This week we were treated to another inspiring example of the Liberal Tolerance Mob in action.
Case Study #903,875,310,001: Boxer Manny Pacquiao. The prominent athlete got himself in trouble for the crime referred to in legal circles as DHWC: Discussing Homosexuality While Christian. As we all know, and he must have known himself, DHWC is an intolerable sin in modern society. It is, in fact, one of the only sins we still recognize. The others are pollution, prayer, voting Republican, and hurting a feminist's feelings. There are a few more -- really it could all be summed up as "anything progressives don't like" -- but chief among these, the cardinal sin of cardinal sins, is the public expression of a reasoned, moral stance on homosexuality.
Biblical beliefs about homosexuality are prohibited with such ruthless intensity that most Christians have simply stopped uttering them, and, in order to really get along with the world, even stopped believing them. It should be made clear that these Christians didn't have a sudden change of heart; they're simply craven cowards too sickeningly passive to stand firm against the tide of public opinion.
One of the great misconceptions in recent times is that people in our country, Christians included, grew to accept or understand the alleged "beauty" of homosexual relationships, as if the progressive hedonists converted the masses with their sound logic and profound wisdom. That's not how this worked at all. There was no enlightening or awakening, but a deadening. Public opinion didn't shift drastically in favor of "same-sex marriage" because the public was convinced, but because the public lost the will to care. Christians in the West forfeited their souls, but not before forfeiting their spines. Remember, the spine always goes before the soul.
To drive the point home, I've noticed that when I write pieces articulating the case against gay marriage or gay adoption or whatever related atrocity, the next morning my inbox will be flooded with readers hushedly telling me they agree with and appreciate what I said, but didn't share the article or leave any comment underneath it because they didn't want to cause an uproar among their friends. "Atta boy," they whisper anonymously.
WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines and WBO junior welterweight champion Chris Algieri of the U.S., left, exchange punches during their world welterweight title boxing match at the Venetian Macao in Macau, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. Credit AP Photo/Kin Cheung
Against this backdrop, Christians who remain publicly Christian are in for a fight, especially when it comes to this issue. There are many willing to be "Christian" in a vague sense, when it means championing "friendliness" or "kindness" or some other platitude. There are however much, much fewer willing to be Christian when it means speaking of difficult things like sexual morality. Those who speak can count on the predictable assault from the progressive hordes, and virtually no defense from their cohorts in Christ. These days, Christians -- that is, the ones who haven't joined the horde outright -- are more likely to scold the truth speaker for his or her "angry tone" or "incivility," and then sulk back into shadows, hoping they've impressed the cool kids.
This is what Manny Pacquiao discovered when, in a recent interview, he said "gay people are worse than animals." Now, it's probably helpful to pause here and note that, actually, he didn't say that. That's the mostly fabricated quote that made the rounds in the media and on the internet, but it bears little resemblance to what he really said [emphasis added]:
“It’s common sense. Will you see any animals where male is to male and female is to female? The animals are better. They know how to distinguish male from female. If we approve [of] male-on-male, female-on-female, then man is worse than animals.”
If we approve of this behavior, we are acting worse than animals. If he were given the opportunity to extrapolate (and maybe he did but that part wasn't translated and reported, which is likely), I'm sure he'd explain that man is made for holiness. To be holy is our calling, our purpose. We are meant to be saints, not beasts. We're a fallen species because we're a sinful species, but we're not created for sin. So when we embrace sin as good and natural and commendable -- when we collectively hoist it onto a pedestal and make an idol of it -- we're acting in a way that's beneath us. It's subhuman, in the sense that it's diminishing; it's below what God intended for us. All sin lessens us. The homosexual sin is no different. Christians are called to treat sin as sin, but progressives want us to make accommodations for them, as if we have the authority, and as if sodomy were not the primary reason why God destroyed two cities in the Old Testament.
