May 17, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - What Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao has managed to accomplish inside the boxing ring is unprecedented.  Outside the squared-circle, the Filipino is just as impressive.  Maybe even more so, when one considers the formidable foe with which he went toe-to-toe just this week.  But this opponent’s reach, height, weight is of something altogether different than the ordinary pugilist who would climb under the ropes, swinging away with taped up, 10 ounce gloves, ready to inflict some serious pain. 

Ring Announcer - “And in this corner… wearing green… weighing in at a number that even pollsters and proponents can’t agree upon… the challenger!... fresh off a 32nd straight loss courtesy of “We The People”... recently smoked on Tobacco Road…. down, but not out… Gaaaaaaaaay Marriage Activism!”

In this most recent battle of a burgeoning culture war between those who believe marriage to be something of a special bond between one man and one women, and those who don’t, even a world class boxer of Pacquiao’s stature knows that this engagement with the other side isn’t as simple as punching oneself from out of a corner.  This debate involves tact.  It involves patience.  It involves… love, especially of one who might self-identify as ‘the enemy’.

And it makes sense that Pacquiao would understand this ‘game plan’.  He is, after all, a worldly kind of guy.  Maybe not ‘of’ the world, but most certainly in it.  Manny Pacquiao is a serious player.  He’s the only man who has ever won world boxing titles in 8 different weight divisions.  He’s also an actor.  A musician.  A philanthropist.  And in May of 2010, the then 31-year old was elected to the House of Representatives in the 15th Congress of the Philippines.  A rather large ‘shout out’ to the good folk of Sarangani province. 

In a world that has claimed the intellectual capacity of too many of its practitioners, Pacquiao is no dumb jock.  The synaptic transmission of his brain is so sharp, it is not only customary but habitual that the devout Roman Catholic makes the sign of the cross each and every time he steps into the ring.  But that’s only what the boxing fan sees on the television and ringside.  Behind the scenes, the married father of four lives, breathes, eats and sleeps his faith.

Which brings us to his most recent battle.

Late last week, Pacquiao gave an exclusive interview to the National Conservative Examiner.  It came on the heels of US president Barack Obama’s declaration of support for so-called same-sex “marriage”.  When prompted on the subject matter, Pacquiao told interviewer Granville Ampong “God’s words first… obey God’s law first before considering the laws of man.”  One would have to assume that since the President himself broached the subject of Jesus Christ’s teaching in his bomb-shell admission, Pacquaio himself would have been justified in gleaning from Scripture as well, to support his case against Obama’s pronouncement.

Then, the situation went off the rails.  And much of it - perhaps all of it, as it is in many cases - had to do with a misrepresentation of the facts. 

As it turns out, the reporter implemented a tract from the Old Testament.  It was not Pacquiao who quoted from Leviticus 20:13.  It was Ampong who aired it out, in an apparent attempt to underline his beliefs when it comes to homosexual sex. 

Again.  Pacquiao never said “If a man lies with a man… they must be put to death”, to quote Scripture.  But of course, the gay activists at the ready saw their “in”.  And they hopped into the ring, swinging away at a man who hadn’t even removed his Armani suit yet.

The article was released, and a deluge of intolerance came raining down on a reigning champion.  Pacquiao’s plan earlier this week was to partake in a sit down interview with television host Mario Lopez of “Extra” at a popular outdoor mall in Los Angeles.  But the management at said popular mall would have nothing to do with a man who recognizes the age-old institution of marriage. 

The Grove issued the following statement - “Based on news reports of statements made by Mr. Pacquiao, we have made it be known that he is not welcome at the Grove and will not be interviewed here now or in the future. The Grove is a gathering place for all Angelenos and not a place for intolerance.”

It wasn’t enough for Pacquiao that he and Lopez would conduct the interview at one of the boxing champ’s homes nearby.  Pacquiao, ever the boxer, threw up his arms in defense.  And he packed a punch that was sure to disarm even the most vitriolic of gay activists - Pacquiao said he loves those who oppose him.

Shortly after his being expelled from The Grove, Pacquiao issued the following statement. “I am against gay marriage, but I’m not condemning gays.  I have family - a cousin - who’s gay, and friends too. I’m just against gay marriage… To the gay community, I apologize.  My favorite verse is ‘Love one another as you love yourself. Love your neighbor.’ So I love everybody!”

It’s one thing to say you are Christian.  It is quite another to actually pick up your cross and follow Him; even when it comes to having to tell people things they don’t want to hear.  Things like, marriage is the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

On June 9th, Pacquiao will step into the ring at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to defend his WBO Welterweight title.  While Timothy Bradley’s got nothing on the forces attempting to destroy marriage, it is clear that Manny Pacquiao is up for the fight.  On both fronts.  And the world is watching.

Damian Goddard was fired from his job as a popular Canadian sportscaster on Rogers Sportsnet in May of last year for one tweet that he sent supporting an NHL hockey agent who had opposed same-sex “marriage”.  Damian is currently a spokesperson for the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance.