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#LawrenceKhongtheBigot

I don’t like to write about religious issues. For one, I have no knowledge of the religious texts and rituals, and hence am in no real position to comment. Moreover, anyone and everyone has the right to believe in whatever he desires, to possess any faith he wants to.

But this is not about Christianity, or any religion. This is about Lawrence Khong.

In the coming days Singaporeans are going to take apart his transcript (“FCBC Sermon: God’s Pattern for Marriage”) word by word, and attack his proclamation of a hideous and sinister “homosexual agenda”. Sure, he never does ostensibly express hate against individuals with homosexual orientations or inclinations, but his intent to purportedly unite the churches behind this cause will only amplify disharmony and disaffection. Is the fermenting of such sentiments really necessary? Maybe the lack of grounding in religious education makes me less cognisant, but can we not view others with suspicion, and exercise greater empathy instead? Is religious doctrine pedantically opposed to such a worldview?

Lest we forget: this is a secular state. Lawrence Khong has his right to perceive homosexuality and the “movement” in a particular manner; yet, he has no right to impose his own views upon others. No religion in Singapore has the right to. Earlier this year, the AGC did remind Singaporeans that “[a]ll parties are … advised to refrain from making any public comments on these matters that are sub judice, pending final determination by the courts”. Maybe he forgot?

Lawrence Khong makes me sick and sad. We are better than this. And I need to sleep.

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About guanyinmiao

A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting. Carlos Castaneda.

Discussion

24 thoughts on “#LawrenceKhongtheBigot

  1. Lawrence Khong seems to believe that the ‘homosexual movement’ that seeks acceptance of homosexuality would eventually threaten a person’s right to not want to be associated with homosexuality/homosexuals. I would think that most people naturally do feel uncomfortable with homosexuality and prefer to avoid it where possible, and any decision to take away a the right of a person to do so should be made with great caution.

    However, he fails to draw a distinction between:

    1) Discrimination of homosexuals
    -e.g. Not conducting business with a person/party just because he/she or some member of the party is homosexual; openly insulting homosexuals and encouraging others to hold a negative view of homosexuals

    2) Choosing not to encourage/expound homosexuality
    -e.g. Not congratulating someone for his/her gay marriage; not entrusting children into the care and adoption of a
    gay couple

    3) Preference (right) not to be ‘exposed’ to homosexuality and homosexual acts
    -e.g. Getting out of a conversation when it starts to involve the topic of homosexuality; not seeing homosexual acts in public

    There may be some overlap in the three, but still it is important to understand that there are different degrees of tolerance or acceptance of homosexuality and homosexuals. Homosexuals, as fellow human beings, should have the right to not be discriminated against and the right to have their own lifestyle – of course, without compromising the rights of the non-homosexuals that make up the majority of society. Just because it is difficult to draw a line and determine with absolute certainty what rights should be given to who doesn’t mean that we should give up altogether and go to either extreme (he seems to suggest that we do all we can to oppose the Gay Movement). The fact is that in public policy it is always the tricky task of finding that balance in the middle ground.

    Moreover, his argument that by having ‘Tolerance’ towards homosexuals will lead to a chain of cause-and-effect that goes: ‘Tolerance > Acceptance > Celebration > Promotion as Social Good > Force Participation > Punishment of Oppressors’ is poorly argued. Firstly, he does not carefully explore what each of these terms that he used means. Rather, he uses a few scattered examples and lets the negative connotations of the terms themselves create a negative impression of the ‘Gay Movement’. Secondly, he seems to assume that we cannot stop somewhere along his purported chain of ’cause-and-effect’, and so we should stop it right at the beginning (I don’t think he explicitly says so but I get the impression that that is what he implies). It could well be that the ideal position is somewhere along the chain rather than at either extreme.

    All that said, I do understand why he holds such strong views and seeks to oppose the Gay Movement so strongly. It is unsettling when we feel that our rights are at risk of being compromised. However, encouraging sentiments that are likely to lead to conflict may not be wise.

