Metro Weekly

Pro-Trump pastor claims gays are coming for children, calls Big Bird ‘demonic’

Mario Murillo slammed attempts to get children vaccinated against COVID-19, throwing in conservative homophobia for good measure

Mario Murillo, pastor, gay, big bird
Mario Murillo

A Trump-supporting pastor has slammed an effort by Sesame Street character Big Bird to get children vaccinated and claimed that gay men are trying to “go after” children.

Evangelical preacher Mario Murillo embarked on his nonsensical rant during an appearance on right-wing network The Victory Channel.

In video shared by Right Wing Watch, Murillo slammed efforts to get children vaccinated against COVID-19 as “demonic” and “bullying,” after Sesame Street‘s Big Bird tweeted about receiving his own vaccine as part of a public health push by the long-running children’s show.

“This is the most demonic thing I’ve seen in a long time,” Murillo complained. “The indoctrination of children, giving an experimental thing to children…. See, to me, this is the worst form of bullying and peer pressure that you can possibly use in society.

“These adults — I don’t know if they have a conscience or not. The question of children is going to be the defeating force of the left. It’s what’s going to get ya.”

Murillo then swerved into outright homophobia.

“When the men’s gay chorus in San Francisco sang and said, ‘we’re going to go after your children’ there was a massive backlash,” Murillo said, giving zero evidence of this so-called “massive backlash.”

“And there’s going to be this Sesame Street. And there’s going to be a line drawn by parents and they’re going to switch this off and you’re going to watch this firestorm,” he continued.

“Once you make it about the children, that’s when all of the left, right, Republican, Democrat labels go out the window.”

Murillo, much like other conservatives, was apparently triggered by a tweet from Big Bird’s official account saying he had received his vaccine.

“I got the COVID-19 vaccine today! My wing is feeling a little sore, but it’ll give my body an extra protective boost that keeps me and others healthy,” Big Bird tweeted. “[CNN correspondent] Ms. @EricaRHill even said I’ve been getting vaccines since I was a little bird. I had no idea!”

President Biden replied from his official @POTUS account, writing, “Good on ya, @BigBird. Getting vaccinated is the best way to keep your whole neighborhood safe.”

It led to outcry from far-right politicians and talking heads, including Sen. Ted Cruz who called it “government propaganda…for your 5-year-old.”

Earlier this month, the FDA and CDC approved COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5 and over, as part of efforts to curb the spread of the virus and reduce its impact on day-to-day life.

As of last week, the White House estimated that almost one in ten children aged 5-11 had received their first shot.

“To parents and guardians of children ages 5 and older: please get them vaccinated,” President Biden tweeted earlier this month. “Children make up almost one quarter of cases in this country. The vaccine will help protect them and others, help stop the spread, and help us beat this pandemic.”

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