Transcript: A Christian Case for LGBT Rights | May 18, 2016

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, checkered white shirt, and pin-dotted blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "A Christian case for LGBT rights."

Steve says MICHAEL COREN SPENT
THE PAST FEW DECADES ON
TELEVISION, RADIO, AND IN PRINT
ENGAGING ON THE ISSUES OF THE
DAY AS ONE OF CANADA'S MOST
HIGH-PROFILE SOCIAL
CONSERVATIVES.
UNTIL RECENTLY.
HIS NEWEST BOOK "EPIPHANY: A
CHRISTIAN'S CHANGE OF HEART and
MIND OVER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE,"
REVEALS A NEW MICHAEL COREN, WHO
JOINS US NOW.

A picture of the book appears briefly on screen. The cover is white, with a drawing of a lit lightbulb.
Then, Michael sits with Steve. He's in his sixties, clean-shaven and bald. He's wearing glasses, a brown corduroy coat, white shirt, and striped black and yellow tie.

Steve continues GOOD TO HAVE YOU BACK HERE AT TVO.

Michael says PLEASURE.
THANK YOU.

Steve says LET ME DO AN EXCERPT
FROM YOUR BOOK TO GET US STARTED
HERE.
YOU WRITE...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "The challenge of our time." The quote reads "I believe that the welcoming of gay people, who have suffered at Christian hands for so long, is at the epicentre of the modern Christian challenge and that by washing away the stains of prejudice and discrimination we can spark a new awakening."
Quoted from Michael Coren, "Epiphany" (2016.)

Steve says THAT'S A FASCINATING
THING FOR YOU TO HAVE WRITTEN
BECAUSE I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE
WOULD NOT IMAGINE THAT YOU WOULD
BE WRITING SUCH THINGS GIVEN
WHAT YOU'VE WRITTEN IN THE PAST.
CAN YOU TELL US WHETHER THERE
WAS A MOMENT... I MEAN, THE
BOOK'S CALLED EPIPHANY.
DID YOU HAVE A MOMENT OF
EPIPHANY WHEN YOU THOUGHT,
EVERYTHING I'VE THOUGHT ABOUT
THIS IN THE PAST IS WRONG?

The caption changes to "Michael Coren. Author 'Epiphany.'"
Then, it changes again to "On the road to Damascus."

Michael says IT WAS AN
OVERNIGHT CHANGE BUT THERE WERE
DOZENS OF OVERNIGHT CHANGES.
IT'S A VERY GOOD QUESTION. I
CAN'T REALLY GIVE IT A GOOD
ANSWER BECAUSE THERE WERE
MOMENTS THAT SEEMED INCREDIBLY
PROFOUND AND REVOLUTIONARY TO
ME BUT WHEN I THINK BACK ON
THEM THERE WAS PACKAGING AROUND
THEM. THERE WERE VARIOUS
INCIDENTS IN MY LIFE. IT WAS
AN EVOLVING AND THERE ARE ALL
SORTS OF FACTORS THAT ARE
PERSONAL ONES: MY AGE. AROUND
57, I'VE REACHED A CERTAIN
POINT IN MY LIFE WHERE I
SUPPOSE AMBITION IS NO LONGER
AN ISSUE AND I CAN SEE THE
END RATHER THAN THE BEGINNING
AND THERE ARE OTHER PARTS OF MY
LIFE THAT I WANT TO EXPLORE.
THERE WERE INCIDENTS
INTERNATIONALLY, BEYOND ME,
WHAT WAS GOING ON IN UGANDA
WITH SOME DEEPLY HOMOPHOBIC
CULTURE MORE SO THAN ANYWHERE
ELSE IN AFRICA AND WHAT WAS
HAPPENING TO GAY PEOPLE THERE.
WORLD VISION AND THE INITIAL
EMBRACING OF GAY COUPLES AND
HAVING TO REVERSE THAT POSITION
UNDER PRESSURE. SO NO, THERE
WASN'T AN EPIPHANY.
THERE WAS SOMETHING, THOUGH,
THAT WAS OCCURRING ABOUT 3 YEARS
AGO, I WAS VERY CONSCIOUS OF IT.
I WAS INCREASINGLY UNCOMFORTABLE
IN MY CHRISTIAN FAITH.
IT'S BEEN THERE SINCE THE EARLY
'80s WHEN I BECAME A
CHRISTIAN.
I REALLY HAVE NEVER WAVERED.
BUT THE JESUS THAT I WAS
SUPPOSED TO WORSHIP AND REVERE
AND LISTEN TO WAS ALL ABOUT
JUSTICE AND INCLUSION AND
FORGIVENESS AND TOLERANCE.
AND I REALIZED THAT I WAS ABOUT
MORE THAN THAT.
I WAS ABOUT JUDGMENT.
NOT HATRED.
I DID NOT HATE.
I UNDERSTAND I PROBABLY DID SAY
A LOT OF DUMB AND FLIPPANT
THINGS AND I APOLOGIZE SO MANY
TIMES.
IT WASN'T LOVE, IT WASN'T
INCLUSION.
AND I FELT MYSELF INCREASINGLY
AT A DISTANCE FROM THE GOD I
CLAIMED TO WORSHIP AND THAT WAS
BREAKING ME APART.

