Friday, February 19, 2016

I'm responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.

Freedom of speech or freedom of expression must not be a privilege given to certain people and be denied to some others. And if we are just going to use intellect more than ego (feelings), we will be a little less harsh with the description we give the man. Too many seem to be taking advantage of the said freedom to voice their dismay to the extent they explicitly give him names such as bigot, false prophet, hypocrite and many others. In fact, even before the issue came up, he and his family have already been used as laughing stocks by stand up comediennes who bring home moolah for doing so. Yet, nobody dared defend their rights as humans. Their dignity have been trampled on. Now it can be excused as simply comedy?! How convenient is that? While the dude only gave an innocent, honest and bold answer to a question using an analogy. It's a surprise that the ones who've been calling him names don't seem to understand and accept logical rationalization, yet demand theirs be heard and received.

I have not been writing in defense of him. If truth be told, I am not a fan. I was never a supporter. I didn't even like him. He is overrated in my opinion. But, I am standing by him because he courageously drinks from the cup given him. The man speaks not to impress nor to be famous. He speaks what most would be careful to announce in fear of people's judgment. I write not to applaud him but with the intent to try put things into perspective. 

Truth of the matter is, too many a number just got it all wrong. No one was compared to anything. Should we just go back to the question and focus on the NOUN, the topic is clearly "Same-Sex Marriage". The question is NOT "how do you regard homosexuals?" but "what is your take on Same-Sex Marriage? "Group of people" as opposed to "Behavior/Preference".

And to emphasize further, his opinion was SOLICITED. He did not come around shouting, "you people should repent of your promiscuous ways or you will all go to hell!" Nor did he say, "you guys are animals." Let us all please understand the difference and his circumstance.

It took me a few views of the interview to make sure I was not missing a point. But, whichever angle I look at it, twas a general statement emphasizing basic logic―an animal's natural instinct is to find the opposite gender to mate. And if animals know this basic actuality, then they're better creatures than those who were endowed with moral judgment.  Is this not sound analogy? Did he make mention of names? For everyone's convenience here's the video and watch it once again without any biases.

Another way of saying what he said would be, "No, I am not for Same-Sex Marriage. Common Sense tells me that we don't see male-to-male or female-to-female animals mating. If animals instinctively find the opposite gender to mate (given that they have no sense of right and wrong), then humans are worse than animals."

Let us try to break it down...

His position: "I am not for Same-Sex Marriage"   
His justification: Common Sense tells me that we don't see male-to-male or female-to-female animals mating. If animals instinctively find the opposite gender to mate (given that they have no sense of right and wrong), then humans are worse than animals."

*Note: "Humans", as general, was what he said. 

Considering that he is coming from his personal standpoint, his statement sounds rather like―"I am not for Same-Sex Marriage because my judgment tells me that it would make me lower than animals if I'd be for it." As listeners, we take one's opinion as applied to the one giving his or her opinion and not as if addressed to us. Had the question been, "what do you think of the LGBT group?" and his answer was what he answered, it would've been totally foul.

Can't emphasize it enough that he was asked and he gave his opinion (belief, conviction) and he did not do so with the intention to shove it down anyone's throat. He did not do so to earn money. He plainly answered the question. Yes, he is running for office. Yes, he should've known separation of Church and State. Still, it is his conviction expressed because it was called for. Nobody has any right to demand a person to set aside his values (or religious belief) to tolerate another's, nor dictate to him to speak apart from what he believes in only because he is running for a position in government. Don't we all plead for freedom? Why do we detain him within what we believe should be his answer? If others can freely and deliberately satirize another for the sake of entertainment and laughter, why is an innocent remark worthy of reproach?

His response was without judgment nor condemnation with it. No hidden agenda. Plain honesty. Won't we rather have an individual speaking truth instead of lie?

I am not being insensitive to the feelings of those protesting by saying these things. Please slow down in making judgments. I have loved ones and friends who are queers. I love them and I respect their preferences. They're given their rightful freedom without being judged.

Yes, a large number may have been hurt, this fact is not put aside. Did he not quickly apologize, though? Let us in stead aim for understanding and be open to reasons. See from all angles. Acknowledge the innocence of his ground. 

Know when an opinion is being shoved down another's throat against an opinion simply stated. When an opinion is being forced on anyone, the manner it's said is completely different. It's suggestive or manipulative, while an opinion simply stated only provides justification. He did not preach his religion then demand for viewers to yield. 

It is just unfair that when Christians talk about the Word, they're accused of many things. They're called religious freaks and whatever. Don't we all lie everyday? But, just because we're all liars none of us must point out that it is wrong to steal? Are we all just going to keep shut cause none of us have any right to tell when something is wrong because that is considered judging? But, don't we all make judgment on a daily basis―others' looks, behavior, manners? ...and our basis mostly comes from preference/opinion...we think some people are dressed oddly or some others talk in a manner that we find annoying. It is our predisposition to have opinion and express it.

