Sunday, March 31, 2013

#491: Flip Benham

A.k.a. “the carnival barker on the religious midway”

Philip “Flip” Benham is a fundamentalist minister and the national leader of Operation Save America. That’s Randall Terry’s organization (which has recently decided to start harassing mosques “all over the nation”) – or at least it was Terry’s organization; the conflicts and structures here are a little complex. Benham is, accordingly, an ardent pro-lifer who has, according to himself, been arrested “less than a hundred, more than fifty” times (e.g. here). In July 2011 he was found guilty of stalking a doctor in Charlotte (taking pictures of the doctor's house and telling his neighbors that he was a murderer). He is, however, especially famous for converting Norma McCorvey (“Jane Roe”) to the pro-life movement and religious fundamentalism.

Now, not all of Benham’s actions are completely callous, and he did provide a lot of help in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. On the, uh, flip side, he is, quite simply, mightily insane. You can find his announcement concerning his participation in the “Christian Revolution” at the steps of the Supreme Court in 2009 here. According to Benham, following typical fundamentalist martyr-complex pattern of paranoia, “S.909 will make illegal every word in the Bible describing homosexual sodomy. It will legitimize sin and prepare the way for censorship of the Gospel of Christ,” which is incorrect.

Benham is a member of the Constitution Party, and his views on the Constitution seem to toe the party line: “The Declaration of Independence was […] a call to obey God rather than men. When our Founding Fathers declared their independence from England's King George III, they were really declaring their dependence upon Almighty God – the God of the Bible. They pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to proclaim – God is true,” quite despite the fact that they really did the opposite. But as Mark Rushdooney, son of R.J., so eloquently put it “[w]e must base our laws on faith, not reason.” Benham was accordingly one of the staunchest supporters of Roy Moore’s ridiculous antics.

According to Benham, First Amendment rights apply to Christians only, so when Muslim groups arrange press conferences discussing Operation Save America’s organized harassment of Muslims by screaming “Jesus hates you” outside mosques, Benham claims that those Muslims are violating his First Amendment Rights. Beautiful.

Benham is well-known as an attention seeker (when one’s protests start to fizzle, crank up the volume) and ardently continued his boycott of Wal-Mart (due to their involvement with gay rights groups) even after the AFA quit, because Wal-Mart is “being blackmailed by the Devil himself,” according to Benham.

His press release upon the antics of Operation Save America members Ante & Kathy Pavkovic and Kristen Sugar in relation to the Hindu Prayer in Congress was not particularly sane either.

There’s a good Flip Benham resource here.

Diagnosis: The flamboyant flair of Fred Phelps, the reasoning ability of Pat Robertson, the belligerent, petty bigotry of Matt Barber and the dominionism of Gary DeMar, all rolled up into one dazzling bundle of shrieking insanity. That doesn’t prevent Benham of having a bevy of acolytes and constituting a real threat to the side of good in virtually any battle over anything.


  1. Flip Benham was granted a new trial in about an update.

  2. Thanks; yes, my sources are sometimes old and I appreciate corrections.