Mar 16, 2007

What We Believe

Muslims don't drink alcohol. Hindus don't eat beef. However, in Singapore, they don't try to prohibit non-Muslims or non-Hindus from consuming alcohol or beef. Why?

Because the freedom of religion exists in Singapore. The first aspect of this freedom is that each of us is free to practise our own faith. The second aspect, which follows logically, is that we shouldn't impose our own faith on others.

Just as we worship the gods of our own choice, so too should others be permitted to worship the gods of their own choice. Similarly if you choose not to drink alcohol or not to eat pork, that's fine - but you shouldn't stop others from doing so. Especially if they don't share your religion.

Mutual respect and tolerance is the basic principle on which an inter-religious society like Singapore can hold itself together, in relative harmony.

Recently I learned from Yawning Bread's
blog that the National Council of Churches of Singapore is seeking to criminalise lesbianism. I find this disturbing. I sense a potential threat to the freedom of religion in Singapore.

If church leaders merely stood up in their own churches and preached to their own congregations "It is wrong to be lesbian", I would not feel so disturbed. For those who believed such a statement, I would feel a little sorry, but it is ultimately their own church. Within their own church, they should have the freedom to do what they like, as long as they don't impose their beliefs on others.

But now the NCCS is advocating the criminalisation of lesbianism in Singapore. The NCCS considers lesbianism to be "
abhorrent and deviant", and wants to make it an offence for any lesbian, to be lesbian. They want such a law to apply to all female Singaporeans, whether they are Christians or not.

That is disturbing. Very disturbing.

133 comments:

Mr Wang Says So said...

By the way, click on image in post, if you are interested to know what lesbian Christians have got to say about their lives.

Winston said...

Yet another reason why Atheism is so attractive these days.

amatu said...

On what moral authority do they have to impose such beliefs on others?

Anonymous said...

"At the same time, we do not condemn homosexuals as the Bible calls us to hate the sin but love the sinner". Organising a campaign to have sinners thrown in jail... heh. What a way to show one's love. I'm sure the homosexuals behind bars must be jumping for joy.

simplesandra said...

The National Council of Churches of Singapore advocating the criminalisation of lesbianism? Hmm, aren't religious groups supposed to stay out of local politics and such? Wonder what will happen if MUIS were to push for Syariah Law tomorrow? :-)

Anthony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anthony said...

When I was in the States, I had the pleasure of being part of a church that accepted same-sex couples.

The reason I bring this up for two reasons. The first is to remind people that Christianity is not a monolith. Quite the opposite, there are enough congregations out there in the world that see absolutely nothing wrong with same-sex congregation.

The second reason extends from the first. I don't think it's entirely undisputed that Christianity hates homosexuality. There are a number of moderate Christians, like myself, that take the position that God's primary doctrine is that of universal love and understanding, up to and including accepting same-sex couples.

Hence, I don't particularly like the way in which this organisation has made their agenda synonymous with the Christian agenda. It claims more authority than it actually has and that is more offensive to me, as a Christian, than any constitutional issue.

whybegay said...

I assure everyone that I have nothing to do with all the anti homosexual and lesbian laws in Singapore. My blog is just influential that's all. Maybe some reader of my blog got inspired by its messages. But don't shoot the messenger!

BTW the Bible says,

1CO 6:9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

I think the NCCS were not specifically targeting homosexuals and lesbians of other religion besides christianity but they were highlighting the absence of lesbians in the penal code.

I think the NCCS is focusing on the churches in Singapore which are condoning christian homosexuals and lesbians in their churches.

boon said...

I've been giving the issue of religious freedom a lot of thought.

Drawing a parallel with developments in USA, religious organisations have been able to influence Government policies, despite the clear separation of the Church and the State in their Constitution. An example of such unhealthy influence is the inclusion of Creationism in school curriculum, taught alongside the widely accepted theory of evolution.

Atheism is attractive to many people because it is not bound by religious dogma. But if you're a Christian, it's pretty hard to disagree with what the Bible says. Same for the Muslim and the Koran etc.

If the NCCS believes that the Bible preaches against homosexuality, then as Christians, they would be compelled to act on their beliefs.

Religion is a personal issue. But when it encroaches on the public domain, people must be allowed to speak up despite "religious sensitivities".

In fact, famous atheists such as Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins have been speaking up, very loudly.

Their positions tend to be more extreme, going so far as to say that all religion is bad, not just the extremists. This is because the moderate believers insulate the more extreme members of the spectrum. This article by Sam Harris explains it much more succinctly.

My concern is that people in Singapore would not be allowed to express their consternation, because this could be viewed as a religious issue, not legal.


Winston: I've been an atheist all my life. Try as I might, I could never bring myself to believe in a God that could not be proved to exist.

Pandemonium said...

Mr Wang, I actually do not feel disturbed. At least, firstly, I have the highest doubt that the NCCS will be successful in their campaign. It would be suicidal for the government to criminalise lesbianism.

If there's anything anyone should be disturbed with, it would be the NCCS's attitude, but then again, why should I be? The NCCS has and should have no control over my life or what I believe in, so they can take whatever stand they want. I won't feel disturbed; I will only feel sad.

whybegay:

I believe you that you have nothing to do with Singapore's laws on homosexuality, but I disagree with you that your blog is influential! But of course I have no evidence other than my personal observation to support my claim...

Leela said...

The government is to blame for this nonsense as well. By perpetuating institutionalised discrimination of male homosexuals in the penal code, the government is emboldening the Christian fundamentalists and telling them that it is willing to impose Christian moral views onto society.

Most of the developed world as already opened up. Even South Africa has legalised gay marriage. Yet our first-world government is still criminalising private, consensual sex acts. As long as it continues to pander to the ultraconservative minority, Singapore will continue being stuck with first-world economy but a third-world society.

the Stark in Winterfell said...

"Organising a campaign to have sinners thrown in jail... heh. What a way to show one's love."

During the inquisition, the inquisitors thought that by poking a fella with hot pokers and then frying him on the stake, they would be able to "save" said fellas immortal soul.

X said...

Unfortunately, I do not share Pandemonium's optimism with regards to the idea that NCCS' take on the matter is not in the least disturbing, or that our government would be "suicidal" if they ever did criminalise lesbianism.

