Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao released a statement that ignited an uproar throughout the LGBT community like a tsunami and the repercussions that followed could be a devastating blow to his senate bidding. First and foremost, I have close and good friends in the LGBT community and their violent reaction to his poor (an understatement) set of words is inevitable. Some Christians (some are friends of mine) are also joining the ruckus in defence of the 8th division world champion but when the dust settles, we all end up bruised and hurt.
The ensuing war of words and clashing world-views will only spill more hate than understanding, more judgement than compassion just because one ultra famous guy forgot to be diplomatic in his delivery. Yes, the guy just made a horrendous mistake and such a controversial statement was taken as an abusive remark by the community. I would like to make an appeal for reason and for understanding to all.
Please forgive the guy despite his insulting statement. Do not let his offensive statement transform you into a bully because you are not a bully and so is he. He just happens to be direct (tactless yes but it’s not like chronic) but what can you expect from a simple guy who became a legendary champion boxer and a jack of all trades that wants to become a senator? We know he is a good man at heart though not perfect (who is perfect in this world anyway?) but because of one glaring mistake, you are roasting him as if he has committed the unpardonable sin.
There are way worst people out there who are even worse than a plague and they imprison you, burn you, hang you, decapitate you for being different, for thinking different, for believing something different and these type of people don’t even get a viral protest around the world or at the very least, in your Facebook newsfeed getting bashed mercilessly. Why? Those who died for standing who they are (LGBT, artists, poets, intellectuals, etc.) is as precious as any human beings in the eyes of God.
Then here is this man, who brought glory and honor to our nation not one time, not even twice or thrice but many times and with just one major stumble (I’m sure he made a number of mistakes in the past but this one breach seems to eclipse all the rest), all has been forgotten and with it he is now stigmatized and vilified as a bigot extraordinaire. Are we not all bigots in some way or form or measure? To some who are intolerant to what he believes in then I guess we shouldn’t throw the word bigotry easily like a piece of stone if we ourselves don’t like getting hit by one for being intolerant to his firm conviction. Political correctness is getting out of hand sometimes and it can be harmful without us knowing it.
Please think about this too: am I not offended when others are openly mocking Christianity and declaring Christians as mindless zombies? I think mindless zombies are even worst if you think about it but do I or we Christians rally and demand for blood and parade headless corpses in the streets for offending us? I admit that many of us may not be that smart, totally good, feeling righteous or still in the process of change but what could a true loving, highly educated and bible believing Christian do when ridiculed and attacked from all sides? What is the worst thing he or she could do? Offer you prayers and forgiveness or verses and sound arguments? That doesn’t sound so bad in contrast to those who gang up and beat you to a pulp or chop your neck till you’re 6 feet underground.
Being a Christian doesn’t mean we are holier than thou too. We simply try to follow Jesus Christ and how he lived His life here on earth. We also take heed the teachings of His disciples who became apostles. In doing so, that doesn’t make us perfect, we stumble too and sometimes we fall in the mud in the most humiliating fashion despite walking carefully along the narrow road to redemption. We make mistakes along the way in trying our guts to be strong in the most tempting circumstances (ice cream to FHM to Incognito) and we get mad and frustrated too in our failures but by His grace we do what we can to continue and endure the race and reach the finish line of hope.
As we set our sights to the heavenly things, we do what we can to help others as well that is why there are Christian ministries for the poor, for the abused and oppressed as well as for those who need spiritual guidance, church community and even reaching out to criminals in prison (except Arkham Asylum). We persistently believe in 2nd chances times seventy-seven even to our disadvantage.
Fine, we share our faith to anyone because we believe our faith can help the welfare of every human being but aren’t we all sharing what we believe in? If not faith then ideas, principles, values and theories. We all try to share what we have in our hearts and minds because we all (or at least most of us) believe or think it can unshackle the chains of everyone bound in burden, ignorance, poverty and misery. I believe the guy wanted to help by pointing out something that is considered a sin in the bible and shared his opinions. He stumbled terribly in his delivery.
