Rants and raves about stuff happening in and around my life in Singapore

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

God and the Gay Christian

I don’t usually support religion in any way since I have found it to be for the most part confrontational, irrational and contradictory. Indeed when you have a community of Christians who quite literally go out of their way to antagonise minority members of it’s own community by attempting to push it’s beliefs as a social norm disguised as “family values” you have to wonder just what is wrong.

Growing up I had been under the impression that Christianity was about love, acceptance and belief, but clearly that is no longer the case and the message I had thought I had understood as a child now seems perverted and twisted out of context. I guess growing gay gives you a new perspective.

So, It came as a surprise to come across Matthew Vines and his Reformation Project. It’s mission is to train Christians to support and affirm lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. They strive to create an environment in which Christian leaders will have the freedom to take the next steps toward affirming and including LGBT people in all aspects of church life. And that’s no small ambition if the vile hateful things many Christians seem to say about LGBT people is to ever change. But it’s certainly welcome. Its something I’ve thought about myself, after all lets face it the Bible is a book full of contradictions. And yet, here is someone who is helping people navigate through them so that they can manage those hurdles and lead a more accepting lifestyle as a result. That has got to be admired.

No doubt the Christina fundamentalists will be up in arms, but then it’s quite difficult to ignore someone who is using the very book you are and just looking at it in a way that allows them to reconcile their sexuality with their religious convictions rather than verbally abuse others because they don’t follow your inherently flawed perception of normal.

So hat’s off to you Matthew Vine and I hope that your message is spread far and wide, there’s certainly a few individuals in Singapore that could do with listening to what you have to say although I doubt they would ever admit it, but maybe if they did they would have a little more colour in their wa

You can watch a video of Matthew explaining his views on YouTube or if you prefer you can read a transcript of the video instead, it's rather long but worth taking a look at all the same. Either way, enjoy.

Monday, June 15, 2015

FCBC Wear White

Pink Dot, an annual event celebrating the freedom to love regardless of sexual orientation, was held here in Singapore on Saturday 13th June with a huge turnout of 28,000 people.

And while 28,000 people came together in the spirit of friendship and to express their support for the freedom to love by wearing pink, it would seem that LoveSingapore, a network of about 100 churches, called on members to turn up for services over the same weekend dressed in white in protest.

Network chairman and Faith Community Baptist Church senior pastor Lawrence Khong was quoted by media as saying: “It’s a powerful statement of our belief. The natural family is a universally accepted norm and a public good.” Obviously there are at least 28,000 people who would like to differ, not to mention many other countries around the world, including the predominantly Christian and catholic community of Ireland which became the first country in the world to legalise same sex marriages.

So I guess Lawrence Khong has his head buried in the sand and is ignoring the world around him.

“I want to pray that we will continue to wear white as long as there is pink, and we will wear white until the pink is gone, and even if the pink is gone we will continue to wear white,” Khong is also quoted as saying. Well again we can clearly see the ignorance of the individual. Pink will never be gone because there will always be LGBT members of society. In fact that statement is actually a little worrying to be honest as it's almost hostile in its intent. Maybe he's a little pissed off because almost 3 times the amount of people wore Pink compared to white this year. In my opinion he does kind of come off as being a little disturbed, almost manic even.

Khong added: “My prayer, my dream is that the day will come where in this weekend half or three-quarters of Singapore’s population will be wearing white as a statement of commitment to the family.” Well guess what, the rest will still be wearing Pink. And they are still members of society and always will be. That fact that you continue to spew such nonsense should clearly worry your congregation. Meanwhile, the fact that you have a congregation to begin with of course should probably worry everyone else.

In his sermon, he decried the “homosexual act” as “the greatest blasphemy against the name of God” and said that “a union between a man and woman is the highest expression of the very image of God”. What a load of antiquated rubbish. Sorry, but I have to call it that since in my opinion that's exactly what it is. It just sounds like pure evangelistic pulpit rhetoric aimed at inflaming passions and nothing more. It's also such an outdated view that it shows how deeply in the sand Lawrence Khong has his head buried.

“I’m concerned about the moral majority, people who are Christians especially, who believe that it’s wrong, but who (are) just too cowardly to stand up and make a statement,” he added. And now he brings out the whip to target other Christians who may be on the fence on the issue and calls them cowards directly acting them and their personal beliefs. It's quite sad really and I feel sorry for the people who have to listen to all the nonsense he talks. In my opinion any good Christian, and I know many in my life, would walk away from this man's influence and quite frankly laugh in his face. In fact the whole of Ireland has just done that recently I might add.

And then we have Daniel Foo who is reported to have told media "Every human being is precious and loved by God and hence we extend our love for all. However, we will continue to stand firm as one to express our support for pro-family values and the preservation of our moral norms for the well-being of our society.” Personally speaking, and pointing out the Singapore is a secular society, I find it disturbing that these religious organisation would even attempt to have their values and beliefs integrated into the larger society as a social norm. In fact everyone in Singapore should stand up and take note.

So, to the people of Singapore you all need to wake up because these people are extremely vocal and that should worry you. And to the 28,000 people who attended Pink Dot don't let it stop there because if you do people like Lawrence Khong and Daniel Foo will hold influence in our society and that should not be allowed to happen.

And lastly to the people of Ireland. Thank you for showing the entire world the true meaning of Christian values.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Mobile Game Adverts

The mobile gaming community needs a kick up the arse. Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of excellent games out there that are worth paying for, but unfortunately there are even more so called "free" games that are nothing more than a bunch of adverts glued over a shell of a game.

I mean seriously who the hell clicks on adverts these days. The only advert I’ve ever clicked on has been by mistake. And any game that I load that has too many of the damned things is immediately deleted and the developer put on my ignore list for future reference.

Maybe the younger generation click on them because they look interesting, but since they are not the ones who are actually paying for the games in the first place it’s kind of stupid. And maybe game developers already know this and are specifically targeting minors with their brand of advertising which if it ever proves to be true would make those same adverts (not to mention game developers) even more deplorable.

No-one minds paying for a good game (emphasis on good there by the way, and yes I appreciate that it’s an individual assessment) for a reasonable price, and indeed I have done that a few times myself just specifically to get rid of those same annoying adverts.

By all means give me a limited free game so I can test it out and decide if its a game I want to spend money on. But keep the adverts to a minimum, and discreet. There’s just no need for anything else, none because to be honest I’m never, I repeat never, going to click on them unless it’s completely by accident.

If the various app stores in existence were required to identify if a game had adverts in it (just like they do for in-app purchases) I can bet that a lot less people would be inclined to download them in the first place. In fact maybe that should be the next thing everyone should push for so we can decide to install a game in full knowledge that our senses will be assailed by a plethora of adverts.

And while games may harp on about 900,000 downloads so far, they don’t tell you that there was 899,999 uninstalls because their game was so full of adds it had the playability factor of a block of wood. So maybe we should also show the uninstall record of a specific game too, another indicator of a game to avoid like the preverbal plague.

Yes, in-game adverts on mobile games are a pain in the neck, so much so that I don’t actually bother with mobile games anymore. I still think all games should carry a “Adverts Warning” so that everyone has a choice upfront to decide if they want to install it or not on that basis.

Of course, I can guess why that would never happen, I mean who would actually install a game if they knew up front it had a whole bunch of adverts embedded in it, yep, so what does that tell you.

Stupid adverts, game developers just haven’t a clue what is really killing their revenue.