Many weeks ago, I had a little altercation (Michael Coren can no longer be considered a reliable source of Catholic opinion (sadly)) with Michael Coren. I had been following Coren’s rather bizarre adventure into the narcissistic world of Gay Politics. For a time, I chose to ignore it, hoping it was just a misunderstanding or a misplaced emphasis in some conversations he was having on Facebook. The frequency and the alarming nature of his responses, however, caused me to join one of his discussions on Facebook to get the whole picture. I saw enough of it to make the allegation which was the subject of my blog post above (before he defriended me from his Facebook account for nothing other than insisting that he answer a question on his position on Humanae Vitae). I sent out an e-mail to my list (linking to the above blog post) and informing everyone of my opinion on Michael’s competence and suitability to be considered a reliable source of Catholic opinion. I thought that would be the end of it. A little blog like Socon or Bust would have, after all, a negligible impact on the nationally-known and respected right-wing host of Sun News. Much to my surprise, however, a reader forwarded me this rather surprising response from Mr. Coren that was published this past Friday on the Catholic Register’s website. Coren seemed to take issue with my blog post which I had posted about six weeks ago. My rebuttal to his response is included below after his commentary.
Whoops, my cover has been blown. An e-mail is currently being sent around announcing that, “Michael Coren can no longer be considered a reliable source of Catholic opinion.”
That email came from yours truly. The e-mail was sent out at the end of March, but may still be circulating around the internet by others who share the same concern for Michael’s bizarre behaviour.
Golly, who knew? Actually, I’ve never claimed to be a reliable source of Catholic opinion, even though various cardinals and archbishops have affirmed and praised me, but I’m an excellent source of Michael Coren opinion.
Actually, various cardinals and archbishops have affirmed and praised you because of your past work, concerning the defence of the Church’s doctrinal and moral positions. Your current position, however, is something quite different and we shall see just how long you retain such support. Any Catholic who agrees with Gay civil unions, not to mention the other rather unorthodox and contra-orthodox positions that Michael Coren holds, will not long be welcome in faithful Catholic circles. That’s not my opinion, that’s just reality.
The line of accusation was originally posted on a particularly hysterical and angry web site by someone who, oddly enough, had me speak at a conference he’d organized a few months ago, at which I received a standing ovation. How quickly opinions can change!
Well, Mr. Coren has a penchant these days of labelling anyone who dares point out the problems with his position as someone is “hateful” and “angry”. I got banned from his Facebook page because I wanted an answer on Humanae Vitae. I was a polite gentleman about it too. Mr. Coren is delivering pure ad hominem trash talk, more suited to his liberal opponents than any self-respecting conservative pundit, but then again Coren is moving away from conservatism too, which is no surprise either. The conference that Michael Coren was invited to speak at was Action Life’s Annual Gala evening which I had invited him to address. He finds it “odd” that someone might be able to compare and contrast what he is saying now with what he never said back then. Rest assured, Mr. Coren, you would never have received a standing ovation if you said you supported gay civil unions. But if you want to prove to everyone how “hateful” and “hysterical” that I am, here is a suggestion: at your next speaking gig, in front of a solid Catholic audience, go ahead and boldly proclaim your belief in gay civil unions. See what the reaction is and see if you get that standing ovation you need to confirm you in your opinions.
The reason for the fellow’s epiphany, and for his Internet warrior friends to attack me behind my back in a profoundly un-biblical manner, was not because I doubt God, because I don’t; not because I no longer worship Jesus, because I do; not because I deny the real presence, because I don’t; not because I question Our Lady or the Virgin Birth, because I don’t; not because I question the crucifixion or Resurrection or salvation or Gospel, because I don’t. No, it’s because I refuse to hate.
Why did you not mention your support for the Catechism’s teaching on homosexuality or the more prickly issue of the Church’s firm and unequivocal opposition to gay civil unions? We all know why, Mike. Let me fill you in on a little secret, Mr. Coren. There is no such thing as an 80% Catholic. You’re all in or you’re out. Don’t go parading around the fact that you believe in the Resurrection as a carte blanche to try and excuse yourself from the rest of Catholic moral teaching. For instance, in order to provide cover for his position on gay civil unions, Mr. Coren has decided to mangle morality into some kind of personal fiefdom (which by the way is another error):
I believe personal morality should be framed by the individual, and while I agree passionately with marital fidelity I would not want to be part of a college that tried to impose such an idea from above. (Source)
And as for this tiring “everyone hates me” baloney that Mr. Coren is pathetically using as a shameless cover for his position, one need only point out to him that he needs to graduate from kindergarten and that if someone objects – even vigorously! – to what he is trying to sell, it does not mean that his interlocutors hate him or even the constituency that he is trying to defend. He is merely adopting the tactics of the Gay stormtroopers who attempt to cower anyone who opposes them with the whole “homophobia” label. Grow up, Mr. Coren. Take your (legitimate) hits like a man and stop you’re infantile whining.
I’ve written about this before in this column but at that time the blitz of bile had only just started, and now it’s entered the battle stage. Simply, I will not and do not call gay people sodomites, I do not compare gay activists to Nazis, I distinguish between radicals who want to silence Christians and ordinary gay people — the vast majority — who merely want to get on with their lives, I don’t obsess about homosexuality, I think that the message of Jesus is more about love and mercy than judgment and condemnation, and I would like to re-shape and improve the conversation between Catholics and the gay community.
Many of the people Coren is blindly accusing of “anger” and “hatred” have shown nothing of the kind which causes us to question whether he is sufficiently balanced to carry on an intelligent conversation without banning his opponents who have asked a straight forward question. The issues with Michael Coren are not merely about playground taunts and name-calling. They go much further than that. Gay civil unions, for instance, are not about Jesus’ love and mercy, even though Michael Coren seems to think they are.