Michael Coren and the barriers to Christian progressiveness

Ah, Michael Coren. One of the most progressive voices in Canadian Christianity… which, given for what passes for “progressive” in contemporary Canadian Christianity, isn’t really saying much.

, The Globe and Mail published an opinion piece by Coren titled “Cross Purposes: The battle for Christianity in Canada”. By and large it’s a very good piece, describing the struggle between regressive, conservative elements and liberal, progressive elements for the soul of Christianity in Canadian culture and politics.

If only Coren had stuck to that thesis, it would be a very good piece.

[Photo of Michael Coren.]

Michael Coren

Unfortunately, Coren couldn’t just stick to the inner struggle between conservativism and progressivism in Christianity. Nope, he just had to drag atheists into the fray. And – naturally – in the most ignorant and dishonest way.

Here’s what he wrote:

It would be wrong, however, to assume that there are no prominent Christians in progressive circles. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and her partner are committed members of the United Church – I’ve preached at their church when they were present – and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, were she not a politician, would likely have pursued Anglican ordination.

Still, such a public embrace of Christianity is the exception. There are numerous Christians in political life and in the media, but it’s too often seen as gauche, politically clumsy or plain embarrassing for progressive believers to discuss their faith, or even simply to mention it, in the public square.

That’s partly owing to fear of blowback from a jarring coalition, however cleft, of angry atheists and right-wing Christians. I suspect it comes as well from a reluctance to be lumped in with American Christian politicians and their crass obsession with what seems like perfunctory prayer and Christian nationalism, not to mention their determination to use the levers of political power to wage all-out war on a range of liberal issues that even many Christians consider settled.

Right, so the way Coren spins it, “angry atheists” are conspiring with the regressive elements of Christianity to keep sweet and lovely progressive Christian politicians too scared to speak up about their perfectly benign, tolerant faith. If only those pesky “angry atheists” would shut up, the loving, empathetic, open-minded, tolerant Christian leaders could proudly claim ownership of the Christian faith, and drive their regressive brethren back into the fringes of the public sphere. I mean, these silly atheists are actually just hurting themselves when they call out politicians like May and Wynne for their faith, right? By undermining the “progressive” Christian politicians, we’re giving leverage to the regressives, who obviously hate us and clearly don’t share our values. How stupid we atheists are!

It’s always disappointing to see an otherwise intelligent and thoughtful writer like Coren finally hit the faith-based barriers in his brain.

The limits of progressive Christianity

Okay, Mike. Let’s talk about what’s really happening here.

Coren pictures this situation as liberal Christians beset on all sides by regressive forces, which happen to be a very peculiar alliance of fundamentalist Christianity… and atheism. Pardon me,
angry” atheism. Wouldn’t want to forget that charming little stereotype there!

There’s… a little problem with the picture Coren has painted. That problem is that while it’s certainly true that progressive Christians are far more progressive than your fundamentalist brethren, they – just as Coren does – have faith-based barriers in their brains that they just can’t think their way past. Oh, sure, the most liberal Christians are pretty tolerant of people of colour, immigrants, and LGBTQ people. But there’s one particular group they just… won’t… stand for.

That group: atheists.

To see what I mean, just consider the paragons of progressive Christian politics that Coren himself selected. Let’s start with Elizabeth May.

[Photo of Elizabeth May.]

Elizabeth May

I understand that Christians like Coren have probably never considered May through an atheist’s viewpoint, but let me assure that from our perspective, “she would have been an Anglican minister if she hadn’t been a politician” is not exactly a ringing endorsement. In fact, given her track record, I suspect many atheists would suggest she really should have pursued an ecclesiastical career instead.

You see, from an atheist perspective, May has a long history of very casually saying some frightfully ignorant and intolerant stuff about us. There was the time, for example, she casually dumped on secular-slash-selfish society while on national television. I imagine nothing about that sounds all that wrong to Christian ears, like Coren’s. But just imagine if she’d said “Jewish-slash-selfish society”. Or “indigenous-slash-selfish society”.