First, as has been pointed out by Yawningbread, "...conservative, evangelical Christians are very numerous in government and many policies reflect their agenda rather than popular opinion, though they like to legitimise their views by claiming that they reflect the public's." My take on the issue is that these people may see NCCS' statement as an avenue to impose their own set of moral code upon everyone else via the legal system and then citing the justifications as being due to public sensitivities ("we are not ready for this", "this is outside the norms of society" etc).

Secondly, I might be too much of a pessimist, but even when push comes to shove, I don't foresee an angry mob of Singaporeans waving rainbow flags outside city hall in protest.

X said...

In my haste, I forgot to credit Yawningbread for the quote. The quote was taken from his december entry on MDA's ban on a charity book for tsunami victims.

whybegay said...

And I don't think it is right to implement or remove laws based on religion. Rather the decision should be based on scientific perspectives such as psychology.

So the laws should be implmented based on the logic of science.

The right people who should be telling the government to criminalise homosexuality/lesbianism should be psychologists telling the government that homosexuality/lesbianism is a psychological disorder, instead of church leaders whose pastors in their churches have been known to be improper in their behaviour.

We have known that some of the pastors in the US molested young boys and are homosexual. So christian church leaders do not have much credibility in telling the government and the people what to do.

It is the psychologists who should be telling the government and the people what is best for the society.

My blog explains that homosexuality/lesbianism is a psychological disorder, therefore it should not be promoted in society. The government should listen to me and my blog instead of some church leaders who doesn't know zilch about homosexuality/lesbianism.

objective person said...

I agree that we should be scientific. Psychologists view homosexuality as normal.

Example 1. "..., empirical evidence and professional norms do not support the idea that homosexuality is a form of mental illness or is inherently linked to psychopathology."

Example 2. "In 1973 the trustees of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) voted unanimously to remove homosexuality as a disorder from the Sexual Deviancy section of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ..."

Example 3. "All major professional mental health organizations have gone on record to affirm that homosexuality is not a mental disorder ....The experts found that homosexuality does not meet the criteria to be considered a mental illness."

Etc etc.

Anonymous said...

The NCCS commends the govt for taking the approach that 'homosexuality is abhorrent and deviant, whether consensual or not' and is demanding that the authorities take the same approach towards lesbianlism.

Even though I'm gay, I agree with NCCS absolutely. Where the law is concerned, the authorities should not practice double standards by having a set of laws that applies only to homosexuals but not to the lesbians. And to be more specific, the NCSS should also demand that bi-sexuals, transexuals, etc., should be similarly treated since they all belong to the same group of deviant people.

But before they make such demands, the NCSS should first provide concrete proof as to why such behavior is abhorrent or deviant. As far as I am concerned, I do not believe I'm more deviant in character than any christian leader that professes to be of a more decent character that they make themselves to be.

Anonymous said...

As "x" had noted that the government likes to use broad sweeping statements to justify their agenda based on "public opinions" & "accepted norms", so does the NCCS use broad sweeping statements to speak on behalf of all christians.

I recalled that these zealots caused quite an uproar the last round when they made stupid comments & seeked to make it sound as if all the churches & christians were in support of them...but its all a big scam.

Just like calling my son "Lee Hsien Loong" wouldn't make me the Minister Mentor, calling themselves the National Council of Churches of Singapore gives the false impression of authority & power.

http://www.google.com.sg/search?hl=en&q=National+Council+of+Churches+of+Singapore+World+Council+of+Churches&meta=

Interestingly, if you look at the 3rd search result, you'll find that the NCCS has nothing to do with the World's Council of Churches...shows how isolated they are eh?

I call upon all honorable christians to denounce this council if their policies do not reflect your beliefs!

Desmond Lim said...

whybegay: *yawn* sometimes you think others are as stupid and narrow minded as you are. Sorry to burst your bubble, but in 1973 the American Psychiatric Association stated that homosexuality is not a mental disorder, followed by the World Health Organisation in 1992 and then by Chinese Society of Psychiatry in 2001.

It seems that you are more knowledgeable than these organisations; Furthermore, you couldn't even win a logical argument with Aaron.

Jimmy Mun said...

As a Roman Catholic, I am very disappointed with the Pope. Recently, I believe he made a statement forbidding Catholic politicians from supporting gay marriages. As the head of the Catholic Church, he has the right to decide if homosexuality is moral or not. He can explicitly ban marriages of homosexuals in any catholic church. But to step out of the church and tell politicians how they should run countries is to forget the painful burdens the Catholic Church bears, when church and state was all mixed up. From the Crusades to the Inquisitions, none of them was becoming of Christians, and none of it would have happened if the clergy did not acquire and hoard excessive temporal powers.

I understand that the current criminalising of lesbianism is not spearheaded by the Catholic Church, but I cannot imagine the current Church leaders in Singapore to be the dissenting lot either. I urge Catholics and Christians alike to speak up against this blatant attempt to mix religion with politics.

That said, I have to express this: I believe homosexuality occurs frequently in nature. It is far more natural to have homosexual sex, than to avoid sex altogether. If we use nature as a yardstick, it is the celibate priests, monks and nuns that are perverting nature by not "doing it". But that doesnt mean we have no right to feel disgusted by homosexual behaviour. If you think two consenting adults cannot do anything forbidden in a bedroom, then I want to hear your opinion on incest. Anybody out there wants to champion the rights to incest?

If one has to be homophobic, be honest about it. Do not hide behind the Bible or the Church. God gave us a very big brain so we can have an opinion of our own. Gay rights activists tell you that homophobia is a result of conditioning. I say it is equally likely that we are programmed by evolution to be repulsed by any sexual act that can result in sub-optimal offspring.

Personally, I do not have enough openly homosexual friends to say for sure if I can accept two men or two women getting married. But I see no reason to throw them in jail either. However I cant see myself telling either of my two sons, "Be gay! I'm okay!"

Lastly, it is a cheap shot trying to smear homosexuals with paedophilia. Most paedophiles that I have read about are strictly heterosexual when it comes to sex with adults.

playtime said...

The issue is not just about same sex relationships. The really dark tone is the creeping influence of religious elements, especially - actually only - the Christian ones on govt policy without rebuke.
During one recent election, LKY famously had to intervene to sooth local temple leaders regarding their MP, who later became Law Minister. IIRC LKY later came out to say to the effect that MPs must not let their religious beliefs interfere with national work. Hm.......

