Pennington County GOP Promoting Hate Again

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Once again the Pennington County Republican Party is promoting an event which spreads the seeds of hate in our community.  This time it is by way of promoting the Family Heritage Alliance's (FHA) Annual Fundraising Banquet Rapid City on October 10, 2017 [1, 2]. The keynote speakers at this banquet are  twin brothers, David and Jason Benham. Although they both played minor-league baseball they are most known for losing their reality television show on HGTV because of their extreme views on homosexuality. Of the two, it appears that David is the most vocal about his beliefs but Jason is always by his brother's side agreeing with and reiterating the ideas David expresses. They market themselves as a pair, so it is fair to take the ideas expressed by one as belonging to both.  

Their father is Flip Benham, an Evangelical Christian minister and director of Operation Save America (OSA), an aggressive anti-abortion organization which claims to, "employ only Biblical principles" [3]. Flip Benham was convicted of stalking an abortion doctor in 2010 after putting up "Wanted" posters  the doctor 's picture, name, and his address. Exactly where is that found in Biblical principles? He has been known to hold open casket "wakes" for aborted fetuses and to disrupt services in churches which allow abortions. He also espouses the evils of homosexuality with statements like, “You see, the homosexual community doesn’t want to just get you fired or something like that, they want to destroy you! They want to destroy everything because inside of them, their heart is raging against the Lord and they can’t ever get satisfied because God thwarts the cravings of the wicked" [4]. His son's are continuing in the same vein as their father.

David Benham speaks regularly about the evils of homosexuality. GLAAD does well to sum up many of the disparaging and ridiculous statements he has made [5]. Both brothers appealed to the Charlotte, NC City Council to deny a permit for the Charlotte Pride Festival in 2004 [6]. They actively supported North Carolina's Amendment One bill to change the State's constitution to define marriage as, "...between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State," in 2012. The amendment was passed but later deemed unconstitutional in federal court. In an interview with Glen Beck they claim to, "love gays but hate Satan's demonic agenda to suppress the truth" [7]. The brothers held a prayer rally in Charlotte in 2012 because, "America’s Christian majority must repent for tolerating abortion rights, no-fault divorce, legal pornography, 'homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation' and the 'demonic ideologies' that he says have taken over the education system" [8]. The two even state that Hurricane Irma was a message from God telling us to "repent" for breaking God's moral boundaries by breaking the boundaries of gender, sexuality and marriage [9].

Much of their fame came from when they lost the reality television show on HGTV because of their extreme views. In an interview with Erin Burnett on CNN [10] they try to fall back on the old Christian standby, hate the sin and love the sinner. The problem with this is that they diligently work to deprive the rights they have from others based on their personal religious beliefs. So does the Pennington County Republican Party and Family Heritage Alliance when they invite people like this into our community.















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