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Not Another Bigot July 11, 2007

Posted by Ned Stark in Uncategorized.
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Just yesterday I was wondering why a letter talking about an incident of racism was thrown into the online forum. Today I find that a letter which reeks of homophobia in the print form. So I gather it seems the Editor has deemed homophobic letters to be more worthy of the MSM readers time.

MR JANADAS Devan’s article, ‘Can mum, mum and kids make a family?’ (ST, July 7), suggested that Singapore should, in the long run, come to accept homosexuality on the basis of statistics, genetics and helping Singapore become one of the creative cities of the world.

To cite the example of a lesbian friend who is observed to be in a stable relationship with a same-sex partner, and who are loving parents to well-adjusted children and are model citizens and then invoking demographics to suggest that homosexual behaviour is more prevalent than one thinks do not make it acceptable.

This line of argument, taken to its logical extreme, suggests that one day in the future the world should also come to tolerate and accept other alternative lifestyles involving loving relations between consenting adult siblings or parents and their children (with adopted children thrown in to avoid defective genes being transmitted) when they become demographically prevalent.

Positive examples and high statistics cannot be the factors by which we decide what are acceptable, in the same way that negative examples and low statistics do not make the same behaviour unacceptable.

Raising the possibility that homosexual behaviour may be proven in future to have a genetic basis as a reason for acceptance is gaining ground, given that even Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has articulated this line of argument recently on two occasions.

If that happens, should we believe that those with the same DNA (as in multiple births) containing the ‘homosexual genes’ would all necessarily turn out to be gay? Should we not then take the argument to its logical conclusion and suggest that God is to be blamed for implanting defective genes that caused the many degenerative diseases and medical conditions?

Many, Mr Janadas included, have seized on biblical passages selectively to question the Church and its beliefs. The same Lord Jesus Christ that Mr Janadas quoted in the article also said on the same occasion that he affirmed all the Laws that had been laid down in the past and one of them included God’s abhorrence of homosexual practices, as stated in the Old and New Testaments.

If actively catering to talented and creative homosexuals is critical to Singapore’s desire to become one of the most creative cities of the world, this Singaporean would rather pass and stick to a traditional family-based Singapore.

Nothwithstanding the author’s claims that he takes things to its logical conclusion, he has committed the cardinal sin of the slippery slope argument. To cut the crap, our dear friend is stating that “accepting homosexuality” would mean that one would eventually accept incest. This is ridiculous in the extreme. I daresay that the harm caused by incest is more apparent than the “harm” purported caused by homosexuality, if any there is in the first place. And I might add that homosexuality has been practised in Ancient Cultures such as Greece and at times during the era of the Roman Empire, so this acceptance is not something only to be found in the future, it has happened before.

But rather than stop there the writer then begins to attack the argument that homosexuality is genetic. saying that it is not a basis for acceptance and goes further to liken the genes of homosexuality to the genes which cause diseases, and in the process showing his hand so to speak when he invokes “God”. First and foremost decriminalisation on the grounds of science is in my opinion not a major ground for decriminalisation. Decriminalisation should come about on the basis of equality, on the principle of fairness and decency for one’s fellow human being, something which seems rather lacking in this country. And I might be so bold as to ask, how does he know that his God meant for homosexuality to be a defect? Did he receive a prophetic dream which revealed that homosexuality was akin to a medical condition?

Furthermore, he goes on to accuse people of misquoting the Bible and from the very same Bible claims that Jesus has made his stand against the homosexuals clear. But of course what he doesnt mention or perhaps doesnt want to acknowledge is that the Bible is at the heart of it all compiled by men, thus subject to the same problems as that of print sources. Thus it can be said that those who quote the bible do so for their own purposes which is what our friend Alex has done, thus it is extremly hypocritical to accuse of Janadas. Furthermore I highly doubt that Jesus was the kind of Inquisitor who went around calling hell fire upon homosexuals and prostitutes, in fact he did defend them from mobs at one time or another. But all this bickering on the bible is pointless, what people should consider is, what was Jesus’ message? Was it to love your neighbour or to stone it? But I guess it is human nature to miss the forest for the woods.

I guess it is tiring to keep coming after homophobic letters, but till such a time as the balance is restored then as a blogger it is only fair that I stand up for those who are dehumanised, be they the poor, the homosexuals so on. But I like Alex’s last statement reproduced below:

If actively catering to talented and creative homosexuals is critical to Singapore’s desire to become one of the most creative cities of the world, this Singaporean would rather pass and stick to a traditional family-based Singapore.

