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

Monday, February 18, 2013

Forever and ever .... Blind!

I normally tend to steer clear of any posting on religion, but this time I feel the unbridled urge to comment on the recent flurry of activity of one Pastor Khong of Faith Community Baptist Church. You see Pastor Khong ....

....wants it illegal to be homosexual in Singapore and has already made a plea to the government not to overturn Section 377A, which criminalises sex between consenting gay men. Pastor Yang Tuck Yoong of Cornerstone Community Church also jumped on the bandwagon and called for the church to "get herself into battle-footing, and be battle-ready" adding that "This war is winnable and the church will arise victorious".

This recent activity of Pastor Khong and Pastor Tang Tuck Yoong is of course in response to an appeal to challenge Section 377A which was heard in court on February 14 2013 and was filed after two men who have been partners for 15 years said the law entrenches “stigma and discrimination against lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual people in society”. Judgement has been reserved.

It's taken some time for me to get this comment out there simple because with all the noise, the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) pointed out that the High Court is due to hear two cases on the constitutionality of Section 377A, and public comments about the issue could be deemed as sub judice “if the statements are calculated to affect the minds of the courts hearing the case, the minds of parties who are concerned in the case itself, or if they amount to public pre-judgment of the case, and there is a real risk of prejudice”

“All parties are therefore advised to refrain from making any public comments on these matters that are sub judice, pending final determination by the courts. (The AGC) takes a serious view of any statements which are sub judice and will, if necessary, act to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.”

I firmly believe that everyone is entitled to their beliefs, even Pastor Khong and Pastor Tang Tuck Yoong, but they do not have the right to impose those beliefs on others through legislation. Religion for me has always been a private matter between a person and their God and it has always irked me when individuals take it upon themselves to try to impose those religious views on a wider society. I am reminded of Matthew 6:5 "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others."

Many share the same (in my opinion) misguided view as both Pastors but just as many do not. For example, the Faith Community Baptist Church is reported as having a congregation of 10,000 followers, much less than the number of people who turned up at Pink Dot 2012 to celebrate the freedom to love.

Interestingly it's amazing how silent these religious zealots where when the Singapore government repealed Section 498 in 2007 which criminalised adultery. "Thou shall not commit adultery". One of the 10 commandments and yet not a whimper when this bit of legislation was taken off the books. The same silence also greeted the decriminalisation of oral and anal intercourse between heterosexual couples. As for the Prime Ministers reported comments on 377a in the Asian Correspondent “Why is that law on the books? Because it’s always been there and I think we just leave it.”

Well, it would seem that doesn't apply equally to all laws now does it.

No doubt if the government makes no changes to 377a, which is highly likely, after all Singapore is nothing if not a conservative society, the same misguided people will shout out "victory" from their pulpits and pat themselves on the back as they proclaim a win for God.

But let's be clear here, any victory will be short lived. Singapore WILL repeal section 377a .... eventually. It is INEVITABLE. At the time of writing this both England and France have legalised same sex marriage and you can rest assured that more will follow. As they do Singapore will not want to be left behind clinging onto an archaic law, a law that it has already been quoted in the public domain "it will not enforce".

I could go on and on here but instead I'll leave you with a poem I wrote many years ago which sums up my own personal feelings on this issue. Enjoy!

For Ever and ever .... Blind 
You make me sorry to be a member of the human race,
and loath though I am to admit it the world would be a better place,
if God stopped it for a second and took it in his care
to give you all the option of getting off right there.

You preach tolerance and loving yet you yourself have none.
Your morals are double standards, you use religion like a gun.
And though no blood is ever drawn from the weapon that you wield
your words, akin to poison, foul the air I breath.

You blindly follow doctrine and expect others to do the same,
and cast those out that don't conform, those that go against the grain.
You are trapped in your mortality seeking salvation for your soul
and you justify your actions saying this should be my goal.

The inquisition is long gone but you keep the fires ablaze,
history conveniently forgotten, you continue to fan the flames.
You walk this world blindly, though you think your eyes open wide,
so pompous in your belief that God is always by your side.

After all how could he not be, for you live life by his law,
where bigotry and discrimination are concepts you ignore.
You preach love and understanding even though you fail the same,
Isolated from reality, you only have yourself to blame.

So don't quote me from your bible, I've evolved beyond that you see.
For God is in my heart which is the only place he needs to be.
You can shout out from your pulpit, let fire and brimstone fall,
I've heard your petty speech before, unimpressive all in all.

My wealth is beyond your measure and far beyond your ken
you who strive to place your shaky values among the hearts of men.
And as this world progresses, it is you who will be left behind,
Forever walking backwards, forever and ever ..... blind.

Copyright © Barry Smyth, all rights reserved