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Ben Shapiro threatened to resort to violence should politicians enact a law that would have religious institutions like churches, colleges, and charities lose their tax-exempt status should they oppose gay marriage.
During an LGBTQ CNN town hall, former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke was asked his opinion on the subject and his response got conservatives, including Shapiro, all riled up.
“There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone or any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us,” O’Rourke expressed.
Shapiro dedicated a portion of his 50-minute show to respond to O’Rourke’s answer, wherein he said he would “pick up a gun” should his religious rights be infringed upon by pro-LGBTQ laws put in place by Democrats.
The conservative commentator started the show by explaining the only thing a Democratic candidate has to do in order to defeat Trump in the 2020 presidential election is be “not totally insane.”
“Naturally democratic have been unable to do that,” he explained. “So we have seen democrats not only go insane over the Mueller report but on policy, they have been swinging radically to the left.”
Things got a little more heated when Shapiro responded to O’Rourke’s pro-LGBTQ policy idea.
“You want a culture war in this country, you damn well have it,” he continued, adding that if O’Rourke was going to try to “indoctrinate his kids” at religious schools and churches “nationally,” he would be forced to either “leave the country” or “pick up a gun.”
“Beto O’Rourke does not get to raise my child. And if he tries, I will meet him at the door with a gun,” he argued.
The internet has been tickled pink by Shapiro’s threat and flocked to Twitter to troll him and poke fun at his outrage.
“I’d just put his guns on top of the fridge,” Twitter user @trbutemnyxx wrote of Shapiro’s threat. (Shapiro is 5 feet 7 inches tall.)
I'd just put his guns on top of the fridge— unqualified hot person (@trbutemnyxx) October 11, 2019
“Can’t believe the guy who looks like that is so homophobic and repressed that he is threatening to do a school shooting,” another user commented.
Can't believe the guy who looks like that is so homophobic and repressed that he is threatening to do a school shooting— Alex Jay Brady (@AlexJayBrady) October 11, 2019
Another joked that Shapiro “looks like the type to get beaten with his own rifle during the Civil War.”
Ben Shapiro looks like the type to get beaten with his own rifle during the civil War.— Deon (@imnottayediggs) October 11, 2019
However, researcher Jason Campbell pointed out a more sad and dangerous thing about Shapiro’s show and an ad that followed it.
A few moments after this, Shapiro ran an advertisement for a firearm apparel company pic.twitter.com/DzKp0v6umr— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) October 11, 2019
Shapiro was not the only figure on the right to be outraged by O’Rourke’s comments. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), called O’Rourke’s proposal “bigoted nonsense.” Franklin Graham, a Trump supporter and son of late American minister Billy Graham, said he “will not bow down at the altar of the LGBT agenda nor worship their rainbow pride flag.”
Presidential candidate O’Rourke responded to the conservative backlash by doubling down on his position in a tweet.
“There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone or any institution or organization in America that denies the full human rights, and the full civil rights, of everyone in America,” he reiterated.
There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone or any institution or organization in America that denies the full human rights, and the full civil rights, of everyone in America.— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) October 11, 2019
Tiffanie Drayton is a geek culture and lifestyle reporter whose work covers everything from gender and race to anime and Xbox. Her work has appeared in Complex, Salon, Marie Claire, Playboy, and elsewhere.