Scapegoating our own

Y’all know that I’m a staunch supporter of gay rights. I believe gay people have a right to be public with their love, and they deserve respect. I myself have given money to organizations that promote gay marriage. But we need to think rationally and assign credit/blame where it’s due. Which is why I can’t be part of the Manny Pacquiao bashing that other liberals have started ever since this stupid LA Weekly blog post came out: Manny Pacquiao says Gay Men Should Be ‘Put to Death.’

First of all, the guy who wrote that headline/article, Dennis Romero, ought to be fired. According to the same blog post, Manny never said that, at least not originally. He was quoting the Bible. If anything, the Christian God of the Bible said it (at least Christians believe that it’s the Word of God.) To write the headline as if Manny wrote the book of Leviticus is intentionally misleading. If people need to be angry, they ought to be angry at God.

Second, how low of that writer to attack Manny Pacquiao’s marriage based on his quoting of Scripture! Seriously, how low can someone stoop in the name of politics?

Of course, I disagree with Manny’s stance, and I’m sure he lost tons of fans for his words, but if we have an issue with the statement, it’s not with Manny, it’s with certain institutions of Christianity that keep homophobia in play. Manny is Catholic, and that’s what Catholics believe. Seriously, attacking the messenger when there’s an entire religion that preaches exactly what Manny shared is misguided. Instead of being angry at Manny the messenger, we should be angry at the Catholic Church, Focus on the Family, and all the other large religious organizations who preach homophobia as a Christian ideal.

I too wish that Manny didn’t have those views of gay marriage, but he’s not the one creating these views. It’s the religious organizations and doctrines that need to change.

36 thoughts on “Scapegoating our own

  1. Manny was quoting the Bible but it was Manny and Manny alone who decided which parts of the Bible to quote. He CHOSE to include the part about gay people being put to death and he would not have mentioned it if he did not believe in it.

  2. The reactions to this are very interesting. Floyd Mayweather has made several racist remarks about Asians, yet at the end of his last fight he was joined in the ring by Justin Bieber – which is a pretty potent symbol of how anti-Asian racism is overlooked and those who engage in it are still embraced by mainstream America.

    Pacquiao, on the other hand, has some comments taken out of context (maliciously perhaps) and is being blacklisted…….

    http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2012/05/manny_pacquiao_extra_grove_mario_lopez.php

    …and, of course, there is the ever present option of casual violence against Asian men….

    http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/05/ten_gays_who_co.php

  3. Byron, you absolutely hit it on the head for this one. There is a difference between what Pacquiao said and what the headline attributes to him. He’s stupid to say it, but he’s still been taken out of context.

    Here’s the thing. The US is full of people who loudly proclaim themselves Bible-believing Christians, and who say they live their lives based on what they read in The Book. Therefore, they would also believe the same thing as Pacquiao, by default. Yet, most of those people don’t want gays put to death.

    I also think the writer is in danger of unwittingly promoting homophobic violence with this article. By ascribing this view (that gays should be put to death) to a popular and much-admired figure, he is actually pushing that idea out there where it will be heard and will possibly encourage impressionable people to act out in homophobic ways. Unless someone has actually clearly said this and meant it, I don’t think journalists should be publicizing these kinds of ideas.

  4. I already know what the Islamic stand is on homosexuality. (Death)

    But out of curiosity, what is the Buddhist tradition and the Hindu tradition on homosexuality? Do either tradition allow for Gay marriage? How long have gay marriages been performed in either of these traditions?

  5. Second, how low of that writer to attack Manny Pacquiao’s marriage based on his quoting of Scripture! Seriously, how low can someone stoop in the name of politics?

    It was probably because the writer was checking out the specific verse in Leviticus (20:13) that Pacquiao was referencing and noticed that 3 verses prior (20:10) there was a similar law about adultery. Basically, the implication is that if Pacquiao believes that homo’s should be put to death because Leviticus says so then he himself should also be put to death because he was not faithful in his marriage.

    As an extension, if you truly believe homo’s should be put to death because Leviticus says so then you also have to perform animal sacrifices regularly to atone for your sins, follow mind-boggling regulations about clean and unclean foods, avoid touching your wife when she is having her period, and on and on and on.

    As Jesus said: “It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.” (Luke 16:17)

    These rules were to be taken as one Law. It’s all or nothing.

    If people need to be angry, they ought to be angry at God.

    No. They need to be angry at ignorance, those who twist words to incite the mob, for those who fail to separate politics from truth.