Gorblock said...

I'm Muslim, and it is a sin to be homosexual in Islam.

Anyway, I think that pastors can preach how homosexual is bad because it is THEIR belief. Homosexuals who oppose that would be imposing THIER beliefs if they were to say that pastors shouldn't say this or that abt them (homosexuals) in their own churches. It would be hypocritical.

But to bring it outside to the public sphere would be wrong.

To each his own. In matters of religion, as a lot of people I know would say, they need to answer for themselves in their graves. ( a rough translation from Malay)

Mr Wang Says So said...

"I believe homosexuality occurs frequently in nature."

Yes, you are right. According to Wikipedia, homosexual behaviour has been observed in the bonobo apes, penguins, black swans, western gulls, whip-tailed lizards, geckos, sheep, spotted hyenas and bottlenose dolphns.

Mr Wang Says So said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_animals

Anonymous said...

With reference to "I believe homosexuality occurs frequently in nature" ....

Humans are different from animals, realli different

whybegay said...

To objective anonymous,

all the 3 examples you have given are only opinions that homosxuality/lesbianism is not a psychological disorder. And since there is no scientific evidence that proves homosexuality/lesbianism to be normal, therefore what is still being disputed should not be promoted in society as normal.

And what is said in 1973 is a long time from the present which is 2007. It is 34 years since that opinion was made in the US during the hippie revolution and when The Beatles were making girls go crazy with their music. The US is a country with culture and values very different from Singapore's. And Singapore is not a state in the US. So what does the APA feel have necessarily got to do with what Singapore and the rest of the world thinks?

If the US have the opinion that it is right to go to war with Iraq, does it mean that Singapore also support their opinion? It is a big logical joke to state that what the US thinks reflects automatically on what Singapore and the rest of the world thinks. The APA does not represent the whole world. You should wake up from your westernised liberal ideals.

whybegay said...

jimmy mun,

if you think that homosexuality/lesbianism is natural, then why aren't most people doing it since it is natural for the majority of people to do something natural?

Anonymous said...

by the same token, bestiality should not be criminalised. let animals' lovers love their animals the way they feel like it. we should be free to be creatively expressive - be it verbal, tribal, fourble, infidel and mental - so long as such expression is responsible and non-imposing.

in a knowledge base society, we are all responsible for who we are and hope to be. and this is consistent with a culture of self reliance and personal accountability.

so let it be written that no self-righteous person, godless or otherwise, become judge over others on the use of carrot, apple pie or simply cavorting with furs etc etc

consistency said...

The NCCS brought up a legit point from the angle on consistency.

Section 377 on its own appears broad enough in scope to catch homosexuals (both gays and lesbians). To remove S377 but retain S377A begs the question on unequitable treatment towards gays vs lesbians. In the absence of adequate clarification on the policy intent underpinning S377, NCCS simply pointed out the obvious, ie. if you continue to penalise gays on the basis that this is against the order of nature, why the relaxation on lesbians? Is lesbianism less of an affront to the masses? This is not clear.

What is clear is that the NCCS has always been transparent in their stance on homosexuality. If the decision on the permissability of homosexuality ultimately hinges on the cultural sensitivities of the ppl, then NCCS, as representatives of christians forming part of Singaporean citizens, is only airing the collective viewpoint of mainstream (for lack of a better word) christians. Is this wrong? Well... it is an opinion... just shared among a body of individuals. You, as an individual yourself, may of course beg to differ.

Pandemonium said...

whybegay:

I disagree with you that they are just opinions. They do not pop out of the psychologists' head as they sat pondering for hours in their armchairs. It takes lots of research and study and statistics to determine that. And quite on the contrary, there are scientific evidence to show that homosexuality is natural, and the general consensus amongst the scientific community is that homosexuality is natural. (Unfortunately I do not have the collection of links right now, so I cannot provide back them up. Sorry.)

If we assume for the sake of argument that I'm right, that "homosexuality is natural" is not opinions but facts supported by science, then it doesn't matter how long ago this fact has been made (as far as I know, Einstein's special relativity still applies...) or where it has been made. And that mean it cannot be compared with the Iraq War.

And your question of why people are not doing it if it is natural, may I then ask you if being female is natural or not? Think of the answer with the premise that "homosexuality is natural".

In such a situation, the argument, do you agree, reduces to whether homosexuality is natural or not? In my opinion, while psychology is not a physical science, it is nonetheless scientific in nature, and it has to adhere to the scientific method of empiricism. Psychologists (and APA) do not arrive at their conclusions, as I've said, by staring at some blackboard or computers; it comes from detailed analysis of their patients. And if we follow the manners of science, then they are the authority, and they are most likely right. And if you think they're wrong, please bring up established research (not armchair arguments) to back up the claims, because naive as I am, I'm not very aware of the existence of such research results.

whybegay said...

Mr Wang

The NCCS only referred to the unfairness of the penal code when it said that lesbianism should be criminalised in the same was as homosexuality is in the penal code.

If the penal code already covers religious and non-religious views of the majority, so what's wrong if a particular religious or non-religious group states that the penal code is loop-sided and should be revised?

The NCCS did not refer their view to lesbians who are not christians. So what is the freedom of religion you are talking about in your article? Nonsense.

So Mr Wang, revise your article and do not quote others out of context the next time. If you continue to ignore the details, it would justify the reason why you are not a good lawyer.

BTW, look at what is happening in Japan and add it to your on-going research.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=rndmtvtH7U0

And Pandemonium,
provide real evidence to substantiate your weak opinionated statements that anyone can make. Othewise weak opinionated statements are just ignored.

consistency said...

On closer inspection, I realised S377 refers to carnal sex rather than a general catch-all on gays and lesbians. My mistake, sorry.

The inconsistency still remains however on the treatment of gays vs. lesbians. It just doesn't cut it to impose on one group but not the other, so either lift the rule altogether or apply it fairly across board. My personal inclination if you need to know is actually towards removing.

But out of curiousity, was anyone actually prosecuted under S377A? or is this just on paper?

whybegay said...

Pandemonium

You can say that homosexuality/lesbianism is natural,

and I can say that homosexuality/lesbianism is a perversion.

Misusing the sex organs as homosexuals/lesbians do is already a perversion. Is it natural for a person to misuse other people's sex organs? I'm afraid not.