Steve says WHAT I JUST QUOTED
YOU WROTE THIS YEAR.
WHAT I'M ABOUT TO QUOTE YOU
WROTE 4 YEARS AGO...

Another quote appears on screen, under the title "Regrets, I have a few." The quote reads "FAR TOO MUCH TIME HAS BEEN DEVOTED to the bullying of gay kids, largely because the gay community seems to have an emotional hold over our culture and politicians right now...
Urban North America has become extremely gay-friendly in recent years, to the point where in some schools it is even a fashion statement to come out, and silly girls regard having a gay friend as the ultimate fashion accessory.
Teachers rush to the defence, even the affirmation, of gay kids and homosexuality, gay teachers often push an agenda, and students who from a Christian or Muslim perspective have any sort of objections to the homosexual lifestyle are made to feel eccentric, if not evil."
Quoted from Michael Core, Toronto Sun, June 1, 2012.

Steve says A BIT OF A
TOUCHY-FEELY QUESTION, BUT HOW
DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOURSELF
HAVING WRITTEN THAT JUST 4 YEARS
AGO?

Michael says SOME OF
THAT'S TRUE.
I MEAN, THERE ARE SILLY GIRLS,
IT'S VERY PATRONIZING, HAVING A
GAY MALE FRIEND AS A FASHION
STATEMENT, THAT'S DEEPLY
OFFENSIVE.
THERE ARE ELEMENTS I WOULD STILL
STAND BY.
I CAN QUOTE YOU WORSE THAN THAT.
THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS I'VE
SAID AND DONE OVER THE YEARS,
AND THAT'S A VERY GOOD EXAMPLE,
IT'S NOT HATEFUL AS SUCH BUT
IT'S MOCKING AND NOT SYMPATHETIC
OR VERY CHRISTIAN EITHER.
WHILE PEOPLE HAVE TO HAVE THE
RIGHT TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST
VARIOUS ISSUES AND NOT FACE
DISCRIMINATION, I DON'T THINK I
WAS FEELING FOR OTHER PEOPLE.
THANK GOD NORTH AMERICA OUTSIDE
OF CHURCH HAS BECOME FAR MORE
GAY FRIENDLY.
WE MIGHT SEE THE SITUATION ONE
DAY WHERE ALMOST EVERY
INSTITUTION IN NORTH AMERICA
BELIEVES IN GAY EQUALITY ASIDE
FROM THE CHURCHES.
THE ARMY BELIEVES IN IT BUT NOT
THE CHURCHES.
THAT'S AN EXAMPLE OF ME LOSING
PRIDE, SPEAKING INSTEAD OF
LISTENING, THERE'S NO EMPATHY,
AND THERE'S NOT THAT LEAP THAT I
THOUGHT I WAS CAPABLE OF, OF
FAITH.

Steve says NOT SURE YOU CAN BE
A GOOD NEWSPAPER COLUMNIST IF
YOU'RE NOT PROVOCATIVELY JERKISH
FROM TIME TO TIME.

Michael says I DON'T HAVE
A WEEKLY COLUMN ANYMORE AND
THAT'S BEEN LIBERATING.
I THINK SOMETIMES YOU DO RIGHT
IN A CERTAIN MODE.
THAT AND I CAN GIVE YOU DOZENS
OF OTHER EXAMPLES THAT I GOT IT
COMPLETELY WRONG AND I'M SORRY FOR IT.

Steve says ON THIS ISSUE, THIS
WAS NEVER A BIG ANIMATING ISSUE
FOR YOU ANYWAY.

Michael says THAT'S
SOMETHING I SHOULD BE MORE
ASHAMED OF.
I'VE NEVER BEEN HOMOPHOBIC.
BECAUSE PEOPLE OPPOSE EQUAL
MARRIAGE DOESN'T MEAN YOU'RE
HOMOPHOBIC.
I WAS RAISED IN THE U.K. FROM A
WORKING CLASS HOME AND WENT TO
VARIOUS UNIVERSITIES, A LOT OF
MY INFLUENCES WERE GAY MEN IN
PARTICULAR, WERE VERY GOOD TO
ME, NEVER CAME ON TO ME, I'M WAY
TOO UGLY, PROBABLY, BUT THEY
WERE SUPPORTIVE AND HELPFUL AND
KIND AND I WAS UNGRATEFUL, I
SUPPOSE, IN MANY WAYS.
I BECAME THIS POSTER BOY FOR
CONSERVATIVE CATHOLICISM.
SO I BECAME IDENTIFIED WITH.
AND I SHOULD HAVE SAID NO.
BUT I DIDN'T.
I SAID YES.
THERE'S NO ONE TO BLAME APART
FROM ME.

Steve says NOW YOU SAY THAT,
QUOTE, UNQUOTE, THIS ISSUE IS AT
THE EPICENTRE OF THE MODERN
CHRISTIAN CHALLENGE.
THE EPICENTRE?
HOW COME?

