GMA and ESPN are now promoting hate speech against Catholics under the guise of accusing Filipine boxer Pacquiao of homophobia.

From “An Open Letter to Manny Pacquiao From a Gay Filipina American,”

…your parents give you Catholicism as a kind of heavy gift. A centuries-old guide for every life transition a human can go through. Birth, death, the burden of any wrongdoing, and, yes, marriage. But as I grew older and realized the dreaded word applied to me — lesbian — I realized the Church was what I’d have to feint and duck; the Church’s cruel, untrue dictates about me….

Oy veh: Must be Catholic bashing week. I wonder why.

Item one: Let’s start at the basis of the tirade: The false issue that Pacquio is homophobic.

No, actually he was misquoted. Like most Pinoys, he has gay friends and relatives. The dirty little secret is that being gay is not an issue in the Philippines, where being gay is seen as “the way one is born”, not a big thing.

Item two: Catholics are the reason that gay marriage is not legal in the Philippines.

No: blame Confucius. Same sex unions are frowned upon and illegal in Buddhist Korea, Muslim Indonesia, and Atheist China also.

Short sociology lesson here: Marriage in East Asia is based on Confucian customs and strong extended family ties.  Confucius promoted a strong family as a basis for society, not the individual, and there is still a strong idea of duty toward family members. Marriage is about growing up  and having children, and links one to the past and the future generations. This eternal view of marriage as being much more than an affectionate bond between two people results in demands on a person unknown in the free western cultures. Asians help each other, because an adult sees duty and responsibility for his family as more important than personal feelings or emotions or selfish desires.

So why bash the Catholics?

Because the Catholic church is opposing Obama’s policies population policies, both here and in the USA. And it’s election year.

Item three: Despite the headline, the writer is not a “Filipina” but a “Fil Am”, or maybe, as she calls herself in this GMA NEWS article, an an “Italiapina”.

Dear ESPN: Correct your headlines, please.

The “me me me” attitude of the essay suggests an upbringing in the culture of California, where her family moved to in the 1970’s., (Since she is 28 years old, this means she spent her formative years in the US.)

She can’t even speak the local language:

Laurel Fantauzzo currently lives in Quezon City, Philippines. She feels equally at home in Brooklyn, NY and Iowa City,IA. Her Tagalog is slowly improving. LINK

Italics mine.

Even her recent sojourn in the Philippines was not to live in the provinces with her family, but because she was given a Fulbright grant link to “investigate” our fast food outlets and write a book about them.

Presumably the book will be about the culinary excellence of Jolibee compared to McDonalds?

Item four: What is a food writer doing writing at the ESPN website?

This appeared with the almost instantaneous anti-Pacquiao campaign. The excuse for the kerfuffle turned out to be a misquote of Pacquiao after a blogger asked him a question about gay marriage, an American issue.

The speed of the anti Pacquiao campaign as a whole was puzzling, if for no other reason that such an organized outcry usually takes time to plan. The conservative FilAm political writer Malkin hints that it was already a set up by the left, waiting in the wings to be launched in order to smear those opposing gay marriage and to promote the Obama reelection campaign. Malkin even names names.

Conspiracy? Networking among activists? Don’t ask me.

Item Five:  why should anyone in the American sports world care about Pacquiao’s personal opinion on an American election issue?

I mean, no one in the US expects boxers to have a brain in their head. I haven’t read that  Mayweather was asked if Congress should reauthorize the federal Violence Against Women Act, or if Juan Manuel Marquez being quizzed about Arizona’s anti immigration laws.

Here is where I really do wonder about a conspiracy, because only those following Philippine politics might know or care that Pacquao has recently “found Jesus”, giving up women, his share in a casino, and cockfighting.

Short Cultural note: if he’s given up cockfighting, his conversion must really be serious, because cockfighting here in the provinces is more important than sex and money.

I can only think of two answers for the well organized attacks on Pacquiao, one American and one local.

The American reason was stated above: To support the Obama campaign by Catholic bashing, and the (mis)quote by Pacquiao set off the strategy.

But in the Philippines, the reason is more ominous: Newsbusters notes that the writer of this anti Catholic tirade is not  only a lesbian, but an activist to push the RH Bill here in the Philippines

Can you say “cultural imperialism“, children?

So it’s not really about gay marriage at all. It’s about the population politics here.

You see, Pacquiao is not just a boxer, but a Senator, and he backing the Catholic bishops in the fight against President Aquino, and against the US/UN/EU money pushing the so called “Reproductive Health” bill in the Philippines.

The Reproductive Health bill, called the RH bill for short, is not about women’s access to contraception, which is available here already available here in the Philippines, it’s about population control.

I have argued many times that the religious opposition to the RH bill (not just among Catholics but among Muslims) could easily be defused if private organizations funded “pill ladies” in small villages and poor city barangays. I have seen these policies work in Africa, and this policy is one reason for the high use of family planning in the very conservative Muslim country of Bangladesh.

But no, the RH bill makes it mandatory for public clinics to coerce women into using contraception, by having an authority figure “advise’ her to do so at a government clinic.

Never mind that it would have the additional side effect of discouraging pious Catholic and Muslim nurses from working in areas where they are most needed.

Nor is the RH bill about women’s health; if it were, they’d push money to provide midwifes to the 30 percent of women here who give birth without a trained birth attendant, and do some supervision of government paid village midwives who aren’t used by the poor because they request a big gift to do their job.

No, the RH bill is is about population control: every time I hear it discussed on the English language TV stations they talk about the need to limit the population to get the Philippines out of poverty (hint: it’s not the population, it’s the corruption that keeps us poor, but never mind). I’ve even heard politicians discuss their admiration for China’s two child family, where forced abortion awaits any woman who dares to have a third child.

The fight for population control is being funded by outside money, something that everyone here knows but now has been verified by Wikileaks.…. And once that bill is passed, we will pass abortion, divorce, and gay marriage laws to please our American masters.

So this article, by an American activist, can be seen as a not-so-subtle warning to Senator Pacquiao to toe the line.

Because there is another dirty little secret about Philippine politics: That it would be very easy for Senator Pacquiao, aka “PacMan” to follow the lead of the movie actor “ERAP” (Joseph Estrada) by using his fame to become president of the Philippines some day.

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Addendum: let me clarify the writer who wrote this about the Black Nazarene:

I’ve stood in front of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo Church that you pray to after each fight, Kuya Manny. I’ve felt the power and the grace of it. I get it….

Actually you don’t understand this either.

Catholics don’t “pray to” an image, but to the person represented by the image: That of Jesus who suffered.

Life is hard, and there is a lot of suffering to be endured, from the loss of family members who have to work in Saudi, to the death of children from Dengue, to the typhoons that ruin the crops and result in hunger before the next harvest comes.

So we see the Suffering Christ as understanding how we suffer because he too has suffered, and we know at the end of time he will “wipe our tears away”.

You are feeling sorry for yourself and angrily fighting a “strawman” enemy that your PC American training has taught you is evil, because you don’t understand that religion is not about making you happy, wealthy, and self satisfied, but about making you holy.

in the words of the poet:

He who learns must suffer
And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
And in our own despite, against our will,
Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.

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Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the Philippines. She is not a Fil Am, but married to a Balikbayan.

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