Commentary – Rony Tan (II)

Rony Tan is in the news again. This time, he was reported to the police for comments which offends homosexuals in another sermon video.

The video, which is believed to have been uploaded to the church’s website in May last year but was removed from the homepage just one day after the apology was issued, had a new lease of life after it appeared on a blog maintained by Kenneth Tan (no relation to the pastor), a Singaporean working in Shanghai. In the video, the pastor attributed childhood abuse as a cause of homosexuality and linked homosexual people with paedophiles.

He further linked homosexuality with bestiality saying: “If you allow [homosexuality], next time people will want to get married to monkeys. And they will want rights. They’ll want to apply for HDB [a colloquial term to mean a government subsidised flat]. With a donkey or a monkey or a dog and so on. It’s very pathetic.”

Even though I don’t believed in it as a Christian, I joked with my friend that Rony Tan this year 犯太岁 (meaning: in conflict with the Chinese deity ‘Tai Sui‘) considering the kind of ‘bad luck’ he is getting. I even jokingly mentioned that he should hire the services of old ladies in Hong Kong to 打小人 (literally, ‘beat the vile character’) – a pagan ritual in which a paper effigy is beaten with wooden clogs and cursed. In fact, I even wondered if he was born in the year of the Tiger.

But jokes aside, I haven’t watch the video and I don’t intend to. After all, it is not uncommon for Christian pastors to speak out against homosexuality. From just what is quoted, it would appear to me that to accuse him of linking homosexuals with with paedophiles is a deliberate mis-interpretation of his words. The argument that the acceptance of homosexuality will open the door to the acceptance of paedophilia, necrophilia and bestiality has been a common point for many pastors, Christians and conservatives. Everyone should be aware that if Rony Tan is convicted for such an argument, everyone who has presented this argument in their rejection for more rights to homosexual, bisexual and transgendered (HBT) people will be in danger based on precedence.

While I do not know the entire context of his sermons, I will leave my comment regarding this remark at this. He could have been mean in presenting his views or even dismissive HBT people, but I do not intend to join the chorus of condemnation. Beyond that, I will question the motives behind digging out a 9-month old sermon, hot on the heels of his recent ‘coffee meet’ with the Internal Security Department [ISD]. As a Christian, I cannot help but feel there is a political agenda and objective here. Unlike what happened in AWARE which was a clear cut ‘power grab’ by Christians, this is outright persecution of what Christianity can teach as moral or immoral.

I believe the person who pirated the video from the Lighthouse Evangelist site and posted it on Vimeo also made the following commented on Fridae.com to justify his action:

“The Sedition Act prohibits speech that promotes ‘feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore’. This will be a good opportunity to test the government just what it means by ‘different classes’. Are sexual minorities considered ‘class’?”

Perhaps. But this person should be wary that everything can cut both ways. Someone jokingly commented after he read this comment: ‘They’re considered a criminal class, last I checked the statutes…’ While I do not endorse this statement, I do however find it funny when I considered it in the context of Section 377A – a law against sodomy between two males. Anyway, I am not sure whether anyone charged under Section 377A will be considered a criminal.

Now that I am on the point of sodomy (and in particular male sodomy), I must point out that fellow Christians generally loses the argument against the HBT activists the moment they are rapped with a discrimination clause. Though Christians won’t go so far as the Free Community Church in their view on homosexuality, most Christians failed to stand firm and argue that Christianity does not discriminate against homosexuals. It simply has a very strong moral stand against the act of sodomy. I will not go into specifics, since one can easily obtain these so-called ‘hateful’ Bible verses on pro-HBT websites on the topic of ‘homophobia’. (A word which I consider a misnomer since homo as in homo sapiens simply means man. I am not afraid of all mankind and homosexual-phobia would have been more apt.)

To put it in an analogy, I do not discriminate against smokers, but I am certainly against (and I object to) second hand smoke being blown in my face. In a debate on smoking, am I thus discriminating if I stand and speak up for policies that limits or prohibits smoking? Similarly, we must not discriminate against Muslims when we speak up against the acts of terrorism committed by terrorists and extremists who profess to be one. (Not that I even consider the terrorist a person practising Islam to begin with!)

To condemn Christianity for their moral stand against sodomy as being discriminating against the HBT, is the equivalent of meat eaters demanding from religions with teachings against killing animals not to discriminate against them. In short, HBT activists and lobby should stop taking Christians as a convenient punch bag to further their own personal agenda. Christians in Singapore have no quarrel (and do not intend to quarrel) with HBT persons. Simply, most Christians want to say is:

We fully respect those with homosexual (or bisexual / transgendered) tendencies who manage to withstand the great trial that we not required to stand, but we will not legitimize those who do not overcome their ‘instincts’.

On top of which, after the fiasco at AWARE, some Christians here are now increasingly wary and alert to some of the tactics used by the HBT activists and lobby in the U.S. Christians like myself will not yet claim persecution of Christians for the action taken against Rony Tan, but we will make no excuse to condone sodomy.

The HBT lobby in Singapore should be reminded that if they push the Christian community too hard, they might not like it when the Christian community collectively pushes back. Note that a collective effort by conservatives in the U.S. has resulted in 31 states repealing homosexual marriage laws.

I would like to remind my fellow HBT Singaporeans of the freedoms they already enjoyed in Singapore. Do not forget that other than Thailand, Singapore is probably the most HBT-friendly and tolerant in the whole of South East Asia. Take Rony Tan to task for all I cared, but be careful when you start questioning why no Christians object to it. After all, setting a fire may produce warmth, but when out of control a fire might also consume the person who set it.



Recommended Read:
SG BOLEH: Black Sheep of Insurances – Why people hate insurance agents
Terence69: Rights Aren’t Always Right

42 comments

  1. Grievous says:

    This is gone on for too long and it’s turning into an endless roundabout. We have all made our points and drew our lines in the sand. Any reiteration of our respective stand would be nothing more than a futile exercise. I am closing the comments because I grew weary.

    Thanks to everyone to have shared your views here.

  2. T69 says:

    Rex,

    If you are totally unable to separate the difference between speaking to a religious person, as compared to one who is not, then I seriously wonder what’s the point in furthering this.

    Nothing in my post suggests a Christian viewpoint. I was not addressing a fellow believer. I am not even maintaining a religious or Christian blog. By reading that single post alone, did your mind immediately blare out “THIS IS A CHRISTIAN POST!”? Or is it your view that as long as someone believes in a particular religion, he or she should speak and write only about religion and religious topics?

    Giving people of different viewpoints ONE single canned argument is just really shallow, and probably going to do far worse than what you intend, mine was a secular reply to a secular issue. I take no responsibility in your purpose to further your own agenda (whatever it may be) by pulling in a struggling recovering homosexual believer into the mix. The action you take lies only with your own decision and thus responsibility in showing someone something that was never meant for him.

    As for other “moderate homosexuals” (if there were such a term), my post addresses points made by the articles the articles I mentioned. That is for them to decide if I am wrong in my assumptions or statement of facts. I admit my cynical way of writing, but that is just what I am. Nobody ever reads or frankly feels like writing a boring journal. I’ve never claimed to be a perfect person or Christian, if there is even any (besides Jesus).

    Did you just read it to find nice comebacks to use? Or did you actually read the facts of what has happened in the world, or are you just refusing to see it? Is your way the only way or perhaps more godly than other Christians who are fighting to keep filth from invading public places and schools where their impressionable children may be?

    There are many ways a mission organisation reaches out to an unreached people, many do not even contain the message of Christ. By reaching to their basic understandings and needs before a conversation can be open enough to touch upon religion. Many include secular attempts to achieve a common understanding. Don’t be that man who believes only in one way and walk into North Korea from a bordering country, with a bible. Good intentions with extreme naivete.

    By constantly linking everything a Christian does to his beliefs is just plain dogmatic. You just completely fail to see that everyone has a view that may not stem from religion. You say science has nothing to do with disapproving sodomy? Have you ever gone to a biology class that states uses for the anus other than excrement? I really urge you to read and consider my points without simply looking for points to defend yourself.

    In the 4 decades of life I have been blessed with, I have personally NEVER seen homosexuals being illtreated or persecuted. Even if there were those that are outside my little pond of life, I can safely say that its no different from any other individual who may have been illtreated because of other factors, like deformity, age, or gender etc. To say that homosexuals are purposely singled out for discrimination is plainly hogwash.

    I’ve already clearly stated my statements are made OUTSIDE of my religious beliefs, but with people like you who insist on linking them together regardless, you are a perfect caddy for the homosexual golfer looking for the right stick.