Michael says IN NORTH
AMERICA I THINK IT IS.
BECAUSE, AS I REFERRED TO
EARLIER, WE WILL FACE A
SITUATION... TO A DEGREE WE HAVE
IT NOW... WHERE THE INSTITUTION
IS GOING TO BE THE MOST LOVING
IN THE WORLD IS THE ONLY ONE
THAT STANDS AGAINST FULL
EQUALITY FOR GAY PEOPLE.
IF WE CAN CHANGE THIS, AND I
DON'T WANT THIS TO SOUND LIKE
HYPERBOLE, IT WILL SHOW
CHRISTIANS DON'T HAVE A LITERAL
INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE,
THAT WE CAN ALSO THEN JUDGE
OTHER ASPECTS OF LIFE THROUGH
THAT... NOT LIBERAL BUT MORE
INTELLIGENT INTERPRETATION AND
IT WILL SHOW THAT CHRISTIANS AND
CHURCHES CAN LEARN AND ADAPT.
I'VE USED THE PHRASE RECENTLY
THE FIFTH GOSPEL, THE GOSPEL OF
APPEARANCE.
I BELIEVE IN THE CREED.
MY FAITH IS DEEPER THAN EVER.
IT'S NOT IN SPITE OF IT, IT'S
BECAUSE OF IT.
IF WE CAN SHOW EXPERIENCE ALSO
CHANGES US AS CHRISTIANS, WE CAN
BECOME RELEVANT AND PERTINENT TO
A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO ARE RIGHT
NOW JUST SAYING YOU DON'T MATTER
ANYMORE.

Steve says DO YOU THINK THE DAY
IS COMING IN YOUR LIFETIME OR
MINE WHERE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
WILL MARRY TWO GAY PEOPLE?

Michael says NO.

Steve says HOW ABOUT THE
ANGLICAN CHURCH?

Michael says THE ANGLICAN
CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES
DOES.
THE ANGLICAN CHURCH IN CANADA
DOESN'T, EXCEPT OPENLY GAY
CLERGY, THERE'S A LOT OF
DISCUSSION BUT IT WON'T MARRY.
MARRIAGE IS ABOUT PROCREATION.
THAT'S NOT ALL OF IT BUT A LARGE
PART OF IT.
I CAN'T SEE EVEN UNDER THIS
POPE, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
ADAPTING ON THIS ISSUE OR FEMALE
ORDER NATION, MAYBE MARRIED
CLERGY, BUT THAT'S AS FAR AS
THEY WILL GO AND THAT'S A TOUGH
ONE.

Steve says ANOTHER QUOTE FROM
THE BOOK...

Another quote from the book appears on screen, under the title "Within context." The quote reads "I'm not really sure if the Bible openly and explicitly supports same-sex marriage but I think there's a good argument to say that it does and an even better argument to say that it doesn't really have an opinion on the subject that applies to the modern world. I am more convinced, however, that it doesn't condemn it and that we've got this one wrong for far too long.

Steve says DO YOU WANT TO
AMPLIFY ON THAT SOMEWHAT?

The caption changes to "Written in stone?"

Michael says THIS IS AN
IMPORTANT POINT.
THE BIBLE SAYS EQUAL MARRIAGE IS
FINE, IT'S WONDERFUL.
THAT ISN'T TRUE.
THERE WERE ONLY ABOUT HALF A
DOZEN REFERENCES TO
HOMOSEXUALITY IN THE BIBLE.
IT'S A BIG BOOK.
IT'S BIGGER THAN MY BOOK.
IT'S A BIG BOOK.
IF SOMEONE CAME FROM ANOTHER
WORLD, THE BIBLE, THAT'S ALL
ABOUT GAY PEOPLE, ISN'T IT?
IT DOESN'T MENTION IT VERY
OFTEN.
JESUS NEVER MENTIONS
HOMOSEXUALITY.
AND I UNDERSTAND YOU DON'T HAVE
TO MENTION EVERYTHING.
IT CAN STILL BE AN ISSUE.
HE DOES TALK ABOUT DIVORCE, FOR
EXAMPLE, AND LOTS OF OTHER
ISSUES.

Steve says HE'S VERY TOUGH ON
DIVORCE.
WAY TOUGHER ON DIVORCE THAN
HOMOSEXUALITY.

