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No More ‘Opo’

Rev. Richard R. Mickley, CDOS, OSAe, Ph.D., the Abbot of The Order of St. Aelred, says it is time to stop saying ‘opo’, as it is now time to confront moral slavery.

Let me get around to “No more opo.”

I told the community at Sunday worship yesterday (December 9) to watch for my blog, “No more opo.”

Actually I was overwhelmed by the combined service of MCC Philippines, MCC Quezon City, MCC Makati, MCC Marikina, MCC Olongapo, MCC Baguio on December 9. I was surprised at the tremolo in my voice as I thanked them that my heart was leaping with joy for the wonderful beautiful experience of authentic Christian community – as I have always experienced with MCC for 40 years.

Yes, even that is related to “No more opo.” That’s what Rev. Perry said (in his language, probably before he ever heard of Filipino) when he started MCC.

For my readers in Pakistan and other places where Filipino is not the first language, when I talk here about “opo,” I am thinking of a slave (usually with dark skin) humbly looking up to a master (usually masculine and light skinned) and saying, “Yes, master, whatever you say.”

When MCC has authentic Christian community, it lovingly says, “Yes, Lord, Your will be done,” to our Lord and Friend, Jesus. BUT long gone is saying “opo” to ways that are not the Way, the Truth, and Life of Jesus.

Manny Pacquiao, lying bloodied on the floor of the ring, knocked out cold in full view of millions, is also a reminder of “Opo.” He “got religion” and said “opo” to the false teachings and proclaimed gays and lesbians to be candidates for hell.

The Philippine Congress (for years) has been delaying a law for reproductive health (RH) that among other things would make condoms available to the poor (and a lot of other good things for the good of women).

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A much publicized Roman Catholic bishop declared (in his own words with no visible tongue in cheek) that God is sending typhoons and death and destruction to the Philippines because people are supporting the RH Bill so vehemently condemned by that church.

In short, I would say the RH Bill has not been passed (just like the bill called the Anti-discrimination bill criminalizing discrimination against LGBT people) because lawmakers fear the power of the (masculine-dominated) Catholic church and cringe in “opo” posture, fearing for their re-election. (Of course we learn all about this in our daily newspapers.)

On Saturday this same weekend we observed the 18th anniversary of the first Gay and Lesbian Pride March in the Philippines. (The term LGBT was not yet invented then.)

Among the interviews I was given that day, one team asked me, “Rev. Mickley, why did you and Oscar Atadero start the first Pride March in 1994?”

I asked them if they ever heard of Stonewall? They shook their heads negatively. Quickly I told them that the Stonewall Inn was a gay, lesbian, and transvestite bar in New York in 1969 that was being harassed by police; people were being hauled off to jail on false charges just for being there.

On June 26th those baklas, gays, lesbians, and transvestites turned against the police and boldly shouted, “No more harassment!” They rioted for two weeks, and that began the activist gay liberation movement. (I was not in New York, but I became a member of the Gay Liberation Movement in Detroit and worked with a group of ministers to bring MCC to Detroit.)

The very next year in 1970 the Pride Marches began in New York and other cities – which have now long since spread all over the world. MCC, which had been founded by Rev. Troy Perry in 1968, a year before Stonewall, has always been a proud participant in pride marches wherever they are.

Then I continued to answer my interview question about the Philippine Pride March. I said that in 1994 I was pastor of MCC Philippines and Oscar Atadero was a board member, and also a board member of Pro Gay Philippines. We realized it was 25 years since the Stonewall riots and passed time for “No more opo” in the Philippines.

It was time to confront
NO LOVING THE ONE YOU LOVE (without RC approval) — With “NO MORE OPO.”

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SO I told the interviewers that the answer to their question was that it was time in 1994 (today and always) for the LGBT people of the Philippines to join the good people of the world-over and proclaim, “NO MORE OPO.”

I don’t believe God made Manny get knocked out because Manny made God mad by saying God’s beloved LGBT people would go to hell. I think (from Twitter) that Jonas Bagas sees the irony of his losing two fights after he said that, but I don’t think Jonas would blame God for his knock out. For me, he became a loser with his homophobic “OPO religion.”

I don’t believe God killed thousands of Filipinos in the last several typhoons, even though a much quoted RC bishop seems to believe it, because the Congress has been debating in a “NO MORE OPO” posture on the RH Bill.

Among the hard sayings of Jesus, we have to remember, “Love your enemies.”

I thank God that now there are dozens of LGBT organizations and LGBT-friendly organization joining MCC Philippines (the first openly gay and lesbian oriented organization in the Philippines) in the “NO MORE OPO” fight.

We see it as a fight for the Way, the Truth, and the justice preached, practiced and championed by Jesus Himself and by MCC all these years, and by the Catholic Diocese of One Spirit – who boldly and joyfully proclaim, preach, and practice, with no more OPO!, no more moral slavery, authentic Christian community.

Written By

Rev. Richard R. Mickley, CDOS, OSAe, Ph.D. is a Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of One Spirit, Philippines; and the Abbot of The Order of St. Aelred and St. Aelred Friendship Society. His snail mail is: 33-A Sta. Maria Street, Barrio Kapitolyo, 1603 Pasig City, Metro Manila. He may be reached at: (+63) 9209034909; or email:


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