    I’ve been pretty clear and will state this for the last time. Religion is religion, and this has NO bearing on religion. I really find it odd that you are unable to stick to the issue, without muddling it with unrelated details.

    Even after asking nicely for this issue to be discussed for its sole merit and purpose. It doesn’t matter if the reports will be effective or not. And even if you have no preference in maintaining the right to speak the truth (according to our beliefs), I am very much concerned with holding on to that right. You went around the issue and continued with your own agenda. Same shtick that the homosexual lobby uses, Christians this, Christians that.

    I can only find it rather amusing because if we were ever found in a similar place during actual wartime, I would certainly not keep my eyes off you.

    Stick to the issue, please. But I have a feeling you have shown you simply cannot do that. So I will no longer play in this pool of irrelevance. Take care. :)
    .-= T69´s last blog ..Rights Aren’t Always Right =-.

  3. Rex says:

    And how are you going to do this on the secular ground?

    Ultimately all arguments against homosexuality are derived from religious convictions. Science has no morality and does not argue for, or against homosexuality. Secular governments ultimately take the path of things which are the most instrumental and practical for their economical and political survival, they don’t really care about religion as long as it keeps the peace.

    The homosexual lobby is hardly homogenous, they range from homosexual Christians fighting homophobia in religion to the radical right wingers who want nothing less then total and equal acceptance. By tarring all with one brush, the issue loses it’s subtlety.

    Seriously this current form of punching from the radical homosexual is innane… Christianity will still persist even if it is supported by the state or not. Even if speaking the truth was legal or illegal should not affect us who believe in it- we would still speak it. I do not think that given Christians make up 14.6% of Singaporeans, plus other religions even more… that the Government will be seeking to clamp down legally on us. That’s why I don’t think the police reports will stick.

    What is different is the fight outside of the law- in our soceity. The increasing opinion on the ground is that homosexuals have been unfairly treated by soceity, and that some space should be given to them. This in part is rising not just because of the efforts of the homosexual lobby, but also because they indeed have been mistreated in the past. Problem is, is the church doing anything to win any ground in the battleground of public opinion? I don’t think so.

    I also reviewed your post on your blog on rights are not right. It is your right to say all that… responding to kennethism… but think again… is your post really helpful in achieving your means at the end of the day? Is posting pictures of two naked men kissing on the street and suggesting that homosexuals are public-toliet abusers really helpful?

    What would moderate homosexuals who are stuggling with their orientation think if they came across your post? What image of Christianity are you showing to them? More importantly, what effect will it ultimately have on them?

    I’ll save you the trouble, and forward your post to my Christian friend who is struggling with homosexuality. Maybe his words will be more relevant.

    If you want to pick a fight that really matters, start shoring up local support for the insitution of marriage and family, which are to be frankly, in frightful state.

    The radicals can be stupid about bashing religion or our beliefs, but we don’t have to be stupid about responding to them.

  4. T69 says:

    Only by taking this to a secular ground, can we “reverse the fight” in our favour. Stop going into our personal religious beliefs where the homosexual lobby takes perverse joy in punching. It is mindless, yes, when you only know of one mode of defence and attack.

    When an issue has nothing to do with religion, don’t implicate religion.
    .-= T69´s last blog ..Rights Aren’t Always Right =-.

  5. T69 says:

    I think you missed the point. I said “keeping silent on one’s basic instinct on what is right or wrong”. Not keeping silent, period.

    Anyway, its our constitutional right to say yes or no to what we want to see in our society. If you prefer to see male sodomy legalised, that is your prerogative. :) I have a different view. It distracts me not from anything, except when the issue arises, I say no, and why I am saying no. Then I move on with my life. Its a simple matter really. You support its abolishment, I do not.

    You think legalising sodomy will not lead to legalising gay marriages. I do (especially since it has already happened). It is this very particular legal cog (whether it’s viewed as symbolic or a matter of priorities or a safeguard) that prevents anyone here from lobbying for more ‘rights’. The only time wasted is to explain to a fellow believer why, if he or she refuses to see what is already happening elsewhere in many parts of the world and thinks that the same will not happen here. I do not dispute your heart in reaching out, but I’ve seen the same actions and ideology that you propose, happen elsewhere, and it led to far worse consequences.

    Changes in laws, inevitably lead to a shift in the morality of society at large.

    A religious person and a non-religious one thinks very differently. What’s to stop anyone from simply saying, “See, even the Christian says its ok to legalise (an implication of endorsement) male sodomy.”? Any explanation in words will simply fall on deaf ears when all they can see makes them think otherwise.

    There is simply no need to link this at all to our religious belief. Even if you find it hard to separate them, you know and have stated yourself, secular law is secular and thus why keep bringing up the aims and goals of a church? Harping on it simply gives everyone an impression that it is ONLY religious beliefs that make you believe sodomy is wrong. More ammo. :)

    There are a host of reasons that are secular, scientific and societal reasons why legalising sodomy and it’s subsequent consequences should be discouraged. I’m sticking to these, and would advise you to stop linking your beliefs in a secular discussion.

    Let me ask you why, if not for your affiliation to Christ, do you oppose or support sodomy? That is the ultimate question when it comes to making a stand on whether a secular law against it should stay or go, does it not? If society at large thinks something should not be endorsed or encouraged, then it is only logical laws will be made against it. The same goes for something that society would think is ok, then laws will be relaxed or abolished. It’s democracy at work. So where do you stand? Please don’t use religious reasonings, when there are non-religious minds around, mulling over a non-religious matter.

    If you need biblical reference as to how one should adapt, try 1 Cor 9:19-22.

    The entire debacle in these comments are frankly going haywire. Its not about AWARE. Its not about churches in Singapore lobbying against homosexuals (and frankly that hasn’t really happened, since I consider Josie and her friends a part of a church, but NOT the church). It’s not even about 377A or the support for its abolishment or not.

    Come, LET’S STICK TO THE POINT. :)

    It is about certain homosexuals taking Christians as a convenient punch bag to further their own personal agenda.

    Are you able to consider this implication without providing extra punching gloves for the homosexual lobby to bash on religion? If you think it is wrong, then the post stands. If you think its ok that homosexuals can persecute someone for preaching in his church, then say so.

    Then perhaps we have also begun a journey to lose our rights in society, to preach or convert people who do not think that what we believe is true.
    .-= T69´s last blog ..Rights Aren’t Always Right =-.

  6. Rex says:

    Since when did I say we must keep quiet? Does not supporting, or opposing 377A consitute towards silence?

    As I said, first and foremost 377A does NOT protect our beliefs and convictions. In it’s practical implementation, it is put in place to quiet the conservative population while allowing the said behaviour to carry on for the sake of maintaining the status quo. At the same time, it is also used as a rallying point to gather support for your opponent.

    In warfare, this is akin towards being tricked into fighting a pitched battle against what he thinks is an important objective while the enemy is sneaking troops in through your back door.

    Why do you think now that religious sentiments opposing homosexuality are increasingly being viewed as equal to homophobia? Namely because of the spin the radial homosexual lobby has managed to put on 377A.

    As my point is, and always will be. It’s not about simply speaking up, it’s about knowing what and when to speak and where to stand. Responding to each and every fight is counterproductive… namely because you are simply playing into their hand.

    Which costs more sheep? A church that recklessly rushes into battle at each and every step and spends resources fighting over things that are in reality of little strategic value or a Chruch that knows where and when to pick their battles?

    My point is not keeping quiet on homosexuality. My point is 377A is of little stragetic value to us… worse to tie it in with our right to speak means that we are equating our stand with an impotent law that isn’t, and can’t be enforced. By equating our stand with such a law, we are giving the radical homosexual lobby the chance to equate our right to speak on such matters as something that ought to be discouraged, given it is equated to a law that is impotent and outdated anyway.

    What has 377A really done for us besides distract us and have no effect on the homosexual lobby except making it more accepted? There are other milestones of morality that we should be spending more resources and time on shoring up.

    Is 377A really disallowing homosexuality in soceity? In it’s practical implementation. No, not at all. It’s like saying we have a law criminalizing abortion, but ultimately the state allows abortion to happen freely anyway… worse the church spends effort and time to keep the law in place by word on response to abortion activists who want to remove it.

    In reality, we should see 377A for the sham it is and move on to things that really matters. It’s not some pitched battle like Roe vs Wade that will drastically change things in our soceity. Our soceity has already moved on long since 377A, and fighting over it proves we are willing to spend effort to be in denial.

    Fighting smart is not about keeping quiet, its about knowing when to throw your punches and when to avoid them. We should be spending more time and energy protecting marriage and the like, as opposed to a law that isn’t enforced and only pays lip service to us. How will that save sheep? It seems to me wasting our time on it instead of having a concrete plan on practival matters harms more sheep then it saves.

