Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Let he who is without sin...

Manny Pacquiao is making headlines once again, but this time it is not for an incredible knockout or defeat in the ring, or even for a piece of legislature passed on behalf of the Sarangani Province in the Philippines where Pacquiao is a Congressman. The headlines this time are of a different sort for the storied champion of boxing, as they are heatedly in aversion to the Pacman's recent statements against gay marriage.

To be fair, some writers have been quick to criticize Pacquiao and have falsely accused him of claiming that gay men should be sentenced to death, while Granville Ampong, the original writer of the article where Pacquiao spoke out against gay marriage and advocated instead for "God's law" has since frantically tried to clarify that he was the one who quoted the Bible verse where it is written that 'a man who lays with a man as he would a woman must be put to death,' and not Pacquiao. “As we see, nowhere in my supposition and integration of my interview with Pacquiao did I mention that Pacquiao recited this Leviticus 20:13 nor did I imply that Pacquiao had quoted such,” he said in his article for

But it is too late, as the media backlash is in full swing against the normally humbly-portrayed pugilist, with talks of pending endorsement cancellations and the celebrated champion being banned from popular Los Angeles shopping area, The Grove, where he was to interview with Mario Lopez for entertainment news magazine EXTRA! (Rumor has it that EXTRA! was fine with the cancellation, but host and boxing fan, Lopez is fighting to keep the interview, offering to hold it at a different location.)

Quickly becoming polarizing for Pac fans, the issue seemingly has become whether Pacquiao is indeed against gay marriage or simply stringent in his own religious beliefs. Is this just semantics? Or are the polarizing views truly that this man is just another exclusionary, blindly religious politician versus being a man who is a humble, God-fearing person who wants to do his best to lead a life of holiness?

The obvious criticisms regarding his stance on gay marriage are those of hypocrisy, as news of Pacquiao's many infidelities during his marriage to Jinkee Pacquiao have been widely reported as well as rumors of potentially two children born to 'other women' whom Pacquiao has apparently bedded. Joanna Bacosa claims her child is Pacquiao's, though she has refused to allow a DNA test as final proof. Kat Ordonez has denied her child is Pacquiao's, but it is the popular opinion of the public that the child is indeed his, since he held a suspiciously significant role at the child's christening. Regardless of whether the children were sired by him, it is unmistakable that the 'People's Champ' has broken the law of adultery several times and in some people's minds his stance that "{marriage} should not be of the same sex, so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony" is a direct hypocrisy to his own behavior and perhaps his own rights to marriage should be in question.

After all, though there are a couple of verses in the Bible that zealots will rabidly quote which admonish gay relationships, God has a top ten list of sins not to commit, (more commonly known as "commandments"), where "Thou shalt not commit adultery" made #7 on the list and "Thou shalt not be gay" didn't make the list at all. The Bible also relieves us of judging others (lest we be judged) and has dedicated a large portion of the book of Romans to condemning the self-righteous and warning that they will face the same judgment, if not more so than those whom they feel they are above. Perhaps Congressman Pacquiao should dedicate a few of the Bible studies he leads to this book instead of small passages in Leviticus and 1 Corinthians.

Or is the public being unfair? We are all entitled to our opinions, aren't we? Should Pacquiao be punished for his fervently religious beliefs simply because he is a role model and considered by TIME magazine to be the 16th most influential person in the world? Does this strip him of his right to have personal beliefs?

One wonders if this was an early bid for Presidency in the largely Roman Catholic-populated Philippines. Pacquiao may have actually gained a few fans in that case over in his homeland, but it is pretty clear that over here in the United States, his popularity is plummeting. Pacquiao may need to call The Dixie Chicks for support before long, as many fans are publicly renouncing their support of him and the negativity boom is escalating by the minute. But before we start burning our Pacman gear in the streets, I think we should ask ourselves if we have ever said anything that would be wildly offensive to or about a large community of people and just been lucky enough not to be famous and quoted all over the world about it?

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone - John 8:7

My opinion:

I personally disagree with Pacquiao on the issue of gay marriage and have my own misgivings about remaining a fan of his, not because I disagree with his religious views, but because I disagree with his hypocrisy.  However, I also believe that he has every right to his opinion.  I have just never been a fan of laws which are meant to exclude people, nor do I believe the Bible's teachings are meant to be perverted into tools for that purpose.