Bill O’Reilly tried to suggest that preventing a business from discriminating against gays or same sex weddings is as bigoted as a KKK rally, with Christians as the persecuted ones.
In a discussion about the controversy over Indiana's so-called religious freedom law last night, O’Reilly said gravely that Indiana’s now-famous Memories Pizza had been “terrorized for saying they would have trouble catering a gay wedding.” (This, from the guy who repeatedly called abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, “Tiller, the baby killer” and then played the victim after he was assassinated.)
“What about Christians?” O’Reilly asked guest Juan Williams, an African American. “Christians are a majority. They have to be protected, too, right?”
“Absolutely,” Williams agreed.
O’Reilly continued with a false analogy.
O’REILLY: So, the pizza store didn’t say, “Look, we are not going to sell a slice of pizza if you’re gay.” They just didn’t want to go to an event - and the event being a gay marriage. So, if somebody invites you, Juan Williams, to an event, say a Ku Klux Klan rally… You don’t want to go there, okay?
O’REILLY: And you have the perfect right to say no.
WILLIAMS: No, thank you, yeah.
O’REILLY: I don’t like what the KKK stands for. I don’t want to go to that event.
O’REILLY: It’s the same thing. The pizza place and other people say it violates my religious tenets to go or participate in a gay wedding ceremony. Not to sell a piece of pizza to gays. But to go to an event. Do you not see the difference?
Williams let the point go but there is a huge difference. In the first place, the difference is that it’s not a matter of “attending” an event but doing business. If a pizza place caters weddings, it's discriminatory to refuse to do business with a customer because of the customer’s sexual preference.
But more importantly, there’s a huge difference between a gay wedding and a hate-filled event like a KKK rally.
Don’t tell me that O’Reilly doesn’t know that but used the comparison anyway for maximum incitefulness.
Watch it below, from last night’s The O’Reilly Factor, via Media Matters.