    Look at it this way… the radical homosexual lobby has a solid plan on what they want to do. What do we have on our side that justifies our values and creeds beyond nonsense like AWARE that are a stain on it? Is mindless opposing and “speaking up” going to help? I don’t think so. That’s just reactive behaviour, akin to a boxer throwing up his hands to shield from blows without really knowing how to reverse the fight in his favour.

  7. T69 says:

    On the contrary, I think that by keeping silent on one’s basic instinct on what is right or wrong and thus allowing another contradictory nature to prevail WILL do the job for them.

    Without going into what constitutes ammo for them to use, we should know better than to constantly remind them of that “ammo”. Like I said before, this is not a religious matter. Its a secular one. The religious person is now being attacked for practising his right to teach his beliefs. Perhaps we should stick to this, yes?

    We all know how our religion teaches us to behave and what is right or wrong within the confines of our beliefs. But we should also know our rights as a member of society or as citizens of a country.

    Knowing their ultimate aim, and holding ground is to ensure that they are unable to proceed further.

    Any individual, or society that believes something to be ok and thus not wrong or remains nonchalant about it, will ultimately NOT be able to even believe that same thing to be a sin. Instead, a religious person would even begin to question why it should not be allowed, considering he already believes that it is right.

    And when something is considered ok and not wrong by society at large, what consequences do you think will follow?

    Consider the sad situation where even “christians” have begun proselyting within church walls that sodomy is ok. “Churches” performing gay marriages. If you find that repugnant (as well you should), well, it is already happening. In fact they’re already here in Singapore. Can you see what giving up that rug has done for others in other places? Yes, we will literally do the job for them by remaining silent and giving up our rights in society. The price is heavier than you would think, especially when sheep are led astray.
    .-= T69´s last blog ..Rights Aren’t Always Right =-.

  8. Rex says:

    “But let me make a daring assumption that the ultimate objective of the homosexual agenda is same-sex marriage, and consider that this is a window in a house they want to get into. To do so they need a ladder and so we look at each rung of the ladder and see where they are.”

    I think that is a logical assumption. I mean if you are a homosexual and truly believe in the rightness of your cause… demanding absolute equality is what you ought to do. 377A is of course, the first rug in the ladder for them. This is hardly an assumption, I dare say it is an official goal, or sorts.

    My issue is that defending to keep 377A, even if we win, will be a Pyrrhic victory. As Sun Tzu says, “he who defends everything defends nothing.”

    The real battle is really over public opinion. It is of course the agenda of the radical homosexual lobby to paint anybody who disagrees with them as homophobic, as well as to radicalize their own moderates. It is our job not to do their job for them by taking actions that confirm this lie. Basically they are trying to push for the argument that disagreeing with homosexuality= homophobia, and unfortunately things like AWARE are giving them that ammunition.

    Some of my friends argume that AWARE was a victory for the Church because it stopped. I disagree. It is a Pyrrhic victory. Basically CSE can be stopped through other means besides acting dishonestly and steeplejacking a secular organization. Even raising awareness of what is thought and the public opinion on it is more then enough. No need for playing assasins and ninja.

    Anyhoos, the real battle is in the hearts and minds of the local folks. As long as they are sold on the position that holding any sort of view that is contray to homosexuality is homophobia, and as long as Christians carry on to help enforce this belief by acting in ways that are less-then-sensitive and intelligent, we are helping the radicals to win.

    So if they want to take that rug, sometimes I feel we should let them take it… particularly because I feel it costs more to defend then it is actually practical for. But that’s just my take. Battles should be chosen, and not reactive… if not you are always one step behind.

    Ultimately radical homosexuality supresses homosexuals as well. It enforces a particular position on them that they MUST accept who they are NO MATTER what, any other choice is NOT an option. If they have any other desires or thoughts that conflicts with their orientation, they are taught to believe that everything ought to be bent to that. They are trying to basically sell the idea that homosexuality is the ONLY outcome for anybody struggling with their orientation. Ultimately I suspect they are as anti-choice to their own kind as anything else… as much as radical christians are as anti-choice to other christians.

    But I digress, we should be careful not to do their job for them! I disagree with the actions of COOS in AWARE because firstly it is WRONG and UNETHICAL… and secondly also they not also failed to achieve any of their objectives, they actually made things WORSE. If that’s not epic fail I don’t know what it is. Worse is that some of us think that such wall-banging behaviour should be emulated… lol.

  9. T69 says:

    I agree.

    Tho’, it makes not sense not to defend a value we appreciate in society, even if it has a low priority in law enforcement. And it is used, when required, usually in male rape.

    Anyway, the case in point as you mentioned, IS that majority rules. That is what makes democracy work. Minoritism just isn’t going to get anywhere really. And that is what many believe the homosexual lobbyists were trying to gain with introducing homosexuality through the backdoor of sex education to our children.

    As an atheist friend of mine pointed out, it would seem that homosexuals lobbyists have thus far mostly refused or have been afraid to contend with secular or non-religious disagreements with their ‘facts’. They will constantly return with accusations of imposition of religious morals.

    That is why I will not play in their battleground of choice. They know they cannot win if they do not make a scapegoat out of religion (or more precisely Christianity which is ironically tolerant of them without endorsing sodomy, since they would never have the balls to touch Islam – because we all know how countries with sharia law will deal with them).
    .-= T69´s last blog ..Rights Aren’t Always Right =-.

  10. Rex says:

    “What I am trying to say is simply this: This is an opponent who does not care about playing fair nor the Christian message of repentance. This opponent will stop at nothing to achieve their agenda.”

    I do see it, those are the radicals in the homosexual lobby. No surprise there. The question of course remains if we are helping them to fight the issue with our actions, which is giving people sitting on the fence more reason to side with them then us?

    My own take on this situtation, note it is my personal opinion:

    In fighting our opponent, we cannot discard the values of our creed. That means no matter what we cannot do things that are unethical. Opposing 377A based on your rights as a citizen is not unethical… thou steeplejacking a secular organization probably is against our very own values. There are other ways to win.

    Ultimately remember that Homosexual Radicals harm homosexuals just like Christian radicals harm Christians. The problem now is that we are giving the radicals credibility if we do not distinguish to them that things like AWARE are things we STRONGLY DO NOT agree with.

    Unfortunately we have not done it. Had we done so, we might have sent out the message to all homosexuals that the church, no matter what, believes in common values of ethics and justice, and that would have given the radicals on their side far less ammunition to play with.

    That was our tactical error. That’s why I do not believe in being slient whenever even those of us who do not speak for all of us screw up. Keeping silent means more and more homosexuals you might be able to have any sort of meaningful connection with will become radicals.

    Winning a culture or value war is more then attrition, or holding the most ground in law that sides with us. This is an asymmetric struggle where winning hearts and minds is more effective then winning ground. Holding onto a piece of ground might actually cost us more then it costs them.

    377A to me is a quandry. It is a rallying point for the homosexual lobby. Something that is not enforced so it is not protecting soceity (if you may put it that way) at all. It has been the driving force behind much of the local efforts by the local lobby… at the same time, it is not actually useful to us in any way beyond being a symbolic milestone. Fighting over it adds energy to the opposing camp, encourages moderates to pick up the cause of the radical. It seems to spawn more ugly things then any meaningful outcome.

    Makes me wonder if we should even be involved in it. We can after all still say that we are opposed to homosexuality, and no comment on 377A. What does 377A stand for anyway at the end of the day? Our values as Singaporean soceity? We have some of the most liberal abortion laws… any shred of moral intergity we have is long gone, our laws are held up by instrumental rationality. 377A is basically put in place to keep the conservative majority quiet and nice, that’s it’s real purpose. It controls US, not homosexuals ultimately.

    Makes me wonder if it’s worth defending, even as a citizen. I think if we focus on it we’re missing the big picture. It is not wrong to fight back to defend your values, but it would be far better to fight back intelligently and knowing where to pick our fights and how to fight them.

    Just my take.

  11. T69 says:

    Rex, nice of you to let us know your background. :) Its a blessing that you are able to overcome the trial.

    Anyway in a Christian perspective, I try not to explain too much when in a personal situation. I simply say, I have and will treat you as any other friend or family, but it doesn’t mean I will approve or endorse certain behaviours. What you are, and what you do, are just very different things. I can love my brother who may be greedy but I can also disapprove of his succumbing to temptation to steal or accumulate by inappropriate methods, without loving him any less.

    There is no need for solid foods when a baby can only take milk.

