Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao is guilty — of being true to his Catholic faith. The gay-marriage mob is guilty — of the very ugly bigotry it claims to abhor. And left-wing media outlets are guilty — of stoking false narratives that shamelessly demonize religion in the name of compassion.
The attempted crucifixion of Pacquiao this week was fueled by an online army of cultural shakedown artists, generously funded by billionaire George Soros and other so-called progressive philanthropists.
On Tuesday, a freelance writer for the Examiner.com published an interview with Pacquiao conducted at his Los Angeles residence. Journalist Granville Ampong asked the pugilist his views on gay marriage in light of President Obama's flip-flop-flip on the issue. "God's words first," Pacquiao said. "Obey God's law first before considering the laws of man."
After suggesting that Obama should consult the Bible as his "manual for life," Pacquiao added in earnest: "It should not be of the same sex so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah of Old."
The interview then included a scriptural reference to Leviticus 20:13, which states: "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."
Publications including USA Today, LA Weekly and Village Voice all ran outraged pieces on Pacquiao's "homophobic" calls for violence. But it was the interviewer, not Pacquiao, who made the citation. Ampong demanded apologies on behalf of Pacquiao. Feckless professional journalists blamed Ampong for their own biased reading and then grudgingly "clarified" the truth in buried updates.
"I didn't say that, that's a lie," Pacquiao told anyone who would listen. "I didn't know that quote from Leviticus because I haven't read the Book of Leviticus yet." Too late. The politically correct bloodhounds were in full hunting mode.
The Courage Campaign, a community-organizing outfit that claims to have 750,000 members and is funded by the radical Tides Foundation, immediately called on Pacquiao-sponsor Nike to drop him over his "hate speech against gays." The group took to Twitter to demand that the athletic shoe company "Drop Manny," the "homophobic boxer." The call was amplified by Think Progress, an online character assassination squad backed by George Soros.
L.A. bigwig developer Rick Caruso, who has mayoral aspirations, squeezed himself into the Catholic-bashing clown car. He announced on Twitter that Pacquiao would be banned from his trendy shopping complex, The Grove. The mall, Caruso wrote, "is a gathering place for all Angelenos, not a place for intolerance."
Except for intolerance of completely mainstream views on gay marriage held by millions of practicing people of faith.
While L.A. media outlets reported that The Grove has retracted its ban, Caruso had failed as of late Thursday evening to apologize on Twitter or acknowledge the false smears against Pacquiao that prompted the Soros goon squad's boycott demands. Caruso also refused to answer questions about his own rancid double standards:
Did he ban President Obama from his retail developments for publicly opposing gay marriage before he supported it?
Would Caruso be banning devout anti-gay Muslims from The Grove?
What kind of similarly selective tolerance litmus tests would Caruso support if elected to public office?
And how does Caruso square his vehement condemnation of Catholic Pacquiao with his funding of the University of Southern California Caruso Catholic Center? As Breitbart.com editor Ben Shapiro noted, the center's director, Father Lawrence Seyer, opposes gay marriage and voted for California's Proposition 8 upholding the traditional definition of marriage.
The Courage Campaign was also mum on its hit job late Thursday and was instead touting its "online organizing" to "change (Pacquiao's native) Philippines and USA."
This bigoted anti-bigot brigade mimics a wave of similar campaigns against both social and fiscal heretics who refuse to conform to "progressive" values. Targets include Rush Limbaugh, the American Legislative Exchange Council, Mitt Romney donors, Wisconsin's union-reforming governor, lieutenant governor and GOP state legislators, Catholic health care providers, and now black church leaders and boxers who dare to state their religious views publicly.
Let this be a teachable moment on pernicious "community organizing" and brazen liberal hypocrisy. There is nothing more intolerant and chilling than the self-appointed, self-unaware tolerance police.
Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.