Fifty percent of churchgoers in America will stop attending church within five years if the Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage, conservative commentator Glenn Beck predicted.
"If gay marriage goes through the Supreme Court and gay marriage becomes fine and they can put teeth in it — so now they can go after the churches — 50 percent of our churches will fall away, meaning the congregations," Beck said Thursday on his radio show. His comments were reported by The Blaze.
"Within five years, the congregations, 50 percent of the congregants will fall away from their church because they won’t be able to take the persecution," Beck said.
The nine-member court heard arguments Tuesday
on whether to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Same-sex couples now can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has indicated her support for same-sex marriage, and both she and Justice Elena Kagan have officiated at gay marriages. Justice Anthony Kennedy is expected to be the swing vote in the court's ruling, which is expected later next month.
Beck, who has long railed against government involvement in marriage, predicted that an affirmative decision from the court would force churches to shut down — or see their memberships plunge because people will stop attending due to the pressure to marry gays and lesbians.
"What does your church do if they are currently saying, 'No, we aren’t going to marry same-sex couples.' What happens?" Beck asked. "They lose their tax-exempt status and a lot of them will fall away."
In addition, "the stigma of going to church will be too much," Beck said, and Americans would not want to risk losing their jobs, livelihoods, or reputations, the Blaze reports.
"Persecution is coming," he later added. "If this goes through, persecution is coming. I mean serious persecution. Mark my words.
"Fifty percent," Beck reiterated. "Within five years, 50 percent of the people you sit next to in church will not be there … because they’ll say: 'I can’t do that. I will lose my job. People are picketing at my house. I just can’t do that.'"
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