    Personally, I don’t really like the word ‘cure’ for homosexuality, it’s like saying there is a cure for lust. Someone said, he’s thankful that he was not gven the trial of homosexuality. Just as I think we all have our own personal trials and tribulations, we also are able to make our choices to act on them or not.

    Take care and God bless.
    .-= T69´s last blog ..Rights Aren’t Always Right =-.

  12. Rex says:

    Hi all.

    I do not think all Christians are pushing to impose our values on everybody else, but I do take a very low view of those of them who do… prehaps because I was under that kind of ministry.

    A little background, I came from a small, independent, ultraconservative youth ministry which flirted a lot with domonist idealogy. The group exercised extremely strong control over the thoughts and actions of its members, in retrospect… prehaps excessively so. Things like what music you listened to, relationships, dressing, and even what we could THINK were controlled. We isolated ourselves from other Christians, regarding them as generally “inferior”. The key driving ideal behind our ministry was “revival”… of which we believed that being “set apart” from the rest was what we had to do- which was why our lifestyles and beliefs were carried out to the extreme.

    I have come to realize that such desires and intentions to live for God are not bad, they are good. The problem was that we assumed that to please God meant to be extreme in everything we assumed to be right- down to our thoughts. As opposed to having convictions that we thought over properly and beliefs that we internalized, what we had was a rulebook of spirtual practices and beliefs we had to unquestioningly practice and think in order to be accepted by the ministry.

    Ultimately it led to a ministry that became increasingly insular, and one that was utterly unable to reach out to the youth. It took me a while to realize that we had also all been left emotionally, and socially stunted by the ministry- we didn’t know how to find a life-partner (having assumed that God would provide as long as we were on the revival path), we didn’t really have any personal beliefs beyond the big rulebook or legalism… we didn’t know how to relate to other people outside of our ministry. Basically we were all reaching young adulthood and starting to realize that we had spent a lot of our faith in a rigid system of thought-control… and a lot of the things we supposed we did for God turned out to be petty legalism? We spent 8 years, the best years of our youth where we were supposed to be growing up and learning about new things in life denying all that. It didn’t make us spirtual supersoldiers… it made us emotionally stunted, dependent individuals who could barely do anything without being worried about what our leader might think.

    And of course, I’ve seen my friend, a youth leader struggling with homosexuality mistreated by the ministry. We put the pressure on him to confirm he was cured when in fact… he was not and still struggling with it. It is fortunate he is in a church that is giving him the proper ministry now.

    And that was the kind of system we ultimately intended to impose on the rest of the nation. We assumed revival meant people turning to God and being LIKE US, believing like we do… down to every minute conviction. Free will was a pesky little thing we had to do away with (a lot of the idealogies in the ministry was about getting rid of our will, submitting to authority no matter what, and the like)

    That’s why I am outspoken against the excesses of some of our Christian brothers and sisters… Dominist thinking and methods are seductive. It is so tempting to think that by manipulate our systems of law and soceity, but making people think like we do, that we are doing God’s work… I do not think so. In fact I have come to see such behaviour- attempting to manipulate the thoughts and wills of others through less-then-hoest means, as something very evil.

    Fortunately the ministry fell apart due to internal politics… that was two years ago. But the entire 8-year experience has left me extreme cautious of reckless, gung-ho Christianity, especially one that

    So pardon me if I come off strongly or seem to imply that ALL Christians are trying to impose our values on others… it is just something I react strongly to. And of course AWARE was a good example of that. It disturbs me when some of my friends thought that abolishing CSE justified the means we used in AWARE… if we were concerned about CSE… we could have raised those concerns through other channels… not steeplejacking a secular organization to acomplish our ends. I don’t know where that idea came from, I am dubious it was divinely inspired.

    At the end of the day I see where you all are coming from, and I respect your opinions. We are after all, on the same side. It is indeed our right as a Singaporean citizen to state our point of view, and moderate homosexuals anknowledge that. It is unfortunately, the radicals on both sides that muddle the picture… our part at least, is to curb the excesses of our own side as much as we deal with the issue.

    Frankly it’s tiring to spend 30 minutes explaining to my gay friend that we do not hate them or are trying to impose our will on them. Most homosexuals I’ve come across in my school are surprisingly positive about Christianity when I talk to them without giving them the textbook “this is what you MUST do” talk.

    I do not believe in pacifism- at the end of the day it’s still a struggle of idealogies and wills. We all believe that homosexuality is wrong. We differ on our ways to deal with it. I do not think however, that long term trends favour what we believe in. Ultimately because we were never meant to win in the public arena. Christianity cannot win by forcing the will of others to bend to us. That is the method of the world.

  13. T69 says:

    First of all, as I have said, no Christian I know of ever reported an homosexual for sodomy or made a big case out of it. The homosexuals lobby went after the Christians for preaching against sodomy. The pastor NEVER said anything about its legality. He simply said it was immoral and a sin. Was he even taking about 377A?

    Bringing up legalities now is only to serve our rights as a religious person to speak up on our convictions and beliefs. The homosexual lobby tried to use the law to suppress our rights. Are you willing to let it happen? Its rhetorical, you don’t have to answer. Because once that right is lost your examples in going out to win anyone over is effectively LOST.

    True, we do have different conclusions and you have also totally missed the point here. There has ever bee any suggestion that we should use the law to make our society moral. I don’t see any religious institution out to lobby for the enactment or abolishment of laws. We’re not asking for the law to be changed. On the contrary really. So all the reasonings behind why we should not lobby for new laws or to abolish current ones fall flat.

    I am only arguing in for the maintenance of current status quo. And only because it is within my courtyard. I see no reason why I cannot do that as a citizen, does the fact that I am religious, give me lesser right to speak out? Do you see arguments here against homosexuality based on Christian values? Quotes from the Bible are given, only when another believer is involved or using them.

    This has never been a discussion nor argument on the gospel’s message or how we are to utilise it. But when Jesus said to carry a sword for defence, does that mean we throw our swords away if our enemies are using a sword as well? The tools (such as the law) we are given, we may use to defend ourselves. And we have not gone out brandishing the law in an offensive against homosexuals, have we?

    Since you mentioned you’re a Christian and that “It is a power structure put upon man, by other man” and “it is put in place by a system that is not of God”, I shall remind you of Romans 13:1 which clearly states “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”. And by such an elective authority by which we are a part of, I do not see why we should not play a part in safeguarding our collective rights by submitting myself to the ideals of a democracy.

    There is no alignment of religious values with a secular one in this case. It is simply a case of people who believe sodomy is wrong and those who don’t. There is no need to bring religion into this.

    So lets not delve further into what should be discussed only in a religious context, and not this particularly secular one.

    You assume that if a religious person speaks for or against the abolishment of a law, it is simply a case of religious fervour. I refuse to let my beliefs be entangled in such an assumption. I am exercising my rights as a citizen among which the country’s law protects.

    This is an exercise not to defend my faith but to defend my rights in religious freedom and my rights as a citizen of the country. I will not push you to exercise your rights in a larger societal role if you prefer to let others decide for you your place in society as a person (religious or otherwise). And trust that you too will be able to see that even Paul utilised the Roman law when he needed to defend his place in society.

    I have friends, some of whom are homosexuals as well. I don’t go all religious on them, and use only opportunities given to me to show them on a personal level where possible, why I believe in what I do. And I trust & look forward to hearing about you making good on your convictions an efforts to go out there on a personal level to reach out to them. God bless.
    .-= T69´s last blog ..Rights Aren’t Always Right =-.

  14. Rex says:

    “So by your argument make no stand when any other thing immoral threatens to make further inroads into society?

    I will stand back when the guys at Sammyboy Forum rally to get laws against soliciting repealed.”

    There’s plenty we can do to make a stand against it.

    The early Church before Constantine showed it pretty well. Unlike us, they didn’t have any legal clout. They were in a hostile environment under constant danger. They could not lobby their government to help make soceity more in line with their beliefs.

    What they did was that they went out, as a church, as individuals to make an impact on soceity by personally relating to it. They reached out to people, often to soceities who were completely hostile to them and with a totally different value set and yet they made a difference.

    Maybe our problem is that we are to comfortable. We assume that “making a stand” means telling everybody we disagree with something, and if possible, get somebody else (the state) to do the dirty job for us to make soceity better and more moral. That is not true change.

    If you really feel for the people in sammyboy you concern should not be the law on soliciting. Go to meet those people, get to know them, do something for them. Isn’t that a mission field?

    Missionaries go into soceities and cultures completely opposed to them. They have no legal clout and they do not play politics with local laws. As much as we may be Singaporeans, we must understand that the local laws we are under as as alien to our creed and moral code as the missionary going into a totally different culture. We start and make our stand from the ground up, the individual change.

