Attract, Not Attack (Part 1)
|Image source: Yahoo! Philippines OMG!|
Disclosure #2: I have gay and lesbian friends. We agreed to disagree. I believe they know my stance regarding the homosexual lifestyle. They know I am a pastor. However, I treat them with loving respect. And I felt the same in return.
|Image source: Remate|
GMA-7 defended the show. “We believe that our program, while tackling sensitive real-life situations, is produced with utmost prudence and in good taste. …[The Kapuso Network] would like to assure the Filipino audience that we will continue to produce relevant and entertaining programs.” (Source: Rappler) The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board gave the series an SPG (strong parental guidance) rating.
I feel that it’s premature for the CBCP to criticize MHL. The series is only more than three weeks old. And we don’t really know how the story would play out in the end. It only skyrocketed its already high ratings and it caused an unwanted backlash against CBCP.
|GMA-7's reaction to the CBCP. From the Facebook page of "My Husband's Lover."|
Image source: Rappler
MHL is a classic “art-imitates-life.” In short, it only portrayed what’s going on in the society. I don’t have statistics as to how rampant it is, though. But, no doubt, there are MHL situations.
Of course, I believe CBCP is only doing its moral duty. CBCP is afraid that it would encourage more people to experiment on such a lifestyle, that life would end up imitating art. It is a “would,” not a “could.” It’s not an “if” but a “when.” It’s not an unfounded fear. In her “Gays, lesbians and soap operas” posted on her “At Large” column, Rina Jimenez-David opined that “pop culture is often a harbinger of culture change. Weeks before the US Supreme Court struck down antigay marriage laws, Time magazine ran an article tracking the speedy and dizzying change in American public opinion regarding gay marriage, mentioning gay-themed TV shows or at least shows with prominent gay characters. … maybe, and this is a faint hope, the TV audience has moved on from its obsession with social acceptability and now dares explore social issues that challenge our previously ironclad verities? These are valid questions that go way beyond TV ratings or the creative process behind TV dramas.” (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer)
|Image source: Starmometer|
The Apostle Paul commanded us, “Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.” (Colossians 4:5-6, NLT) I am not saying that the CBCP was not gracious. (I haven’t heard the radio interview. Garganta might have spoken in a loving tone.) What I am saying is that there is a much better way to express our principles.
Instead of merely condemning the MHL lifestyle, I think we should concentrate on strengthening the Filipino family. When we call people to abandon their lifestyle, what do we offer as an alternative? If they look at our marriages, would they like what they see? Or, would they say, “I think I prefer mine over yours”? Would they see that call as a jump from the frying pan to the fire? Or, would they see it as a better, if not the best, choice over what they are enjoying now? When we practice what we preach, we could preach what we practice. We earn the right to be heard.
Since people now dare to discuss sensitive social issues, (or in David’s words, “challenge our previously ironclad verities”) we should not miss out by default on this opportunity. We are to engage the culture. With the MHL as a springboard, we can launch intellectual but interesting discussions on such issues with the LGBT community. In my experience with my friends from that community, they are willing to listen if we are also willing to do so. Both sides must get rid of stereotypes and engage with mutual respect.
My take? Attract, not attack.
Read Part 2.