And then there was the time following the horrific, tragic shooting attack on Parliament Hill, where May stood up to give a speech calling for all Canadians to come together in solidarity after the attack… a speech in which she trotted out a tired, old, negative stereotype about atheists in foxholes. Yup, all Canadians should come together… but fuck atheists, eh? (Note also that that video link is from Elizabeth May’s own site. This is a speech and video she shared herselfproudly. I wonder if Coren would think she’d be doing that if she’d let other old stereotypes like “Jews are stingy” or “indigenous people are lazy” slip into her speech, or if she’s only okay with promoting negative stereotypes if they’re about atheists.)

So what do you think, Mike? Think maybe there’s a valid reason atheists aren’t keen on Elizabeth May? Or do you still think we just blindly hate her because she’s Christian, and we’re all idiots?

(As an aside, I should mention that atheists are so used to being dismissed and degraded in Canadian politics, that even though May does say these stupid, derogatory things over and over, we still like her… and we like her because she is generally so progressive. In fact, the only times we really criticize her are when she falls tragically short of her own progressive standards. How tragic is that, eh? Like abused children, we still crave love even from politicians that treat us like garbage.)

Oh, I could go on and on about May. But let’s move on to Kathleen Wynne.

[Photo of Kathleen Wynne.]

Kathleen Wynne

Wynne’s big selling point in Coren’s piece is that she’s a member of the United Church, and that’s certainly something she’s publicly played up.

And the United Church certainly has a lot to be proud of, with regards to being tolerant and accepting. They have always been ahead of the curve for Christianity when it comes to accepting women clergy, homosexual members and even clergy, and even atheist clergy. No… wait… hang on. Never mind.

Now, whether or not it makes sense for a Christian church to have an atheist minister is an interesting question. But whatever your take on that is, here is the reality of this particular situation: The United Church is a Church that has prided itself on its ability to be open-minded and welcoming of everybody, and willing to work past the barriers of Christian scripture and ideology when they conflicted with progressive ideals… but they finally found the line they would not cross, and that line is atheists. And to be clear, this is a Church whose holy book explicitly vetoes the idea of women being church leaders, yet they ordain women… and even though there’s not a word anywhere in their holy texts or doctrines about atheists being unsuitable, they just couldn’t stomach that.

So, Mike… you’re asking atheists to cheerfully endorse a political leader who proudly boasts of membership in and inspiration from a church that explicitly doesn’t want them? You expect us to remain respectfully silent and not raise our voices in criticism and protest as she promotes a church that welcomes everyone equally… except us?

The relationship between regressive Christianity, progressive Christianity, and atheism

Pointing out the glaring flaws in the examples Coren chose isn’t really getting to the heart of the problem, though. The real problem is a much broader, more structural issue.

The issue here is that Coren’s entire conception of the relationship between regressive Christianity, progressive Christianity, and atheists is completely wrong.

Coren imagines that progressive Christians are struggling toward the highest values of tolerance, empathy, and reason, while regressive Christians and really, really stupid “angry atheists” are pulling them back. What’s really happening is completely different… and the evidence, wherever you look, shows that.

Pick a metric, any metric. Anything you want to measure. It can be openness to LGBTQ people, it can be support of feminism… any progressive value you choose. Then pick just about any survey that’s been done on the topic in the last twenty years. I dare say that you will always find the same result: on average, atheists are significantly more progressive on any measure than even the most liberal Christians.

So what’s really going on here, Mike, is not what your faith needs you to believe. This is not a case of progressive Christians being pulled back by both regressive Christians and “angry atheists”, the latter of whom are so blinded by their “anger” at the Christianity that they’re willing to ignore that they’re on the same side of the regressives. I realize that squares perfectly with the persecution complex your Christianity requires you to have. But it doesn’t square with reality.

