“[E]very Stoic was a Stoic; but in Christendom where is the Christian?” —Ralph Waldo Emerson in “Self-Reliance”
I don’t necessarily blame Manny Pacquiao—former boxing star turned Philippines politico—for his comparison of homosexuals to animals. Actually it was more of a contrast: Mr. Pacquiao pronounced animals superior because they are able to distinguish male from female and don’t have same-sex relations. Now I could offer proof that homosexuality exists in all species, but that’s not really the issue. And pointing that out makes me feel, well, dumb.
I don’t even care that much that Pacquiao is ignorant and shouldn’t hold a high office: we have enough United States Senators and Representatives and governors and mayors who feel the same way, and they have jobs.
As for animals being superior to homosexuals, he’s half-right; but animals are also superior to heterosexuals in that
- They don’t build weapons of mass destruction.
- They don’t send other animals out to fight their battles.
- They have never interned an ethnic group.
- They don’t bomb hospitals and schools.
- They don’t slaughter people on the streets of Paris, or in a business in San Bernadino, or a school in Newtown.
- They don’t hide behind their religion when they do something wrong.
That last one bears repeating: They don’t hide behind their religion when they do something wrong.
And this is what bothers me most about this whole affair. Here is Pacquiao’s apology:
I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt. I still stand on my belief that I’m against same sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I’m not condemning LGBT. I love you all with the love of the Lord. God Bless you all and I’m praying for you.
Really? I love you all with the love of the Lord? What exactly does that mean? Because if it means what I think it means, then he loves you because he has to, but he hates you because you’re you. Thanks, Manny, for proffering a good dose of evangelical nonsense we can all ponder. The truth is, if you hate someone because of his beliefs or his race or his sexual orientation, you’re just not a Christian. Sorry. You can still attend mass, get palms, ashes, all that good stuff, but being an actual Christian demands a little more.
We live in a so-called Christian country and gird ourselves against incursions by other religions, but when people like Manny Pacquiao threaten to love us all with “the love of the Lord,” and I know that his particular lord hates gay people, I don’t exactly get a warm feeling. And when he offers to pray for us all, maybe I’ll pass on that one too.