We (Christians) do not proclaim God's Word because we are perfect. We are imperfect humans who are working hard to obey God. We do fail every single day. We don't claim to be righteous when we speak of what the Bible says. Our struggle to do good and to fight what's evil is not a joke. When we say sin as it is, it does not come from our own biases or opinion (nor do we impose it on anyone). It is Written. But when we are persecuted as bigot, what is the world's basis? Christians are collectively tyrannized. We are prevented from speaking our hearts and minds out or else we will be severely castigated. Where is equality and freedom, then? We're being bullied to shy away only because our weapon is the Truth. Now who is intolerant?

Saying that "it is a sin to commit murder" makes no one self-righteous nor religious fanatic―It's a statement. Telling someone that it is wrong to gossip does not make one judgmental―Another statement. Telling a person (s)he is a "slanderer" IS judging―It's conclusion. One does not condemn a person by quoting the Bible, unless it is spoken with a certain tone―"You are gonna burn in hell because you are this and that" versus "it is said in the Scriptures that it is against God to do this and that..." please clearly see the difference. One's behavior toward others is another story, of course. We, Christians, bully no one. 

Saying that an ACT is wrong is NOT judging. DEFINING a person BECAUSE of his or her act IS judging. We don't go telling people they're bigot. We can rather communicate properly if we find their assertion offensive. Then we can all meet halfway. This is the freedom of expression that is fair to all.
Finally, speaking the Truth in love does not have to equate to exchanging the Truth for tolerance. We are not told to withhold the Truth from anyone because we do not want to offend. The Word Itself is offensive to those who do not want to submit to it. The challenge to Christians is not loving people, but loving God above all. Jesus offended many when He overturned the tables and this scene became one solid reason for certain people to question the truth that He is without sin. But was hate His motivation for doing what He did? Twas His zealousness for the House of the Lord that brought Him to act that way. When it comes to the Truth, the challenge to Christians is to either save their own lives or lose it. The choice who to offend.  Jesus said, "I did not come to bring peace, but sword." [Matthew 10:34]

God commands us to love our neighbors, yes. This requires us to accept everyone and treat them as He would treat them with great love, with so much grace and compassion. But, we are commanded to love Him more than His creations. When the topic of God's Law comes to picture, it becomes a completely different cause. Our loyalty is then tested. 

Oh, and before I end this post...I encourage everyone to watch the unedited video of the interview. 

Live and walk in LOVE. ❤

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

"So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?"

Whose right is right? 

This is a question I asked in my post during the time a sensitive topic became controversial. And currently, it's become, again, a question since different groups have their own opinion about Manny Pacquiao's bold answer to an interview question, which required him to give his own stand/opinion about the issue of "Same-Sex Marriage". A lotta people gave their comments and expressed disappointment on how, as they say, he maligned the LGBT group. They are calling for RESPECT. Known media icons violently reacted. A great number called Manny uneducated and idiot. Even some Christians did not approve of what he did. Then, of course, there are still those who supported Manny and came to his defense. 

But the question remains whose right is right?

Have we forgotten that the person we hailed as our National Hero said this line, "He who does not love his own language is worse than an animal and smelly fish"?  And this line is widely accepted and taught in schools. Must we, then, vote this person out as our National Hero as he did not acknowledge and respect "freedom of choice" and furthermore offended not only the people in his time but also the current generation of Filipinos who are mostly English speakers? Just what is the comparison between people who practice their freedom to choose what language to use and an animal and a smelly fish? I mean, do Philippine animals love Filipino language and actually loyally use it that's why Jose Rizal had to say they are better than Filipino people who do not patronize their own language? Does it degrade, in anyway, the Philippines as a country if its citizens rather use another language as their medium of communication? But, I believe Jose Rizal only had such great passion for the country that he expressed his nationalistic point of view in this manner, and not necessarily because he "hates" people who do not speak the Filipino language. In the same way, Manny Pacquiao has such great zeal for the Law of God and he expressed it using an analogy, which if you come to think of it makes a lotta sense. 

If we are just not  bias about Manny's statement, we will find that he's actually talking about the "natural order of things" based on God's design. An animal's "natural" instinct is to search for "opposite" gender to satisfy its sexual need/urge. Plain and simple. His statement is NOT idiotic but factual. There may be records of certain animals observed to display "homosexual behavior", yes. Yet, it is UNNATURAL in a sense because the intention for copulation is reproduction. Mating is intended for multiplication. And if homosexuality behavior should become a practice, every animal species will decline in number. Again, it is against the natural order of things. Research what causes certain animals do what they do, and may we all be judges as to whether their behavior must be considered acceptable and should be practiced by humans. (Read: Are There Homosexual Animals? Note the subtitle: Lots of animals engage in homosexual behaviour, but whether they are truly homosexual is another matter entirely.) 