    “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.”
    1 Corinthians 14:33 (NIV)

    (Note: I know I took this out of context, but read in context it still expounds the idea of non-conflict, and careful consideration of different viewpoints.)
    (Disclaimer: Although I believe there is some good to be found in the Bible, I don’t base my beliefs on the Bible. I quote this verse for the sake of those who put their faith in the Word.)

    Posted by Quanxiang | May 10, 2013, 11:33 am
  2. So you are saying that a religious figures is not allowed to reach to his own flock. I believe this was a sermon for his parishioners in his own church.
    So only those of liberal ideals are allowed to speak. What hypocrisy of freedom of speech.

    Posted by theonion | May 10, 2013, 2:32 pm
    • Not to his own church, unfortunately. He did state in the beginning of his “speech” his intent to rally the other churches and Christians in Singapore. And his remarks will only yield greater disharmony.

      Err where did you get that inference from? There is no hypocrisy here. He has every right to hold his own religious views, but he is in no position to comment publicly on a legal issue (the constitutionality of 377A). I’ve granted him this: he does not spew hate on homosexuals, but he casts spite on the homosexual “agenda” and “movement”. I disagree with his bigoted perspectives. Moreover, his church – or any other religious institution for that matter – has no right to impose their views in a secular state. Why should a church be allowed to define what a “traditional family” is? I’ve heard his piece, but it would appear that his faith does not allow him or his followers to appreciate the fact that individuals in our society hold differing viewpoints. Maybe he wants the attention, to further the dialogue – who knows? But his hateful rant does nothing to advance the discourse.

      Jin Yao

      Posted by guanyinmiao | May 10, 2013, 2:47 pm
  3. The message is for those who are fellow believers, whether they wish to listen is up to them for those in churches.

    The inference of hypocrisy is that he is not allowed to speak on the matter of God and marriage ideal per the BIble which he believes in

    Further he does not impose but appeals to those, there is a very big dividing line on this.

    Is this not the same of those of liberal bent for who actively advocate for their causes or even those of environmental movements . A secular state does not mean that there is no place for religious inclinations. Further, it very pertinent, that for activists, i would infer that the same “religious beliefs” apply for whichever philosophy or non-philosophy which they subscribe to.
    Unless, the people agree to it, at the crux of the matter, it is an appeal as he has no mechanisms of penal enforcement. He neither controls nor administers the levers of government.

    Unless as per your thought process reply, conservatives of whether religious or non religious inclination are not allowed to speak on this topic or against liberal activists proposals eg USA where most mainstream media is liberal whilst social media trends conservative.

    Posted by theonion | May 10, 2013, 3:05 pm
    • Again, the inference is an incorrect one. I have stated explicitly that he is entitled to his own religious views, but imposing them (which includes commenting on a political-legal issue) in this society – I refuse to stand for it.

      When he says he believes a piece of legislature should not be deemed unconstitutional, it sounds nothing like an appeal. He seeks to rally “believers”, in a needlessly bigoted and arrogant manner, to believe the same way. You, on the contrary, contend that “penal enforcement” is a necessary criterion for a speech to be considered to be imposing. I grant you that. Therefore, insofar as he supports 377A – a piece of legislation that ostensibly restricts the rights of a group of individuals – this persistence of the status quo and the propagation of this desire certainly imposes.

      I did not say a secular state has “no place for religious inclinations”, or that they “are not allowed to speak on this topic or against liberal activists proposals”. Rather, it means no religion should seek to assert their dominance or perspectives without respecting the views or beliefs of the others, and comprehending dissimilar propositions. Is Lawrence Khong prepared to sit down and have a proper discourse with individuals who disagree with him? Surely such expression of civility would yield more constructive and meaningful exchanges, no?

      Jin Yao

      Posted by guanyinmiao | May 10, 2013, 3:25 pm
  4. The fact is, there is no need to respect the beliefs of them homo activists. God has made it very, very clear that such beliefs are wrong, evil & extremely unnatural (i.e. violates His design). We respect the homo activists (as people or in other capacities), but really, there is no need to respect their HOMO beliefs.

    By extension, no need for discourse or “constructive and meaningful” exchanges also. There is no room for compromise. We will yield ZERO ground to the homos. In fact, we will not hesitate to push their movement even further back than when it started once the opening presents itself.

