Switching Channels

The Miriam Quiambao controversy

Miriam Quiambao (NPPA Images)In 1999, Miriam Quiambao slipped and fell onstage at the Miss Universe beauty pageant but regained her composure and went on to place second in the prestigious contest. Recently, many people believe Miriam slipped again and she's having a hard time extricating herself from the controversial comments she made on Boy Abunda's talk show, "Bottom Line" on ABS-CBN. Boy's guest was Bems Benedito, Ladlad party list representative but it was Miriam's comments that generated a lot of attention.

Miriam should have known that when she expressed strong opinions on sensitive topics like sex and religion, she was opening herself up to controversy. True enough, the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community and its sympathizers threw brickbats at Miriam.

It didn't help when she made the following remarks in her Twitter account: "Homosexuality is not a sin but it is a lie from the devil. Do not be deceived. God loves gays and wants them to know the truth."  Later, she would post, "No offense to the LGBT but the Truth is the Truth that comes from God. Take it or leave it. We will all face the judgment seat of God."  "Mahal ko ang LGBT. That's why I'm sharing with you the truth. If you are not ready for it, please don't shoot me. I am just a messenger."

Before social media became popular, this controversy would have died down quickly but with the new forms of communication like Facebook and Twitter, Miriam will continue to be in the hot seat for quite a while. For instance, director Joey Reyes posted this well received comment on his Facebook account: "Is it not a far greater sin to use the name of God to give license to one's prejudices and to justify one's misconceptions? Is it not a more grievous crime to foist and flaunt one's goodness to prove one's superiority above the rest? More so, is it not the goal of all religions to insist that what is of paramount importance is to practice love not antipathy, understanding not intolerance and goodness over biases among fellow men?"

Maybe this is what the actress wanted in the first place, for her views to get widespread attention. Interestingly enough, no one has come forward to express agreement with her views, as far as I know.

I, personally, do not share her opinion on homosexuality especially when she quotes the Bible to defend her antiquated views on this touchy subject matter. It's hard to argue with someone who quotes God to defend her statements but she certainly has every right to express her beliefs.

I had my own brush with religious fervor in the entertainment industry when a born-again show biz personality tried to convince me to join their group over a sumptuous lunch. At first, the discussion was pretty tame until I was told that there is no salvation outside the born-again movement. So I asked, "Does it mean that Buddhists and Muslims are doomed to eternal damnation?" The answer was in the affirmative. I didn't stay for dessert.

It's ironic that Miriam should feel this way about LGBTs when this community is heavily represented in the entertainment industry where she works.

Recently, Miriam tweeted her apology to the LGBT community, "I'm sorry LGBT. Perhaps I was too harsh with the words I used. Will do my best to be more sensitive." I doubt if that apology will be accepted wholeheartedy.

After sex and religion, politics will be the next hot topic on television when the Corona impeachment trial resumes on May 7. I'm more interested in whether Jessica Sanchez will make it to "American Idol's" top 4.

Editor's note: The blogger's views do not represent Yahoo! Southeast Asia's position on the topic or issue being discussed in this blog.

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