On the Recent Social Media Explosion that is Manny Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao is used to being in the spotlight for numerous reasons. For one, he is an internationally renowned boxer. Two, he's an elected official who grew in infamy after missing most of the meetings he's supposed to be attending. Three, he's a Christian on a mission to share the word of God.
Recently, social media exploded after Manny Pacquiao gave his own sentiments in terms of same-sex marriage and comparing homosexuals to a bunch of animals, in fact he said that these homosexuals are worse off than animals. Here's a consolidation of thoughts I have regarding the issues at hand.
Firstly, on his comparison of same-sex individuals to animals and saying that they are less than these beings. He worked on the premise that animals do not adhere to homosexuality, in which is already proven as false. Animal species are well known in exhibiting homosexual behavior, but that is far from what the gist of the issue is. The gist of the issue is how he extremely oppresses the rights of these homosexuals on the basis of his religion. Here is a multi-layered analysis as to why banning same-sex marriage on the basis of religion isn't logical.
- On the idea of law. Marriage is a fundamental right to all men and women. Despite sexual preferences, marriage should be available to all people. Why? Because marriage, for most of us, is the highest manifestation of love, but also marriage entitles couples state benefits. From tax exemptions to life and death decisions in the ICU, marriage gives entitlement to a couple. It is disgusting to have a selective state who can only give benefits to people who are straight. People have to realize that marriage is more than just being married in church, it is also about civil unity with the inclusion of state benefits.
- On religion itself. Most of the writings against homosexuality is found in the Old Testament. There a numerous things in the Old Testament that we don't follow anymore (ie clothes in different textures, eating shell fishes, sacrificing lambs, etc.) and the reason to that is Jesus, our apparent savior, died on the cross to relieve us of these sins. What I don't understand is why are we selectively branding sins as sins despite consistent religious laws. Our roles as Christians or Catholics or religious beings in general is simple, we have to succumb to the rules of the bible and the bible that we follow doesn't explicitly say to hate the gays. As our views and understanding grow and expand into greater heights, we should learn how to apply these new understandings. People evolve. Society evolve. Ideologies evolve.
- On marrying religion and law (in which it shouldn't be). First of all, despite the Philippines being pre-dominantly Catholic with religions such as Islam, Christianity, and Iglesia Ni Cristo being second in line, I just have to say, there's a reason why the state is supposed to be separated from the church. There is no way that the state should base any laws from religious beliefs, why you may ask? Because it is not wide and inclusive enough. The state should be unbiased in representing all individuals under their jurisdiction.
Those are just simple reasons as to why same-sex marriage should be allowed. It is not supposed to be a state benefit just for the heterosexuals (straight privilege), but a state benefit to the nation's constituents (inclusive right).
MANNY PACQUIAO VS VICE GANDA
Second thing I'd like to tackle is the comparison between Manny Pacquiao and the comedian Vice Ganda. Well, that isn't a fair comparison at all. Because Vice Ganda is a comedian, and yes, his words might be hurtful, and yes, I still am not a big fan, but Manny Pacquiao is a POLITICIAN. What does that mean? His ideas, thoughts, and opinions are harmful because it can be enacted into law if he just wants to act on it (and maybe if he just attends meetings). That's why Vice Ganda, just as horrible as Manny is, shouldn't be compared to Manny. In terms of extents of their words, Manny is more powerful, WAY POWERFUL.
MANNY PACQUIAO AND NIKE (also privilege)
Another point of discussion is his NIKE termination. Manny apologists are asking as to why are we rejoicing his termination? Therefore we're just as terrible as he is because we're celebrating his downfall. NO! People need to understand PRIVILEGE. Manny's life will not suffer due to this incident. Manny will not suddenly go bankrupt because of this. In society, Manny has all the leverage he needs being a straight adult male in the sports industry earning millions as he breathe. But his words of discrimination against the homosexuals will create a huge impact to society, influencing an influx of people. This will further the hate imposed in homosexuals and the likes. So guys, understand PRIVILEGE! Manny is privileged enough to not have these brand deals, to be called as the "victim" despite being the one who started this all. But homosexuals are pushed in the brink of society that once a famous person speak against them, they are surely pushed out of our society.
MANNY PACQUIAO AND OVERGLORIFICATION
The next one would be Manny and how we glorify his acts. Yes, he is a great boxer. Yes, he put Philippines in the map due to his boxing successes. Yes, he is charitable. Yes, he is a good Christian. But none of this answers to the issue at hand. So please, stop redirecting the problem. We can glorify his acts at the right time and now isn't the right time.
MANNY PACQUIAO IN POLITICS
I needed to really think about this. One thing I'm sure of is that I'm willing to defend any high school graduate, any artist, or any athlete who wants to run for senate. I'm willing to defend them because I am for representation in this democratic government. But I'm only willing to defend them if they are knowledgeable with the law and the extents of their power and speech. I'm willing to defend them if they're inclusive in terms of legislation. I'm willing to defend them if they have solid solutions to social issues. That's why I'm not willing to defend Manny Pacquiao. He is not a politician. He is a great athlete, yes, but he is not a politician.
MANNY PACQUIAO AND HIS EVASIVE APOLOGY
Yes, he apologized to everyone by saying that he is not condemning these gays, just the act. My question now is, how are you going to delineate the act from their persona? They are gays and they will act upon this. Please, by condemning their actions, you are condemning their persona. Stop trying to evade this. Create a better apology and own up to what you're really saying.
THE CONCLUSION TO ALL OF THIS
The reason why this all blew up is because of the nearing of national elections in the Philippines. Manny Pacquiao wants to run for senate. Obviously, I am not voting for him and I do hope people are critical enough to not vote for him as well. But my conclusion to this is, let's end this discussion about Manny Pacquiao. Let's talk about same-sex marriage in general; social issues we have at hand. Let's talk about the politicians who are really willing to make a change.
This might be bad publicity for Manny, but bad publicity is still publicity. So let's stop this and publicize Neri Colmenares for example. Let's publicize other people who think with their brains, not their ideologies.
I hope I was able to sum up the issue at hand. People have to realize as well that this is just one of the few issues that we're currently facing and together we should tackle these issues to create a more accepting and more inclusive society. Let's stop all the hate. It's time for us to see people and accept their full identities.