House leaders from getting to the bottom of a parade of scandals, including the IRS's. While regular business waits, corruption is keeping the Hill hopping -- and voters hopeful that the lawlessness will be reined in. With several committees working simultaneously on everything from Lerner to Libya, House leaders are determined to expose the truth.
Unfortunately for America, the truth hasn't exactly been in large supply when it comes to the country's tax agency. Countless hearings -- met by countless pleadings of the Fifth Amendment -- left members no other choice but to hold Lois Lerner, the disgraced head of the IRS's tax-exempt division, in contempt. By a vote of 231-187, Lerner becomes the sixth public official since 1982 censured by the House (and the second of this administration) for her refusal to cooperate with the investigation on her office's abuse of conservative groups.
Six Democrats joined the majority in rebuking Lerner -- but Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wasn't one of them. The House Minority Leader missed the vote for a fundraiser. (And goodness knows they'll need the money after all these scandals!) "There are few government abuses more serious than using the IRS to punish American citizens for their political beliefs," said Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).
And based on new information, that punishment ran deeper than even members believed. According to documents obtained by the House Ways and Means Committee, tea party donors were audited ten times more than the average American. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen admitted that the agency needed to do a better job of protecting taxpayers -- although that has yet to translate to action. "Who's been fired over the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS?" House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) wanted to know. "No one that I'm aware of. Who's gone to jail for violating the law? When is the administration going to tell the American people the truth? One would have to guess, if they're not willing to tell the American people the truth, it must not be very pretty."
Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has a better chance of finding out what they're hiding now that his resolution for a special counsel on the IRS has passed. With the help of 26 Democrats, House leaders are refusing to put the fate of the investigation in the hands of the DOJ, whose leader also happens to be in contempt in Congress.
For now, if there is a fox guarding the henhouse, at least there's a Wolf guarding the fox. In an interesting twist, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) is using the mark-up of today's Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill to put the financial squeeze on the Justice Department for its inattention to key issues. As far as he's concerned, if the DOJ won't do its job, then it doesn't deserve to paid for it. Making good on a promise from earlier in the year, Rep. Wolf is slashing $25,000,000 from the Department in his budget recommendation. Wolf's tough love specifically hits the general administrative account, where salaries are drawn.
Meanwhile, the bad news is only snowballing for the administration, who, thanks to today's House vote (232-186), will also have to endure new scrutiny over its Benghazi cover-up. Under the select committee created by this afternoon's resolution, seven Republicans and five Democrats will oversee a fresh wave of subpoenas and depositions.
If Senator Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) latest report is any indication, the case against the White House is only building. The Texas leader just released another 76 examples of lawlessness by this administration -- and if the latest headlines are any indication, that's just the tip of the imperialist iceberg.
Libs Fall Pray to SCOTUS Conspiracy
A few days after the Supreme Court ruling on public prayers, liberals are still struggling to come to grips with the decision. The New York Times, like other media outlets, is desperate to find the hidden agenda behind Americans' desire to exercise religion, including this ridiculous overreach from Katherine Stewart. In a column for today's Times, she suggests that groups like FRC are only advocating for public prayer to create a stealth theocracy in America.
"If you listened to the people who shepherded the case as it ascended the judicial hierarchy, however, the decision represents one of their biggest victories to date. It 'wasn't just an answer on prayer -- it was an answer to prayer!' read a statement by the Family Research Council. The Council is one of a host of organizations guided by the religious liberty advocacy group the Alliance Defending Freedom that backed the defendants with legal resources... The goal," Stewart suggests, "is to get back to a 'soft' establishment of religion in America -- that is, a system in which... one religion is informally or implicitly acknowledged as the 'approved' religion of the majority and a legitimate basis for public policy."
Of course, she asserts this, even as her own movement pursues a naked public square with religious zeal. If Stewart, like FRC's Travis Weber, had read the justices' dissents, she would have realized that the only ones who want to establish a religion in America are the secularists! "If mandating more religious inclusivity, who decides what steps are needed? What methods are used? Either way," Travis explains, "the dissenters promote active government involvement in religious decision making, and thus interference with religion, the very things they claim to be against."
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.