  15. Rex says:

    “What makes you believe that your opponents will play fair?

    Take a look at what happened to Rony Tan. His video (even though it has been online in the public domain for 9 mths) went completely unnoticed. Yet the moment Rony Tan was made into some kind of pariah, he was promptly complained to the authorities about that 9-month old video. Right on the coat tails on his offense against the other religions. Can you not see how fast they would exploit any advantage they can get?

    The fact has remains, to even first talk about treating one another fairly, we must agree that each party has a right to voice their opinion. Now, considering the action taken against Rony Tan, it is CLEAR that they want to gag the Christians for even disagreeing.”

    I don’t think they will play fair… some of them at least. Somewhat also because we have not been playing fair. AWARE set a lot of the efforts Christians have been making towards reaching out to homosexuals back… by a lot. AWARE was a sign to them that we were willing to take any means, even if they were unfair and unethical, to get our way.

    Why do you think they are so much bolder now? We basically gave the radicals in their lobby the green light to take the gloves off. After AWARE we had Pink Dot sg. And of course the latest attack on Rony Tan shows how much more influence the radicals now have. Christians are now the enemy and drastic measures must be taken… because we sent the message out to them in AWARE that we were willing to hit under the belt as well.

    But we are missing the big picture. The good news is that the homosexual scene in Singapore is (no pun intended) not homogenous. If we do not make an effort to give the moderates in their midst something to work with, I fear more souls will be lost- http://miak.livejournal.com/tag/current%20affairs

    “i was informed that 80 people, gay and straight, have made police reports about Pastor Rony Tan about his very unkind comments about gays and lesbians, and i was asked for my views.

    we have to think about what we are trying to achieve. are we trying to get greater acceptance of LGBT folks in Singapore? decriminalization of 377A? do we want Pastor Rony Tan to apologize to the LGBT community? or are we out to get Pastor Rony Tan thrown into jail so justice is served?

    i see making reports to the police counter productive to the first two points, and from my perspective, the police reports are driven by an unconscious (or conscious) need for revenge.

    these police reports only will create a siege mentality in the Christian community, widening the gap we are trying to bridge if we are trying to gain acceptance. the Christian psyche is permeated with martyr-ism – after all the early Christians and Jesus were the persecuted. the reaction of the Christian community is not likely to be “let’s accept them”, but “we are being persecuted!” this has been observable in Thio Li Ann’s and Yvonne Lee’s reaction – even though they are in reality the actual oppressors and persecutors, they are very quick to claim that they are the oppressed and the persecuted.

    what we need to do is take the opportunity to show them that how wrong Pastor Rony Tan was, to clear up the myths about LGBT folks. the National University of Singapore Buddhist Society took the opportunity to educate the public about Buddhist beliefs instead of baying for Pastor Rony Tan’s blood.

    i found it interesting too that the tactic of involving the State by reporting police is being employed. if we do that, we are validating the very power structure that oppresses us. i would personally argue that the Sedition Law is unjust, and does not serve the purpose of maintaining harmony. true harmony comes about from mutual understanding and dialogue, not from shutting people up. if people are silenced, it will only drive the talk underground, where it is harder for us to deal with, and to reason with, and to counter. It is only when the talk is public, that we can show the falsehoods and misconceptions in what people say. like the Chinese saying goes, 明刀易挡,暗箭难防. it is easy to deal with a threat that is in the open than a threat that is hidden.

    we need to engage this rationally, and not let our emotions get the better of us.”

    Interesting, don’t you think.

    Thing is, the big question is… how do WE reach out to these kind of people.

  16. Rex says:

    You are basically seeing my point, it’s just that our conclusions differ. Ultimately, the laws put down by a secular state are not interested in enforcing morality. They enforce human order and whatever is useful at the moment. That is why we should not even be messing with them, they have little place in our convictions. Getting entangled in them is to our disadvantage, not to mention we will always lose.

    Firstly because these are the methods and systems of men- lobbying for and against them is completely off our purpose of winning hearts and minds- not to mention a distraction. Not to mention your opponents will always use these methods better then you, and if you try to beat them at their own game playing the secular law game you basically defeat the gospel message.

    There is no logical incongruence, quite simply put we should not be relying on the laws put down by a secular system to affirm our convictions in the first place. Quite simply, I put forward the argument that homosexuality may be illegal by our laws, but it’s another to argue that the same holds for a secular system, especially if that secular system, like ours, has very different motivations and reasons for enforcing those laws (they are hardly moral reasons).

    Quite simply put, secular law is seperate from our convictions and morals. It is put in place by a secular goverment, with secular aims- that is to ensure the dominance of a secular state, which in the case of Singapore, is to ensure it’s economic sucesses and the primacy of the ruling party. It rules over non-believers as much as believers. Secular law is not interested, at the end of the day, to pleasing God. It is a power structure put upon man, by other man. And more often then not it happens to be more unjust then just.

    It would be dangerous to assume that it would be good to align our Christian values with a secular law placed by a secular system, because for all purposes their intentions, motivations and consquences are very different. We saying homosexuality is illegal is very different from the government saying that it is illegal. Trying to push both under the same law makes things even murkier.

    Truth is, why is sodomy the only thing we are lobby to keep law against? What about abortion? Pre-martial sex? Tattoos? Contraception? We cannot loddy within a system that only keeps a bit of our laws, and does not agree with the rest.

    To me, abortion is far worse then sodomy. I don’t see any christian local lobby pushing for laws to ban it. We argue a lot as to why it’s wrong, why mothers should keep their children, and what have you not… but why no real pushes to make the government ban it? Roughly 11,000 Singaporean children are murdered each year by a practice legalized by our nation.

    We can’t. We cannot count on secular law to make our soceity more moral. It will not.

    The real battle is not 377A, it is elsewhere in the big picture that many of us are basically missing. I am not saying we should not be concerned about homosexuality- but that the hoo-ha over 377A is a red herring and we are missing the big picture. 377A does not stand for our morality, it is put in place by a system that is not of God. We should not back it.

  17. T69 says:

    Hi Rex,

    We are positive about homosexuals people. We are just not positive about sodomy.

    By all that you say and reason, after legalising sodomy, whats next? By the looks of other progressive countries which have legalised sodomy (AND along with it bestiality), what next? Homosexual marriage? It WILL be the next step. What is to stop another group of sexual ‘minority’ in using the very same arguments? Polygamy? Incestuous relationships? They’re all “loving consenting adults doing it in the privacy of their bedrooms and not hurting anyone” too.

    If by going “our jobs and going out there” and then affirming along the way, that sodomy while immoral, should be legal, I truly fail to see the logic. Its like telling people recreational drug use is not good, but should be legalised too. Which is why I notice you haven’t spoken on all the other ‘immoralities’ which should we should logically support legalisation too, going by your reasoning. Why should sodomy alone be given special treatment?

    And do you really think we can have a “fair and honest brawl on ou convictions”? Have you known of any Christian who has persecuted a homosexual by reporting them to the police? I haven’t, and have yet to hear from anyone who has. Yet, when a pastor of a church speaks with conviction against homosexuality in the confines of his beliefs (even tho’ it was made public outside it’s four walls, it was still a sermon based on scriptural ground), what did the homosexual activists do? They spend their Lunar New Year rallying supporters to make police reports. The act that the sermon was public for MONTHS, notwithstanding. They simply found a nice ‘clown’ who had just been admonished for belittling other religions, and saw fit to kick a man while he is down.

    They went after a religious man who was speaking his religiou beliefs using a law that was supposed to protect religious freedom. To claim offence that he was speaking out against an act, which they commit regularly (that is currently illegal). What do you think is going to happen if it is legal? Do you kno what the churches overseas are facing, if they stand firm in thir beliefs? Have you seen and heard of the persecution they faced? It is nothing like what the homosexuals claim to have received. It is worse.

    I urge you to look at the history of how the homosexual lobby has moved (try the USA alone), over the past decades, and what is happening now. Then see if you think staying passive alone can stave off these ‘worldly’ passions from invading our churches here(oh, they already have).

    It’s not my purpose to seek a change in your kind nature, but sometimes, you have to know where to draw the line. God bless.
    .-= T69´s last blog ..Rights Aren’t Always Right =-.

  18. Rex says:

    My point is, our soceity should be one in which it is LEGAL to be negative about homosexuality, but also to be positive about it. It should be a fair fight, not one in which we try to muzzle our opponent as much as possible, especially if the behaviour is personal and not demostrated to infringe on the will and safety of others.