In fact, the LGBT groups' argument that homosexuality is natural because it exists in the animal kingdom makes them concede to what they say is condemnation to them because they compare their own selves to animals by justifying, "if animals do it, it is natural... therefore we also can."  But animals do not have sense of right and wrong. They cannot read the Bible. They go by instinct. Humans are created to make proper judgment. Why must we follow practices that animals do? Homosexual behavior among animals is not even a lifestyle choice. And animals do not operate within any moral context. Just because animals have certain practices does not mean those practices must be embraced and observed by humans. Some animals eat their young, but this does not permit humans to be cannibals. Some insects after mating devour their partners, yet it is unacceptable for any human to do the same. We cannot, and must not, use animal behavior as basis to justify our chosen behavior.

Here's another additional fact. homosexual is also different from "hermaphrodite". To highlight a bit the difference, hermaphrodite is "natural". Meaning, the organism is naturally created the way it is — having both male and female reproductive organs. While homosexual is more of a preference or what is commonly known as sexual orientation. No matter how anyone asserts that it is biological or has scientific basis, each gender still remains to have only one reproductive organ and have no option to change later on. Except through surgical means. We know from sex education for which these organs are intended.

Manny did not say the things he said out of hate, but out of passion for God's Word. He was asked what's his stance and he answered from his strong conviction. Does he hate LGBT by answering a question in the manner he did? Did Jose Rizal hate Filipino English speakers when he composed his poem? I believe, they are only fighting coming from their own positions. Besides, the topic is clearly NOT about LGBTs but SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. It is not people Manny referred to, but the ACT or PRACTICE. He is against the ACT/HUMAN LAW...whatever you call it... NOT the people. How come people react violently as if they ARE the act? ...So, why did he have to compare humans to animals? — To remind us all the "natural order of things" — "opposite"-sex as designed by the Creator of the universe and NOT "same"-sex. There's purpose why it is male and female. It is not for humans to re-order the design of God. That makes us violators of His design. Read excerpts from my post, Let's All Stand Firmly Together Against the Many Faces of Hate:

"If artists are protesting that their designs are being copied, therefore, their lawful right to their masterpieces is violated, how much more the Creator of all things has the right to also make a stand?..."

" advocates of God's Law, Christians will speak of what the Law says. Christians act as Law enforcers or policemen.  What does a law enforcer or a policeman do? They have the duty of maintaining law and order. In their (Christians) case, they are maintaining the Law of God to keep everything IN "order".  Must they be charged for doing what they're supposed to be doing? They are fighting NOT for what they want, or feel, or think. They are fighting for what has long been established―God's Law and Decrees."

Mr. Pacquiao is an advocate of God's Law. He did not speak in front of camera out of nowhere just to shout out his firm belief and to provoke anyone. He was asked. So happened that his opinion is not widely accepted by everyone. Because many have chosen self-rule. “In the last times there will be people who laugh at God and do only what they want to do—things that are against God.” [Jude 1:18] People will fight for what they hold as their rights. And as we all uphold convictions and advocacy, it is inevitable that we will offend others. It is given. But, which right must we uphold, ours or God's?  

You hate those prophets, who go to public places and speak against evil,  
even though they teach good, simple truths.  [Amos 5:10]

The time will come when people will not listen to the true teaching. 
But people will find more and more teachers who please them. 
They will find teachers who say what they want to hear. [2 Timothy 4:3]

But, Manny is not one who says what people want to hear just to please them and win their votes. Of course, he knows he will lose a large number of voters for sticking to his stance. But, just like Jesus, he chose to please God by advocating the Truth than fearing the judgment of men. Now, is Manny without sin? Is he faultless? Did he never commit sin? We all know he did, and surely, he still commits certain violations against God. No one is righteous. Pointing out sin does not require one to be without sin. But must he stop speaking the Truth only because he isn't perfect?

Christians only act as police officers maintaining/enforcing God's Law. They're not perfect. They also commit certain violations just like policemen, judges, politicians do. But, they still ought to do their duty as God's servants, nevertheless. [Let's All Stand Firmly Together Against the Many Faces of Hate]

People wanted only to do evil. So God left them and let them go their sinful way. And so they became completely immoral and used their bodies in shameful ways with each other. They traded the truth of God for a lie. They bowed down and worshiped the things God made instead of worshiping the God who made those things. He is the one who should be praised forever. Amen.

Because people did those things, God left them and let them do the shameful things they wanted to do. Women stopped having natural sex with men and started having sex with other women. In the same way, men stopped having natural sex with women and began wanting each other all the time. Men did shameful things with other men, and in their bodies they received the punishment for those wrongs. [Romans 1:24-27]

And may we not also forget that Jesus made statements like, "you brood of vipers!"  Vipers are venomous snakes. He called some people snakes. He referred to gentiles as dogs. He calls His people sheep.  Jesus used metaphors and they can all be found in the four Gospels. If we do not want to be compared to animals, then let us behave like humans and not pattern our actions on their behavior and practices.