  6. Looks like Manny “loves the gays”, http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/7939436/manny-pacquiao-condemns-anti-gay-charges-reiterates-opposition-gay-marriage, he just thinks they shouldn’t be able to marry. So he owns it now.

    You are right, anti-gay rhetoric comes from specific groups, however Manny is his own man. There are plenty of Catholics who are able to separate themselves from some of the more odious opinions of the Church and openly say so. I don’t forgive the man for being ignorant, we should except better from anyone in his position.

    Also too, the Examiner is trash.

  7. The Hindus and Buddhists have more liberal attitudes towards homosexuality. In fact the belief in karma and reincarnation may even help people in their acceptance by appealing to some kind of cosmic mixup in the reincarnation process. This does not mean that one can prance around loudly proclaiming one’s homosexuality, many Buddhist and Hindu societies are also subject to other powerful conservative forces. However it does mean that on the individual and small society scale people are unlikely to have any compulsion to punish homosexuality.

  8. RR,

    This just out: Manny didn’t even quote that verse:
    http://www.tmz.com/2012/05/16/manny-pacquiao-not-against-gay-people/

    “The Examiner article includes a reference to Leviticus 20:13 — which says gays “must be put to death.” But now the journalist who conducted the interview is admitting Pacquiao NEVER specifically referenced that bible verse.

    Pacquiao has now released a statement saying, “I didn’t say that, that’s a lie … I didn’t know that quote from Leviticus because I haven’t read the Book of Leviticus yet.”

    This really should be a libel suit.

    Eurasian,

    Exactly!

    You know, here’s the thing. Who is the most popular Asian American athlete in the world? Jeremy Lin. Given the fact that he’s an evangelical Christian, I’ll bet Jeremy probably also doesn’t approve of gay marriage. He was born and raised here, and he knows better not to say it, but he’s still probably against it.

    And look at all the politicians we’ve had. We’ve had few (if any) presidents before Obama who have supported full marriage equality. Even among prominent politicians, it’s still rare for them to come out with full support.

    So for people to hang Manny out like this…well, that’s a bit unfair.

    Ben,

    Oh, Mayweather has already begun the posturing. From his Twitter:

    https://twitter.com/#!/FloydMayweather/status/202864512473366528

    I stand behind President Obama & support gay marriage. I’m an American citizen & I believe people should live their life the way they want.

    King,

    From what I understand, most Buddhists don’t support it. The key difference is, there are few evangelical Buddhists. So it’s more of a “you do your thing, and I’ll do mine” kind of feeling.

    Frank,

    But are there Catholic athletes who separate it? I’m thinking Matt Hughes, Rich Franklin, and all of them. I’ll bet Michael Chang doesn’t support gay marriage either. I think it’s rare for athletes who publicly profess their Christianity to pick and choose.

    Kobu:

    “No. They need to be angry at ignorance, those who twist words to incite the mob, for those who fail to separate politics from truth.”

    Okay, let me play Jesus’ advocate here. IF I believe in God, and if I believe that the Bible is the Word of God, why wouldn’t I be angry at him for saying such homophobic things?

  9. I think any athlete should be an athlete and accept the responsibility of their words in a public forum. I don’t offer passes to any of them who are ignorant for ignorance’s sake.

    I expect better from Manny, Mayweather, Hughes, Franklin, Chang, and any other. The moment we let them off the hook, especially ones in our own community because of “religion”; the moment more ignorance spreads. I won’t accept that. Manny had an opportunity to say something inspiring instead he came across as an ignorant puppet.

    He’s a big figure, he’ll survive regardless, however he disappointed greatly. That’s just me.

  10. ^Yeah, but so did Obama 4 years ago. It’s inconsistent to think that Obama can have an arch of decision on this issue that took him years to complete, and then just assume that anybody else who doesn’t come instantly to the same conclusions on the same day is somehow lacking.

    At this point in time, based on the voting in state referendums on the issue, MOST of the people in the U.S. are still opposed to same sex marriage. It’s probably safe to say that based on the current laws, from country by county, most of the world opposes same sex marriage, to one degree or another.

    So why single out Manny Pacquiao as if his opinion is somehow novel?

  11. Why single out Manny Pacquiao? Well because everybody needs their five minutes of hate.

    LOL

  12. King,

    Not to mention that Manny Pacquiao is, first and foremost, a professional ATHLETE. Sure, he serves in his congress too, but his main claim to fame (and probably the reason he was elected) is that he’s a famous athlete. If you know athletes, they tend to be very focused people on one thing alone–winning–which is why they’re successful.

