By: Jeffrey Newholm
Americans often say they’re fed up with the “PC” (politically correct) machine. And that’s understandable.
The PC machine is often stifling and repressive. But sometimes a public figure makes a statement that goes beyond just being “not PC”. Sometimes a statement is made that is genuinely insulting and demeaning. On a recent television appearance, boxer Manny Pacquiao made just one of these statements. His words were: “If men mate with men and women mate with women, they are worse than animals”. First off this is factually incorrect. Yale Scientific reports over 10% of prevailing animal species exhibit homosexual tendencies, over 450 species total.
But Pacquiao’s words go beyond a simple misstatement of fact. They simply don’t make sense theologically or even practically (not to mention being extremely mean spirited).
Pacquiao claims his beliefs come from the Bible, so let’s take a look at some passages from that book, from a no greater authority than St. Peter, the rock on which Jesus’ church was built. He said that “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34). He also said that God “is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). So it seems God is a rather kind and accepting fellow who shouldn’t have a problem with one’s sexual orientation.
But Pacquiao insists this God will damn homosexuals to hell (he threw some verses supporting his belief in a since deleted Instagram post). Perhaps he thinks gays are freely choosing a wicked and sinful lifestyle. Yet a recent study published in the peer-reviewed Psychological Medicine has found a link between chromosomal patterns and sexual preference. So it doesn’t seem that sexual orientation is such a “free” choice.
But surely many Christians still insist homosexuality is sinful and being gay is just some people’s version of Original Sin, which they have to conquer. But Original Sin flunks the common sense test. As Ayn Rand observed, giving Man free will, but loading him with a predisposition towards sinfulness and wrongdoing, is like playing a game with loaded dice.
The quest for eternal salvation is not a game, and it is especially not a game one deserves to start from behind.
But for the sake of argument let’s grant that this God really insists on his sexual preferences. Even then Pacquiao’s words are wrong. If the gay lifestyle is sinful, then Christians should be working very hard to bring them into the fold, should they not?
Starting out with an insult is a sure way to lose the argument before it starts.
Even famous evangelist and author Mark Cahill, certainly no lover of homosexuality, doesn’t begin his spiel by ridiculing the sexual outliers he witnesses to. To win an argument, one needs to treat the other as equal.
As fully human. Pacquiao’s statement fails to do that.
His words are worse than “not PC”. They’re wrong, represent a weak theology and won’t convert a single person to Pacquiao’s faith. If Christians want to win souls to their side, they should look for a better example than Manny Pacquiao.