3, 2, 1…psycho

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.

Al Qaeda issues video claiming culpability for Avijit Roy's murder.
The Jesus and Mo cartoon from last week is eerily appropriate.
Alan Keyes: pro-equality SCOTUS ruling would be a cause for war.
On bigots becoming the minority.
About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Peter

    Has Manny taken a lot of punches to the head?

  • Robert B.

    I know the guy is a boxer, but “throwing punches” is a very unfortunate metaphor for criticism of a GLBT ally. It’s not like that sort of thing never literally happens.

    And that bit about “adulterating the altar of matrimony” is revealing, I think. It shows what the “threat to traditional marriage” really means. Apparently Pacquiao is one of the people who thinks the value of marriage is that people he disapproves of don’t get to have it.

  • Art Vandelay

    But Manny has something going for him that, in my opinion, gives him the edge over other Christians in terms of integrity.

    I’m glad you said that. People look at me funny all the time when I tell them I almost have more respect for creationists than liberal Christians. At least the radicals let us know where they stand. Watching all the liberal Christians spin their wheels on this gay marriage thing…I don’t even know what the word “Christian” means anymore. It means whatever the hell you want it to mean and why they can’t see the so obvious fact that they make their own religion from their humanity thus rendering the whole thing useless is beyond me. Of course they’re sure as hell going to keep using that name for themselves because why give up all the social advantages that come with it, right? If you can justify calling yourself a member of an organization that causes harm to so many people just because you think it’s beneficial to you…I have to consider you morally bankrupt.

  • a miasma of incandescent plasma

    Next he’ll be coming for all those immoral Red Lobster restaurants.

    And instant death for any boxer that’s fought on the Sabbath. You know, like Manny Pacquiao.

  • ajb47

    I think Manny must have skimmed over Lev 19:28 in his haste to get to all the fear and hating.

  • christophburschka

    when god said to kill the gays he actually meant to give them hugs. Probably one of those mistranslations.

    And yet, even these “moderates” usually don’t want gays to marry.

    Right now, that is. In fifty years’ time, any Christian who isn’t a raving lunatic like Pacquiao will claim that the Bible supported same-sex marriage all along, just like it supported womens’ voting rights and the abolition of slavery and the invention of due process and tolerance for other religions.

    Cognitive dissonance is the only way Christianity has even stayed relevant until now; intellectual integrity would require every Christian to either become like Pacquiao or renounce the Bible entirely.

  • kagekiri

    Hahahah, oh Manny, “God wants marriages of a man and woman who love each other”. That’s a good one.

    …Oh, he’s not joking? Well, let’s take a crack at the Bible’s view of marriage…

    Like that bit where God says to marry your rapist. Or that bit about getting sex slaves from the conquered virgins of your genocidal campaigns. Or the bits about not marrying people from outside your religion or race. Or the bits about Biblical kings having many wives for political reasons. Or the bits about how most marriages were arranged by the parents and not at all based on love. Or the bits about killing your wife if she’s not a virgin (because that’s what you do to people you’re marrying for love, right??).

    Or the bits about marrying your brother’s widow to give her children to support her. Or the bits of Song of Songs saying Solomon pretty much only really loved one of his 700 wives. Or the bits saying for women to submit to their husbands, and husbands to love their wives like Christ loves the church (so it’s not two-way love, it’s ownership of the wife where the husband can damn the wife to eternal torture if she fails to honor him….).

    Yup, it’s just filled with love-based marriages, where the ultimate model is Christ and the Church….which is that Christ owns the church, blames it for the mistakes he built into it, says he’s sacrificed so much for them (though it was really self-inflicted if not entirely fictional), and says he has the right to reject them if they reject him, which really means that he’ll torture those who fail to believe in him, so make sure to mind your sinful thoughts (which count as damnation worthy) and self-mutilate if a body part causes you to sin, and make sure to exile those who don’t agree because otherwise you’ll all be punished.

    • Art Vandelay

      Ever see that poster that says “In North Carolina, you can marry your sister but not your gay sister.” They should make an ad campaign with God speaking from the heavens down to his people, “If a woman is raped, she must marry her rapist…unless her rapist is a chick.”

    • http://iamaperture.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger

      Wait… Marry your brother’s widow, then kill her for not being a virgin?

      If a woman is raped, then obviously she’s not a virgin. Is her rapist supposed to marry her then kill her for not being a virgin?

      I don’t think they thought this all the way through.

      • John Horstman

        I’m shocked, shocked to find a contradiction in the Christian Bible!

        Even better (well, worse), it’s the exact same section of the same book that insists that a) a (male) rapist take his (female) victim/survivor as a wife and pay a fine to her father and b) non-virgins who marry be murdered. Combining the two means… rape victims should be married to their rapists, then immediately executed because they were raped and are therefore not ‘virgins’ when they wed.

        I’m not sure there’s a single part of the Christian Bible that makes any sense whatsoever, with the exception of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, which is a pretty good ethical heuristic to apply in cases where a more reasoned approach isn’t feasible (also not original to the Christian Bible).

  • Ray

    “Manny has the honesty to read the text of the bible and admit what it says. ”

    I wonder if he has read it. If he has then why does he have tattoos? Even if he only read all of Leviticus he would know he shouldn’t do that to his body. He’s cherry picking just like all the others.

    • John Horstman

      Bingo. I’ve finally decided to get a tattoo. It’s going to be, “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print or tattoo any marks upon you: I am Yahweh. -Leviticus 19:28″.

      Actually, that’s a bit long. Maybe just “Leviticus 19:28″, though the irony is less obvious to the casual observer.

  • Rory

    Man, screw him. Is he still shilling for Nike? Maybe they need to be informed how people feel about a company that advertises using a bigoted homophobe.

  • cmv

    “…after contemptuous debates…” At least they are honest about the nature of the debate, even if inadvertently. While the writer probably meant to say that they were contentious, he accurately described the nature of xtian debate on the issue: full of contempt.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Manny has the honesty to read the text of the bible and admit what it says.

    Does Manny eat shrimp?

  • Desert Son, OM

    Icy Cantu in 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . .

    Still learning,


    • Rory

      I think a video from one of the ‘Rocky’ movies would be appropriate given the topic of the post. I like the montage from ‘Rocky IV’ where Rocky is brooding in his Ferrari after Apollo dies in the ring. I’m sure there’s some way it’s reflective of god’s love for straight folks.

  • tubi

    From the quoted interview:

    …the sweeping campaign of Obama favoring the gays and lesbians to legally marry…

    Really? I’m not sure that’s how I’d characterize the President’s meaningful yet timid support of SSM.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    He hits people in the head for a living. I’m not sure that I expect someone with a career to be based on violent brain trauma to be a humanist, or even a really nice guy.

  • patrick jlandis

    Over at Think Progress, and elsewhwere, they’ve noted that the Leviticus quote wasn’t from Manny. The reporter added it himself, and apparently Manny claims he’s never read Leviticus.

    That said, Manny doubled down on his belief that homosexuals pollute the alter of marriage and defy the laws of god; and claiming you haven’t read the quote, isn’t the same as saying you don’t believe it’s true.

    Not a position I’m defending, but he wasn’t advocating murder, at this point in his reading of the bible, but he’s veryy supportive of pernicious discrimination and second-class citizenship for people, including his own family members, whom he acknowledges aren’t making a choice.