    Frank,

    I do understand your point. But is that bar really realistic for the average professional athlete? You and I spend hours reading, debating, and researching stuff. Manny, Jeremy, Hughes, Franklin, and Michael Chang probably don’t get a chance to do that–they’re too busy training, lifting, dieting, and (perhaps most significantly) getting psychologically prepared to win. Even Obama, with his years of constitutional law and community activism, took a long time to come around.

  13. Okay, let me play Jesus’ advocate here. IF I believe in God, and if I believe that the Bible is the Word of God, why wouldn’t I be angry at him for saying such homophobic things?

    I am not necessarily saying you are like this but many people who are upset about things in the bible, haven’t read the bible much less honestly attempted to understand it beyond the superficial.

    Many people who’ve read the bible in its entirety say that the Book of Leviticus is the hardest. This is the book of laws and rules and regulation, full of “if such and such does such and such….they shall be put to death.”

    God gave Moses the 10 commandments on Mt Sinai. There’s no mention of homosexuality in the 10 commandments. Between the time of Exodus and the time of Leviticus, the original 10 commandments somehow multiplied into hundreds of laws governing even the minutiae of daily life. To me, whether this was truly God’s doing or really man’s doing is worthy of open debate.

    But that is immaterial, regardless. The Law, whether 10 or 10,0000, exists as a towering standard of God’s righteousness against which man’s sin is measured. The extremely difficult book of Leviticus demonstrates the hopelessness and absurdity of trying to keep all the laws. But there is one unique group of people who attempted to do just that, which is the Jews. The rest of the OT bible is a long, historical record of their continued failures to do just that.

    So what is the solution?

    Before I get to that, lets talk about homosexuality. The bible does not make a big deal of homosexuality, our political culture does. Is being gay a sin or not a sin? Believe it or not, there are evangelical Christians who are also gay and I am sure they struggle with that. Not too long ago, I watched a video testimony of a well-respected pastor of a large church, who was married, and had kids, and after many years of being in the closet, decided, at the peak of his ministry career, to tell the world he was gay. Yet he still believes in God and preaches the word.

    To me, if being gay is not really a sin and vast tracts of Leviticus are really the interpretation of overzealous religious lawyers, then there’s no problem. If it IS a sin, in the sense that God really sees it as a sin, then there’s still no problem. Because it is a sin in the same sense that lying, stealing, envy, pride, etc is a sin, which EVERYONE does all the time. EVERYONE is a sinner by default, whether you’re straight or gay (Romans 3:23). And sin is not merely a function of what you do or don’t do, it is an existential state. The result of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Hence, everyone will die eventually.

    Does God really want homosexuals to be put to death? We can find the answer to that in Jesus’s response to the accusers of the adulteress, who wanted to stone her. Jesus said, let any of you without sin cast the first stone. If Jesus were around today and a group of fundamentalist Christians dragged a homosexual before him in the same manner, what would his response be? Same thing!

    God never put anyone to death. Stonings were always carried out by humans who presumed the authority of judge, jury, and executioner, even though they themselves were sinful.

    If God put anyone to death for man’s sin, it was himself, in the form of Jesus dying on the cross.

    This is why, in a nutshell, because I don’t have the time or space here to elaborate further into more subtle and finer details, why your anger is misguided.

  14. Haha! Now see what’s happened? Manny P. says something fairly simple, a reporter makes a HUGE stretch to try and tar him, and now we’ve been led into, of all things, a discussion of RELIGIOUS supposition and theory!!! Outrageous.

    But hey, I’ll bite… Mostly religionists and non-religionists totally miss each other’s arguments anyway.

    If there is NO GOD, then homosexuality can’t be a “sin” because there is really no such thing as “sin.” And additionally, there is no GOD to get angry at, for things that he is reported to have said because, if he doesn’t really exist he 1) obviously didn’t say those things and 2) is not really there for you be be mad at.

    On the other hand, if there is a GOD, and if he did create everything, then it stands to reason that he gets to make all the rules. If he says, “this is how I want things” then there really is no argument against it. You can’t successfully argue that someone who gives all life cannot take it back whenever he wants. The outrage is useless.

    That’s the main problem here, and why such a discussion is so hopeless. The fundamental premises are totally different.