Before you can say homosexuality/lesbianism is natural and normal, you have the responsibility to prove that misuging another person's sexual organ is natural and normal. Otherwise your statements are just empty statements.

Pandemonium said...

whybegay:

I'm really sorry I cannot afford the time to gather the evidence; my homework is piling up nastily (and I have to present my work later today). But may you allow me to refer you to Wikipedia's entry on homosexuality, which contains numerous references from professional studies? I really hate to do such a sloppy job, but I'm afraid you may have to make do with this.

I may come back on Sunday (if I can find the time) and post a more appropriate reply.

My sincerest apologies.

Pandemonium said...

whybegay:

Perhaps you may want to elaborate on "misuse", because I don't quite understand what that means... could you be referring to the argument that sex organs are meant for procreation only?

whybegay said...

Pandemonium,

is professional reference the same as professional evidence?

I have already said I only want evidence not opinions nor references.

And if you think sexual organs are not just for procreation, then what are their other purposes? Tell us their other mysterious purposes.

Mr Wang,

look at the end of this video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9E7J7MLko4&eurl=

Japanese people actually line up before they get into trains! Unbelievable. It will take Singaporeans eons to get to that level of civilisation and discipline.

This is why Singapore is still 2nd world and Japan is first world. Therefore you should only compare Singapore to other second world countries instead of first world countries if you know what being humble is.

Kelvin Wong said...

ERmmm..whybegay, you are trying to rewrite psychology isn't, just like what creationist is doing to darwin?

It is strange that people have been quote to whybegay statements from professional organisation on their opinions of homosexuality being not a mental illness.

But all whybegay can keep saying is "show me the evidence!" Er... at least there are credible referrables. May I ask whybegay where is YOUR evidence? Do you have evidence on your side, with the studies to say otherwise.

Don't chicken out to say that you don't have to proof anything. It just saying that I know whybegay is a hermaphrodite, I don't have to show evidence or proof it, whybegay have to proof himself/herself is not...

Leela said...

whybegay,

You seem to be labouring under the delusion that homosexuals have the onus to prove that their inclinations and behaviour are natural. They do not. YOU made the claim that they are not natural, so prove it. Merely stating your malformed, unsupported opinions that they are a "perversion", or that they are "misusing" their sexual organs, doesn't help your case.

Btw, natural does not mean practised by the majority, as you seem to imply when you said "why aren't most people doing it since it is natural for the majority of people to do something natural?" Natural means what comes according to nature, and different people have different natures. Some natures may be in the minority. According to your absurd logic, being left-handed is also something unnatural, because most people are not left-handed.

Meng Chong said...

Mr Wang. Specifically about the NCCS 377 PC and 377A PC, Anon March 16, 2007 9:29 PM and whybegay is accurate to say that NCCS is asking/recommending that there is consistence from the law perspective. You may want to relook at the last paragraph again.

Anonymous said...

whybegay: "if you think that homosexuality/lesbianism is natural, then why aren't most people doing it since it is natural for the majority of people to do something natural?"
If you think A is B, why is A not C since B leads to C. Nice try.

"all the 3 examples you have given are only opinions" Fyi, They are opinions from credited psychologists and are thus more credible than YOUR opinion.
The study of the human brain is a science itself. Just because the evidence derived from neurology and psychology are somewhat tricky and sometimes intangible which does not fall into the common and usual way evidence is made for other forms of theories does not discount it as a mere opinion.

"what is still being disputed should not be promoted"
How is homosexuality being promoted just because it's not being persecuted? Does your homophobic brain automatically equates acceptance to promotion?

amatu said...

Hrmmmm....retrospectively, the govt have mentioned about coming out with a clause regarding talking about religious issue which is harmful to the national interest or public, something like that. im not expert but i do remember ive read it somewhere.

Is this the start of drafting the religion bill?

Anonymous said...

whybegay:

if you think that homosexuality/lesbianism is natural, then why aren't most people doing it since it is natural for the majority of people to do something natural?

--

tsk...ur reasoning ability is horrendous. You are even using appeal to popularity to justify ur statements!

It's like saying 'if being borned stupid is natural, then why aren't everyone stupid?'

'If autism is natural, then why isn't everyone autistic?' (yes, autism can be overcome by few pple...but only some pple hav the ability to overcome it in the first place i.e. pple with high iq)

'if being borned black is natural, then why isn't everyone black?'

Tee

X said...

Dear Whybegay:

I hope you will not take offense at my attempt to address some of your points, some of which were questions directed to someone else.

Based on your blog, you described perversion as an action of turning something to a wrong use, and proceeded to make the case for the wrong use of the sex organ as a perversion, and labelled it a psychological disorder of failing to recognise the true function of objects or people. Now, I have this nasty habit of chewing on my index finger (not intended to be condescending; it is true). Should I be admitted for treatment, because I have perversed the use of my finger and teeth?

In one of your earlier postings, you recommended the enactment of law based on scientific perspectives, and cite psychology as a discipline. When others pointed out the articles, however, you relegated them to mere opinion and a product of westernised liberal ideals. While I am in a different discipline of science, be rest assured that the veracity of a published article does not change across cultures. Otherwise, I think we would need to stop funding biomedical research and start discovering the new laws of thermodynamics and motion that works for our culture and country.

Lastly, you decried the other commenters for not having substantiated their arguments. Yet, when I read your entries, it was filled with broad, generalised statements beginning with "Most people view..." or "Many homosexuals..." or "Most societies...". These statements are practically screaming for references in my ears. The use of "most" or "many" may indicate a large number, but it does not necessarily follow that credibility is automatically conferred upon the statement.

Without a credible reference, your case for homosexuality as a psychological disorder seems to consist of nothing more than opinion. To quote you on the matter, "[please] provide real evidence to substantiate your weak opinionated statements that anyone can make. Othewise weak opinionated statements are just ignored."

Meng Chong said...

I'm a Catholic but ain't the kind to quote the Bible verbatim. But I do remember a section where Jesus while standing between a mob and a "lose woman" said something like "Let he who has not sin cast the first stone".

I get it intellectually about "Love the sinner, hate the sin". But any human being who says it is easy is lying. I'm constantly challenged by this.

Have friends who are in same gender relationships. Other then their choice of partners, they are just like you and me. Fellow human beings. I say it is they who keep me on an even keel; not allowing my judgements have/control me.