With regards to the above, I venture this response:

IF actively or inactively discriminating and dehumanising fellow human beings for whatever reason is to become part of Singapore’s society, this Singaporean would rather pass and start singing “God Save the Queen”.

Its a pity that he didnt say anything about migrating, i daresay one less bigot in society will mean progress in Singapore’s quest to become a more tolerant society. But then again it seems that tolerance is not seen as a hall mark or an ideal.

 * with regards to the interpretation of the Bible, I have encountered Presbyterians who believe that Non Christians are destined for hell even if they are virtous people. But I have also encountered Presbyterians who do not believe this to be the case. And both have quoted the Bible. I daresay the same applies to many issues as well.

** The invocation of God and Jesus has been used often to justify all sorts of things, ranging from discrimination to outright slaughter. The Inqusition, the Burning of Joan of Arc and the Sack of Jerusalem during the First Crusade bear testament to this fact. It appears that people are so into the letter of the Bible that they have forgotten the Spirit of the Bible, that of love for your neighbour.

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Comments»

1. guojun - July 11, 2007

Stinks of fundamentalism!

2. MG (aka Mr. Anon) - July 12, 2007

it’s a case of matching the wrong facts to the wrong arguments.

There are three main facts in Alex’s letter:
(1) a lot of people are gay
(2) being gay may/may not be genetic
(3) God doesn’t approve of people being gay.

Fact 1’s argument: because a lot of people are gay, a lot of people’s rights are being violated. the violation becomes more outrageous.

Fact 2’s argument: if being gay is genetic, then criminalising homosexual behaviour corresponds to discriminating against innate, immutable traits. just as we do not discriminate against race or colour, we should not discriminate against homosexuality.

Fact 3’s argument: none.

So we see that the real issue in this debate does not revolve around any of these facts or arguments. These facts and arguments are all corollary to the central issue: do people have a right to be gay? That should be the focus of our debate.

3. Ned Stark - July 12, 2007

The thing is, there are many facets to this issue. There are those who believe that it is ok to decrminalise on the basis of science. There are those who believe that decriminalisation should not depend on science but on virtue of the fact that we should not penalise fellow human beings just because they are different.

Actually fact 3 is interesting, because one might ask what proof is there in the texts to show that God will send gays to hell? As I said at the end, the Bible itself can be used to quote two fundamentally differing points of view so to conclude on the basis of one sentence is rather premature and much akin to cherry picking.

4. guojun - July 12, 2007

I see it this way, if we condense it into these 3 points.

1: slippery slope
2: this is actually pseudoscience. He uses the name of god and the theomorphic image of humanity, where humans are made in the image of god, to imply that we are not homosexual. The big bone to pick here is: how can he say that of God? How can anyone say that of god? Therefore, i said: Fundamentalist. Word-for-word understanding without appreciating the symbolism.
3: This further goes to strengthen my fundamentalist accusation…

5. MG (aka Mr. Anon) - July 12, 2007

Consider two statements:

(1) God disapproves of homosexuality
(2) My grandfather disapproves of homosexuality.

Is there any difference?

Can we say that, as moral standpoints, one is more rational than the other?

If we cannot, then it doesn’t matter at all whether God disapproves of homosexuality or not.

6. Ned Stark - July 12, 2007

MG,
Your point is valid from a non religious point of view. From a religious point of view there would be a difference; namely that the will of God supersedes the will of man.

7. MG - July 13, 2007

If we say “the will of God supersedes the will of man”, then what we want is anarchy, is it not?

If we make laws based on morality, it has to be a morality that we share. The differences between people of the same religion are wide enough. What more of differences between religions themselves?

Religion (at least in Singapore) is not a source of morality that is shared. It cannot form the basis of law-making in Singapore.

8. YCK - July 13, 2007

You have not seen the worst of bigots. I chanced upon this link provided by Kelvin Wong’s blog.

Mrs Claire Nazar’s letter was one of the most intolerant I have seen so far.

She tellingly ended it with,

Mr Janadas has failed to dissuade me of my ‘homophobic’ views but has only demonstrated his ‘hetero-phobic’ views and intolerance of those holding views contrary to his. Not very clever, I think.

She actually in effect called Janadas Devan a bigot. She showed that she has the self-awarness of a cabbage. It would have been funny if it were a trivial matter. Sigh 😦

9. Ned Stark - July 13, 2007

I know. I am disgusted by such jokers. But I am also tired of saying the same thing again and again. Perhaps someone should put the comment,

“You can bring a donkey to the river but you cannot force him to drink “


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