Michael says I'M NOT HERE
TO CONDEMN DIVORCE BUT I FIND IT
RICH WHEN PEOPLE HAVE BEEN
DIVORCED ONCE, TWICE, THREE
TIMES, THEY GET ANGRY ABOUT
HOMOSEXUALITY.
MAYBE THEY'RE MISREADING
SCRIPTURE.
JESUS IS LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE AND
INCLUSION.
THERE'S A WHOLE CHAPTER OF
INCLUSION AND THERE ARE PASSAGES
THAT ARE GAY FRIENDLY INCLUDING
THE LIFE OF JESUS AND CENTURION.
IF YOU DON'T ACCEPT THAT IT'S
NOT AN ISSUE OF SCRIPTURE.
AMBIGUITY IS A KEYNOTE.
AND AMBIGUITY SHOULD LEAD US TO
BE INDIFFERENT.
I DON'T BELIEVE THAT CHRISTIAN
CHURCHES SHOULD AUTOMATICALLY
CHANGE OVERNIGHT.
I THINK THEY SHOULD BEGIN TO
DISMANTLE THEIR OPPOSITION.
IT'S NOT A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD.
IF SOMEONE GOES INTO A CHURCH
AND SAYS I'M NOT SURE ABOUT GAY
MARRIAGE OR I BELIEVE IN GAY
MARRIAGE OR I'M GAY, THEY CAN
STILL LOSE THEIR JOB AT A
COLLEGE, THEY CAN BE DENIED
CONFIRMATION OR COMMUNION, THEY
CAN BE FAR FROM A TEACHING
POSITION AT A SCHOOL.
IT'S NOT A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD.
I'M QUITE PREPARED FOR PEOPLE
WHO OPPOSE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE, OF
COURSE THEY SHOULD BE ACCEPTED
IN THE CHURCH, BUT WHAT'S
HAPPENING NOW MOST ARE BEING
TOLD IN SOME CHURCHES YOU DON'T
BELONG.

Steve says LET'S GO DEEPER INTO
THE BIBLICAL SCRIPTURE AND SEE
WHAT IS THERE AND NOT THERE.
THE STORY OF SODOM AND GOMMORAH,
THIS PLACE WAS DESTROYED BY GOD
BECAUSE THERE WAS TOO MUCH
HOMOSEXUALITY GOING ON.

Michael says I WOULDN'T
CLAIM TO BE A THEOLOGIAN.
MODERN THEOLOGY DOESN'T BELIEVE
THIS AT ALL.
ELSEWHERE IN SCRIPTURES THERE
ARE REFERENCES TO SODOM THAT
DON'T REFER TO SEXUALITY OR
HOMOSEXUALITY AT ALL.
IT'S ABOUT LACK OF CHARITY,
ANIMALISTIC BEHAVIOUR, REJECTING
THE STRANGER, THE REFUGEE, THE
MIGRANT.
IT WAS NOT ABOUT THIS ISSUE.
IT WAS ONLY IN MEDIEVAL EUROPE
THAT ONE PARTICULAR WRITER TRIED
TO EMPHASIZE THE HOMOSEXUAL
ASPECT OF IT.
I DON'T THINK THAT ONE STANDS UP
TO ANY SCRUTINY AT ALL.

Steve says LEVITICUS SAYS...

Michael says YOU CAN DIE
FOR ALL SORTS OF THINGS AND THE
WHOLE LIST OF KOSHER FOOD OR
MIXING CERTAIN MATERIALS AND
WHAT YOU WEAR AND WHAT IS THIS
REALLY ABOUT?
IS IT ABOUT SAME-SEX LOVE OR IS
IT ABOUT THE USE OF A PERSON FOR
SEXUAL GRATIFICATION?
BECAUSE A LOT OF WHAT IS
WRITTEN, AND IT ISN'T VERY MUCH,
IS ABOUT USING BOYS, USING YOUNG
BOYS AS YOU WOULD USE A YOUNG
GIRL, JUST FOR YOUR OWN
SATISFACTION.
IT'S NOT ABOUT TWO MEN OR TWO
WOMEN COMMITTING THEMSELVES TO
EACH OTHER IN A LOVING
RELATIONSHIP.

Steve says I'M NOT DONE YET,
MICHAEL.
HERE WE GO.
MATTHEW 19, VERSE 3-5.

A Bible verse appears on screen, under the title "Matthew 19:3-5." The quote reads "Some Pharisees approached him, and tested him, saying 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?' He said in reply, 'Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?"
Quoted from the New American Bible, 2002.

Steve says AGAIN, HOW DO YOU
NOT INTERPRET THAT AS JESUS
SAYING MARRIAGE IS BETWEEN A MAN
AND A WOMAN?

Michael says I DON'T
THINK IT'S ABOUT GENDER AND
MARRIAGE, I THINK IT'S ABOUT THE
SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE.
THAT'S PROBLEMATIC FOR THOSE WHO
SAY DIVORCE IS ACCEPTABLE.
I THINK ALSO MODERN
UNDERSTANDING OF DIVORCE, IT IS
ACCEPTABLE.
BUT THAT IS REALLY ABOUT...
ALSO, THERE'S CONTEXT.
THIS IS A CULTURE WHERE WOMEN
WERE THOUGHT TO BE USEABLE AND
DISPOSABLE.
I KNOW PEOPLE ARE VERY CRITICAL
OF ISLAM TODAY AND GENDER
RELATIONSHIPS, BUT IN ANCIENT
JUDAISM, IT WAS VERY EASY FOR A
MAN TO DIVORCE HIS WIFE.
VERY, VERY EASY.
EVEN EASIER FOR PAGAN CULTURES.
THIS IS JESUS SAYING MARRIAGE IS
MORE IMPORTANT THAN THAT.
HE'S USING THE WORDS OF
HETEROSEXUAL MARRIAGE, BUT I
DON'T THINK THAT'S EXCLUSIVE.