  15. King/Kobu,

    Yah, I was going to say that I’m not angry at God, because I don’t believe in God, and I view the Bible as literature rather than non-fiction. BUT…IF I believed in God and believed that the Bible was the word of God, I’d probably be angry. After all, if a guy is omniscient and all-powerful, surely he should have the power to write a message that wouldn’t get everyone confused as to what he meant. I was just posing the hypothetical.

    The way I read it, the God of the Bible clearly says in Leviticus that homosexuality is a sin, and he never says that heteros ought to be put to death, so clearly he doesn’t see the two kinds of marriage as equal. So even if homosexuality is equal to lying or coveting thy neighbors wife, it’s still a biblical sin, while heterosexuality is not.

    So I’m not angry at God because I don’t believe in God. But this kind of Christianity does bother me on the basis of purely rational thinking. Gay marriage doesn’t hurt anyone and in fact helps gay people find happiness, and therefore, in my book, it’s fine. But when we argue the subject, certain people argue it’s immoral based on nothing other than a book called Leviticus which was written hundreds of years ago.

    Still, I don’t fault Manny. He’s an athlete, not a philosopher.

  16. Well yeah… but what I’m saying is that the whole proposition can be vastly simplified, if my logic is correct.

    1) You can’t be angry at someone who doesn’t exist (unless you’re crazy). So in that case, no worries.

    2) If there was a GOD who actually brought you into existence, then you couldn’t be mad at him because he told you “I don’t want you to marry men” or “You can’t have martinis before 6:00″ or “no yodeling!” His universe/his rules. Existence is the ultimate favor, so if it came with any conditions, it would be hard to argue that you don’t want to have any conditions because you disagree with them and have your own ideas.

    Conclusion:
    1) If there is no God, you can’t be angry at him.
    2) If there is a God, you can’t be angry at him.

    This would go for any concept of “God. “No?

  17. It does not automatically follow that something that creates life then has the prerogative to take it away. When you give something, does that thing still belong to you?

  18. I would say that it does.

    If you give something WITH CONDITIONS it stands to reason that if the conditions aren’t met that you can clearly repossess it. If you give your son a bicycle and then tell him NOT to ride it on Wednesdays (for your own undisclosed reasons) and your son then decides to ride in on Wednesdays anyway, then I’d say that you have the right to take the bicycle back, either temporarily or permanently, because the conditions for him keeping it weren’t met. Parents do this all the time. Kids can’t go to court and say, “NO, Daddy GAVE me this bicycle so I should be able to ride it any time I want!”

  19. Okay, King, what about Marvin Gaye? He was shot by his own father. His father gave him existence. Justified or no?

    Now if you believe in God, and if that God made you gay, and if that God also created the logical foundations that make it hard to understand why gayness is a sin, shouldn’t you have a right to be mad at him?

  20. But, in any case, Marvin Gaye’s crazy dad didn’t “make” Marvin. In fact he contributed a percentage of the genetic material that influenced Marvin’s makeup. And that genetic material was not “his own” but was inherited, in turn, from his genetic predecessors. So no, being a father isn’t really the same thing as being a GOD (except on Father’s Day, of course)

    You have to realize that a “God claim” carries with it certain suppositions that go far beyond human interactions. What you’re saying with most God claims from all cultures and religions is that God(s) created by fiat. Most cultures also recognize that taking back the given life is also legitimate.

  21. OOoops forgot to answer part of the question:

    “Now if you believe in God, and if that God made you gay, and if that God also created the logical foundations that make it hard to understand why gayness is a sin, shouldn’t you have a right to be mad at him?”

    From what I have observed, most religions hold to these 3 ideas

    - “God “or “The Gods” have certain rules or standards
    - Man breaks the rules
    - So religion is the process of making up the difference

    Kobukson, correct me if I’m wrong (of course, I’m speaking in general here)

    So Byron you are asking (hypothetically) why didn’t God make everybody perfect so that they never disobeyed the rules?

    I think this usually this gets into a question of “freedom of choice” but I’m not really qualified to get into the nitty gritty of that. Suffice to say that man is imperfect (which is a statement almost everyone agrees with!)

  22. “If you give something WITH CONDITIONS it stands to reason that if the conditions aren’t met that you can clearly repossess it. If you give your son a bicycle and then tell him NOT to ride it on Wednesdays (for your own undisclosed reasons) and your son then decides to ride in on Wednesdays anyway, then I’d say that you have the right to take the bicycle back, either temporarily or permanently, because the conditions for him keeping it weren’t met. Parents do this all the time. Kids can’t go to court and say, “NO, Daddy GAVE me this bicycle so I should be able to ride it any time I want!””