    That’s why I feel 377A is a red herring. We should be going out of our churches instead of hiding behind the four walls of the church and getting all worried about a law (that isn’t even enforced at all) and thinking it has some big implication.

    Basically the law as it is now stands basically, to give the majority a peace of mind. But it is a false peace of mind that does not really anknowledge the real situtation. And I believe the solution to this situtation is not to push our government in a direction that will make them pass more laws to agree with us.

    We shouldn’t even be bothered with 377A. It is irrelevant to us if we are truly doing our jobs and going out there.

    Basically I can understand why homosexuals are trying to muzzle anti-homosexual speech and make it seem undesirable… after all aren’t we trying to do the same to them? And believe me, it is suceeding.

    Why not have a fair, and honest brawl on our convictions instead?

  19. Rex says:

    Depends, I believe in engaging your opponents on fair ground. We don’t need 377A to do that.

    The problem with 377A is that is it largely ineffective in acomplishing anything beyond giving the Homosexual lobby a rallying point and ammunition to argue their case. Unfortunately it is also largely a red herring when it actually comes to addressing the issue of Homosexuality in our soceity. Ala. it makes people unwilling to face the issue (many Christians especially) beyond simply saying “it’s illegal, so don’t do it”.

    At the end of the day, it’s about treating people fairly as much as they disagree with us. My personal convictions are against homosexuality, but I do not believe that our government should jail, or persecute them by and as far as that behaviour is within two consenting adults. 377A is a statement, quite simply, that if and if the powers-may-be so desire, they may persecute them for it. I am not entirely sure if that justice is “just”.

    Our national laws at the end of the day, are not religious laws. We are not a religious state. We cannot rule the unbeliever by threat of a law, more so when often the behaviour is private, and cannot really be demostrated to be an infringment on the will of others.

    The problem is that should we, as a church rally behind 377A? Or should it be entirely irrelevant to the way we regard homosexuality at all? We should not be rallying behind a secular law just because it happens to align with what we believe in, but the large implication of it is largely unjust.

    At the end of the day, I believe keeping 377A makes the job of Christians in reaching out to homosexuals harder. It harderns and polarizes attitudes and builds walls as opposed to tearing them down.

    A question. Lets say, imagine one day our government decides to ban another religion… should we support it or insist on the right of those to practice it in our soceity?

    I do not believe homosexuality is correct. But I do not believe it should be illegal. Not any more then I believe most of the things I disagree on due to my faith ought to be illegal for everyone in a secular soceity. I can’t support an unjust law just because it happens to agree with me, the attitude behind it is entirely wrong.

  20. T69 says:

    Pardon me.

    With regards to my posting above;
    “As for for dealing with homosexuality, I agree it is not for ANY religious institution to do such a job. And much as people may think or want to make it look like only Christians are negative towards sodomy, I would like to remind us all that there are other religions along with secular or atheist minds who are not for it.”

    I meant dealing with “the legality of homosexuality” in our society.

    But we have a right to choose how we should be governed, when it comes to an overall environment. And yes, we should deal with it preferably within the confines of our beliefs and churches, but that I assure you, it will be a constitutional right which we will lose, when the homosexual lobbies against it, claiming ‘offence’. :) Just look at the muffled churches in the USA now.
    .-= T69´s last blog ..Rights Aren’t Always Right =-.

  21. T69 says:

    And who elected the government?

    Our every like and dislike, our very opinions, whether they be religious or not, compels us to elect a government we ‘desire’. A government able to do and serve the good and also the will of the people, thats democracy. Opinion polls or referendums can be held and the people WILL vote with their beliefs (secular or otherwise) to decide what is right or wrong for the country. Majority rule, NOT minority. The minority may not like it, but imagine how it would feel the other way around.

    Does a religious person have to give up his or her right to also participate in social discourses that may lead to a difference in their every day life? Or did the statement “intelligent life should be allowed to self-determinate as much as possible” exclude the religious person?

    Every law in every country has a religious link. Should we abolish every one of them that is? That would probably pretty much mean a lawless society.

    There is admittedly a sensitive balance. As much as the religious person should probably not demand for the enactment of laws for everything their religion stands against, I don’t see why the same person cannot seek to protect the law in its current form. What may be considered archaic by some, are considered by others to protect their interests just as fine.

    Be very careful when exercising your rights, or not. With hints made recently by certain people that churches should not even be allowed to preach against what they consider immoral within their own premises, and encouraging people to report such instances, will you also stand by and allow persecution of your church? That can and has happened in other countries. If you think the govt will not touch religious affairs, they do and will again if they deem it is necessary. After all, there are several religious organisations that are banned in multi-religious Singapore.

    As for for dealing with homosexuality, I agree it is not for ANY religious institution to do such a job. And much as people may think or want to make it look like only Christians are negative towards sodomy, I would like to remind us all that there are other religions along with secular or atheist minds who are not for it.

    How the authorities may decide to prioritise laws’ enforcement, I have no comment. They can decide to enforce 377A rigidly or not, it matters not to me, and the same goes with enforcing a law that smokers can only smoke behind yellow lines, raiding pirate DVD shops, littering or jaywalking etc etc. Or hey, lets scrap those laws too, shall we? We’re intelligent enough, after all, to self determine our environment.
    .-= T69´s last blog ..Rights Aren’t Always Right =-.

  22. Rex says:

    Hmmm… I am a Christian and I think 377A should be repealed.

    For the simple fact that this is our fight, not the government’s. We cannot rely on our secular laws to enforce Christian morality, that is the job of the church. Laws are put in place to prevent harm, as much as possible, on soceity by individuals acting against the wills of others. But by and far, intelligent life should be allowed to self-determinate as much as possible.

    In any case, we have to be consistent about enforcing our laws or our entire legal system is in doubt. If we want to keep 377A, then we must agree with the point of view that all homosexual activity HAS to be a criminal offence that the government must persceute. That is, we agree that homosexuals should be jailed for their activities. If not, then lets not talk about keeping this law for symbolic sake, that are other ways to do it.

    The problem is this, relying on secular laws to do our job cheapens our faith. Instead of personally engaging others with our own moral code we do it through the agent of the state. If I recall, another serious sin in Christianity is also Idoltary, a sin which virtually all of Singaporeans who are not Christians are guilty of. Shall we have a law against other religions as well?

    Case in point. If the Singapore government should one day ban other religions like Buddhism or Hinduism, and makes practicing them against the law. Should we support such a notion or go against it? After all by our convictions anybody who worships a false god is in serious sin.

    Repealing 377A is not about giving homosexuals free reign to do whatever they like. There should of course still be laws that protect soceity that are kept in place. But a law that prohibits what two adults who have made the choice with mutal agreement to do something privately? We cannot, and should not enforce it by secular laws as much as these behaviours contradict our convictions. We have to be just in the way we regard our laws of the land.

    Basically it is our job, not the job of the government, to deal with homosexuality.

  23. T69 says:

    axilet,

    God bless. May your walk with God be true and your studies in His Word be fruitful.
    .-= T69´s last blog ..Rights Aren’t Always Right =-.

  24. axilet says:

    @Lycan2046: Sorry, I posted the comment above before your comment was changed. I don’t mean teaching homosexuality as normal, I mean…you know, just the facts. Unbiased by any opinion whatsoever. Also, the name of my church is Bedok Methodist Church.

    @T69: Thanks in turn for your civility. I will indeed read up on the OT since it appears my knowledge is somewhat lacking. I’ve actually posted my opinions on the difference between bestiality, pedophilia and homosexuality above; that while a human can consent, an animal can’t, a child does not understand. I know of NAMBLA. From what I have heard of it, it is not exactly a mainstream organization and is heavily reviled, even by the homosexual community.

    Anyway, I would hate to bother any of you any longer; but thanks for the invigorating conversation.

    ~axilet

  25. axilet says:

    @Lycan2046: My outrage is limited strictly to his choice of words, I assure you. It is just as if some politician somewhere had made some politically incorrect remark and refused to apologize for it. There is always a politer way of stating something, and thus catching the fly with the honey.

    There are always two sides to every issue; I simply wanted to understand your point of view. That’s why I wanted to talk: not to convince you, but just to understand. I wouldn’t really say I was disagreeing with Scripture, really; I just have a different interpretation of it than you. There’s always something to talk about.

    But I see I have outstayed my welcome, and would hate for this discussion to sink to a lower note. So once again I thank you for your hospitality, and I will take my leave.

    ~axilet

  26. T69 says:

    axilet,

    They were meant for anyone who professes themselves as a Christian. No Christian will ever deny the veracity of the Old Testament and I would remind you that ALL Christians also see Jesus as God. :) So perhaps you should simply say you respect Jesus as a man and stop there. By ignoring the verses that Jesus Himself said, you already speak your true beliefs. Even Muslims respect Jesus (they call him Isa) as a man without sin, period.