    May the best (straight) man win. GG LERRH.

    Posted by IGoCrazyBecauseOfYou | May 10, 2013, 3:52 pm
    • But who is god? You have your beliefs, but no proof, they have their beliefs. Sorry, but their human beliefs deserve as much credibility & respect as your imaginary ones.

      Posted by Jonathan G | May 11, 2013, 12:37 pm
  5. He is not allowed to rally/appeal to fellow believers but your goodself and those of your fellow travellers are allowed to rally your fellow like minded or even the public?

    Is that not the inference you are implying.
    So what freedom of speech is given than to those of conservative inclinations irrespective of belief or non-belief.

    Frankly, considering the accusations of bigotry even by inference, would doubt very much much constructive exchanges even looking at what happen to AWARE.

    Posted by theonion | May 10, 2013, 4:11 pm
    • 1) Freedom of speech, yes.
      2) Comment (publicly) on public policy with the intent to infuence and incite action – refer to basis of reasoning.
      3) Basis of reasoning:
      a) Non-religious: sure, go ahead.
      b) Religious: think again. (secular state)

      Is it that difficult?

      Posted by Quanxiang | May 10, 2013, 5:09 pm
  6. QX

    Secular state does not mean an atheistic state
    Unless you mean Singapore is meant to be like USSR where religion was to be decimated..
    So both non-religious and religious are allowed to comment.
    It does not mean freedom from religion, it just freedom of speech and appeals to the demos

    Posted by theonion | May 10, 2013, 5:48 pm
    • Onion

      Allowed or not is one thing. Appropriate or not is another thing. He may comment, but his reasoning is based on religious views. Should religious views influence public policy?

      Posted by Quanxiang | May 10, 2013, 7:49 pm
      • Wow, who is the elitist now. So for those whose Taoist/Buddhist/Animist traditions disagree are not free to comment. So only those who are agnostics/atheist allowed to.

        So freedom of speech is now political correctness writ large,so who is the elite now only allowed to comment and true colors shown

        Posted by theonion | May 11, 2013, 11:59 am
  7. Depends on who you ask. Most will say no. But I bet most pastors will say yes.

    Posted by IGoCrazyBecauseOfYou | May 10, 2013, 11:32 pm
  8. How DARE a man self proclaimed a Apostle. Sure he is a Bigot.
    John 7:18
    New International Version (NIV)
    18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.

    Ravi Samuel

    https://www.facebook.com/ravi.samuel
    The strength of protestant Christianity is its lack of a central authority. Lawrence Kong exemplifies its greatest weakness; allowing ignorant charlatans to label themselves Christian for personal gain. The man is no Christian. His bubble gum pre-pubescent black and white pseudo version is an insult to Christians and Christianity. Even a child knows that Jesus himself preached substance over form and love over hate.
    What would a Bible-thumping and quoting simpleton hate mongering literalist like Kong would make of this passage?:
    When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)
    Would he say that freeing slaves was a bad thing?
    He already says that those who disagree with him are Satanic. Does he also adopt this as this creed?:
    Any man who has the insolence to refuse to listen to the priest who officiates there in the ministry of the Lord, your God, or to the judge, shall die. Thus you shall purge the evil from your midst. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NAB)
    I would ask as self-respecting Christians to denounce Kong as a fraud and deny him the authority to use the word ‘Christian’ to describe himself.

    Posted by Ku Kucu | May 12, 2013, 6:32 pm
  9. I would just like to highlight a few things to clear up some misconceptions I’ve glimpsed from your post:

    Firstly, freedom of speech applies to all forms of speech, and no distinction is made as to whether it is religious or non-religious speech. All speech necessarily espouses some form of moral reasoning, and it being informed by a religious text or an atheistic or agnostic worldview is irrelevant. One speaking can only hope to persuade others based on the force of his argument and reasoning. Granted, religious speech is linked to religious texts which not all citizens in the state adhere to, but then the challenge is for religious speakers to convince others based on other strands of reasoning that may be more likely to persuade those not of their religion. Note also that just as one is constitutionally free to speak in Singapore, one is similarly free to practice their religion in Singapore.