    Hmmm, you are talking about children of course. But what about infanticide? Surely there are parents who feel that some times are good for having children and other times, not so much.

  23. If God has absolute omniscience then “free will” for Man is an illusion and does not truly exist. All paths are pre-destined. The concept of right or wrong of an action is also revealed to be hollow, since with only one possible outcome there can be no true choice.

    On the other hand if God is not omniscientific…. then he’s not as powerful as they claim to be.

    :D

  24. ^ Oh, I see you already answered the question about infanticide in Byron’s question. I see your point about the godly prerogative LOL

    Chinese people used to believe in infanticide and even the killing of grown adult children by their own parents. Not a psychologically healthy thing, and bad for society as a whole. Luckily, such concepts nowadays are considered strange, backwards and abhorrent by the major part of society.

  25. Yeah Raguel, once you get into the”freedom of choice” debate it gets to be so complicated that I fall off the log. All this can get into very complex philosophical questions that give me indigestion.

  26. Personally I have no problem with someone coming out and saying they are against gay marriage, so long as it’s not accompanied by other ugly homophobic nonsense.
    We seem to have got to a point where support for gay marriage has become some kind of litmus test for whether you are homophobic or not. This for me is a problem. I don’t necessarily see a conflict between saying “gay people should be treated with respect, dignity and equality under the law” but also saying “marriage is traditionally between man and woman and I think we should keep it that way”.

    I’m kinda ambivalent about the whole issue, partly because I think there are things more pressing. Huge slabs of the community still have warped ideas about homosexuality, and there are plenty of young men out there who would threaten violence against someone just because they are gay. The fixation on gay marriage kinda feels to me like jumping ahead of a society that is still struggling to catch up with even the most basic ideas of gay rights.

  27. I’m in the same boat, Eurasian. Even though I support gay marriage personally, I don’t think being against gay marriage means that one is homophobic.

  28. I know more than one gay friend who themselves are not sold on gay marriage. YES NOT ALL Gay people even agree on it. I suppose that they are homophobic homosexuals? Once you try to make one issue the end all and be all, you’re just asking for trouble. Nobody should be persecuted for either being for gay marriage or against it.

  29. it upsets me so much that we’ll probably never get to see a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight.

    I thought mayweather would have been all over it after pacmans last bout. His victory did not look very convincing, and they are both at an age where their performance is going to decline.

  30. Yeah, at this point, they’re both getting older and moving down. It’s too bad.

  31. After all, if a guy is omniscient and all-powerful, surely he should have the power to write a message that wouldn’t get everyone confused as to what he meant. I was just posing the hypothetical.

    By your definition, an entity that is omniscient and all-powerful will necessarily say or do things that will seem confusing or without explanation to mere mortals.

    It’s like playing chess with a grandmaster who can see many moves ahead. He’s gonna make moves that may seem mystifying and even bizarre to you at the moment (why did he sacrifice the queen?). Ten moves later, you’re in checkmate.

    Now if a game like chess, which is governed purely by reason and logic, can be like that, then how much more so this game called Reality?

    If you think the bible is confusing, try post-modernism.

    The way I read it, the God of the Bible clearly says in Leviticus that homosexuality is a sin, and he never says that heteros ought to be put to death, so clearly he doesn’t see the two kinds of marriage as equal. So even if homosexuality is equal to lying or coveting thy neighbors wife, it’s still a biblical sin, while heterosexuality is not.

    The confusion that you complain of arises because humans play sloppy and loose with definitions to the point where meaningful discourse is nearly impossible. For example, what do you mean by “equal”?

    So I’m not angry at God because I don’t believe in God. But this kind of Christianity does bother me on the basis of purely rational thinking. Gay marriage doesn’t hurt anyone and in fact helps gay people find happiness, and therefore, in my book, it’s fine.

    It is entirely possible that playing fast and loose with the definition of things like marriage may ultimately hurt humanity in ways that do not seem obvious now. Unintended consequences.

  32. Post-modernism is a collection of sollipsisms just like the Bible is a collection of contradictions and feverish imaginations. It’s not difficult to figure out. If you disagree, then debate with me the origins of the precious bible you hold in your very hands. Direct word from god? Or something else.

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