    If you read the Bible, as any professing Christian should, you will know that the various laws and punishments you spoke of were only meant for the children of biblical Israel. I don’t have to, nor would I want to go into a thesis on this. I really hope you can read it yourself.

    When Jesus said He fulfilled the Law, the fulfillment ends the sacrifices in the Law, with His own sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins at the cross. He did change it all, but only by fulfilling it.

    The Bible speaks for itself and misquoting (out of context) or adding words into what Jesus might have said is not acceptable. No matter what happens, Christians should NEVER compromise on the Word of God. For by inferring only parts of the Word is acceptable or true, the inferrer also compromises himself. If one part is wrong, then the parts you think is right can logically be wrong too. Making one’s belief a very shaky one indeed.

    I hope I don’t sound too harsh, but I simply believe if Christianity is watered down, it becomes diluted or poisoned. Becoming a totally different belief or religion, if you may. I have nothing against you and think your points are very civilly put. So forgive me if I failed to do so.

    Anyway it is not my place to preach, nor do I want to in such an environment. I suggest that such a discourse on religion only take place in a proper religious place. I shall stop all comments referring to the tenets of Christianity now.

    —-
    Lets just talk about the secular view.

    The inherent abhorrence of sodomy. Many think so but there are also those who disagree that inserting a sexual organ into another whose function is biologically meant for waste excretion is normal.

    The inherent abhorrence of sex with animals. Many (including many homosexuals) think so, but there are also those who disagree. And by this very notion, bestiality has indeed been legalised by many countries, including (what homosexuals consider progressive countries) like Finland, Germany and Sweden, which did so along with legalising sodomy. So, are the people who practise sodomy or their supporters and sympathisers now going to discriminate those whose practices do not come in line with their own ‘morality’? I doubt that you can deny that a male animal’s voluntary act in bestiality is not ‘consenting’.

    Or is homosexuality the ONLY thing that demands exclusion? While practising the very same discrimination they accuse others of? What’s going to stop these other sexual ‘deviants’ from using the VERY SAME arguments?

    Or is the homosexual lobby going to practise the “only what I do is normal and ok,

    Pedophilia is, needless to say, very much abhorred by most (even perhaps many homosexuals as well). But let me point to you the vast difference in the age of consents within the laws of various countries. Eg. Japan apparently allows it from the age of 13. Check out Wikipedia on the age of consent and you’ll find many others. Should we then also allow these immigrant cultures or perhaps visitors exclusion from the law of a host country? Should we change it too, since it obviously discriminates them too. What we consider a child, may not be a child in another country. Will we not still find sex with what we consider a child disgusting, yet it is a normal reality of life in anothe land. Lest you think this is farfetched, there is already a a movement for this called NAMBLA in the United States.

    Does our ‘morality’ only come to play when if its to our own advantage? The slope is a very slippery one indeed, be it an old argument or not, it is very relevant and valid. One need not harp on comparisons between sodomy and bestiality or pedophilia. We all know there is a difference between the human anus (and it’s ag) and an animal’ orifice. The link between these practices lies not in the acts or persons, but the possibility of one open door leading to more doors.

    Thanks for reading. :)
    .-= T69´s last blog ..Rights Aren’t Always Right =-.

  27. axilet says:

    @T69: I hope those words aren’t intended for me! ^_^ If they are, I would just like to say that I absolutely revere Jesus and his teachings, I have this idea of a perfect man, and so I naturally tend to extrapolate the ideals I associate with the perfect man onto Jesus. I admit that. But no, the OT is hardly valid. If so adulterers would still be stoned to death (as you mentioned) and we would still have to sacrifice animals. Deuteronomy is really eye-opening. Jesus changed all that, thank God; the OT should still be read and revered, but His words take priority.

    @Lycan2046: OK, then I see I have gone rather off the point there ^_^ To me, sodomy is simply a sexual act. But it seems peculiar that you support(or at least forbearing to condemn) love between homosexuals but not the expression of that love. Heterosexuals and even lesbians have other options, obviously, but not so much for gay men.

    Anyway the crux of the matter appears to me that we disagree over the inherent sinfulness of sodomy, so never mind about that. I don’t really understand what you mean about teaching homosexual sex in schools, though. I hope you don’t mean that they teach the fundamentals of sex >_> I only seem to recall that AWARE showed a movie with lesbian elements. I would like the facts to be presented in a concise manner to students in schools–junior college level maybe, though: that homosexuality is not a choice, yadda yadda, so that when they come to make a decision about the issue it will be with an open mind and not with vague rumors and half-truths. There exist lucid arguments against homosexuality, if one is armed with the proper knowledge such that even supporters of homosexuality like me will stop and listen.

    I hope you’ll understand me when I say that sodomy is a very far cry from the bestiality and pedophilia that Pastor Tan fears. Abominable act or no abominable act, it still occurs between two consenting adults, unlike animals which cannot give their consent, or kids who don’t understand what is going on. Although his fears may be sincere, they are unfounded. That was really my true intent in commenting in the first place; I did not actually intend to get drawn into a discussion about homosexuality! Whoops =) I simply wanted to say much of my outrage is because he won’t apologize for his strong language at least. I never expected him to apologize for his views against homosexuality.

    Just putting it out there.

    ~axilet

  28. T69 says:

    I would be careful, if I profess to be a Christian and put words into the mouth of Jesus. :) So the words below are ONLY meant for believers.

    But I can say Jesus DID say, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:46-47) He came to fulfill the Law, NOT abolish it. The Old Testament IS valid.

    And Jesus answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ “and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’” (Matt. 19:4) Homosexuality was never part of God’s plan.

    And of course His words to the woman accused of sin. “Go and sin NO MORE.”.

    We are all born with inherent sin, and it is within our own choice to act upon them or not. Love the person, not the sin. And to encourage the sinner with his sins by affirmation or silence, is not love. :)
    .-= T69´s last blog ..Rights Aren’t Always Right =-.

  29. axilet says:

    @Lycan2046: Do we allow heterosexual sex to be taught in schools? No–we simply teach that it’s better to wait, and leave the birds and bees to the parents. Like I said, I equate the two with each other. I think Jesus would say, at the very least, “Leave them alone. They have done no harm to you; they simply seek to love.” Is not love the greatest of all God’s gifts?

    My example of Israel was simply to show that even a Jewish state can have a better track record on homosexuality than Singapore, a secular country. Singapore more or less follows the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” system in America.

    OK, I agree to disagree. But I’m glad that at the very least we could have had a more or less civil discussion. Thanks.

    ~axilet

  30. axilet says:

    @Lycan2046: Thank you for your response. If there is a reply button, it’s not showing up, so I’ll just go ahead and post a new comment.

    I’m afraid to say that many Christians do engage in such “hypocrisy” these days. After all, the Bible does allow many things, up to and including slavery and suppression of women’s rights; yet many mainstream Christians would agree that such things are wrong, even heinous. Since Jesus said that his words superceded the old laws, I tend to follow the “WWJD” route when faced with a moral dilemma. I have come to the conclusion that Jesus would love homosexuals too, no matter what they do.

    I did not say the “slippery slope” argument was new. I was merely saying I come from a more low-key and conservative church, and they treat homosexuals in a polite manner. They simply disapprove of it but do not use misleading “facts” to sway the congregation, merely sticking to “God does not approve of it.” I’m saying it’s possible to be against homosexuality without resorting to out-and-out attacks like Pastor Tan engaged in. That’s all.

    About your smoking analogy–in that case, there was no need to add the words “blowing smoke into your face.” I disapprove of smoking too, but as long as smokers do not, in fact, come and puff right in front of me I do not mind them, otherwise I will tell them to stop. My point stands.

    There is a huge difference between cannibalism and homosexuality, being the fact that one activity ends in one party dead and one does not. In that case, murder–the government is free to intervene. My argument was poorly phrased, then; the government has no right to be butting in an activity that leaves the participants unharmed, but has the right to butt in when there is fear of harm. Same when drug dealers sell drugs to addicts. They are willingly selling and buying, but the seriousness is such that the government has to step in. True “freedom” is an illusion; our freedoms are curtailed by laws such that we do not infringe others’ rights. But two men performing an act of sodomy on each other do not infringe on the rights of anyone else.

    About the sin of lust: Lust is a sin because it’s self-destructive and celebrates the importance of appearance. I have said I do not consider homosexuality a sin because simply put: I equate it with heterosexuality. It simply determines the gender of who you fall in love with and is not a sin in itself. Therefore I shall judge it with the same standards: If a man lusts after another man, it is sinful; if he only loves the other and wishes only to be with him, it is not.