Steve says DO YOU THINK THERE
WERE GAY PEOPLE IN THE BIBLE?

Michael says OH, YEAH, OF COURSE.

Steve says CAN YOU GIVE US AN EXAMPLE?

Michael says I'M NOT
TRYING TO OFFEND PEOPLE HERE BUT
DAVID AND JONATHAN IS A BIT
TRICKY.
THIS IS A VERY CLOSE
RELATIONSHIP.
THERE ARE ALWAYS GAY PEOPLE.
ANCIENT CULTURE, HOMOSEXUALITY
WAS PROBABLY MORE ACCEPTED THAN
IN MODERN SOCIETY, OR AT LEAST
UNTIL 40 OR 50 YEARS AGO, GREEK
AND ROMAN CULTURE.
YES, THERE ARE.
WHICH IS WHY HIS LACK OF
REFERENCE TO IT IN THE GOSPELS
IS ACTUALLY EXTREMELY
SIGNIFICANT BECAUSE IT'S NOT AS
THOUGH THERE MAY BE SOMEONE WHO
IS GAY SOMEWHERE, IT WAS VERY
WELL-KNOWN.
IN FACT, THE OCCUPIED... THEY
DIDN'T HAVE GAY HOMOSEXUAL AS
BEING LIKE THAT.
MANY PEOPLE.

Steve says IF THERE ARE ALL
THESE REFERENCES WHICH WITH
ADDED STUDY YOU HAVE NOW...

Michael says THERE ARE
NOT MANY REFERENCES THOUGH.
YOU'VE ALMOST EXHAUSTED IT.

[Laughter]

Steve says I GUESS WHY DID IT
TAKE YOU SO LONG TO COME AROUND
TO THIS VIEW YOU HAVE NOW AND
HOLD ONTO THE VIEWS YOU HELD FOR
SO LONG?

Michael says BECAUSE I'M
A STUBBORN IDIOT, I SUPPOSE.
BECAUSE YOU GET EMBEDDED IN A
CULTURE AND A SPASM.
I'M NOT A STUPID PERSON, BUT YOU
REACT IN A CERTAIN WAY AND...
LOOK, I DON'T WANT TO SOUND TOO
PIOUS.
THERE IS SOMETHING SUPERNATURAL.
WHEN YOU REALIZE... LIKE
SUDDENLY YOU HAVE THE GLASSES
WORK, YOU CAN SEE THINGS
CLEARLY, AND YOU THINK, MY
GOLLY, WHY DIDN'T I SEE THAT
BEFORE?
BUT I DIDN'T SEE IT BEFORE.

Steve says YOU NEEDED MORE TIME?

Michael says IT SOUNDS
LIKE A LAME EXCUSE.
MAYBE MORE TIME.
I WAS ALSO... WHEN I CALLED FOR
CHRISTIANS TO RALLY AROUND
OPPOSITION TO UGANDA'S
CONSIDERATION OF A NEW LAW THAT
WOULD EFFECTIVELY SAY, IF YOU'RE
GAY, WE CAN KILL YOU.
IT WASN'T QUITE THAT BUT
EFFECTIVELY IT SAID YOU COULD BE
EXECUTED FOR BEING HOMOSEXUAL.
WHEN I SAID LET'S RALLY AROUND
THIS, WE CAN OPPOSE EQUAL
MARRIAGE OR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE,
BUT LET'S STAND UP TO THIS
GENOCIDAL ATTITUDE.
WELL, I WAS ATTACKED FOR THAT.
WHEN I WAS ACCUSED OF THINGS AND
OF BETRAYING MY FAITH, I
REALIZED, MIKE, YOU MIGHT BE IN
THE WRONG PLACE.
WHEN I WROTE A COLUMN A COUPLE
OF YEARS AGO APOLOGIZING... I
DIDN'T EVEN MENTION MARRIAGE.
I APOLOGIZED TO ANY PAIN I
CAUSED TO THE PAIN COMMUNITY AND
SO ON AND I WAS STILL AT SUN
NEWS AT THE TIME AND IT WAS LIKE
THE GATES OF HELL IT BE OPENED
ON ME AND MY FAMILY AND I WAS AN
ADULTERER, MY WIFE WAS GAY.
I'VE BEEN BLACKMAILED BY MY GAY
LOVER OR I HAD A BREAKDOWN.
WHEN THAT HATRED IS THROWN AT
YOU YOU'RE FORCED TO SAY, I MAY
HAVE BEEN WRONG.
I'M NOT ARGUING THAT EVERYONE IS
LIKE THIS IN THE CONSERVATIVE
CHRISTIAN WORLD, BUT IF SO MANY
ARE, THAT'S NOT ME AND THAT'S
NOT JESUS AND THAT'S NOT WHAT I
WANT TO BE.

