BREAKING: Audio Emerges of Michelle Shocked’s Anti-Gay Rant

michelle_shocked3Audio has just emerged of Michelle Shocked‘s anti-gay remarks at a show in San Francisco that have caused the implosion of her U.S. tour and, in all likelihood, her career.

Shocked claimed this afternoon that her remarks were “misinterpreted.” The audio itself, which was sent to me by reader Robert Martin, suggests otherwise. I’ve transcribed it below (and bolded the relevant parts) so readers and listeners can judge for themselves.


It all starts at the 4:37 mark:

Michelle Shocked: So it’s not too late. You can jump into this Jesus gang anytime you want. But, um, I was in a prayer meeting yesterday, and you’ve gotta appreciate how scared, how scared folks on that side of the equation are. I mean, from their vantage point — and I really shouldn’t say ‘their,’ because it’s mine, too — we are nearly at the end of time. And from our vantage point, we’re gonna be, uhhh, I think maybe Chinese water torture is gonna be the means, the method — once Prop 8 gets, uh, instated, and once, um, preachers are held at gunpoint and forced to marry the homosexuals, I’m pretty sure that that will be the signal for Jesus to come on back [emphases mine].

michelle_shocked4There you have it, folks. Remember, Shocked told CNN that “[her] statement equating repeal of Prop 8 with the coming of the End Times was neither literal nor ironic: it was a description of how some folks – not me – feel about gay marriage.” But as the audio shows, on the stage that night at Yoshi’s, Shocked absolutely did claim that very “vantage point” as her own.

After the above remarks, the audience chuckles and murmurs uncomfortably. Someone can be heard incredulously saying “What?” to which Shocked replies, laughing, “You said you wanted reality.”

Then Shocked continues (5:40):

If someone would be so gracious as to please tweet out, “Michelle Shocked just said from stage, ‘God hates faggots.'” Would you do it now? [emphasis mine]

Some members of the audience continue chuckling, while others are shocked. Another audience member shouts “Maybe some people’s gods…”

Shocked went on:

MS: Just adjusting my bra strap. Nothin’ worth gettin’ in a froth over.

She then responds to a presumably stunned audience member:

MS: You’re confounded. Matt [Penfield, who live-tweeted Shocked’s show from the stage], you might need to come back up here.

Matt Penfield: There’s gonna be a loooooot of talking about that.

MS: I ain’t scared. I ain’t skeered. This is not a tribunal, this is one woman’s opinion. And… it’s fun. It’s a lot of fun. I am so committed to loving each and every soul in this room tonight that I could not come here and ignore you, I could not come here and pretend that I was above the conversation, and I couldn’t pretend that I was beneath it either. I had to join it. [emphasis mine]

This is when the audience seems to start really getting uncomfortable. Shocked thanks someone in the audience for giving her a “one-handed clap,” tells an awkward anecdote about being a “white girl sittin’ in a black church” and getting reprimanded for her method of clapping, and then strums a chord like she’s going to start another song. An audience member shouts:

I hope you get wise, Michelle, and realize that there’s nothing to fear. There’s nothing to fear. Everybody is deserving of your — whoever your God is — his love.

Shocked asks the woman if she can respond “off the microphone,” to which the woman replies that she’d actually rather have Shocked respond on the microphone. Ms. Shocked’s tone abruptly changes — her voice rises markedly, and she literally hisses (7:42):

MS: I am sick of Christians filled with hypocrisy, hiding behind the symbol of the cross.

Audience member: Come on, show it. Show your true self. Come on!

Audience: I’m confused. Can you clarify? Say what you mean. Come on, Michelle. What are you so afraid of?

MS: I believe that the word of God is just what it says it is: the truth. [emphasis mine]

That’s when the sound of rustling chairs and exiting patrons can be clearly heard (8:15). By this point, many in the crowd seem have come to the conclusion that Shocked is not trying to be funny, not trying to make a joke, but rather, expressing her sincerely-held anti-gay beliefs.

MS (8:27): I’m just saying one thing, just one thing. Just one thing.

And then she starts praying in Spanish. Seriously.