From http://www.dictionary.com, homosexuality is defined as the sexual desire to and sexual activity to one's own sex, lesbianism is just female homosexuality.

So there are 2 parts, orientation and the act. So does homosexual orientation occur? Yes of course! Does it occur in human nature? From my layman point of view, yes! The KEY question is what is the individual going to do about it.

For me line is crossed when there is a homosexual act, that is no no for me morally. Now there will be those whom say that's a fine line and how would I know about it. Yes it is a fine line and unless I told in the face by this person he/she has engaged in it I wouldn't know!

However if I'm gonna ALWAYS assume people in same gender relationships are ALWAYS going to part take sexual activity AND use that as THE yard stick to moral measure, then not do I have judgment, I am choosng to let my judgement control me!

My take on this is have the State/Law define what is legal or not based on the local moral context as best as it can. From that point is about constantly checking the relevance of the law and its effectiveness in maintaining law and order of the land.

Religion, just like sexual orientation, is a personal choice. And what act between consenting adults behind close doors is NON OF THE GOVERNMENT business!

Whatever action take there will be consequences/results. As to whether the individual have to answer in this present life or after that is between him/her self and whatever entity he/she believes in.

whybegay said...

I think I have to post some model comment replies in my blog so that I would not have to keep repeating myself again and again to different people on different blogs.

Kelvin Wong and leela,

the penal is already implemented and my blog is not an advocating blog. Therefore I do not have to prove anything to change any policy. Rather it is homosexuals who want to change the penal who have to prove their points. I don't even have to put references in my blog postings to prove what I say is true.

It was jimmy mun who said, "That said, I have to express this: I believe homosexuality occurs frequently in nature. It is far more natural to have homosexual sex, than to avoid sex altogether."

So if jimmy mun said that homosexuality is natural then he would have to prove it because not many scientists and people agree with this.

leela said,

"Btw, natural does not mean practised by the majority, as you seem to imply when you said "why aren't most people doing it since it is natural for the majority of people to do something natural?"

However jimmy mum said, "That said, I have to express this: I believe homosexuality occurs frequently in nature. It is far more natural to have homosexual sex, than to avoid sex altogether. If we use nature as a yardstick, it is the celibate priests, monks and nuns that are perverting nature by not "doing it".

Please bear in mind jimmy mum was the one who referred homosexuality as natural, frequent and common in nature(animals). He also meant the majority of people can be born homosexual and practise homosexuality when he compared humans to animals.

jimmy mum was the one who think that majority people can be naturally born homosexual and practise homosexuality, not me. Therefore I was only bridging his reference of "majority of animals practising homosexuality" to my reference of "majority of people practising homosexuality".

If anyone disagree with using majority of people to compare with animals, then take it up with jimmy mun who first did the comparison, and not take it up with me. And do read slowly and understand carefully what people and I have wriiten, instead of jumping to simple slandering conclusions.

So leela and some anonymous people, you all have agreed with me that jimmy mum's absurd logic in his example of animals is not valid to be compared to humans, since the majority of humans are not practising homosexuality as jimmy mun sees animals as doing.

leela also said,

"Natural means what comes according to nature, and different people have different natures. Some natures may be in the minority. According to your absurd logic, being left-handed is also something unnatural, because most people are not left-handed."

Yes this is true. But being left-handed is not unnatural, it is just the wiring of the brain that causes a child to use his left hand. Being born with different colour skin is also natural, due to genes. Finger chewing is also not natural but a conditioned bad habit.

Moving on, jimmy mum was implying with his example of animals that humans can be born homosexual. Of course I disagree.

Since humans are biologically born without mature sex organs, they are asexual. Children don't go around having sex with other children. It is therefore not biologically possible for humans to be "born homosexual". Rather, people have homosexual desires because of what their environment conditions them to think and feel, as my blog has already explained in great detail.

And as always I have said this to many people, do remember to read carefully what I say and refer what I say in reply to what others have said before me. Otherwise one would just jump to conclusions and accuse me of saying that left-handers and dark skin people are not natural. All the false slander and accusations statements I cannot bear.

Oh God and the Bible,

1PE 3:13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened." 15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

I will not be free on the weekends so unless someone has found concrete scientific evidence that homosexuality is biologically natural, please don't call me in to correct reckless slanderous misconceptions and simple broken logic.

Mr Wang Says So said...

WhyBeGay:

You have claimed that:

"homosexuality/lesbianism is a psychological disorder"

Where is your evidence? Show me proof that there is any medical board or psychology institute that agrees with you.

whynotbegay said...

The attitude of NCCS is indeed disturbing. While they are definitely entitled to their religious views, they should not be trying to impose their views on others in a secular state like Singapore. This will set a dangerous precedent. It is already bad enough that we are crimalising homosexuals. What consenting adults do in their private lives has got nothing to do with the government.

Since Whybegay harps on scientific evidence, it got me thinking what scientific evidence there is to prove that God exists in the first place. The Bible is afterall written by Man. No?

Jimmy Mun said...

Homosexuality in humans is fairly common. At least 1 in 10 have strong homosexual desires. Gay rights activists will tell you that homosexuality is a discrete state: either you are straight or gay, and you cannot be turned either way. But I believe the truth is somewhat more tricky. Most of us are attracted to both genders to a certain degree, and a mostly gay man may still be able to find a woman attractive to him and vice versa. The flip side is that, a marginally gay person can also be succumb to peer pressure into "experimentation". As far as I am concerned, the whole gay rights issue is far more complicated than either the conservatives or the gay rights activists will have you believe.

But I never doubted if homosexuality is natural or not. Scientists studying ants have found that some ants routinely stray from their tasks and wander aimlessly. If they are removed, new ants will enter this unproductive state of aimless wandering. It turns out that these "idlers" are really scouts looking for new sources of food. Without such scouts, the whole colony will not have anything to be busy with. Just because those few ants do not follow the crowd and serve an obvious purpose does not mean that they are physically or mentally disordered. They could have a higher purpose than the average worker ant.

Can homosexuals be serving a higher purpose we do not yet understand?

According to this article, Having older brothers a factor in boys becoming gay.

"According to the Canadian researchers for each brother that precedes him, a boy's likelihood of growing up gay increases by a third.

But this apparently only applies to brothers with the same biological mother and is not the case where there are older adopted or stepbrothers with a different mother.

