May 20, 2012

[Technicolor Musings] Manny Pacquiao Is Still A Bigot

So what started as a badly written article that made it appear that he was condemning all gays to death supposedly in line with the Book of Leviticus (which he later revealed to have never read - which I sincerely believe), a clarification that he was misquoted and later a statement that he doesn't condemn gays, but he's still against gay marriage, where does that leave us?

It's a complex issue when you get down to it, and we can break it down into several points, for the sake of discussion. It should prove to be an interesting exercise for this week's Technicolor Musings indeed.

And before you even ask - NO, his statements against gay marriage and other rights do not make me "hate" Representative Manny Pacquiao. I never liked him to begin with. So there.

Condemning the Sin and Not the Sinner
Among the few things I truly hate in this world, it is when this particular adage is applied to the struggle for LGBT rights. It's right along the lines of saying "No offense, but..." after which you go on to say something offensive to the person you're talking to, it's extremely annoying with people repeatedly state that "their not against gay people" but then go on to list that they're against gay sex, gay marriage and other related rights. As much as I'm all for arguing ideas instead of attacking people, this logic does not seamless translate to this argument.

So you claim to be okay with the LGBT community, that's great. But what do you expect us to do? If we can't have sex with the people we're attracted to, can't marry the people we love and can't gain legal representation for our families, then what else do we have? Especially in a country like ours that is just a few steps away from becoming a theocracy, too many laws show undue influence based on Catholic restrictions. I'm not saying Catholicism is bad - I'm saying government should be secular - free of religious influence. And I don't understand what Catholics expect gay people to be beyond comic entertainment since the only "right" life that they can see for us involves not being able to love who we want to love. And that's not fair at all.

Manny is a Congressman
As hard as it is to believe, Manny Pacquiao, a man who takes blows to the head for a living, is the Congressman from the province of Sarangani. And beyond his celebrity status, he is an actual political figure - but clearly he doesn't know how to remain "politically correct" when he needs to. But we already know that he's decided to become super religious as of late and the Church is all to eager to capitalize on this for issues like the RH Bill, but does he really plan on becoming the speaker box for the CBCP now?

And more importantly, should he?

Last I checked, we still have a clear separation between Church and State. It's one thing to have strong beliefs - we're all entitled to that. But it's another to use strictly religious reasons to guide (or even justify) legislation. And when he's outside the country, he will always act as a representative of government in addition to being a boxer. Sure, politicians say they're not in favor of gay marriage all the time. But they don't go on mentioning Sodom and Gomorrah and that balderdash.

Celebrity Opinions Matter More
His ultimate defense was that he was just answering a question by expressing an opinion. That may make sense when you're some average Juan on the street. But when you're a world-famous boxer and member of the Philippine government, you have to watch what you say - your words matter more given your influence! And if you decide to express such a strong opinion in a rather radical (and nearly Bible-quoting) manner, the you have to have the cojones to expect everyone else in the world to express their own opinions. These are not personal attacks on you, Rep. Pacquaiao. This is the power of the internet.

So yes, we have to concede that celebrity opinions matter mo, and thus celebrities have a responsibility to answer questions carefully and thoughtfully. You can always be against gay marriage - I can't force you to change your mind. But when you have celebrity status and are speaking to the international press, be sure to frame your answers carefully. And if you've ever seen a Pacquaio interview, you'll understand when I say we should just let him have an interpreter too instead of having him struggle to express himself in English. Seriously.

So get a life Manny! At least you've (theoretically) stopped cheating on your wife and have (supposedly) given up vices like gambling on cockfighting. But don't go acting all high and mighty against the gay community - you still have a lot to prove before we can respect you as an individual, what more as a member of government.

1 comment:

  1. I was never a big fan of Manny Pacquiao specially with his recent comments in the news. I agree, he's still a bigot :)