The reality, Mike, is that progressive Christians are being pulled back by regressive Christians who object to their progressive values of tolerance and empathy… and… at the same time… pulled forward by atheists who are far ahead of the progressive Christians on values of tolerance and empathy, and are trying to get Canadian Christians to catch up.

You can see the evidence of this everywhere. I mentioned survey data on progressive values, for example. But you can even see it in Coren’s own piece.

Here is that same section I quoted before, this time with a different emphasis:

It would be wrong, however, to assume that there are no prominent Christians in progressive circles. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and her partner are committed members of the United Church – I’ve preached at their church when they were present – and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, were she not a politician, would likely have pursued Anglican ordination.

Still, such a public embrace of Christianity is the exception. There are numerous Christians in political life and in the media, but it’s too often seen as gauche, politically clumsy or plain embarrassing for progressive believers to discuss their faith, or even simply to mention it, in the public square.

That’s partly owing to fear of blowback from a jarring coalition, however cleft, of angry atheists and right-wing Christians. I suspect it comes as well from a reluctance to be lumped in with American Christian politicians and their crass obsession with what seems like perfunctory prayer and Christian nationalism, not to mention their determination to use the levers of political power to wage all-out war on a range of liberal issues that even many Christians consider settled.

Coren thinks the reason politicians are unwilling to flout their faith publicly is because it’s gauche or embarrassing. He dismisses the debates about public prayer – which he considers merely to be perfunctory – to be an obsession.

What’s really going on here, and this is probably going to sting Michael Coren’s pride, is that this is an issue of tolerance and inclusion… and Coren is not on the progressive side of it.

What atheists understand, but Coren apparently does not, is that in a multicultural society like Canada, our leadership is supposed to represent all Canadians. Not just the Christian majority. While there’s no problem with a politician having faith, making it part of their public work is creating a barrier between them and all of their non-Christian constituents.

I mean… just think about it, Mike. Just apply the tolerance and empathy you claim to have. Which is a more welcoming and inclusive for a politician to do:

  • lead a meeting about infrastructure spending; or
  • lead a meeting about infrastructure spending that they open with a Christian prayer?

Sure, the prayer probably isn’t all that harmful in any serious way… but how can you not see that the latter meeting is just less welcoming and inclusive? Why would you want to do something in a community meeting that alienates a chunk of the community? What do really gain from a symbolic and perfunctory gesture that, frankly, nobody wants?

And even aside from the general issue of wanting to speak to as broad a swath of one’s constituency as possible, there is a particular issue with a politician in Canada making their Christianity a core part of their platform and identity. It takes a bizarrely blinkered Christian view to believe that non-Christians wouldn’t be wary of a representative who isn’t just Christian, but who makes their Christianity a centrepiece of their public persona. Can you not even conceive, Mike, of why atheists, LGBTQ Canadians, and many other groups might get just a wee bit nervous of a loudly Christian MP? Even after writing a whole opinion piece about the serious problem of lack of tolerance among some very large chunks of the religion?

These are only the issues that came up in that little passage I quoted. I could very easily go through Coren’s piece and pull out several examples of attitudes by Coren or his progressive Christian exemplars that – while certainly far more progressive than the Christian average – fall far short of the progressiveness of atheists in general.

Looking past the barriers of Christian thinking

Michael Coren, you’re an intelligent person. I actually respect your work in general. But you do have a glaring blind spot when it comes to your faith. I believe you are one of the most progressive voices in Canadian Christianity, and that’s a good thing… but even the most progressive Christianity isn’t nearly as progressive as the average among atheists.

The reason atheists always seem “angry” to you is simply because of their frustration with your cluelessness. You pat yourself on the back for being more progressive than the regressive parts of your religion – and you do deserve a pat for that – but then you practise your lauded tolerance and empathy by thumbing your nose at an entire segment of the Canadian population merely for not sharing your metaphysical belief in the existence of a deity. You don’t even give a fuck about our government, which is purports to represent us, performing completely gratuitous rituals that explicitly exclude us simply because those rituals happen to be “traditional” holdovers… from the days when openly excluding atheists was not only acceptable, it was expected. You champion “progressive” Christians that propagate bigoted stereotypes about us, and declare us unworthy of inclusion.