    Secondly, I do not believe Lawrence Khong is seeking to “impose his beliefs” on people – but merely seeking to persuade. Whether he has succeeded or not is up to each listener in the audience to decide for themselves whether they are persuaded. Just as the gay activists are allowed to campaign against s377A in an attempt to persuade the majority to their cause, so is he allowed campaign for its preservation. There is equality in freedom of speech. To simply say that he has no right to speak simply because he subscribes to a religious belief is, too – if I may quote you, with all respect – bigoted.

    Thirdly, the notion of a secular state does not mean an atheistic state. The notion of a secular state means that all religions and non-religions (atheism, agnosticism) get equal rights of speech and influence in public policy – but not politics – and the basis on which decisions are made is based on a majority determination in a democracy. Preferring atheistic or agnostic reasoning is already preferring one ideology or worldview over another, which is inherently unfair. Note that Singapore is a very religious country – approximately 30% Buddhist, 20% Christian, 15% Muslim, 10% Taoist, 5% Hindu, 17% Atheistic/agnostic. Decisions made in Singapore are made with at least some form of reference to each religious or non-religious view. One cannot discount the impact of religion in Singapore by calling it a secular state. Secularism is a different concept from atheism.

    I can’t help but feel that by and large the non-religious tend to view religious people’s views as discounted or less important or hold less ground. i think we can agree to disagree here – while some choose to base their lives, philosophies and worldviews on religious texts, some believe in the atheistic worldview and some the agnostic worldview. Each of these categories are mutually exclusive and irreconciliable. Let’s simply respect the choice each person has made and assess their arguments not on their beliefs but on their persuasive force.

    Fourth, in writing of whether “fermenting of such sentiments really necessary” and calling for “not view(ing) others with suspicion and exercise greater empathy” – It is of course, as all can agree, the preferred option of choice in public discourse. All of us hope that public discourse will be civil, constructive, non-derogatory, impersonal, and focused on the merits of the arguments. I believe that in this case Lawrence Khong was not seeking to incite hatred against the gay community – but he was merely speaking in a semi-private setting – certainly not public – to persuade his congregation. At the same time, I’d just point out that certain issues are tough and hard to settle. 377A being an emotionally charged issue, is bound to raise some sentiments on both sides. At the same time, I’d like to raise your objection to yourself – to view Lawrence Khong too with a certain degree of empathy in his viewpoint. Much as we’d like to believe that some people are inherently arguing for no sound reason at all other than that they are evil – it’s highly unlikely and I believe he has his reasons for making these arguments at the cost of his potential infamy in the public platform. If you advocate tolerance, apply it to both sides of the debate. As I perceive it, you seem to be inherently against Khong’s view – you’ve already taken a position and pre-judged the opponent view.

    Fifth, the institution of marriage as we know it today is a social institution for family. However, it has Christian origin – thus the interest in it. I hope this provides some clarification.

    Posted by J | May 13, 2013, 12:02 am
    • Thanks for the comment, J.

      1. I think I’ve established that everyone has the right to express his or her perspectives (and to practice their faiths), but why is the basis of moral reasoning “irrelevant”? Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t the objection to homosexuals or homosexual lifestyles a direct reflection of what has been penned in a religious text? My lack of cognisance of such knowledge does not grant me the right to challenge a religious proposition, but another with the right information or comprehension of these religious arguments would certainly be allowed to. While seeking to “convince others based on other strands of reasoning”, we will consider its origin, and this origin is not exempt from criticism.

      2. This line of contention would be valid for legislations and policies in general, but it is imperative, in this instance, to consider what 377A entails (because it influences what it means to support or repeal it). By supporting it, one is – with certain justifications – denying a gay man’s right to have intercourse with another. By repealing it, others (which is also my personal opinion), think that they should be treated equally. You might say: the preservation of 377A protects a Christian household’s belief in a “traditional family unit”, but how does their right to have sex affect that? A breakdown of the family unit? Drop in procreation rates? Unless these consequences are statistically and soundly proven, they remain fallacious.

