Religion doesn’t make people more moral. What it does do is convince some people that even though the collective wisdom of humanity has evolved over the last few thousand years, that morality should still emulate an ignorant cult from an ignorant corner of the ancient world.
Example: Manny Pacquiao.
A Nike-sponsored Bible-quoting top boxer who recently became a lawmaker in the Philippines, Manny Pacquiao, reportedly says gays “must be put to death” and is throwing punches at U.S. President Barack Obama for his comments last week in support of same-sex marriage. Pacquiao, who reportedly met with President Obama in the Oval Office last year, quoted Leviticus 20:13 and other biblical scriptures in an interview with the Examiner’s Granville Ampong, saying, “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”
He wasn’t done there.
“God’s words first … obey God’s law first before considering the laws of man,” says Pacquiao, addressing Obama’s pronoucement on legalizing same-sex marriage during an exclusive interview Friday night with the National Conservative Examiner in his residence at the Palazzo Complex in Los Angeles here in California.
Engaging a radical shift as manifested by his insights shared during Bible studies which lasted more than one hour, around 10:00 p.m., with a song and his substantive prayer, Pacquiao counsels people to “just believe” what the Scripture says.
Pacquiao’s directive for Obama calls societies to fear God and not to promote sin, inclusive of same-sex marriage and cohabitation, notwithstanding what Leviticus 20:13 has been pointing all along: “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”
Pacquiao, bearing a conservative stance on the Reproductive Bill which is still pending in the Philippine Congress for approval even after contemptuous debates, believes the sweeping campaign of Obama favoring the gays and lesbians to legally marry is nothing more than a direct attack on the moral society and against the creative power and will of God.
Pacquiao continues: “God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married, only if they so are in love with each other.”
“It should not be of the same sex so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah of Old.”
But Manny has something going for him that, in my opinion, gives him the edge over other Christians in terms of integrity. Manny has the honesty to read the text of the bible and admit what it says. Most other Christians read the text of the bible and immediately begin arguing that god’s so shitty a communicator that the bible actually means the opposite of what it actually says. In their minds every person to read the bible up until the late 1900s got the message wrong, but the moderate Christian (who likely has put, at best, a modicum of study into the book by comparison to the great scholars of Christian antiquity) has figured it out and, don’t you know, when god said to kill the gays he actually meant to give them hugs. Probably one of those mistranslations.
Of course, those moderate Christians have something on Manny: they trust their own moral judgment over the bible. Though, they somehow do it while still maintaining that god is wiser than they are.
Where they both fuck up equally is buying into the book in the first place. They’ve both sacrificed reason, even if they’ve done it to different results. So the moderate can scream that their faith is different from Pacquiao’s (and they will…in fact, most of them will prioritize assuring me that faith is wonderful over chastising the Christians like Pacquiao), but being different doesn’t absolve them of the sin they share with Pacquiao: abandoning reason for faith.