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By Alex Griswold

MSNBC’s Ed Schultz likely didn’t know what he was getting into when he invited Heritage Foundation Fellow Ryan Anderson on “The Ed Show” to discuss the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). In the middle of the heated debate, during which Anderson schooled Schultz on the history and context of RFRAs, Schultz was forced to cut his guest’s mic off to save face.

“This law doesn’t open the door for discrimination,” Anderson began. “This is the law that’s been on the federal books, governing federal courts for 20 years–” (RELATED: Indiana Religious Freedom Law Is Nothing New: I Helped Write The One Clinton Signed)

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“That’s not true,” Schultz cut in. “It does not have the definition of person connected to a corporation, would you agree?”

But Anderson noted that in the 2014 Hobby Lobby decision, the Supreme Court ruled the federal RFRA does apply to corporations. “Most churches are corporate persons, most charities are corporations. So the idea that a Religious Freedom Restoration Act doesn’t protect corporations really doesn’t have any basis in the law.”

Schultz response was, uh, interesting, but not all that coherent. “Mr. Ryan [sic], you’re not a corporation, you’re a human being. Now you may work for a corporation, but the rights of you [sic] far exceed that of a corporation. And this right now, if you connect the two, opens the door for blatant discrimination.”

“Organizations do have rights,” Anderson shot back. “The New York Times has free press rights… so in the same way MSNBC has rights as a journalistic organization, people who form organizations also have their religious liberty rights protected. And this is the law for the whole federal government and 30 states.”

“If a gay couple walks into a restaurant and I own it, you’re telling me in Indiana if I own that restaurant, I can tell them to get out of here and you don’t think that’s discrimination?” Schultz yelled. “That’s not the position of the right wing?”

“Please point to names who are saying restaurant owners should be kicking gay and lesbian people out of restaurants,” Anderson challenged. “You’re demagoguing!” (VIDEO: Al Sharpton Compares Indiana Religious Freedom Law To Slavery, Jim Crow)

That in turn led to a heated shouting match about whether or not Indiana Governor Mike Pence supported kicking gays out of restaurants. “You just slandered the governor,” Anderson said. “You called him a homophobe!”

Schultz’ response was simple. “Cut his mic,” he told his producers. “Cut his mic off. I’m not going to — I gave him a chance. We’ll bring him back if he wants to be courteous.”

True to his word, Schultz threw more questions at Anderson at the end of the segment. After a minute or so of back-and-forth, the interview deteriorated into shouting when Anderson claimed that, “If there’s anyone intolerant in this debate, it seems to be the left.”

Schultz paused for a second. “Alright, we want to hear all sides, even with accusations of slander.”

“You called the governor a homophobe!” shot back Anderson. (VIDEO: MSNBC Host On Indiana RFRA: ‘Smear The Queer’ Doesn’t Work Anymore)

After another shouting match, Schultz ended the interview. “I apologize for the guy from the Heritage Foundation who can’t have a civil conversation,” he said. “We attempted to do that.”

Follow Alex Griswold on Twitter

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