      Imposition? Again, note the importance of the subject-matter, not the act per se. As I expressed to a previous comment, “Therefore, insofar as [Lawrence Khong] supports 377A – a piece of legislation that ostensibly restricts the rights of a group of individuals – this persistence of the status quo and the propagation of this desire certainly imposes.” Do I place value judgements? I definitely do. I believe in the principles of equality, that any Singaporean has the right to love whoever he or she wants to; the same way Christians (do enlighten me again) like Lawrence Khong believe that because their religion prescribes such a worldview – that any union besides a man and a woman is unnatural – this has to be reflected in legislation. That is my view of bigotry, because I am not the one proclaiming from a pulpit: “No, according to what I believe in, you do not have the right to be together”. Equality is a concept and value that anyone – of any belief or religion – can relate to. I do not think you can say the same for the views espoused by Lawrence Khong.

      And nowhere in the piece do I oppose Lawrence Khong’s right to speech. I think you’ll respect, as we have done in this conversation, that we’ve only engaged on the substantive.

      3. Agreed on the first part, but I don’t quite get your point that “[p]referring atheistic or agnostic reasoning is already preferring one ideology or worldview over another, which is inherently unfair”. Why is it unfair? Isn’t not having a faith analogous to having one? And, in my exchanges with the other readers, I postulated that Lawrence Khong’s intolerance also stems from the apparent unwillingness to have a proper discourse with individuals who disagree with him. I will take this statement back if he is open to civilly have constructive or meaningful exchanges with Singaporeans who disagree with him.

      And again, I have not “discount[ed] the impact of religion in Singapore by calling it a secular state”. Pedantically, I do not call Singapore a secular state – it IS a secular state. Moreover, I have explained that (in response to another) “I did not say a secular state has “no place for religious inclinations”, or that they “are not allowed to speak on this topic or against liberal activists proposals”. Rather, it means no religion should seek to assert their dominance or perspectives without respecting the views or beliefs of the others, and comprehending dissimilar propositions”. Don’t think my viewpoints should be construed.

      I think you would have realised that your claim is hastily generalised and inaccurate (“I can’t help but feel that by and large the non-religious tend to view religious people’s views as discounted or less important or hold less ground”). There are probably explanations for your observations, but I am not the one to comment.

      4. How valid is this “semi-private setting” argument, if he deems it necessary to put it up online for public viewing? Furthermore, he has made similar remarks in the past, which have been well-documented.

      And I’ll take your final point: I do not know Lawrence Khong as a person. I cannot – and should not – place judgements on his character. So while his views, in my mind, are undoubtedly laced with hate and bigotry, to characterise him as a bigot. I will apologise if that bordered on insensitivity, though this takes away nothing from my criticisms of his speech.

      5. I don’t get how the last point is a clarification. Just because the institution of marriage has a Christian or historical origin does not validate its absolute accuracy, or its applicability in a contemporary context.

      Jin Yao

      Posted by guanyinmiao | May 13, 2013, 12:51 am
      • Hey Jin Yao!

        Would just like to add a few words to the discussion going on. (I’ve not finished the video myself, barely gotten past 5mins in fact, but that is due to poor time management more than anything else and I hope to put that right soon so that my comments will be informed and qualified. In the meantime,)

        If I understand J correctly (and let me make a disclaimer here that despite the shared initials, that is most certainly not me! or you. HAHA), what he’s saying is that free speech and persuasion should be allowed to proceed from both secular and religious standpoints/origins. I see your point on civil discourse and agree fully, having sat down with a few of my friends myself and benefitted from the exchange.

        I would like to add though that Khong’s fundamentalist approach isn’t very different from the homosexual activists who are pursuing their cause with every (legal) mean that they can muster. I don’t doubt that he knows their arguments/motivations (not all, but most?), but his beliefs lead him to take a no compromise approach. Similarly, homosexual activists are well aware of the fundamentalist Christian stance (in general), and by virtue of their cause, are also uncompromising. Why then is Khong’s view hateful?