Steve says LET ME MODERNIZE THE
REFERENCES SOMEWHAT HERE.
WE'LL GO 2,000 OR 3,000 YEARS
INTO THE FUTURE WHERE WE ARE NOW.
THIS FROM THE PEW CENTRE AND
IT'S ABOUT CHANGING ATTITUDES ON
GAY MARRIAGE.
LET'S BRING THESE NUMBERS UP,
SHELDON, IF WE CAN.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Who supports same-sex marriage? 2002 Americans polled in 2015."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
THE NUMBER OF AMERICANS WHO
FAVOUR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE, 55 percent NOW.
OPPOSED 39 percent.
AS YOU BREAK IT DOWN INTO
DEMOGRAPHICS, AMONG MILLENNIALS,
70 percent SUPPORT, generation X 59 percent,
Baby boomers 45 percent, silent generation 39 percent.

The slate changes and shows the numbers by religious beliefs.
82 percent of unaffiliated, 62 percent of white Protestants, 57 percent of Catholics, 34 percent of black Protestants, 24 percent of white evangelicals.

Steve continues THESE NUMBERS DO
SUGGEST THAT YOUR SIDE BASICALLY
HAS WON THIS DEBATE, YOUR NEW
SIDE, IF I CAN PUT IT THAT WAY.
IS THAT RIGHT?

The caption changes to "The rights revolution."
Then, it changes again to "Michael Coren, @michaelcoren"

Michael says THE SECULAR
ARGUMENT IS PRETTY MUCH DONE IN
NORTH AMERICA AND EUROPE.
NOT IN RUSSIA, IN AFRICA, IN THE
WEST INDIES, IN LARGE PARTS OF
ASIA, IT'S HARDLY EVEN STARTED
BUT IT'S THE CHRISTIAN WORLD.
THE EVANGELICAL WORLD IS STILL
VERY MUCH OPPOSED.
THE CATHOLIC WORLD GENERALLY
REFLECTS THE SECULAR WORLD.
A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO CALL
THEMSELVES CATHOLIC AREN'T
REALLY CATHOLIC ANYMORE.
MAIN LINE PROTESTANT, YES,
THEY'RE COMING AROUND TOO.
THE CATHOLIC RESPONSE TO THIS IS
NOT THE RESPONSE OF THE CATHOLIC
CHURCH, IT'S THE CATHOLIC
PEOPLE.
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH STILL REFERS
TO DISORDER AND SIN AND THERE'S
BEEN EVIDENCE OF ANY CHANGE AT
ALL.
THE POPE MADE GESTURES BUT
THEY'RE NOT IN ANY WAY
MEANINGFUL.
THE LAST DOCUMENT THAT CAME
OUT...

The caption changes to "Connect with us: TVO.org, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter; @theagenda"

Steve says WHAT DO YOU MEAN
THEY'RE NOT MEANINGFUL.
THEY'RE MEANINGFUL.

Michael says I TALK ABOUT
THIS IN THE BOOK.
WHEN HE SAID WHO AM I TO JUDGE.
HE WAS TALKING ABOUT ONE GAY MAN
WHO LEFT IT BEHIND TO BE A SELL
BRAT PRIEST.

Steve says THE... CELIBATE PRIEST.

Michael says HE GOES ON
TO SPEAK ABOUT MASONIC
CONSPIRACIES AND THE PROBLEM IS
GUY PEOPLE ORGANIZING.
HE WENT TO THE PHILIPPINES AND
GENDER THEORY, WHICH IS CATHOLIC
SHORTHAND FOR SAME SEX MARRIAGE,
HE SAID THOSE... HE COMPARED
THEM TO THE HITLER YOUTH.
WHILE THE POPE HAS BEEN
WONDERFUL ON MANY ISSUES THE
LAST DOCUMENT DIDN'T EVEN OPEN
THE DOOR, IT TURNED THE HANDLE
SLIGHTLY ON DIVORCE.
OTHER THAN THAT, IT DID NOTHING
AT ALL.

Steve says WHAT DO YOU INFER
FROM THIS.
THE UNITED CHURCH HAS ONE OF THE
BEST TRACK RECORDS, THEY PERFORM
GAY MARRIAGES, HAVE TWO OPENLY
GAY MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH AND
THEIR MEMBERSHIP IS APPARENTLY
ONE OF THE FASTEST DECLINING IN
NORTH AMERICA, OR IN CANADIAN
CHURCHES TO BE SURE.
IS THERE A CONNECTION THERE, DO
YOU THINK?

