Andrew Sullivan, best known for his post-debate meltdowns regarding President Obama’s performance and for his stubborn insistence that Trig Palin was actually Bristol Palin’s child, has a theory regarding the makeup of the Roman Catholic Church: He thinks the leadership of the Church is gay.

On Sunday’s “Chris Matthews Show,” Sullivan announced this theory in passing, while on the way to a larger point attacking white evangelical protestants. When asked by Matthews if the increasing acceptance of homosexuality (and by extension, gay marriage) would influence the upcoming papal conclave, Sullivan scoffed at the idea.

“Zip,” he said. “I mean, there are so many gays electing the next Pope that who knows.”

“You mean the cardinals?” Matthews interjected.

“Right,” said Sullivan. “I think the most interesting thing about that poll is that all Christian denominations favor this, except white evangelicals. That is the Republican base. They cannot compromise on this, and that issue is going to kill them, as it’s killing the Church.”

Watch the clip below, courtesy of Mediaite:

Sullivan’s outburst wasn’t the only surprising statement made during these few minutes of airtime. Just slightly earlier, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius ascribed the rising tolerance for gay marriage to a strong libertarian streak in American culture.

“I think America’s civic religion, and the pervasive thing Americans believe is libertarianism,” Ignatius said. “‘Don’t tread on me’ is our national motto, whether you’re Republican, Democrat.”

“I think we’re culturally Protestant,” Matthews interjected a little uncomfortably.