Speaking of which, the Bible calls homosexuality degrading (Romans 1:26), unrighteous (Corinthians 6:9), and abominable (Leviticus 18:22). I'd say Pacquiao's statements are wholly in line with what the Lord declared on the subject, although it seems the Lord was a bit more blunt about it. Sure, God could have said it in a softer way, but I'll leave it to you to reprimand Him for his lack of diplomacy.
Pacquiao, taking his cue from Scripture, stated the truth boldly. He stated the truth truthfully. He stated the truth, and it's good he stated the truth, and he's right in stating the truth, and he's still right even if every single mortal creature in the universe, on this planet and on thousands of inhabited alien planets, says he's wrong. If it were one vs 900,000,000,000,000,000,000, he'd still be right and they'd all be just as wrong in a group of 900 gazillion as they are individually.
Meanwhile, the vast, staggering majority of Christians "on his side" who would lecture him about "better ways to say it" have themselves decided that the best way to say it is to not say it at all. They're full of great ideas about how to communicate hard truths, but they've never employed any of these ideas themselves. These fascinating suggestions from the do-nothing peanut gallery don't matter, and the suggestions from liberals -- such as "hey, go take your Biblical beliefs and drown yourself in a septic tank, you bigot" (paraphrasing an email I received last week) -- matter even less.
So that's it. He said it. He's right. A lot of people are wrong. A lot of people hate truth and will attempt to ruin his life for it, and that's just the way these things go. Right on cue, the gay speech police did their number, targeting his sponsors and demanding they terminate his contracts, etc. He was bitterly attacked by the media and gay advocacy groups and internet trolls, etc. It's not the most devastating punishment, but it is incredible that Pacquiao also apparently lost almost all of his 2 million Twitter followers in a day. His entire social media fan base gone in the blink of an eye because he articulated a simple truth.
And then ... he apologized. Of course.
He apologized in multiple forms through several platforms, recording video snippets and issuing a groveling statement:
"I'm sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I've hurt. I still stand on my belief that I'm against same sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I'm not condemning LGBT. I love you all with the love of the Lord. God Bless you all and I'm praying for you."
He didn't just apologize for what he said, but for what liberals pretended he said. He apologized for "hurting people" even though he didn't hurt anyone. The truth may sting a bit, but ultimately it's healing and freeing. A person may feel uncomfortable hearing it, but it's their sin, not the truth, causing them pain. Frankly, I don't buy that any homosexual logged into Twitter, read about the opinion of a Filipino boxer, and broke down in tears anyway. But if that did happen, it still doesn't warrant an apology.
So what was accomplished by apologizing? What's ever accomplished by Christians apologizing for being honest? Precisely nothing. If an apology could quell the outrage, it would still be the wrong move, but it can't even do that. Once you've outed yourself as a Bible-believing Christian, the unrighteous indignation of progressive society will not be assuaged by anything less than a full repudiation of your religious convictions. Nothing else will suffice, which is why USA Today called his concession "weak" and said he should still face "consequences."
Huffington Post said it was "flimsy" and insisted he's "gonna have to do better than that." They don't specify what that would be, but I assume they expect Manny to burn his Bible in a charcoal grill while chanting worship hymns to a statue of Ellen DeGeneres.
Deadspin was more direct, explaining that, despite his mea culpa, he's a "sh*tbag," he "still sucks," and his Christian faith is a personal "failing." Apparently the liberal interpretation of forgiveness is about as convincing as their version of tolerance.
So I ask again: what do these apologies achieve? Sure, the enforcers of Progressive Doctrine get their pound of flesh, but there won't be any friendly handshakes to show for it. Bygones won't be bygones. No mutual understanding will be reached. The neutered apologizer, like always, will be sent on his way and warned to never run afoul of his liberal overlords again.
Can he at least have his lost income, reputation and the respect of his friends, colleagues, peers, and general society back? Oh no. Those will be displayed as trophies on the mantle or hung from a bridge on the outskirts of town to warn others against committing similar acts of social treason. What was taken will not be returned. What was damaged will not be repaired. The apology was just one final act of debasement and compromise, giving liberals a reason to smile smugly and pat themselves on the back.
