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Robert Francis O’Rourke: Punish Churches That Do Not Support Gay Marriage
Former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke speaks to a crowd of marchers during the anti-Trump "March for Truth" in El Paso, Texas, on February 11, 2019.

Democratic presidential candidate Robert Francis O’Rourke said during CNN’s LGBT town hall event on Thursday that churches that do not support same-sex marriage should lose their tax-exempt status.

“This is from your LGBTQ plan and here’s what you write — this is a quote: ‘Freedom of religion is a fundamental right, but it should not be used to discriminate,'” CNN host Don Lemon said. “Do you think religious institutions like colleges, churches, charities — should they lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage?”

O’Rourke responded: “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. So as president, we’re going to make that a priority, and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.”


Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) blasted O’Rourke, who is among the worst-performing Democratic candidates, for his “bigoted nonsense.”

“This bigoted nonsense would target a lot of sincere Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Leaders from both parties have a duty to flatly condemn this attack on very basic American freedoms,” Sasse wrote in a statement. “This extreme intolerance is un-American. The whole point of the First Amendment is that…everyone is created with dignity and we don’t use government power to decide which religious beliefs are legitimate and which aren’t.”

Professor Denny Burk wrote on Twitter: “Beto O’Rourke calls for Christian churches to lose their tax-exempt status unless they endorse gay marriage. This draconian assault on the First Amendment is now the MAINSTREAM view within the Democratic party. This could bankrupt many churches and religious institutions because it would dissuade contributions. Many churches would lose their property as a result of being unable to pay property taxes — especially in big cities. This is truly draconian and unconstitutional.”

“It means that we have an entire political party that is directly arrayed against Christian churches that remain faithful to Christ … for now. I do not foreclose the possibility that the other party could eventually go the same route,” Burk continued. “For now, though, we are dealing with one political party’s mainstreaming of this opposition to churches who remain faithful to Christ’s teaching about marriage and sexuality.”

“My hope is that cooler heads will prevail and that the American electorate will turn away from this attempt to punish churches for their beliefs. I certainly hope and pray that Christians will press their democratic privileges to oppose this kind of injustice,” Burk continued. “Christians, we need to be ready for a new reality. We are likely to face fines and other penalties for staying faithful to Christ’s teaching. Our churches may eventually lose tax exempt status. Any number of negative outcomes are possible in the approaching conflagration.”

Even left-wing journalists that work for far-left publications found O’Rourke’s comments to be repulsive.

Slate writer Ruth Graham tweeted: “I’m late on this, but it’s astounding, and it’s exactly where conservatives have been warning that progressives are heading.”

Vox reporter German Lopez tweeted: “Yikes. This is genuinely repulsive.”

Many in O’Rourke’s party view him as a loser and have said so publicly.

Rep. Max Rose (D-NY) said on Friday: “I don’t think losing is cool. I want the Democratic Party to be the party of Kyrsten Sinema and not the party of Beto O’Rourke. Losing is not as cool as he thinks it is. When you win you get to help people, and when you lose you get to be a social-media rock star. So I don’t think Beto is cool, and I don’t think losing is cool. If we don’t win, we can’t do a f**king thing for anybody … This is where it begins and ends for me, so f**king figure it out.”

Former Chicago Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel essentially said the same thing about O’Rourke last year.

“If Beto O’Rourke wants to go and run for president, God bless him,” Emanuel said. “He should put his hat in and make his case. But he lost. You don’t promote a loser to the top of the party.”

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