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Pacquiao, doctor of humanities, a fervent believer of religious dogma and superstition?

/ 12:12 AM March 11, 2016

This is to comment on the homophobic remarks of boxer-turned-politician-actor-singer-pastor Manny Pacquiao on LGBTs (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders).

With the constitutional principle of separation of church and state, may religious sects, supposedly the conscience of the nation, impose their moral teachings on the lives of people who don’t belong to their group or who don’t believe in their doctrines? In a democracy like ours, can the Bible replace the Constitution?

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Pacquiao’s statement was based primarily on a scientific perspective, and only secondarily on the Bible. Hasn’t Pacquiao heard of animals that are asexual, or hermaphroditic, or with homosexual tendencies? For that matter, Pacquiao is right: Animals are smarter than human beings if he were to be the prototype of human beings.

On the other hand, Pacquiao cited lines from the Book of Leviticus to support his viewpoint. But doesn’t the book prohibit the eating of pork and shells, the consulting of a spiritualist or psychic, the breaking of the Sabbath, and the trimming of the beard? And looking at Pacquiao’s history and his circle of close friends, one wonders if he had not read anything in the Bible about adultery and the sin of not standing up to wrongdoing.

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Perhaps, no matter how many passages from the Bible we cite to convince Pacquiao that the God of the LGBTs is a God of love, it would be absolutely futile. I just pray that his God is not a God of hate. I hope he comes across the following passages in the New Testament, which I, as a Catholic, find sublime:

“But God… who is rich in mercy… because of His great love, even we were dead in sins, has made us alive together with Christ. By grace, you are saved.”

“But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

“There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you, who are you to judge your neighbor?”

Pacquiao was conferred an honorary doctor of humanities degree by Southwestern University. Has he ever understood the essence of an honoris causa and the meaning of humanism? The International Humanist and Ethical Union defines humanism as “a democratic and ethical life stance which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives.” With his view on homosexuals and same-sex marriage, is Pacquiao showing critical thinking and reason? Or is he just a fervent believer of dogma and superstition?

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As a congressman, Pacquiao should get a crash course in Constitutional Law. He should get to know the basic democratic principle of religious freedom (which holds, among other views, that even atheists have rights and those who claim to be religious should not impose on others their beliefs). Does he understand that all citizens are equal in the eyes of the law? Does he realize that all people, including homosexuals, have the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

—GIANNE RENSEN ANTONIO, [email protected]

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TAGS: Elections 2016, LGBT, Manny Pacquiao
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