But the increased chance of homosexuality applied even where men had older full brothers who had been raised separately in a different home, offering further evidence for a biological effect.

The findings suggest that in a proportion of gay men, their orientation is heavily influenced by biological factors they experience before they are born, and not by the way they are brought up or choices they make later in life.

The findings clearly indicate that conditions in the womb before birth, and not the subsequent family environment, are responsible for whether a boy becomes gay."


From an evolutionary standpoint, it seems turning an excess supply of males into homosexuals may be advantageous to avoid excessive violent contention for the females.

So who can say homosexuality is against the order of nature?

Most Christians have no issue ignoring the Bible's exhortation to put to death, people who dishonour their parents or the Sabbath day. So, why be so obsessed with homosexuality?

Anonymous said...

Considering the fact that this blog has generated such diversed opinions, it would be interesting to hear what our political masters especially our MIW leaders, who professes to purer than white, has to say with regards to the criminalisation of lesbianism.

It would also definitely be enlightening if any member from medical profession and authority, such as our MM's Doctor daughter, can give their professional opinions objectively.

guojun said...

mr wang,

don't bother with what WBG says...it's not the first time he's been acting up...forgetting to take his medicine again.

Homosexuality may very well be a psychological disorder in some cases, but more often than not it is a matter of choice or something more sociological. Just as personally we may find it wrong, but it doesn't give one the right to proclaim it as wrong for the human race.

Pkchukiss said...

Neither the Government of Singapore, nor any individual, or any organisation/body should be allowed to infringe upon a person's right to indulge in a lifestyle that is of his own choosing, especially if nobody comes to be harmed by the exercise of such a right. If anybody is terribly horrified, or appalled by someone's choice to be a homosexual, so be it.

The law should not be made a tool to express and impose somebody's opinion on others. Imagine if somebody who hates eggs were to enact a law that bans the eating of eggs: that isn't right at all. The same applies for homosexuality.

ed said...

"Because the freedom of religion exists in Singapore."

You mean the freedom of religion exists in singapore so long as you don't exhibit your religious affiliation in places of learning. I thought that is where the significance of appreciating difference is supposed to be learnt? The latter undoes the former my friend.

ed said...

I didn't know that lesbianism is a religion.

Anonymous said...

pkchukiss & all

Hope you guys enjoy and perhaps learn something?

上集
http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/lOnMFVL40c8/
下集
http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/fmRmVwzSlLg/

They are human and they exists. Not choice or lifestyle. Isn't stupid to 'choose' a 'lifestyle' that courts homophobic, insults and called a criminal?

Is China more civilised than Singapore on this example?

Anonymous said...

The truth are: there is nature and there is nurture> there are naturals and there are perverts. So what can you fellas do? Act like the intended law and all will be straight and proper? Chicken or egg first?

Anonymous said...

some people prefer toasted bread whereas some prefer leaven bread.

but if that's not your preference, you can still respect its creative and regenerative processes and stick to consuming its basic composition for what its worth.

pennythots said...

There are 3 possible reasons why mr wang finds the subject acts very "disturbing":

1. A religious group is trying to stop freedom of religion in Singapore.
2. A religious group is trying to impose its religious beliefs on other people in Singapore
3. A religious group is discriminating against the rights of a particular group of people in Singapore.

(1) does not follow from the subject context. Criminalising lesbianism does NOT stop freedom of religion in Singapore. Lesbianism is not a religion, and one does not choose to be a lesbian because of a particular religion. In other words - while a religion may stop freedom of lesbianism, criminalising lesbianism does not stop freedom of religion because people are still free to choose their religion. Mr Wang may not have thought through his views properly in this respect.

(2) may be true, but to a certain extent every religion imposes its views on the general populace - the question is extent. This is shown in how many of the laws, say the age of consent (16), probably has some religious roots. It is also an offence to hurt the religious feelings of a particular group. The issue then is to what extent the religion is imposing its views. In most cases the majority have no issues with it e.g. we agree with 16 being the age of consent, and that buggery should be illegal, but it is a question of extent how much the affected minority is trampled upon - i.e. pedophiles and practising homosexuals.

(3) is somewhat related to (2) above, but is specifically targeted; or sometimes it is because the particular target is more vocal and is able to drawn attention to their objection at being targeted. I take the view that it is once again a question of extent - whether majority view vs minority view is considered fair, how strong the feelings of disgust the majority have against the minority, the extent of sanctions, etc -- whether such discrimination is supportable or not. Take for example, how paedophiles who could legally bonk 12 year olds in japan, face criminal charges here; and monogamy (for non muslims) -- and how we are perfectly happy to accept these restrictions. It's greyer but we do respect exceptions such as the 4 wive limit in islam (which technically does discriminate against non muslims).

Coming back to the subject, it's interesting how lesbian activities can be criminalised, if at all. For male homosexuals, buggery is criminalised. How should lesbianism be criminalised, or should it be under the catch-all of unnatural sex?

My other point on this, is that objection to homosexuality and lesbianism is not necessarily a religious issue. Lots of people (ask your neighbourhood uncle or auntie) do disapprove of homosexuality even though they are not christians - the objection is not solely a christian one. It is easy to miss the point and turn it into a christian-bashing session, when often enough it is about the non-christian common man in the street engaging in some homosexual-bashing.

Anonymous said...

I am curious as how many of those who fervently insist that homosexuality is normal actually know what homosexuality is because I am confused as to why homosexuals, if they feel they are trapped in the wrong bodies like those with Gender Identity Disorder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_identity_disorder), they don't act on their convictions and seek a sex change.

Anybody cares to enlighten us?

Anonymous said...

To add to my earlier post, here's a link to the World Professional Association For Transgender Health (http://www.wpath.org/links.htm) which has resources on GID.

Questions we may ask are:

Why is transexuality not outlawed(correct me if I am wrong) like homesexuality is?

Transexuals are more convincing to me as suffering from something they have no control over because of a biological defect, apparently related to the wiring of the brain whereas homosexuals are not included in this category of sufferers. Could it be homosexuality is an illusion (or delusion) although it is not considered a psychological problem? Or is it a conscious choice of self deception?

As of now, I agree with whybegay (so shoot me) that the APA studies and "evidence" are just opinions rather than scientific proof that they really unwilling victims of sexual disorders.