        Because if we accept that the Christian resistance towards the homosexual push for equality is inherently hateful, then individual Christian acts that reflect individual positions towards homosexuality must also be inherently hateful – for instance, refusing to marry a homosexual couple in a church, or requesting that a child not be taught that homosexuality is “right” or “acceptable” in school (using examples from the US!).

        And finally, on equality as a universal value. In my opinion, a Christian can believe that homosexuality should not be encouraged or accepted as a social norm. A homosexual can believe otherwise. In the name of equality, both should be able to air their beliefs in public without censure, to persuade, convince, etc. That’s my position!

        In summation, and I’ve said this before, I believe that homosexuality is a sin. That’s my personal religious stance. It won’t budge for the foreseeable future, but it definitely won’t stop me from caring for and defending my homosexual friends (or any homosexual in need for that matter) where I can. I won’t defend their right to marriage, but I will defend their right to be free from unwarranted abuse and violence. One might contend that calling their lifestyle/orientation a ‘sin’ is in itself abuse – I understand that it is a tricky line to toe. But I think (and hope) that while I disapprove of their lifestyle, it’s not a standoffish disapproval where I mount a moral stallion and toss rocks at them, but one where I continue to be a friend to them despite our fundamental disagreement.

        And that was much longer than I thought it would be!!!

        Posted by josmurftay | May 13, 2013, 1:34 am
      • Hello! Thanks for the comment / reply.

        Sure. Meanwhile, I’ll do the same (as I told Clement) to read more about the Christian (or biblical) position on homosexuality.

        Correct me if I am wrong, but some of the confusion also stems from different interpretations of the Bible (regardless of whether they are right or wrong). If that follows, it means that some of the activists are not “well aware of the fundamentalist Christian stance”, but in fact take a contrarian view. I’ve heard dissimilar verses, placards, and speeches lobbed around, so maybe it would really help if I was more informed.

        I will only speak for myself (probably as a bystander). On 377A specifically, the hate emerges because support for it means one does not accept a homosexual’s right to intercourse. I find it difficult to agree with such a proposition, especially on the grounds of equality. Why should a homosexual, for any reason, be denied certain rights that are granted to his heterosexual counterparts? Khong, it seems to me, is intent on imposing this denial of rights.

        In this sense, it also means that the homosexual activists find it easier to gain sympathy for their movement, at least to the extent of decriminalising 377A. Yet, they are certainly not exempt from criticism if they lapse into hasty generalisations, or unnecessary characterisation of religious individuals (you could perceive me as being guilty of the latter – even as an uninvolved heterosexual – but Khong’s speech does little to advance a troubled status quo).

        Curiously though, do you think we’ll ever be ready to take this approach; that in the school, a teacher tells his or her students “Homosexuality is not criminalised in this country, but major religions such as Christianity believe that it is a sin”. Is such a separation possible, or even constructive? I reckon it allows for greater tolerance and sensitivity (for differences).

        I enjoyed reading that last paragraph, and now I’m pondering whether the hate or bigotry label is fully justified (besides what 377A entails in Singapore, and what support for it might mean). Let me think about it (don’t want to type a hasty reply).

        Jin Yao

        Posted by guanyinmiao | May 13, 2013, 10:48 am
  10. EH jin yao. Actually upon reading your second last paragraph I do see something. Will think about that.

    And with regards to 377a as a law, I feel that Christians should be allow to say “Yes, this law should remain”, because morality has always been read into the law. The ‘public consensus’ is a rather volatile creature that exists in a state of flux, but I will agree that the tide of opinion seems to be moving towards a repeal-friendly outcome, and if the general public says REPEAL then I will say “I still disagree, but I will respect the law.” Till then, and even after then, either side should be allowed to persuade and convince with their religious perspectives, logical/economical/emotional and what have you perspectives.

    A qualifier would be that both sides should learn to be firm without being rude, or derogatory, or any other word that has a similar negative connotation. I’ll say that its not always easy, but it should always be strived for, and from our discussion thus far (if i might be so bold) I do believe that we have shown that it is possible to do so 🙂

    Posted by josmurftay | May 14, 2013, 10:37 am
    • What do you see!