Michael says I DON'T
THINK THERE'S A CONNECTION.
IT'S ABSOLUTELY TRUE.
I THINK IT'S A COINCIDENCE, IF
YOU LIKE.
THE UNITED CHURCH IS A
PROTESTANT DENOMINATION THAT HAS
ALL SORTS OF INNER STRUGGLES.
THERE ARE SOME WONDERFUL PEOPLE
THERE BUT IT'S NOT MY THEOLOGY.
OTHER CHURCHES THAT ARE MORE
PROGRESSIVE... THE EVANGELICAL
CHURCHES, THERE ARE
PROGRESSIVES, PEOPLE LIKE STEVE
CHALK IN THE U.K. HAVE COME OUT
PUBLICLY IN FAVOUR OF GAY
MARRIAGE.
THEIR SUPPORTERS, HUGE NUMBERS
OF PEOPLE.
I THINK YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL
TO LINK A CERTAIN TYPE OF
LIBERAL CHRISTIANITY AND THOSE
PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT IT.
THERE ARE MANY LIBERAL
CHRISTIANS OUT THERE, PEOPLE WHO
REJECT A STRICT CATHOLIC OR
EVANGELICAL APPROACH.
THEY OFTEN FIND THE CHURCHES
THEY GO TO ARE NOT PREACHING AN
ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY.
I'M A SMALL "L" ORTHODOX
CHRISTIANITY.
I SAY THE CREED AND BELIEVE
EVERY WORD.
THAT DOESN'T BELIEVE I CAN'T
EMBRACE EQUAL MARRIAGE.
PART OF THE PROBLEM IS HERE
LIBERAL CHRISTIANS ACCEPT EQUAL
MARRIAGE.
THAT MEANS THEY HAVE TO BE FLUID
ON THEIR BELIEF IN THE
SCRIPTURE.
I REJECT THAT.
I DO NOT THINK THESE THINGS ARE
MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE.
YOU CAN BE AN ORTHODOX BELIEVING
CHILDREN AND BECAUSE OF THAT
EMBRACE EQUAL MARRIAGE.
NO CONTRADICTION.

Steve says THAT'S WHERE YOU ARE.

Michael says VERY MUCH.

Steve says I DO WONDER WHO THIS
BOOK IS AIMED AT.
I'LL SHARE A COUPLE OF NUMBERS
HERE.
THIS IS IN APRIL 2016 SURVEY
FOUND 80 percent OF CANADIANS THINK
GAYS SHOULD BE GENERALLY
ACCEPTED BY SOCIETY.
IF YOU POLL AMONG MUSLIMS, 36 percent.
DOES THAT NOT SUGGEST THAT
CHRISTIANS ACTUALLY ARE NOT YOUR
PROBLEM, MICHAEL?
THAT OTHERS ARE?

Michael says AS A
CHRISTIAN, I THOUGHT... I HAVE
A... TO SPEAK OUT TO MY
COMMUNITY AND THE ROMAN CATHOLIC
CHURCH IS HUGE AND IT STILL
REJECTS I THINK GAY DIGNITY AND
EQUALITY AND CERTAINLY GAY
MARRIAGE.
THE ANGLICAN CHURCH HASN'T COME
AROUND COMPLETELY.
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM, THE
ISLAMIC DIASPORA, YES, THE
ATTITUDES THERE ARE CHANGING
VERY SLOWLY AND THERE'S ALSO A
GENERATIONAL PROBLEM, SOME
YOUNGER MUSLIMS ARE IN MANY WAYS
MORE CONSERVATIVE THAN THEIR
PARENTS.
BUT I'M NOT QUALIFIED TO DISCUSS
THAT.
I DON'T KNOW THE COMMUNITY WELL
ENOUGH.
AND CERTAINLY WITHIN THE ISLAMIC
WORLD ITSELF, IN THE MIDDLE EAST
AND ELSEWHERE, IN PAKISTAN,
THESE ISSUES ARE SIMPLY NOT
DISCUSSED OR DEBATED.
BUT AS I SAY, I'M NOT QUALIFIED
TO... IT'S BAD ENOUGH DEALING
WITH THE HATE MAIL FOR THIS ONE.
GIVE ME A CHANCE, STEVE.

Steve says LET ME PICK UP ON
THAT.
YOU ALLUDED TO THIS A COUPLE OF
MINUTES AGO.
SOME PEOPLE THINK THIS IS AN
OPPORTUNISTIC PLAY BY YOU, YOU
HAVE WANTED TO APPEAL TO A MORE
LIBERAL MAINSTREAM AUDIENCE IN
THE HOPES OF PRESUMABLY MAKING
MORE MONEY. WHAT'S HAPPENED
TO THE FINANCIAL BOTTOM LINE
OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD AS A RESULT
OF COMING OUT WITH THIS?

The caption changes to "Understanding the change."

Michael says MY WIFE IS
WORKING AT STARBUCKS.
SHE REALLY IS.
BUT SHE LOVES IT.
I'M NOT GOING TO PLAY A MARTYR
HERE BECAUSE I'VE SEEN WHAT GAY
PEOPLE GO THROUGH, PARTICULARLY
IN OTHER COUNTRIES.
IT WAS WEIRD WHEN PEOPLE WERE
SAYING I WAS DOING THIS FOR
MONEY.
I LOST QUITE A BIG.
I LOST A T.V. GIG AT HUNTLEY
STREET.
THEY SEVERED ALL LINKS WITH ME
BECAUSE OF MY VIEWS ON THIS.

Steve says HOW MANY YEARS WERE YOU THERE?

Michael says TWELVE YEARS
AND LEFT AND WHEN SUN NEWS ENDED
THEY ASKED ME TO GO BACK AS A
GUEST HOST.
THAT HURT ME.
IF THEY SAID DON'T TALK ABOUT
THIS ISSUE ON THE AIR, AND, NO,
I WOULDN'T DO THAT.
BUT IT WAS JUST, YOU'RE GONE.
WHEN I LEFT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
AS A RESULT OF THAT, I LOST
THREE GIGS THERE.