I don't mean to pick on Pacqiuao here. I don't know much about him, but he seems to be a very fine role model. He's been married to one woman for 15 years, they have five kids together, he donated half of the money from the biggest fight of his life to charity, and he's a public servant back in his home country (which is why this whole business about gays came up). He's a good man, probably a better man than me (that's not saying much), and at least he spoke up in the first place, which is more than I can say for many of his fellow believers.
Credit: AFP/Getty Images
Still, his situation is instructive. It's just the latest example, there will be another tomorrow I'm sure, but while we're here let's try to learn the lesson: don't apologize for speaking truth. Never, ever, ever apologize. Aside from the futility and uselessness of it, the bigger issue is that an apology in this kind of circumstance is not appropriate. It's not warranted. It's harmful. We owe nobody an apology for communicating our true, correct, and important beliefs.
Even if they intentionally take it the wrong way, or even if you were more direct in your approach than most people would be, you still must not apologize. I don't care if your language was bold or colorful or politically incorrect. I don't care if you used metaphors that were a bit shocking to the delicate sensibilities of whiny Twitter users. If what you said was true, do not apologize for it.
Now, if you say what is not true -- if, as a Christian, you come out and endorse same sex "marriage," for instance -- then by all means apologize. Apologize first to God, begging that He forgive you for rejecting the eternal truth of His Word, and then apologize to your brothers and sisters in Christ for assuming the role of Judas, and then apologize to the unbelievers that you scandalized and led astray with your ugly lies and poisonous heresies. Yes, apologize in that case.
And apologize if you have, until this point, stood by and let your Christian brethren struggle alone. Apologize if you have remained mute, terrified that you might suffer the fate of those who've spoken. Apologize if you didn't want to endure hostility (Hebrews 12:3) or be insulted for the name of Christ (1 Peter 4:12) so you hid and waited for the storm to pass. Apologize if your first reaction when you hear a Christian speak boldly, as Pacqiuao did, is to publicly scold him for not being polite about it, rather than publicly praising the Lord that someone had the courage to utter truth in His Name. Apologize for being a word-parsing school marm against your own people instead of a warrior against Satan and his legions. Apologize for that, for your feebleness, for your silence, for your squeamishness, for your weak stomach and your silly pandering.
But never, ever, ever apologize for truth.
When you apologize for truth, you effectively lie. Even if you say "I'm sorry I said it, but I still believe it," you're making it seem as though the truth is too shameful to be said out loud. You're reinforcing the notion that it's the responsibility of the truth speaker to avoid offending, rather than the responsibility of the listener to avoid being offended. You put the onus back on the speakers of truth to properly couch their message, rather than putting the onus on society to properly receive it. You tell the world that it shouldn't be forced to face the ugliness of its own sin; that it's our job to pretty the sin up so that the sinner is not scared when we discuss it. These are all lies, even if they aren't intended to be.
Just as bad, when as a Christian you apologize for truth, you discourage other Christians who may have been otherwise emboldened to finally stand up. The persecution you're confronting might be quite delicious to progressives, and it might be quite terrifying to faint-hearted Christians, but rest assured some will be inspired if they see you withstand it. But if you backpedal and apologize, they may learn the wrong lesson from your ordeal. Where they may have otherwise jumped up and shouted "AMEN," now they'll sit back in their seats and surmise that truth isn't worth the hassle after all.
So don't apologize. If what you said was true, don't apologize. To apologize for truth is to apologize for God. It's like saying, "I'm sorry God holds this view. He can be pretty rude sometimes." Not a person on this Earth is owed an apology from Him. We bratty, spoiled sinners ought to be apologizing for sinning, not demanding God apologize for failing to accept our sins as virtues. God will certainly not deliver such an apology, and the last thing we should ever do, as His disciples, is presume to give one on His behalf.
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