And as much as you put on a show of criticizing the worst parts of your religion in opinion pieces such as the one that prompted this article, we atheists know better. We know that you really care more about shielding your religion from criticism than you do about reforming it. We know this because we’ve seen it; we see it all the time. For example, here is progressive Christian champion Elizabeth May invoking the old “No True Scotsman” fallacy to shield Christianity from very deserved criticism by claiming that Stephen Harper’s regressive beliefs weren’t really Christian… despite Harper loudly and frequently insisting they were.

Make no mistake: atheists want to see the progressive elements of Christianity be the heart of the faith. Atheists want to see the regressive elements of Christianity relegated to the fringes, forgotten and powerless. Atheists want a more progressive Christianity. Where we part ways, Michael Coren, is that atheists want a more progressive Christianity than it appears you do. And we’re willing to toss the “Christian” aspect aside if that stands in the way of the “progressive”.

I don’t expect any of this to sway you, Mr. Coren. This is a mental barrier that I think no Christian is truly capable of overcoming. Atheists have been the boogieman of Christianity long before even your father’s father first defended the cross; arguably, without the constant existential threat of nonbelievers and their challenging doubts, there’s little motivation to wear your faith on your sleeve at all. And in all honestly, I don’t really care if Christians ever escape this mental rut. We atheists have long moved past the need to be recognized and accepted as equals by the allegedly “tolerant” Christian religion. We’ve grown comfortable with being ignored, excluded, insulted, and marginalized by even your “progressive” elements. We’ve grown comfortable with being your demons. We’ve even come to relish it.

By all means, continue your campaign to save Christianity from the cancers of ignorance, intolerance, greed, and hatred that threaten to destroy it from the inside. We atheists will continue our own campaign to drag Christianity into a more progressive, tolerant future.

The only thing I want you to take away from this article is this understanding: The reason atheists are not allies with “progressive Christians” – the reason we appear to be “angry” to you – is not because we disagree with your goal to “improve” Christianity by making it more reasonable, tolerant, and progressive. It’s because we’ve already moved far, far ahead of you. And we have grown increasingly frustrated with waiting for you to catch up.

18 thoughts on “Michael Coren and the barriers to Christian progressiveness

  1. Yeah I read through that mile long Coren thing and now your excellent critique.

    1. Elizabeth May and the Green party officially see value in homeopathy. Next! (at least as of two elections ago)

    2. There were a couple points in Corens piece that bothered me. I’m sorry I’m not going to re-read it to find the exact quotes. It’s that Christian thing along the lines of how they think the non-religious are somehow waiting to be saved and to see the light and come into the fold. No I’m not! No I won’t! P1$$ off with your presumptions!

    • Yeah, I didn’t even really get started on Elizabeth May. ^_^; In fact, I was writing that section going: “Rein it in, Indi, rein it in. This article isn’t about May. Just pick one example and stick with― okay, two examples, but no mo― NO! Three is too many! Rein it in!”

      Honestly, when I saw him bring up Elizabeth May as an example of progressivism, I literally said “no way!” out loud with a laugh. But then immediately after that he goes on to bring up the fricken’ Pope! That was about when I decided what my article would be about. I was hearing that Mandy Patinkin quote in my head, talking to Coren about progressivism: “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”

      I didn’t really notice the proselytizing thing, though. I suppose I just sort of tune that out when reading Christian writers. I mean, if they’re not at least thinking that, then they’re not really Christians, right? You can’t really believe Christian ideology and not think like that. The best you can do is try to shut up about it so you sound a little less like an insufferable ass… but you still believe it.