If you don’t believe in the bible then that is your stand. Nobody at least from us here is going to crucify you for not believing in the bible. The most virulent threat you may hear from the most popular unarmed radical “Christian” group I know (from Topeka, Kansas) is “you’re going to hell” shoutout. That’s about it, (perhaps those annoying picketing too) still no heads will be rolling and bodies rotting after that. Oh and those radical armed “Christian” militias killing in the name of the Lord is taking the name of the Lord in vain like to the nth level but that’s beside the point.
We can always agree to disagree and I myself may not agree with some of your shoe preference. Heck, we can’t even agree with the viral dress post if it was blue and black or white and gold. For all I know, you hate apples and I love em but that doesn’t warrant a fistfight unless we’re hopeless drunkards besting each other with a chicken dance. I don’t even agree that Manny should be in the senate and that we probably agree like affirmative. He can be anything he wants (coach, PBA player, preacher, singer, billiard player) even become a PhD (honorary degree or Probably heavily in Debt) but not politics on a national level I hope.
The guy should know his limits too and should be aware that every word he speaks will always be scrutinize since he became the Pambansang Kamao. We ourselves should know our limits as well. Yes, it is good to be mad and angry and I face-palmed myself (in my imagination) when I heard about his “animal” statement. He could always deliver it in a much gracious and tactful manner though some may still not like it but feathers are not ruffled to a global scale at least. I will still commend him for standing firm in his faith and unabashedly moved by fury and vitriol… just like you are, who is fighting for a much deserve equality in the eyes of men and much more in the eyes of the law.
We know how you feel because we ourselves have been persecuted for the last 2000 years (approx) from Roman amphitheaters with hungry lions to NYC comedy clubs with brutally honest comedians to internet memes becoming Facebook sensations. Yes, we have our shortcomings especially with some of our brethren that are “special” and some are rigid old testament barkers, full of knowledge but devoid of Christ love. Some are quick to judge and mad of being judged (even a gentle rebuke) and some are just simply crazy and needs some laying of the hands or a good slap of both hands.
Yes, the Christian church is full of sick people but not all of them remain insane. We let the Word surgically operate our hearts to become better and loving citizens of this country. As any good wine may take time to mature, so is good character and right conduct will take seasons for the fruits to be seen from people who came from a broken family, from poverty and from a violent neighbourhood.
Let us not forget where Manny came from. That is why he clings to the divine like a chewing gum stubbornly stuck under your shoe because he is fully aware of where he came from. He firmly believes it is God who took him out from the miry pit despite his vices to become where he is now. He owes it all to God as he always declare in the press conferences to Instagram posts.
For me, Manny’s blunder will not make him less of a brother in faith but his damaging statements about you will not make you less of a human either.
Personally, I won’t be voting for Manny for the senatorial bid because I believe he is not qualified not even an iota despite his supporters saying otherwise. I really do hope he does have that one pastor or spiritual mentor that truly drills some sense into his thinking when it comes to some aspects of life and is not afraid to gently rebuke him if he goes overboard.
You know what, as an example; I can always believe that I can be an astronaut in 3 months time despite having no aviation background and my family and friends can always say that I am (if they’re equally crazy like me into believing that I am). However, no matter how much we think and believe that I can be an astronaut in 3 months, once I pilot a space shuttle into orbit, disaster is only waiting at the other end of my journey. Same goes for Pacman for his senatorial aspirations. He can satisfy his hearts desire to a certain extent but not everything is his for the taking despite power, fame and money at his disposal.
I would like to share these verses for all of us:
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:26-27
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13 NIV
For those who are Christians: May the Lord’s love, humility and peace be in your hearts always.
For those who are not: May we all live in understanding, dialogue and peace.
And for all of us for some peace and forgiveness in our newsfeed: Do Not Let Manny Make You A Bully!