I stand corrected if someone can provide convincing conclusive scientific evidence.

le radical galoisien said...

"Hmm, aren't religious groups supposed to stay out of local politics and such? "

Why? To me, it does not disturb me if religious groups push for legislation. Can you convince the voters? That's the whole idea.

The problem is that since Singapore is basically a degenerate democracy, minority privilege groups unwield a disproportionate amount of power.

"When I was in the States, I had the pleasure of being part of a church that accepted same-sex couples."

Well, in the States my friends like attending their church because it allows them to believe whatever they want. Which tends to make church-attending pointless in my opinion.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Frankly, this kind of debate puzzles me. It's like an "impossible to lose" kind of debate. I could concede this big point, and I could concede that big point, and still, as a simple matter of common sense, I don't see how WBG's position is tenable true.

For example, I do not think that homosexuality is a psychological disorder. The views of the psychological community support me. But WBG has got zero support from the psychological experts.

But never mind.

Suppose, just for the sake of discussion, I concede this point to WBG. Suppose I agree, "Yes, homosexuality is a psychological disorder."

So what? That in itself is no basis for criminalising it. Schizophrenia is a psychological disorder. Depression is a psychological disorder. But we don't say, "Let us pass a law to make it illegal to be depressed or schizophrenic. Depressed people should be thrown in jail. Schizophrenic people should be thrown in jailed."

Why should we say: "Homosexuality is a psychological disorder, therefore homosexuals should be thrown in jail?" It's illogical.

Next. Some people like WBG, after arguing that homosexuality is a psychological disorder, go on to argue that it is a choice.

Huh? If it is a psychological disorder, how can it be a choice? Can a sane person choose to be insane? Can an insane person choose to be sane? Can a straight person choose to be gay? Can a gay person choose to be straight?

But never mind.

Let's just make the illogical assumption that homosexuality IS a psychological disorder AND a choice.

So what? That's still no basis for criminalising it. Compare it to robbery; rape; murder; theft; vandalism; wife abuse; cheating; etc etc - you see that crimes are crimes because harm is caused to some member of society.

Now consensual sex between adults hurts no one. Whether the participants are men with women or men with men or women with women.

So why is homosexuality a crime? I cannot see why.

You could call it "psychological condition" or a "choice" - that is no basis for criminalising it.

PJ said...

" ... I am confused as to why homosexuals, if they feel they are trapped in the wrong bodies like those with Gender Identity Disorder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_identity_disorder), they don't act on their convictions and seek a sex change."

Umm..because homosexuality and GID are two separate things? When I was in uni doing abnormal psychology, our lecturers were always careful to highlight this difference.

If I remember correctly, if you are a male but you identify more with being female, then you might have GID. Your attraction to males are thus not homosexual attraction since you identify yourself as a female. Of course, I would think it is possible to be both a transexual and a homosexual.

Plus, I don't think any gays actually want to be females.

"APA studies and "evidence" are just opinions rather than scientific proof that they really unwilling victims of sexual disorders.

I stand corrected if someone can provide convincing conclusive scientific evidence."

I'm curious. What would you define as "convincing conclusive scientific evidence" since clearly all the studies published in various journals that led to APA's decision are not evidence to you.

Also, why do you accept such evidence in the case of transexuals but not in the case of homosexuals?

Saltwetfish said...

To anonymous who asked:

"As of now, I agree with whybegay (so shoot me) that the APA studies and "evidence" are just opinions rather than scientific proof that they really unwilling victims of sexual disorders.

I stand corrected if someone can provide convincing conclusive scientific evidence."

Firstly, I does seems strange to me that people would "believe" in WBG argument and not those of professional psychologist around the world, including China. It is akin to saying that these professional simply list that homosexuality is not a mental disorder out of their whim and fancies and did not do continuous and proper research and study when they make such statements. Surely they can they can do better than than? It seems strange to me that people actually "trust" WBG "psychological" theory than those of the professionals. It seems to me that they are saying that if somehow have a psychological issue, they would prefer to send them to WBG than a professional because they spout nonsense where WBG does not... uh...wtf?

"Why is transexuality not outlawed(correct me if I am wrong) like homesexuality is?

Secondly, people tend to have a myopia when talking about such issues. There is a ready assumption that homosexuality being outlawed is universal. Sorry to say, please read your wikipedia, it is not.

In one of my blog entries:
http://www.saltwetfish.net/journal/2006/02/28/the-illegal-homosexual-in-conservative-asian-singapore/trackback/

I examined global countries that outlawed homosexuality. Now out of 11 ASEAN countries only Malaysia, Singapore and Myanmar have laws penalising gay sex. Indonesia does not, Philipines does not, Thailand does not. What is common amongst the 3 countries which penalises homosexuality? British laws, Victorian values.

If we look further into Asia, we can see that neither China, Korea nor Japan has such laws. Only India as a big Asian country has it and the reason again? Yes, its a former British colony.

If we look at an even broader pattern of law against gay sex, we can conclude in general that these countries have a tendency to be one or all of the following:
1) Islamic country (with strict Syriah laws, including stoning to death)
2) Under-developed and somewhat war-raged
3) Former British colony (adopting old victorian laws)
4) Strong Christian or Catholic influence (esp. in Africa continent)

Er.. you mean that is your universe? Most if not all of those countries that penalises homosexuality is due to mostly their religious uptake NOT scientific evidence and the spectrum only includes values that a associated with the Abrahamic religions. 3 wrongs does not make one right. If one noticed cultures that are mostly Hindu, Buddhist or even Taoist or just atheist are mostly absent from the list above. Tell you a lot about the type of hatred in the books as interpreted by people. Even now, there are disagreements with Christianity and Judaism on this stance of homosexuality.

Even Singapore's law on homosexuality which was based on British law has its roots in Christianity and not science. This law has already been overturned in England whereas the colonies are still hugging it like gold.

If we look back in history, you can see that a lot of cultures did not have problems with homosexuality, except those that are "strongly" Abrahamic in believe system. The American Indians did not, the Chinese did not, neither was native of the Malayan archipelago.

Anyway, I just got an interesting like by LDS on embracing homosexual children: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyRAueeJNIY

le radical galoisien said...

mrwang: well, they do crack down on drug users when they don't directly harm anyone too.

It's rather hypocritical how they crack down on marijuana use but not the far more lethal use of tobacco.