    • Elizabeth May and the Green party officially see value in homeopathy. Next! (at least as of two elections ago)

      To be fair to May, she did not see value in it, didn’t say she did, specifically said she didn’t, and said it was not official policy. In a document talking about healthcare reforms it was listed in a ‘such as’ list for further investigation.

      That is not great. But neither May nor the Green Party officially see any value in it, and never did. Even if they aren’t as far along as we’d like them to be.

      • Well…then…I was hallucinating again. I specifically went through all the parties (with candidates in my riding) websites looking at policies and platforms and found that bit in there. Maybe it’s gone now. I don’t know. I haven’t looked at them since. The fact that she’s into the woo would suggest that she would have been fine with that standpoint. That and she’s the leader.

        • To be honest, I was sure homeopathy was on the GP platform at one point, too. So I checked and… apparently it was… but once someone pointed it out, it was quickly removed and May publicly said it had only been put in there accidentally.

          So good on May for rejecting homeopathy… but she’s still pushing anti-GMO crap, calling for the removal of fluoride from water, etc. etc.

          • Then there we go. Good to know. I’ll stop repeating that tidbit. Thanks for the rest of the story on that.

            I’m not likely to vote Green anyway. I’m more of a socialist commie 🙂 with a pretty good streak of small-l libertarianism.

        • This is the 2011 Green Party platform doc: https://www.scribd.com/document/147206844/Vision-Green-2011-Green-Party-policy

          From page 73:

          We will promote complimentary health care – through support of chiropractic, naturopathic,homeopathic, and other non-western practices. The Green Party of Canada recognizes the value of goodhealth as a fundamental human right, and also the key to the most vibrant, inclusive and sustainableCanadian society possible.

          From page 75:

          Specifically, we recommend the following actions to take place immediately:

          […]

          Expand healthcare coverage to include qualified complementary/alternative health professionals such as naturopaths, acupuncturists, homeopaths, licensed massagetherapists, chiropractors, and dietitians.

          So yeah, it was totally in their policy, and for several years. But May did say it was a “mistake”, so….

          • And y’know…I don’t have a problem with much of that.
            Naturopaths: at least you’re getting SOMETHING. Its efficacy is another matter.
            Acupuncturists: I’ve gathered that it somehow tricks the brain on matters of pain. So, fine.
            Licensed Massage Therapists: Sure.
            Chiropractors: Stay away from my neck but otherwise sure – not terribly unlike the above.
            Dietitians: Other than fad, flavour-of-the-week sure – we can all eat right and exercise.

            But homeopathy…fuggedaboudit. Other than placebo if you’re dumb enough not to investigate what the practitioner gave you when you get home. The brain can and does fall for placebo.

          • I think all of those except dieticians and licensed massage therapists are dangerous, pseudoscience-peddling quacks. Homeopathy is just the most obviously ridiculous of the pseudoscientific quackery.

  2. Hmm. Chiropractors could certainly be dangerous (thus my neck quip). But I’m not sure I would go that far with the others. Depending on whether the naturopath is giving you Rhino horn which is rather dangerous for the Rhino…vitamins could be thought of as naturopathic. Pharmaceuticals have long since been derived from natural sources. And as I said with acupuncture…some reading I did a while ago seems to point to some affect.
    I’m not saying I keep them in business though. Of the “dangerous” list, I’ve only been to a Chiropractor once. I looked into some of these things because my sister is a bit of a sucker for these things.

    • I normally define “dangerous” mostly by comparing the balance of risk to benefits, and none of those things has shown any benefits beyond placebo in studies. Even when there might be some benefit, like the release of endorphins causing pain relief in acupuncture (not scientifically proven yet, of course), the risks are usually way out of proportion – in this case the transmission of things like hep C (what, you think acupuncturists sterilize their needles?).

      But in this case, I was describing them as dangerous less for what they do and more for what they promote. Even if the practitioners of these things were totally harmless (that’s a big if), they are well-known to be peddlers of very dangerous pseudoscientific ideas, and they routinely discourage people from getting real medical treatment. (For example, see this investigation from last year on chiropractors in Manitoba. And as for naturopaths, just read anything by Britt Hermes.)