Steve says SPEAKING GIGS?

Michael says EVERY ONE.
EVERY SINGLE ONE.
EVERYONE WENT JUST LIKE THAT.

Steve says BOOK SALES?

Michael says ALL THE
CATHOLIC BOOKS, THEY'RE STILL
SELLING VERY WELL.
I EVEN HAD PEOPLE SENDING THEM
BACK TO ME.
IT WAS GREAT.
I WENT AND SOLD THEM IN A
SECOND-HAND STORE.
I LOST HALF MY INCOME.
BUT... BUT I WANT TO EMPHASIZE.
THAT ISN'T THE ISSUE.
I GAINED SO MUCH MORE.
I GAINED THE FRIENDSHIP OF SO
MANY PEOPLE AND JUST WITHIN ME
SELFISHLY, MY FAITH HAS NEVER
BEEN DEEPER AND I'VE NEVER FELT
MORE CONTENT IN ME.

Steve says HAVE PEOPLE WHO, IN
THE PAST, THOUGHT YOU WERE AN AN
INTOLERANT JERK FOR WRITING WHAT
YOU WROTE, HAVE ANY OF THEM COME
TO YOU AND... I'M NOT SURE WHAT
THE RIGHT WORD IS... HAVE THEY
FORGIVEN YOU, HAVE THEY EMBRACED
YOU, ANY OF THE ABOVE?

Michael says BEYOND NUMBERS.
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO WON'T
FORGIVE, AND THAT'S UP TO THEM.
I UNDERSTAND THAT TO A CERTAIN
DEGREE BUT I DON'T HAVE THE TIME
TO DEAL WITH THAT.
IT HAS BEEN GENUINELY MOVING THE
NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN THE GAY
COMMUNITY AND ELSEWHERE WHO HAVE
COME TO ME AND HAVE JUST BEEN SO
WARM AND FORGIVING.
I SPOKE IN THE METROPOLITAN
COMMUNITY CHURCH, BRENT HAWKES,
WHO IS A VERY GOOD MAN.

Steve says EXPLAIN THAT.

Michael says IT IS I
SUPPOSE THE GAY CHURCH.
IT'S NOT EXCLUSIVELY GAY BUT THE
CENTRE POINT IS FOR THE GAY
COMMUNITY WHO HAVE BEEN EXCLUDED
FROM SO MANY OTHERS.
BRENT HAWKES IS A WONDERFUL MAN
WHO IS THE LEAD MINISTER THERE
AND I SPOKE... I WAS LEAVING MY
HOME WHERE THE eMAILS WERE
JUST OVER AND OVER AGAIN YOU'RE
THIS, YOU'RE THAT, YOU'RE
HORRIBLE, YOU'RE VILE.
I WENT TO SPEAK AT THIS CHURCH
AND ALL THESE PEOPLE WHO I HAD
CRITICIZED OVER THE YEARS AND I
GOT A STANDING OVATION AND
WARMTH AND HUGS AND EVEN FROM
THIS CONSTIPATED BRIT LIKE ME, I
WENT HOME AND I CRIED.
IT WAS ABSOLUTELY LOVELY.
AND ALL SORTS OF PEOPLE HAVE...
JUST THE OTHER DAY I SPOKE AT
GLAD DAY BOOKS, A GAY BOOK SHOP
IN TORONTO, AND JUST SO LOVING.
IT'S TAUGHT ME SOME OF THE BEST
CHRISTIANS I'VE EVER MET IN THE
PAST TWO YEARS HAVE BEEN GAY
CHRISTIANS BECAUSE THEY STAYED
IN CHURCHES.
PEOPLE MIGHT BE NICE BUT THEY'RE
NOT REALLY WANTED AND THEY'RE
TOLD, FINE, YOU'RE GAY.
AS LONG AS YOU DON'T DO ANYTHING
ABOUT IT, WE WON'T UPSET YOU OR
BEEN THROWN OUT OF THEIR
FAMILIES, VARYING DEGREES OF
DISCRIMINATION.
SOME OF THE FINEST CHRISTIANS
I'VE EVER MET HAVE BEEN GAY
CHRISTIANS.

Steve says SURPRISE YOU?

Michael says YEAH.
OH, YEAH.
I'VE HAD A LOT OF WONDERFUL
SURPRISES.
HE'S A GOD OF SURPRISES.
I'VE HAD A LOT OF SURPRISES IN
THE PAST FEW YEARS.

The caption changes to "Producer: Mark Brosens, @MarkBrosens"

Steve says ONE THING THAT IS
NOT A SURPRISE IS YOU'VE WRITTEN
ANOTHER GOOD BOOK BECAUSE YOU DO
THAT ALL THE TIME.
MICHAEL COREN, "EPIPHANY: A
CHRISTIAN'S CHANGE OF
HEART and MIND OVER SAME-SEX
MARRIAGE." GREAT TO HAVE YOU
ON TVO TONIGHT.

Michael says THANK YOU.

Watch: A Christian Case for LGBT Rights