She sings a song, but the much of the audience that remains at this point is clearly hostile. An audience member shouts at her as the song finishes, and Shocked responds:

MS (16:07): Oh, don’t bother to applaud, it’s not needed. [applause] I don’t think I can handle all the adulation right now.

Audience Member: That’s because you don’t deserve any.

Audience Member: Everyone should get up and leave. That was rotten! That was a horrible thing to say, if that’s what you believe…

Audience Member: Somebody over there thinks she means something different. Maybe you’ve been confusing.

MS (16:31): I’ve got a question for y’all. It’s a sincere question: how are you enjoying reality so far?

Audience Member: It’s not your reality…

MS: Sucks pretty much, doesn’t it?

Audience Member: It’s her reality, not ours…

MS (interrupting): You can’t have both.

Audience Member (continuing): Don’t come to San Francisco saying that shit.

MS: ‘Don’t come to San Francisco saying that shit.’ Let’s take that note. I just got a tweet, it said ‘Don’t come to San Francisco saying that shit.’ Where do I go to say that shit?

Audience Member: Uhhh, Arkansas.

Audience Member: Wow, that’s so weird. You’re so weird.

MS: Yeah, it is weird.

Audience Member: Your reality is tweets?

MS (interrupting): This is not my choice.

Audience Member (continuing): Your reality is tweets. According to this show, we spent like 20 percent of the show on tweets, 80 percent was a show, and 40 percent was homophobia.

Audience Member: Get her out of here!

And then the Yoshi’s management intervenes (17:18):

Yeah, I’m sorry ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for joining us tonight at Yoshi’s.

MS: You’re pullin’ the plug, you’re givin’ me the hook y’all.

Audience Members: Hell no! Go on! Sing!

(Oh look, Michelle still has a few supporters left! How nice…)

michelle_shockedAt this point she starts to play again and advises the remaining audience members: “They’re gonna take away the microphone, you’re gonna wanna stay close.” The management starts closing down around Shocked, but she continues singing. At 18:45 a manager cuts in again and informs the audience that servers will be with them shortly to close out their tabs. Shocked sings angrily about seeing other people as the audience leaves, then says that since she figures she won’t be paid, she’s going to pass the hat and hope people drop $1 in. She then closes: “God bless us, everyone.”

I’m sorry, folks, but whatever you think of Shocked’s erratic and incoherent behavior — and I happen to agree with those who speculate that she may in fact have had some kind of a mental breakdown — she wasn’t misunderstood, nor was she paraphrasing the bigoted beliefs of anti-gay Christians. She clearly and repeatedly stated that the anti-gay views she expressed were her own “reality,” and didn’t back down from them when audience members angrily challenged her, nearly all patrons left, and the venue shut the whole thing down.

Shocked isn’t the victim here. Her hateful remarks were understood loud and clear.


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  2. scottc

    wow. just wow. Michell Shocked clearly displays the maladaptive behavior that flows from those who approach their life and faith from a place of uncontrollable and uncontainable fear – her fundamentalist belief system is beyond flawed and unfortunately, her irrational thought processes throughout this entire debaucle will never be self-recognized. Truly a sad situation for those held captive by this maladaptive mindset and the ones affected by their reprehensible actions.

    • cherry

      is John 3:16 bible verse (in spanish)
      “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

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  4. shava23 (@shava23)

    That’s damned hard to interpret as compassion.

    To my mind she is not “paraphrasing” anyone’s beliefs because she has assimilated to that worldview. And that means tough love is viewing “them” as abominations and all that happy BS.

    I wonder if she isn’t “saying her goodbyes…trying to live without a past…” as she immediately sings after the declaration. Anyone listen to the music after the words? The choice of San Francisco (isn’t that at the corner of Sodom and Gomorrah?) might be quite conscious.

    I suspect her management made her say she was misinterpreted. It’s a popular ploy and a lot of people will never do due diligence.

  5. carolynbild

    Ok, so Michelle Shocked’s recent homophobic (and likely mentally unbalanced) rant has really bothered me … I’ve been a really big fan for a really long time.

