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Nike has terminated its relationship with Manny Pacquiao, the champion boxer who is campaigning for the Senate in the Philippines, one day after he publicly apologized for calling people in gay relationships “worse than animals” during an interview with a local broadcaster.“We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent,” Nike said in a statement. “Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community.“We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao.”
Pacquiao, 37, a born-again Christian and second-term congressman in the Philippines, had a lucrative sponsorship deal with Nike for many years, but by Wednesday night the company had removed all of his branded merchandise from its online store.
Outrage over Pacquiao’s remarks began to spread on Monday, when a video of him criticizing gay people during an interview with TV5, a Philippine network, was shared widely online.“It’s common sense. Do you see animals mating with the same sex?” he said in the interview. “Animals are better because they can distinguish male from female. If men mate with men and women mate with women, they are worse than animals.”
Pacquiao’s comments drew swift condemnation from gay rights groups, celebrities and fellow politicians in the Philippines, where Senate elections are scheduled for May. On Tuesday, he responded to the wave of criticism with a videotaped apology he posted to social media.
“I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals,” he said, wearing a T-shirt with a prominent Nike logo on the chest. “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 L.G.B.T. I love you all with the love of the Lord. God bless you all, and I’m praying for you.”
That apology appears to have been insufficient for Nike, the world’s largest sports apparel brand and a supporter of several L.G.B.T. groups.
The retailer found itself in an awkward position once before over Pacquiao’s disapproval of homosexuality. In 2012, an article about his opposition to same-sex marriage included a biblical verse that suggests gay men should be put to death. The language was inserted by the author, not Pacquiao, but anger over the article led to an online petition calling on Nike to drop the boxer.
Pacquiao, who has won championships in eight weight classes, is revered in the Philippines for both his athletic success and his personal story, rising from poverty to international stardom and political office.
He has consistently performed well in the polls in his race for one of the country’s 24 Senate seats, which some observers predict he would one day use as a springboard to a presidential bid.
This week, though, political rivals seized on his comments about gay people and crafted them into attacks.
“That statement was below the belt,” Neri Colmenares, a Congressman from the left-wing Bayan Muna party told The Manila Times. He said Pacquiao “should stop adding to the discrimination problem.”
It remained to be seen what effect the remarks would have in the politics of the Philippines, a deeply Catholic country.
Speaking to The Associated Press, the fight promoter Bob Arum, who works with Pacquiao, said the comments were a campaign tactic meant to fire up his conservative supporters and win votes.
“What he said is completely for home consumption for Filipinos wrestling with the question of legalizing same sex marriage,” Arum said.
Boxing has remained an important source of income and prestige for Pacquiao as his political career has advanced, although he recently said that he would retire from the sport this year.
He lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr., last May in a bout that shattered Pay-Per-View records and brought Pacquiao a paycheck estimated to be worth more than $100 million. He is currently training for an April 9 fight with Timothy Bradley that he says will be his last.
by Admin / 3,801 Views
Fear is a natural human emotion. Everyone experiences it. Christians are not immune to worry and fretting. Even Jesus, in His humanity, experienced anxiety in the Garden of Gethsemane. The problem arises when you allow your fears and anxieties to prevent you from living your life to the fullest.
Use these five teachings from Jesus to help overcome your fears and not allow them to control your thoughts, relationships, decisions and behavior:
by Admin / 3,595 Views
Manny Pacquiao says he believes people in gay relationships are "worse than animals
The boxing superstar -- who says he may run for President of the Philippines after he retires -- was asked about his stance on gay marriage during an interview with local TV news. Pacman strongly condemned gay marriage -- saying, "It's common sense. Will you see any animals where male is to male and female is to female?"
Manny went on say ... "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."
The backlash to Manny's comments was swift -- and he quickly posted a video apologizing for his comments ... though not backing down on his anti-gay marriage stance.
"I'm sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals ... please forgive me for those I've hurt.
by Admin / 3,363 Views
1. Create Lasting Traditions
Whether it’s a weekly/monthy date night, holiday memory-makers or even the daily kiss and hug before you go off to work. Traditions like this will go really far in holding marriages together.
