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Manny Pacquiao and Rick Santorum – Political and Spritual Brothers


by Charles Jay

On Jim Lampley’s new HBO boxing show, called “The Fight Game,” Bob Arum of Top Rank, the promoter of Manny Pacquiao, was interviewed.


Photo: Chris Farina/ Top Rank

Obviously, the subject of discussion got around to Pacquiao’s upcoming fight against Timothy Bradley, and Arum began to expand upon Pacquiao’s grater devotion to religion since his last ruing appearance against Juan Manuel Marquez.

“Sometimes I get the impression that I’m promoting Rick Santorum and not Manny Pacquiao,” he said.

I am sure that statement was met with some guffaws. After all, who would ever play word association between those two? In fact, it seemed to be to have come from left field.

But when you think about it, maybe there are some similarities. Both of them are politicians, and both aspire to be president. Santorum’s quest may have come to end, at least for this election cycle, while Pacquiao’s intentions of running for the highest office in the Philippines in the future is rather well-known. Both of them integrate religion into their professional and political life, and whether they both use it as a device more than anything else is a discussion with merit, though one we’ll have another time.

Both Santorum and Pacquiao oppose abortion, although Pacquiao is actually, if you can believe it, even more rabid about the subject. In fact, one could say that, to borrow a well-worn phrase, that he is somewhat to the right of Attila the Hun in this regard.

I wonder how many people are aware of this fact about Pacquiao. Last year there was a lot of talk about the Reproductive Health bill that was going around Congress, with certain provisions that dealt with compassion toward women who had abortions.

The Philippine Constitution does not allow for abortion. In fact, women can go to jail for it. One burning issue has always been whether abortion can be performed for purposes of saving a mother’s life. Still, there are hundreds of thousands of illegal abortions performed in the country.

Pacquiao is in lockstep with President Benigno Aquino III when it comes to opposing the Reproductive Health (RH) bill, but while Aquino takes a favorable view toward birth control, Pacquiao most certainly does not. In fact, his quote in the Philippine Daily Inquirer regarding this was rather chilling: “God said, ‘Go forth and multiply.’ He did not say, ‘Go and have just one or two children.”

Pacquiao is vehemently opposed to condom usage, and does not want the government to do anything in the way of issuing condoms to those who might not be able to afford them. In his words, they are “sinful.” However, he had admitted at one point that his wife did consume birth control pills.

But maybe the rules don’t apply to him.

Last year, when discussing the RH Bill, Pacquiao said “I cannot be in favor of the RH bill because I am a prayerful person. I have the fear of God in me. My boss is the Lord. I do not want to disobey the commandment of the Lord.”

Let’s take a time out and review for a second. Around March 19, Pacquiao explained that he had been visited by God in a dream and the Almighty commanded him to quit boxing “soon.” yet he’s fighting Timothy Bradley on June 9 and has plans to fight after that. Is he disobeying the commandment of the Lord, or just creating a little wiggle room for himself?

Maybe. I’m sure Santorum’s done the same here and there.

Hey, whatever works…..

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