      Correct me if I am wrong (you are the best person to help me out, haha): the law is a reflection of norms and values of the past, but should – to the greatest extent – be collectively representative of its people. And how this representativeness is derived, would then be through discourse and debate, before the Legislative makes a decision? This seems to echo what the Court explained in its judgement on the first of two cases on the constitutionality of 377A (think there’s another one coming up), which mentioned along the lines of how the Government should gauge public sentiments and discuss accordingly.

      Jin Yao

      Posted by guanyinmiao | May 14, 2013, 11:01 am
      • I mean some Christians tend to paint it as a lost battle should 377a be repealed; I would hope that the outcome would be a more tolerant one, like the statement that you suggested! And in line with the principle of do unto others as you would have them do unto you, I am working on being more understanding myself.

        And in theory, yes! Members of Parliament are representative of the their constituencies, and thus the outcome of their debate is the informed outcome that society would have derived on its own (far more slowly and laboriously). That’s just one theory though, others claim that the party whip means that the people aren’t really represented etc etc, but I wasn’t particularly attentive in the Introduction to Legal Theory (and will reap my due rewards come June 4th…). Am interested to see how the Court of Appeal handles Quentin J’s judgment 🙂

        Posted by josmurftay | May 14, 2013, 11:27 am
  11. Hey thanks to josmurphtay for communicating the point across in a way better than I could’ve!

    As to your question on whether it could be an issue of biblical interpretation: Unlikely, because to my knowledge, the church and biblical scholars generally agree on the interpretation of the bible that holds homosexuality to be sin. Some of the churches overseas that take a different interpretation are the minority and are thought to be incorrect by the majority. Can’t really comment on whether they are right as I’m not versed in biblical hermeneutics but I do accept the majority view based on what I know of the Bible.

    I suppose what Christians are saying is that we have some valid concerns (both biblical and practical) that raise some doubt on the case for the repeal of 377A put forward by the gay activists.

    As to your ideal scenario that you raised, I do genuinely see the merit of it on the face of it. This is also already happening for several other issues on which Christian values differ from the law. However I suppose 377A is uniquely different because what we’ve realized is that repealing the criminal provision against sodomy is but the first step of the gay activist’s campaign. Overseas, the intentional movement brought on the trend that once sodomy has been decriminalized, the next step that usually happens in a few years time is the legalization of same-sex marriage, because the slippery slope of the “equality” argument tends to lead one to that conclusion. This is the final stage of the homosexual agenda that we’re highly aware of, with its implications on wider society, the institution of marriage, children, values and religious liberty. Christians in these societies that have legalized same-sex marriage are being labelled bigots, hateful and being against their right to love – so even if Christians are willing to let public debate take its course, the homosexual activists may not reciprocate tolerance for our beliefs. I believe this is already happening now, given the publicity they have used to their advantage, and evidenced in your post’s title.

    Also I’d like to point out something I found disturbing in gay activists’ arguments that you’ve also raised. First, i doubt the argument that intercourse is a “right” and that by criminalizing sodomy we are denying a homosexual’s right to intercourse. Of course people are generally free to engage in such activity, but within certain boundaries, e.g. they’re of minimum age, they’re not biologically related etc. So any freedom is not completely without boundary. All freedoms are not absolute. One view is that the parties being of a different gender, like minimum age and not being biologically related, is one such boundary, while the other view is that it is not. It doesn’t violate the principle of equality – which is itself a vague concept, because all persons are different and treated differently in policy (all laws discriminate). I’d just like to cast doubt on the ‘right to intercourse’ in that if a pedophile were to assert his ‘right’ against a child (even supposing that the child consents) – we’d probably not allow that. Even if something were a right, there would be limitations as a matter of course. The question then is whether those limitations are justified.

    To answer that question, the arguments by the homosexual activists are that it is not justified because it is an inborn trait that they cannot control and so should be accepted. While the other view that such a limitation is justified is that the scientific evidence still cannot conclusively prove that it is inborn, and goes against the way the human body is designed and therefore cannot be inborn. There are many other arguments, as I’m sure you’re well aware of so I’ll not go into.

    Posted by J | May 16, 2013, 10:04 pm

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