    Lastly: This is a secular country. Its laws are not the laws of religion; therefore religion will not be hurt if the law accepts homosexuality. Religious homosexuals who wish to stay true to their beliefs will not be stopped from doing so (I have in fact encountered such a man, and he seems to be quite happy and well-adjusted). Non-religious homosexuals will not be stopped from doing what they wish to do. It seems quite fair to me. That is my hoped-for consensus.

    Note: Even Israel allows their gay soldiers to serve openly in the army, and God hasn’t struck them down yet. Singapore could learn from their example.

    Thanks, btw. I enjoy debating, and you have brought up quite a few points for me to think about.

    ~axilet

  31. axilet says:

    I just want to note firstly that I am a Christian and thus, lacking in the intention of persecuting Pastor Tan merely because of his religious beliefs.

    Many Christians do condemn homosexuality and speak out against it. I am not among their number, but I respect their right to express their opinion. However, I do oppose the deliberate misstatements made by Pastor Tan and others; linking homosexuality to bestiality, etc. You wave it away by saying that, Oh, every pastor does it–is that how innocence is determined? Though I do agree with you that Pastor Tan was unlucky to be singled out in that case, in my experience the pastors in my church, though they condemn homosexuality, have never to date used the slippery slope argument, something I respect them for. Pastor Tan is a religious leader. Many people will take his misstatements as fact. That is what I am worried about.

    Something that struck me: your smoker analogy. It is flawed because, simply put, what gay men do to each other in the privacy of their home is none of your business. They are not out there in the streets engaging in PDAs, and hence not pushing it into your face. I also find it laughable that you claim in one breath to respect homosexuals and in another condemning them for following their instincts. (But I must however thank you for recognizing that homosexuality is innate; that has often been a point of contention.) It too is instinctual for a heterosexual man and woman to fall in love. Where there exists a double standard, there exists as well discrimination. If you respect homosexuals so much, why do you then expect them to either lead a single lifestyle, or in a chaste relationship even though they are not priests; forbidden from expressing their love to each other?

    Don’t get me wrong, though: I think you have a refreshingly progressive attitude compared to some of my peers. I notice you moderate comments on this site. If you choose not to publish this I’m fine with it; I am just content you have read it. On this issue a consensus is possible, I believe, if only there is more dialogue between both sides.

    Thanks for reading.

    ~axilet

  32. Grievous says:

    Yet more from comments I have chosen not to publish. I quote:

    “Its amazing that eeveryone loses the fact that these videos were up there for public consumption – its not like we dug these videos out of the archives. They were there for the wolrd to see when the intial videos about Buddhism was discovered.”

    There were also out there for the world to see BEFORE the initial videos about Buddhism was discovered, and for the better part of 9 solid months there was NO REACTION until this. Such coincidence and the FACT that right in the beginning this person made the disclaimer ‘not like we dug up’ reminds me of a Chinese saying:

    此地无银三百两
    隔壁王三不曾偷

    Translation:
    Here lies no silver 300 taels.
    Neighbour Wang San did not steal.

    It was a story about a person who has 300 taels of silver. Afraid that it would be stolen he dug a hole and buried it in the ground. Fearing that someone might still dig it up, the smart aleck put up a sign that reads: “Here lies no silver 300 taels”.

    His neighbour, who saw him dug the hole and put the jar of silver in, decided to steal it. But he was concerned that he might be caught. And so, being also a smart aleck, he then left another sign after he stole it. And it reads: “Neighbour Wang San did not steal”.

    The moral of the story is, there is no need to cry innocence when you did not do it.

  33. alfonz says:

    lets not go out of topic…
    Pastor Ronny Tan is not against any homos or lesbians but the act of it ACCORDING to the BIBLE thats GOD’S WORD (to a believer), homosexual is a sin so blame GOD? all those who wanna be mad about it becos homos did not boom recently its been for ages, as its the same as any other criminal law.
    “Like a thief, whos not born a thief but the very act destroy himself and others”
    even based on the video you tube, i saw, was a testimony of Cheryl’s life….it was not against anyone…its a Personal experience of a person drawing close to God, where all our weaknesses or sins being transformed for HIS glory.
    Pastor Rony is another Christian Ambassador being persecuted for speaking the truth (God’s word) “blessed is he who is being persecuted for righteousness”.
    With respect to all humans, rich or poor, young or old, homos or hetros…if you are angry, guilty or hurt from the Pastor’s preaching, I pray and hope you can experience the Love of God in your life.
    well..before we start blaming again, let us be wise enough to know the intention rather than just mere words…becos we are humans and God be God.

  34. Yo says:

    “Well, the thing is no one should let them get anywhere in normalising homosexual relationship because once that happens, the next thing would be marriage, then child adoption.

    Then the ugly reality that you suggest will not happen.”

    Adoption will be costly or ought to be costly, if allowed at all. The other worry is sexual abuse by same sex parents. It takes traumatizing kids to A whole new level. Also the adopted children could grow up confused and distanced.

    The odds are still against them if they decided to adopt – and not before facing many difficult hurdles in the process of adoption.

    An unlikely option for most gays.

  35. Grievous says:

    This is part of a comment I have chosen not to publish. I quote:

    Asian countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong do not have laws like 377A against homsexuality. They do allow for hetereosexuals to have anal sex just like us. So no, we are not the most liberal; we are infact one of the very few backward countries in the wolrd along with the African states that still outlaws homosexuality.

    What is interesting to note is:

    Sep 15, 2009: Indonesia’s Aceh Province passed a law last year saying that not only will homosexuality be against the law, the punishment for it will be 100 lashes or eight years in prison.

    Jan 16, 2010: Chinese Homosexual Pageant shut down an hour before it was to begin

    I’ll try very hard not to laugh.

  36. T69 says:

    xtrocious,

    There is no irony when there is no belief that the law is flawed. :) As I mentioned, there will always be a section of the population that believes certain laws are flawed. Eg. laws pertaining to drugs. Drug users will insist recreational use is ok.

    Accept that the drug user is human and deserves respect is commendable. But to condone their habits is NOT. What may be legal in other countries, such as recreational drugs, bestiality and others, does not mean we have to follow suit.
    .-= T69´s last blog ..Rights Aren’t Always Right =-.

  37. Yo says:

    The best way to stem the growth of homosexuality in the community is man’s innate tendency for “normal relationship “. I don’t see this fringe tendency gaining stride in a predominantly heterosexual society. I think the greatest drawback of gay relationship is not experiencing procreation plus the joy of raising your kids and then finally sharing your remaining years with them by your side.

    The ugly reality will set in when the gay community ages.

  38. xtrocious says:

    And frankly, say what you want, about the act of sodomy. I’d find it very interesting when someone is arrested for speaking against something that is by law prohibited in Singapore. It would be like speaking against burglary and then getting arrested for offending the sensitivities of the burglar class.

    ————————————————————————————————–

    But here lies the irony…

    What if the “law” itself is flawed and should have been abolished together with 377 earlier?

    It’s definitely discriminatory and paves the way for one and sundry to speak (insult) the gays using this justification…

  39. […] Harmony – The Kent Ridge Common: New police reports lodged against Pastor Rony – The Lycan Times: Rony Tan (II) – Kennethism: Pastor Rony Tan: “I’ve said nothing wrong, you know.” [Thanks Kenneth] – Gwee […]

  40. T69 says:

    And frankly, say what you want, about the act of sodomy. I’d find it very interesting when someone is arrested for speaking against something that is by law prohibited in Singapore. It would be like speaking against burglary and then getting arrested for offending the sensitivities of the burglar class.
    .-= T69´s last blog ..Rights Aren’t Always Right =-.

  41. T69 says:

    Well, they can yell at the sun and moon, or moon their worn asses at the sun, it doesn’t matter. The fact of the matter remains that opening that backdoor of theirs, WILL lead to opening many other doors which they may not like either.

    Bestiality has been legalised in several countries including so-called progressive countries like Finland, Germany and Sweden. And guess what, all right along with the legalisation of homosexuality.

    So there.
    .-= T69´s last blog ..Rights Aren’t Always Right =-.

  42. roxy.z says:

    85 reports made on a person is no joke, it was probably sent via mass email and with attachment made. When the person who pirated the video and posted it on a website that is viewed by mostly lgbt people, it was obvious from his motives besides the sedition act. His actual motives are quite clear for anyone to see.
    I would wish to post more, but this is the net where everything is seen and will or might be taken against me. I shall not take the risk.