    MS: “When they stop Prop 8 and force priests at gunpoint to marry gays, it will be the downfall of civilization, and Jesus will come back.” Ok, let me try and understand this … in the last millennia of human existence, NOTHING was evil and profane enough to provoke the second coming, but a state law allowing two loving people with matching genitalia to marry, THAT is sufficient to provoke divine wrath and bring about the end of civilization? The ovens of Auschwitz didn’t do it, the rivers of blood during the Crusades didn’t do it, allowing generations of children in Africa to starve didn’t do it, the many despots who kill and torture their own people, including children have not done it, poisoning the planet has not done it, denying health coverage to sick and dying poor people has not done it, and all the other countless cruelties and depraved undertakings of humanity have not spurred the divine to interfere in human activities. But, gay marriage in California … yep, that’ll make God angry enough to come back and kill most of us, surely. What kind of God do you worship, Michelle Shocked? I hope she goes back to whatever meds she apparently quit taking.

    • Glenn I

      Indeed. But I always come back to – if you have such unshakable faith in Jesus, then what could you possibly be afraid of? The End of Times is what Christians are all waiting for, right? The culmination, the resurrection, the thousand-year reign of peace or whatever. I don’t find that the least bit scary. Silly, yes. Scary, no.

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  8. where is the talent?

    Even without her anti gay tirade I see very little talent, in fact it’s a lot of dissonance, she has little talent in my opinion and I wouldn’t pay a nickle to see her if she was a spokes person for gay rights.

    • Photau

      If you look at her career, she has been a powerful songwriter(Dead man Walking), and an amazing live performer. This recording obviously shows a person who can not reconcile her lifelong expressions of compassion and her born again beliefs. I hope she breaks on her good side and not the side of many born agains. She has always made a distinction between her version of born again and the cliche of that.

  9. wildwildwest

    Something she said, that to me probably indicates some type of mental illness, some type of paranoid schizophrenia or other similar diagnosis:

    “This is not my choice”

    Something that a reasonably lucid, coherent person would probably not say.

  10. C.C.

    I remember as a young lesbian, absolutely hating these type of music, full of persecution complex and by obviously mentally ill performers. Just Look at the album cover for Anchorage. Did she look sane? Not to me. But that was what a good lesbian listens to, apparently. I felt ostracized. I’m glad that young queers no longer need to be pressured to join such BS.

    • C.C.

      Uh, I mean, album cover for “Short, Sharp, Shocked” depict a mentally ill Michelle Shocked to me. I don’t think she ever was sane. It’s just that now she’s found something else to protest against, and this time it’s homosexuals.

    • emma

      “Preachers held at gunpoint, and forced to marry the homoseck chules” sounds like something she heard straight from her local paranoid fundie preacher

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  12. Krissy

    Creepy homophobic publicity stunt. People hate on gays to get cash whether they’re politicians or washed up folk singers. Its working less and less these days but maybe the christian festival circuit pays pretty well these days.

    • wildwildwest

      The 4Gs have worked well in the past for a lot of people: Republicons have used them (Gays, Guns, God and Gynecology) to lure the fundamentalist lemmings into their lair but that concept, with the slow education and awareness of the people, is not working so well today. In Michelle Shocked’s case, it seems more and more apparent that she has escalating mental illness.

  13. emma

    Okay, she’s going to try and revive her career by either embracing her new found Jesus lovin’ self by heading to the 700 club or shes going to go to rehab, and blame this all on drugs/alcohol/too much coffee.

  14. Sherry

    Not a fan, don’t see the merit in her music, so I won’t be missed from her fan base. I think she made a huge, ego centric miscalculation, and now like all public figures who screw up she is claiming she was misinterpreted. In this day and age of everyone having a recording devise on them at all times, she should have realized she was being recorded. It sounds to me like she just figured that what ever she says up on that stage would be greeted with adulation from her adoring fans. She will have trouble getting a paying gig anytime soon.

  15. jb

    hope she gets help….psychotic breakdown….I’ve seen many of my sister’s…..just no sense at all
    I don’t care for her music and really don’t care about her closeted Bible ramblings

  16. Donald

    So where is tolerance in all this?

    What grade of fascist cannot bear to even hear a dissenting voice? Look yourselves in the mirror, lefties.

  17. kevin cook

    Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion (Rom 1:26-27).

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