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Forgiveness, hatred and love as options

12:43 AM March 22, 2016

“To err is human, to forgive divine.” (Alexander Pope)

AT A tender age of 14, I got nearly raped—if it was not rape at all—by an adult homosexual in a teenage overnight party with my friends.

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Following that incident, I developed homophobia, which burdened me for over 15 years.  I couldn’t even pee in a public men’s restroom during that period, except in cubicles where I could lock the door.

I have reasons to hate homosexuals, but I refuse to hate them. Hatred or love is a choice. God chose to love and save us despite the countless hateful things we have done and continue to do.

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Yes, I detested gays when I was a teenager. But from the time Christ came into my heart and cleansed me with His redeeming blood, I have learned to forgive and have chosen to love and have compassion for them.

Manny Pacquiao shared some biblical dogma about homosexuality in a television interview. He is opposed to same-sex marriage and rightly so. But, oddly, the “holy sector” makes a gigantic issue out of the gay couples desiring to get married even as an untold number of normal couples in the country and around the world have long been living together outside of marriage. Which is more sinful or damnable?

Pacquiao got into trouble for correctly standing his ground on the matter. He isn’t condemning LGBTs, except that his statement was taken out of context and he is now unfairly being accused of many things because of his carelessness. He was candid in telling the truth that the Lord abhors the sin or the act of same-sex mating. Too bad, however, he did not only compare gays with animals, he in effect branded them to be “worse than animals.”

God despises the sin of sexual perversion, but I believe He loves gays and lesbians in greater measure than the religious, self-righteous modern-day Pharisees. Jesus Christ came and died for human beings, not animals.

But don’t wait till heaven’s grace is no more.

The reaction to Pacquiao’s ill-conceived metaphor is exaggerated; he has sincerely apologized for it. But why do people still nail him down? Will anyone have to be bothered by criticisms if he’s on solid ground?

Adhering to morals, Christian tenets or God’s standards isn’t bigotry; loving sin and condemning Pacquiao for his convictions on same-sex marriage is.

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Regardless of my traumatic experience, I can say: By no means should we discriminate or deprive LGBTs of any legal right bestowed upon married couples if that’s what they want. But for all intents and purposes and for Calvary’s sake, they should never ever be allowed to marry (in a civil or church wedding), otherwise that would be tantamount to state-sanctioned abomination.

Why do we keep on pointing to “model” countries whose governments have no slight fear of God in the manner they enact laws? I am delighted that there remains Filipinos today in big numbers who can recognize light from darkness.

“I’d rather stand with God and be judged by the world than stand with the world and be judged by God.”

—RENI M. VALENZUELA, [email protected]

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TAGS: gay, homosexualty, letter, LGBT, Manny Pacquiao, opinion
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