Experiencing Technical Difficulties (resonant) wrote,
Experiencing Technical Difficulties

Michael Coren’s Epiphany

Today I went to the release of Michael Coren’s "Epiphany" at Glad Day Books.

Michael Coren spent decades being a professional right-wing racist, homophobic, sexist, and anti-Semitic columnist and talk-show host (despite having a Jewish father, and despite having relatives die in the Holocaust). He made huge amounts of money deliberately saying the most provocative and nasty things he could think of about anyone not gay, white, straight, or Christian. Then in 2014, he was in Uganda when the government was debating executing all gay people. Michael Coren had participated in lobbying the Ugandan government to stiffen laws against homosexuality, and was a strong proponent of "loving chastisement" of gay people, but hadn't thought they'd actually go to that extent. He suggested to church leaders that they speak out against killing gays, so the gay people would realize how loving the church was and all become chaste Christians living the rest of their lives repenting their gayness. The church leaders said that they did not think it wise to speak against killing the gays.

At that point, Michael Coren went on record as saying that gay people had the right to live and love whoever they wanted (as long as it was in a monogamous Christian marriage).

His supporters freaked out. He lost some lucrative columns, radio shows, and TV contracts. He wrote about his experience with this in his new book, "Epiphany".


I wanted to like Michael Coren for doing this. It must have been a huge struggle for him to risk the fame and money of his talk shows and columns, to do what he suddenly realized was right. But in the hour I managed to spend listening to him during his book release, it became clear that he's still not a person I'd like to know.

For example, for a decade after same-sex marriage became legal in Canada, he frequently argued that same-sex couples should be forcibly divorced. He now complains that someone had written to his wife suggesting that she divorce him because of his non-anti-gay views. He was shocked that someone would suggest violating the sanctity of marriage by recommending divorce, even though that is exactly what he had been doing.

For decades, he said that gay people were wrong to use the courts to defend themselves against discrimination, and that market forces should be the only thing guiding what is right or wrong between an employer and an employee. Then he lost a job as a talk show host, with the reason (in writing) that some viewers thought he might be gay; his publisher only gave him 40% of his usual advance for his next book; and now he suggests taking the TV show and his publisher to court, despite spending decades insulting gay people suing for wrongful dismissal and discrimination.

He did seem to think he had changed, and was suffering as a result of his new enlightened views. But his views are still more bigoted than the Canadian mainstream, he seems to trivialize all the pain he caused to people in the past, and he still is smarmy and condescending to to the LGBT community. And he still hasn't addressed his racism or sexism.

I am glad that he is no longer actively attacking the LGBT community. But I still don't like him, and I'm not buying his book.
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