Epiphany

A Christian's Change of Heart & Mind over Same-Sex Marriage

Publisher: Signal
From the posterboy of Catholic conservatism, a major change of heart and soul on one of the Church's most controversial and intractable stances.
"This past February, a conservative Roman Catholic blog, Contra|Diction, gave me perhaps my best headline ever: 'Michael Coren Complicit in Destruction of Souls Who Practice Homosexuality, Pt 1' (I'm still waiting for part two). It was one of countless posts, tweets, and articles that have condemned me for coming out in favour of same-sex marriage. I've also been fired from columns that I wrote for years, been banned from various Catholic TV and radio stations, had speeches cancelled, and been accused of cheating on my wife. My children have been called gay, and I have been compared to a child molester and a murderer. These are new experiences for me. Until last year, I was considered something of a champion of social conservatism in Canada and was well known among politically active Christians. I hosted a nightly show on Crossroads Television for twelve years, was a syndicated Sun columnist, and wrote briskly selling books with such titles as Why Catholics Are Right. Today, I am working away at a new book, Epiphany: Changing Heart and Mind on Same-Sex Marriage. How and why did it go so terribly wrong?" --Michael Coren

What went "terribly wrong" is that Michael Coren had a profound spiritual and personal change of heart. Epiphany is about how and why that happened; the reaction from both sides of the fence; and how the Christian doctrine, when studied closely and without bias, heartily supports Michael's findings. As a middle-aged, very white, very straight, very Christian man, he was obliged, first reluctantly and then eagerly, to explore the complex dynamic between faith and homosexuality and to work out a new narrative. The crux of that narrative: God is love.
     Honest, brave, and rigorous in its scholarship, Epiphany is a groundbreaking book on one of society's most pressing issues.

PRAISE FOR

"Michael Coren’s Epiphany is a wonderfully revealing read – an epiphany in itself. The 'shout line' as we say in show business is right wing Catholic apologist does 180º switch over same-sex marriage and finds himself despised and excoriated by his coreligionists. It would be tempting for a degenerate atheist like me gloatingly welcome this lost sheep that now is found and to crow about scales falling from eyes. But the honesty of Coren’s soul-searching journey is much more subtle and graduated than that. He emerges as perhaps more faithful and devout a Christian at the book's close than he was when first we meet him,  a convinced, dogmatic believer in all tenets of the Church – most especially and headline-grabbingly – its rulings on gay life and love.

Impressively Coren didn't change his mind because of any gay feelings of his own, or the coming out of a beloved son or daughter, but purely through an examination of what Christianity might mean by enjoining its followers to love. Sensible people are puzzled by biblical excuses for disallowing same-sex sex partnership or marriage: we have long tired of listing instructions from that book which are much more clear and just as bewilderingly silly (except in terms of outmoded social-anthropological taboo) – diet, clothing, slavery, the necessity for the genital mutilation of male babies especially, which is something of an obsession, harped upon many many more times than the lying of one man with another. We know that it is not only the devil who can quote scripture to his advantage - the Pharisee and Zealot is just as capable – and anyone who believes in moral honesty and clear thinking wants to hear something better than a quotation from St. Paul or Deuteronomy as a reason to deny people of the same gender the right to live and love together.

Michael Coren for many years seems to have believed that obedience (as the Mother of Churches has long taught) is a moral quality and an ethical duty in and of itself. So for many years he not only obeyed, but went to bat for the Vatican on a number of issues, becoming in his native Canada the go-to man for a ready quote on anything from abortion coeducation, from homosexuality to women priests. The moment he examined one weak link, in this case the gay marriage issue, he found the whole chain of obedience seemed to fall apart. But not, crucially his love of Christ and his need to worship, pray and live a life of Christian faith. So he as it were crossed the floor of the house and sat with the Anglicans. Interesting that as I write, the primate and bishops of the Episcopalian Church in the United States have found that their acceptance of same sex marriage has caused their collective wrists to be slapped by His Grace of Canterbury as a rather unconvincing sop to the intolerant African wing of the communion.

The most memorable parts of the book show the quite shocking and vituperative response to Coren's volte face. In all my years of writing or talking about religion and churches from time to time, I have never received a tithe of the hate-filled vilification that fell on him the moment he made known his change of mind. It is entirely to his credit that Coren was not swerved from his course or moved to give back in frothing, vengeful kind.

I urge anyone interested in the conjunction of faith and free thought to read this engrossing and fascinating book." –Stephen Fry

"Fearless. Unpredictable. Funny. Never boring. There's nobody and nothing like Michael Coren in journalism anywhere." –David Frum

"By turns witty, angry, rueful and moving, Michael Coren's passionate foray into theology and contemporary society is a hugely valuable contribution to the Church's rethinking of its approach to sexual morality." –Rev. Prof. Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church in the University of Oxford. 
"A thoughtful, humane and honest book that deepens our joy that love is for everyone." –Canon Mark Oakley, Chancellor, St Paul’s Cathedral, London