Appearing on The O'Reilly Factor Thursday, Fox News' Glenn Beck took time out of his daily habit of railing against progressives to calmly explain that the country wasn't going to be destroyed by giving marriage rights to gays and lesbians.

Beck told Fox News host Bill O'Reilly why he didn't devote airtime to the issue. "Honestly I think we have bigger fish to fry," said Beck. "You can argue about abortion or gay marriage or whatever all you want. The country is burning down."

"But isn't that one of the reasons, because we are getting away from the traditional way we used to live into this progressive [agenda]?" prompted O'Reilly.

"Your country is burning down," repeated Beck. "I don't think marriage, that the government actually has anything to do with what is a religious right."

"Do you believe that gay marriage is a threat to the country in any way?" asked O'Reilly.

"No, I don't," said Beck. "Will the gays come and get us?"

"I believe what Thomas Jefferson said," Beck continued. "If it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket, what difference is it to me?"

Beck told O'Reilly that he wasn't worried about same-sex marriage rights as long as churches could choose not to perform the ritual for gays and lesbians.

While O'Reilly claims that he takes a libertarian view on gay marriage, in the past he has worried that it could lead to people marrying animals.

Speaking on Fox News Channel Monday, O’Reilly declared that same sex marriage could lead to individuals marrying — a turtle.

You “would let everybody get married who want to get married,” the pundit remarked. “You want to marry a turtle, you can.”

O’Reilly has previously suggested that gay marriage could ultimately allow for a person to marry a goat, duck, or dolphin.

In 2005, while discussing two male Massachusetts inmates’ request to prison officials to allow them to marry, O’Reilly quipped: “So this is just the beginning, ladies and gentlemen, of this crazy gay marriage insanity — is gonna lead to all kinds of things like this. Courts are gonna be clogged. Every nut in the world is gonna — somebody’s gonna come in and say, ‘I wanna marry the goat.’ You’ll see it; I guarantee you’ll see it.”

This video is from Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, broadcast Aug. 11, 2010 and uploaded by Media Matters.