2. Have Special Times Of Prayer Together
It may sound cliche but it’s true- A couple that prays together stays together! It’s difficult to allow division and discord to creep into your marriage when your praying together. This is a great time to share feelings and even to confess struggles to each other.
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In Ethiopia, converting to Christ involves significant personal cost. When a number of Muslims from Shashemene, Ethiopia came to Christ, their family members chased them out of town and levied false charges against some of them. Left with limited social network and financial opportunities, these brothers and sisters struggle to make enough money to survive. Their pastor is a bee expert, so has ingeniously constructed a bee house for honey production, which the community can sell to sustain. ICC helped this persecuted community by purchasing 20 new bee boxes and equipment so the venture can increase production. Please pray that God will bless believers in Shashemene and bless their beekeeping business
by Admin / 3,005 Views
Islamic State militants have brutally murdered 12 Christians, including the 12-year-old son of a Syrian ministry team leader who had planted nine churches, for refusing to renounce Jesus Christ and embrace Islam instead, the Gospel Herald reported.
The horrific executions took place last Aug. 28 in an unnamed village outside Aleppo, Syria, according to Christian Aid Mission, a humanitarian group that assists indigenous Christian workers in their native countries.
"In front of the team leader and relatives in the crowd, the Islamic extremists cut off the fingertips of the boy and severely beat him, telling his father they would stop the torture only if he, the father, returned to Islam," Christian Aid said, according to Gospel Herald.
by Admin / 2,949 Views
In a determined bid to break the record set by Jesus Christ of Nazareth, a 44-year-old popular South African pastor, Alfred Ndlovu, has died of malnutrition following a dry fasting that lasted for 30 days.
According to Buzz South Africa, the cleric left home on June 17 for a nearby bush to have prayers just like Jesus did in an attempt to equal or break Jesus Christ’s record of fasting for 40 days, but died just a month despite having no history of illness.
It was learnt that the pastor was alone in the wilderness and his body was found by a stranger who then called on his family, congragation and the police.
He was known by his family and community at large as a very spiritual person whose faith could move mountains and his death surprised everyone, even church members.
A close relative said: “He was a very spiritual man. Its unfortunate he had to die this way. After a month we got the sad news of his death. Pastor was a healthy and religious old man who did not even look his age.”
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A former Miss USA beauty pageant winner, who's believed to be the first Muslim to win the title, has now converted to Christianity.
Rima Fakih was crowned the winner in 2010 and according to a Middle Eastern news site, Albawaba, the Lebanese-American model gave her life to Christ last month ahead of her wedding.
Fakih, born a Shiite Muslim, is set to marry Catholic music producer Wassim Salibi on May 15th.
In late March, Fakih tweeted a picture of herself from the 2010 pageant that included a scripture from Philippians.
"Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me," Fakih wrote.
Fakih later tweeted a picture of an inspirational message about God.
"Only God can turn a mess into a message, a test into a testimony, a trial into a triumph, a victim into a victory," the message read.
In a 2010 interview with the Huffington Post, she said that although her family identifies as Muslims, religion doesn't define them.
"We're more of a spiritual family. Religion really doesn't define me or my family," Fakih explained. "My family's been very liberal, and we appreciate all different kinds of religions."
Fakih added that her and her family often celebrates Christian and Islamic holidays. She mentioned during the interview that some members of her family are openly Christian.
"I consider myself to be blessed. I have a family that is a mix of different religions and different ethnicities. My brother-in-law is Christian, and he (and my sister) baptized their two sons. I have an uncle who converted to Christianity, and he's a priest now," she said. "My family is Muslim. But none of this ever came up in our family. We don't look at religion as something that defines us, we look at religion as something that we respect, and something that teaches us about ethics."
She concluded the interview by saying that as Miss USA, she believed she could be a "Muslim ambassador" for the country.
"I feel like I can be a great representative. America is the land of opportunity, and people can live in America and be who they want to be," Fakih stated. "Don't deny your faith. Don't deny your ethnicity."