August 14, 2022


Texas ‘preacher’ with assault rifle confronts Beto O’Rourke

3 min read
The man says in the video there are “great” men who are the “product of...

The man says in the video there are “great” men who are the “product of rape.”

Beto O'Rourke was confronted by a man wielding an assault rifle who claimed to be a preacher.

Beto O’Rourke was confronted by a man wielding an assault rifle who claimed to be a preacher.

Chris Stokes/MySA

A self-proclaimed “minister of the gospel” showed up to Beto O’Rourke’s town hall in Hemphill, in East Texas, on Saturday, July 30, asking questions about abortion and if Jesus was the gubernatorial candidate’s “lord and savior.” The man did all this while carrying an assault-style rifle over his shoulder just months after a gunman used a similar rifle to kill students and teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde. 

The man, who claimed to be a preacher, is seen in multiple videos posted to Twitter over the weekend. Before asking his question, the man says in the video that he was not at the town hall to talk about guns, asking O’Rourke how to “deal with the murder of the unborn for anything other than to save a woman’s life.” The man then goes on to claim that there are plenty of “great men of god who are the product of rape.”

O’Rourke says that he respects the man’s conclusion in the context of the man’s faith but says that the decision to have an abortion under any circumstance lies with women “who understands better than anyone else the nature of her pregnancy.” There are currently no exceptions for rape or incest in Texas. 

It’s not clear if the man, who did not give his name before asking his questions, is a preacher at a church in the area. Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, posted a photo of the man who appeared to also have a pistol on his hip.

After the Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade ruling in June, clinics in Texas stopped offering abortion services out of fear of being criminally prosecuted under statutes passed in 2021. Texas also has a trigger law passed pre-Roe that increases the criminal and civil penalties for abortion that goes into effect on August 25. 

Since then, abortion rights activists have been pushing for Congress to make abortion legal at the federal level, while a few Texas cities like Austin have passed ordinances prohibiting the use of public funds to investigate or prosecute abortion cases. San Antonio plans on discussing a resolution showing support for similar ordinances.

Watch the second and third parts of the full video below.

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