  3. I sent the club a wire stating, “PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON’T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT PEOPLE LIKE ME AS A MEMBER”.

    – Groucho Marx

    I don’t know that I want to drag Christianity anywhere, other than the trash heap of history.

    What say we let them do what they do best, internecine squabbling leading to smaller and smaller groups of like minded bigots while the reasonable ones leave.

    Sounds like a win/win situation, the municipal tax base increases as more and more churches get converted into condos, art galleries, restaurants and the like and this property actually starts contributing to the upkeep of the towns and cities that they previously leached off of.

    I first ran into Michael Coren when I stumbled across “The Michael Coren Show” sometime in the early 2000s which aired on the Crossroads Television System (basically a criminal front for religious hucksters fleecing gullible findies via the medium of TV and an 800 number) and what kept me watching was that he occassionally invited a token atheist by the name of Justin Trottier (who has since gone on to persue a career as wackjob men’s rights proponent) but at the time I thought he held up quite well against Coren and his circle jerk panel of lapdog religious apologists.

    Anyway, Coren has said and written some pretty vile things over the years, and while I question his recent Saul on the road to Damascus move away from the more extreme forms of xtianity, who knows, perhaps this is early days for him and we may yet be surprised.

    • I only really discovered Coren much more recently… after he was booted off of TV and out of multiple newspapers and magazines for not toeing the Christian line. I’m aware he was once a really hardcore, head-deep-in-ass Christian/Catholic zealot. But I’ve never seen it personally; everything I’ve seen tends to be on the much more liberal side of Christianity (such as it is). In fact, most everything I’ve seen from him has been pretty critical of the regressiveness, intolerance, and hate in Christianity. For that reason, I pay attention to what he writes, and generally find his pieces to be very intelligent and well-thought-out… so long as he sticks to talking about Christianity of course.

      As for Christianity itself, my position on it is more sanguine. I have no interest in fighting it so long as it isn’t actively harming others. Right now, of course, it is, so I am. But if it ever became the gentle, tolerant, semi-reasonable thing that Coren and other progressive Christians want it to be… then meh, I would let it be. (I’d tax churches in any case though, naturally.)

      That’s why I’m quite happy to step back and let people like Coren clean up the shit in Christianity. I’d even ally with him and other progressive Christians to that end. (Of course, that will never happen. We all know that progressive Christians are Christians first, progressives second, if at all. They will always prefer to “protect” Christianity from us nasty atheists before they ever dream of siding with us to criticize it. So I’ll probably never actually be their ally, but I won’t necessarily be their enemy if they’re actually working towards progressivism and cleaning up some of the rot in Christianity.)

  4. I have just been blocked from Michael Coren’s Facebook account after posting the following comment on his status https://www.facebook.com/michael.coren/posts/10159957300945478 (content now unavailable to me).

    ***
    Just wondering what Mr. Coren has to say about a comment I posted a year ago on one of his CBC opinion pieces (http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/beauty-and-the-beast-boycott-1.4017694). Here it is.

    So, CBC posts a gay-friendly opinion piece by Michael Coren. How very nice. Of course, CBC never, ever, would allow a religiously-motivated homophobe to post an opinion piece on its website, right? Wrong! CBC did, in fact, post an opinion piece from a well-known Winnipeg personality who unequivocally stated elsewhere that “the harms associated with homosexuality include diseases like AIDS, the fact that this kind of sexual relationship does nothing to advance human civilization even in terms of population (in other words, homosexuals do not even procreate).” The opinion piece can be read here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/opinion-islamophobia-quebec-city-shooting-1.3960537. And the homophobic rant—same author—can be found here: https://web.archive.org/web/20150921181021/http://www.soundvision.com/article/7-tips-on-talking-to-kids-about-homosexuality. CBC’s double standard when it comes to religious bigotry is showing a bit too much.
    ***

    Which only goes to prove that Michael Coren, even after his CBC-driven “change of heart” epiphany, remains as intolerant, sectarian and censorship-prone as ever. After all, it’s such a Christian thing, isn’t it?

