Manny Pacquiao has recently stated in an interview with TV-5 group’s “Bilang Pilipino” elections coverage that you can tell by using your “common sense” that there are no animals who engage in sex with the same gender. According to the eight-time world champion, by analogy, if persons engage in a same-sex relationship, they are worse than animals.
As expected, his offensive remark was met with backlash by public figures and celebrities including comedian Vice Ganda, singer Aiza Seguerra, and host Boy Abunda. The general public also had a lot to say about what had happened, using the #PrayForMannyPacquiao as they aired their sentiments on social media.
While this is really an unfortunate thing to have happened (many people were deeply hurt), it’s something that we can all learn important life lessons from. Here are nine of them.
As a senatorial candidate, Pacquiao was asked about his views regarding same-sex marriage. He gave his thoughts about it and he made a stand. However, it could have been said in a kinder way. He could have just said “No”, that he’s not in favor of it. If he’s asked why, he could spoken the truth in love. It’s not always easy but it’s always worth a try.
2. There will always be a point when you have to make a stand about what you believe in.
Yes, Manny Pacquiao indeed made a stand which is a courageous thing to do. However, you can still do that without shoving your belief on people’s faces and hurting their feelings. Which brings me to my next point.
3. You will make enemies for making a stand.
If you think it’s worth it, let no one stop you.
4. Quoting Bible verses doesn’t help when you don’t understand what the verses are about.
Some people have been quoting what Jesus said in Matthew 10:22: “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved (NIV)”. Yes, Jesus did say that. However, let’s not forget the context when He spoke of that verse. He was sending the 12 apostles to spread the Good News and make disciples. He was setting their expectations about what can possibly happen to them while they’re preaching on the road. The LGBT people were angered because Pacman’s remarks were offensive to them. While I am not saying that Pacman should compromise and say lies just so he can gain followers and votes for the upcoming election, there was definitely a way to express his thoughts about same-sex marriage without hurting people’s feelings.
While Matthew 10:22 is a verse worth remembering and using for the right purpose, we should not forget Matthew 22:37-39 also “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself (NIV)”.
5. The LGBT people may be looked upon as “animals” by some.
But they have hearts, too. Some people miss and forget that from time to time. Now is the perfect time to remind them that the members of the LGBT community have feelings, too. And they hurt and are as lost as some cisgender people, too.
6. Stereotyping doesn’t get us anywhere that benefits us.
Because of what had happened, people have created stereotypes of the LGBT community and Christians. Now, there’s a great divide. This is exactly what Satan wants. Will we really let him win?
7. Some people say that we should not hate the LGBT community, only their lifestyle.
This is again, a generalization. Not all people who identify as LGBT engage in same-sex relationships. Some vowed to be celibate. Whatever they choose, it’s not for us to judge them for their choices. Again, point number 1.
8. NOBODY CAN JUDGE ANYONE.
As someone who’s cisgender, I can’t imagine how hard it is to wake up every day feeling inside that you’re “different”. I can’t imagine how terrible it is to be bullied and shamed because of your sexuality. The LGBT community, Christians or not, bravely face this truth every day. Let’s not add to their baggage.
9. Saying sorry matters.
Manny Pacquiao issued a public apology over what happened; one thing we should never be hesitant to do the moment we realized we’ve caused someone pain.