Singapore is a secular country.
We are not only Christians but also Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Taoists, Hindus, Jains and ‘Nones’, among others.
If the Muslims and Jews were to take offence with the many food stalls and supermarkets that sell pork, if the Taoists and Hindus and Jains were to take offence with the many food stalls and supermarkets that sell beef, if the Jews were to be offended with the rest of the world who go out, shop or work on Saturdays, if the rest of the world were to take offence with the Christians who always seem to try to proselytise and whose sermons tend to ‘denigrate’ other religions; civil society will cease to exist.
As a Protestant Christian I am ashamed of the National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) who even bother to express their ‘concern’ about Madonna. I am ashamed of Archbishop William Goh of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore, who did the same.
Would Jesus of Nazareth do the same if he were alive today?
What is so difficult about trying to live and let live? To give and take? To live at peace with one another?
It is problematic these days to call oneself a ‘Christian’ because doing so carries the risk of others’ lumping the person with the likes of Lawrence Khong, Kong Hee, Pat Robertson, and the entire gang of conservative Evangelical crackpots.
Lord have mercy on us. We are behaving like tossers and berks.
As much as Roman Catholics are exhorted not to support ‘those who denigrate religion’, the same standard should be applied to homosexual and transgender people having the right not to support those who ‘denigrate’ their personhood.
It would be of disinterest to me if Archbishop William Goh had simply discouraged Roman Catholics from attending Madonna’s concert and left it at that. In a first-world society we have the choice not to read, watch or listen to anything with which we disagree. But he was, on the contrary, crying for censorship. He wanted assurance from the government that Madonna would cut sections of her performance that was supposedly offensive to Christians.
Would he accept the same from the LGBTI community in Singapore? People like him should refrain from ‘denigrating’ the personhood of homosexual and transgender people. Otherwise, he should be censored too, should he not? ‘Apostle’ Lawrence Khong and his loony band of conservative Evangelical Christians should be stopped from harrassing the Pink Dot event every June. Homilies and sermons of priests and pastors across Singapore should be handed in to the authorities first before they are allowed to be preached on the pulpits. They should be prohibited from ‘insulting’ and ‘offending’ the sensibilities of the LGBTI community.
For the record I am a Christian. I try my best to follow the Way of Jesus. But I also know that I am living in the 21st and not the 10th century and that there are more people in Singapore who are not Christian. This means that I have to live and let live, agree to disagree, accept that there are different people with different views and lifestyles in this country. If I find something insulting to my religion, why should I call for its ban? I just ignore or do not participate in it.
If I do not fancy Adam Lambert’s music or on-stage antics, I simply would not attend his concert. If I do not like Madonna and her pole-dancing nuns, I am free not to buy tickets to her concert.
If this is not religious deep-throating and rape, I do not know what is.
When a preacher encourages his congregants to separate themselves, physically or mentally, from people of other religions because they are not from the true religion, that is disruptive to social harmony and not beneficial to Singapore.
It may not be outright hatred, but it is a worldview that is poisonous.