    • I’d say his blocking you has less to do with being “intolerant, sectarian and censorship-prone” and more to do with you being an annoying ass bothering him with bullshit whatabouttery that has nothing to do with him.

      • “Nothing to do with him.” Except that it *has* everything to do with Coren, as he knows full well even though apparently you don’t.

        On the one hand, when Evangelicals boycott a Disney film over a gay character—a rather innocuous form of religious bigotry, more laughable than anything else—Coren calls a spade a spade which means, in his own words, “the fundamentalist Christian right.” On the other hand, when an ISIS-inspired jihadist kills 49 gay people in an Orlando nightclub, Coren intones the familiar nothing-to-do-with-Islam mantra, forgets all about sharia-mandated homophobia and, instead, goes after those who “placated homophobia with Islamophobia” (https://tvo.org/article/current-affairs/shared-values/michael-coren-call-the-orlando-shooting-the-hate-crime-that-it-is).

        Why is Coren unable or unwilling to condemn by name the fundamentalist (and murderous) Muslim right the way he condemns the fundamentalist Christian right? Until and unless he does exactly that, it will be hard to take him seriously. His 2014 book “Hatred: Islam’s War on Christianity” was overly polemical in tone and sometimes poorly argumented, but he has now gone to the opposite extreme and effectively become an Islam apologist in the manner of Karen Armstrong—no great improvement if you ask me.

        Of course Coren knows quite a lot about flip-flopping, having converted over the years from Judaism to Catholicism to Evangelical Christianity, then back to Catholicism, then to the Anglican Church, then on to something called “Christian socialism.” Only Christian socialists, I guess, can tell us with a straight face that St. Paul’s condemnation of homosexuality “is more about heterosexual men using boys” (http://www.macleans.ca/opinion/if-theres-a-war-on-christmas-its-being-led-by-the-most-zealous-christians/).

        So much for bullshit whatabouttery, Indi.

        I’ll leave you with French author Jean Szlamowicz’s comment of the Orlando shooting (my translation): “In this clear case of a Muslim who decided to kill civilians because they were homosexual, the media did everything they could to disguise the Islamic nature of his crime, despite the fact of the shooter himself recognizing it as such (…) and despite the absolute self-evidence of a Muslim killer targeting homosexuals”
        (http://www.europe-israel.org/2016/06/de-tel-aviv-a-orlando-les-medias-et-le-refus-de-nommer-lislam/). What Szlamowicz says here of the media holds true for Coren. No wonder he finds me “annoying” for pointing out his hypocrisy.

        • Yeaaaah, I see now why Coren blocked you.

          Michael Coren writes about Christianity. That’s his entire damn career. Basically every column, interview, and book he’s ever done is about Christianity. The one book he wrote that mentions Islam – the one you mentioned – isn’t even about Islam; it’s about how Christianity is being persecuted. Demanding that he condemn Islam in his writings that are all about Christianity is as stupid as demanding a food critic use their column to criticize Trump; it’s just not what he writes about.

          Incidentally – and I know this probably won’t have an impact on you, because kooks are never moved by facts or evidence, but maybe someone reading will benefit from this – your arguments are not only stupid, they’re demonstrably wrong.

          Despite your claim about the absolute self-evidence of a Muslim killer targeting homosexuals (“absolute self-evidence” is a completely bullshit phrase, by the way, and it betrays that your belief is really based on bigotry, and not real evidence), the real evidence suggests that’s not really what happened. Haven’t you been following the news? It turns out the Orlando police forced a falsified confession from Mateen’s wife… which was discovered when the FBI started doing their investigation and found the physical evidence simply didn’t match. Turns out Mateen’s intended target was Disney World, but when he went there, he saw too much security… so he Googled for “downtown Orlando nightclubs” – note the words “gay” or “homosexual” or “LGBT” are missing. The search turned up Pulse, so he went there, and found an easy target. Apparently, he had no idea it was a gay nightclub at first – he even asked the bouncer where all the women were.

          So that’s strike one against your so-called absolute self-evidence (see why that phrase is bullshit?) of sharia-mandated homophobia. The second thing you’re wrong about is that this was an Islamic crime. Mateen gave his reasons for the attack repeatedlyeven while he was carrying it out. And his reasons were consistently about the war between the US and ISIS. He said the attack was retribution for killing certain fighters, he said it was retribution for bombing, and so on. Savvy? He wasn’t fighting for “Islam”, he was fighting for ISIS.

          I know simple-minded bigots can’t see the difference between ISIS and Islam… but the rest of the world can. Muslims certainly can; ISIS has killed and persecuted far more Muslims than any other group. Even if you want to make the claim that ISIS is “inspired” by Islam, you’d only be talking about only one particular flavour of Islam – one that the majority of Muslims dislike – so you’re not really talking about “Islam”, you’re talking about “ISIS‘s version of Islam”… or basically just “ISIS“.

          So the reality is: Omar Mateen did not set out to shoot LGBT people in the name of Islam… he set out to shoot random people in the name of ISIS, and happened to pick a gay nightclub as his target. And Michael Coren who writes about Christianity has often called out the ignorance, bigotry, and hate… in Christianity, because that’s what he writes about, that’s what he identifies with, and that’s what he defends; Islam is not what he writes about, and not what he identifies with or defends, so he is under no obligation to answer for any crimes done in its name, no matter how much it may seem so in your hate-crazed brain.

          Everything you wrote is wrong. That’s actually impressive, in a way.

          • So I see you’ve been reading Glenn Greenwald. And perhaps also Karen Armstrong, who knows. Good for you. Perhaps you could have also read Slate’s J. Bryan Lowder:

            “It’s also worth noting that we can’t say for sure that homophobia wasn’t in the mix of what motivated Mateen. Jeltsen herself acknowledges he might have been bigoted, referencing his love of gay-murdering ISIS and his father’s infamous comment about Mateen’s being angered by seeing two men kissing. But even if Jeltsen is totally right about Mateen’s psychology, there is more than one way of reading a detail like this: ‘A security guard recalled Mateen asking where all the women were, apparently in earnest, in the minutes before he began his slaughter.’ Jeltsen sees this as evidence of Mateen’s ignorance about where he was; I believe it’s possible he was making a nervous joke and may have realized he’d hit the jackpot before continuing apace. Both views involve a certain amount of speculation.” (https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/04/noor-salmans-mistreatment-is-not-connected-to-omar-mateens-motivations.html).

            But of course, Indi’s opinion doesn’t involve any amount of speculation. Oh no! Indi has no need to speculate. For Indi *knows* for sure Omar Mateen wasn’t motivated by Islamophobia because, you see, Islam is a religion of peace, peace, peace.

            Perhaps you should also read The Advocate’s Jacob Ogles: https://www.advocate.com/media/2018/4/06/media-makes-wild-claim-pulse-wasnt-hate-crime-here-are-facts.

            I hadn’t stumbled upon canadianatheist.com until very recently. At first I thought, rather naively, that canadianatheist.com contributors were actually critical of religions. Instead, I found one of them to be both a Christian faith apologist and an Islam apologist. So typical of the multiculti, regressive left. “Canadian atheist”, really? What a sick joke!

            Goobye, canadianatheist.com.

            (Note: Isn’t it rich to read that “Islam is not what [Coren] writes about” when, in fact, Coren did write a whole book on “Islam’s war on Christianity”. Not Buddhism’s war, nor Hinduism’s war, nor Judaism’s war, but Islam’s war on Christianity. Nice try, Indi. Which, nonetheless, leaves us with the question: Are you Michael Coren’s PR agent or what?)

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