Jimmy Mun said...

For those who are "pro-gay":

If you think two consenting adults cannot do anything offensive behind closed doors, I like to hear your opinion on incest, please. I want to hear someone say he or she is okay with fathers having sex with daughters, mothers having sex with sons, brothers with sisters etc as long as both of them are consenting adults. And, if the said act is not offensive, why must it be done behind closed doors? What harm does a couple engaging in passionate sex do to a bystander, especially since a bystander has all the freedom not to look? And who set 16 as the appropriate age to give consent for sex, when one is still considered immature to vote, or watch other people have sex in the theatres?

Just as we expect paedophiles to curb their desires even behind close doors, going so far as to make possessing child pornography a very serious offence, if society as whole decides that a certain activity is taboo, there may be some wisdom to it. Maybe in 500 years, child pornography will be legal, incest will be tolerated, and people of today will be cast in the same light as Victorian prudes. But society as a whole has the right to decide what constitutes acceptable behaviour, even behind closed doors, away from public view.

For those who are anti-gay:

But most Singaporeans do not see anything criminal about buggery. As long as the homosexual community is sufficiently discrete, why bother with them? In fact, if the US experience is anything to go by, men may get more anal sex in prison than without. If you are genuinely concerned about the harm of anal sex, you will want to keep men out of prison.

Anyway, if God is so against homosexuality, one would expect Jesus to say something about it.

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a bugger to enter into the kingdom of God."

Oh wait!!!!Jesus was referring to rich men, not buggers. I do not see Christians rushing to outlaw wealth, so why the obsession to condemn homosexuals with secular laws?

Anonymous said...

Actually, there is no direct Biblical basis for being anti-lesbian, except those passages about general sexual immorality - which begs the question as to what God considers sexual immorality, I suppose. The direct references are all about men with women and men with other men.

More evidence of how wise Queen Victoria was to uphold homosexuality laws but strike down lesbianism laws. She knew there was no Biblical support.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Jimmy:

You miss the point. I am asking for the key distinction - why is that consensual sex between a man and a woman is legal, but consensual sex between a man and a man is illegal?

Your incest point is simply not the point. Incest could well be heterosexual or homosexual.

As for why sex should be behind closed doors, it's because you could get arrested for exposing your private parts in public. That means you, Jimmy, whether you're making love to a man or a woman.

Mr Wang Says So said...

I object to paedophilia because the child is too young to give informed consent.

Men should not have sex with little boys OR little girls.

Jimmy Mun said...

Mr Wang,

what makes private parts, private? Why are female nipples more private than male nipples? Just a few decades ago, Balinese women could still be seen walking around in public bare chested. Why should a woman feel outraged if a man shows her his dingdongs? I'm sure somewhere in our family tree, there were ancestors whose "dingdongs" hanged free and didnt scare the womenfolk to death. There is no scientific basis for a society's mores; they are merely a consensus on what constitutes acceptable behaviour.

And how young do you have to be, to be considered "little"? In a different era, a 13 year old can be considered a fully mature adult (as someone pointed out, the age of consent in Japan is 13!). In Singapore, a 9 year old is sexually mature enough to conceive a child. My one year old baby is old enough to tell me what he likes, and what he dislikes. OTOH, if a 17 year old is deemed to be too young to enter into a legally binding contract, how can he/she be deemed to be wise enough to make a binding agreement about his/her body?

I am not out to champion incest or paedophilia. Neither am I anti-gay. All I am trying to say, is that some of the premises in support for homosexual righs, are resting on shaky grounds.

~[z][x]~ said...

Hi Jimmy,

You are right to observe that 'unscientific' societal mores are indeed arbitrary and many times, puzzling to people who would like to make objective sense of individual freedom and rights.

The thing is, the radical scepticism you employ in your critique of the championing of homosexual rights, would actually render a lot of our current rights questionable, and in the context of your argument, "fallacious".

What makes religion 'religious'? Why should people have the right and freedom to practise their faith when a few centuries ago they were banned from doing so? Is there an absolutely 'scientific', coherent and infallible process upon which the freedom of religion is founded and can never be disputed? I certainly can't think of any (i.e. Any reason I can think of can be questioned as how you have questioned 'the premises in support of homosexual rights')

That leaves us in quite a dilemma does it not? We could ignore the issue altogether, or postpone our activism until we can construct a wholly infallible process of thoughts as to why we think a certain freedom should be granted OR we can be realistic and compare the grounds of which both opposing arguments are founded, decide which is reasonably the better one, and support it (by keeping our mind open, though, on possibly better arguments from the other side).

I think it is the decision to go with the latter that has compelled many of us to fight for homosexual rights - not that our reasons for granting them their rights are absolutely flawless, but simply that, on most ocassions, they trump the reasons given by the opposing camp for denying them their rights. (like those provided by WBG)

That is how I understand the mentality of many gay-rights activists, and how I would justify their behaviour. Unless, of course, you can provide examples of premises that you consider "unshakeable" in the promotion of homosexual rights?

Pandemonium said...

whybegay:

Hi!

While I will not deny that the evolutionary purpose of sexual organs is for procreation, that does not make non-procreation use of sexual organs wrong. At least that is what I think, and thus please correct me if I've erred. For isn't it the majority that determines what is right or wrong? And isn't the majority not using their sexual organs for procreation purposes? I am referring to, for example, the use of comdoms, contraceptives, or the acts of fellatio or masturbation. And if the majority deems it appropriate to use their sexual organs as such, then how can we claim it as "misuse"?

And I am rather confused to your use of the terms "professional reference" and "professional evidence". This is because a professional reference is usually professional evidence, for an article that has done its references properly ought have cited reliable sources, such as academic textbooks and journal articles. Granted, Wikipedia, being a wiki, is unlikely to have all its references proper and complete, but nonetheless there are a decent list to begin with.

Just to give one example (for I do not have time - I'm apologise again for this - to look through the numerous scientific papers published on this), neuroscientist Simon LeVay has noted several physical differences in the brains of homosexuals from heterosexuals. This research was published in the reputable Science Magazine, as listed in the bibliography of the Wikipedia article. Of course, LeVay's research has been criticised due to some controls of his study.

Now, may I inquire if this is the "professional evidence" you seek? If not, then perhaps I cannot convince you then, because you are not being scientific (by that I mean following the methods of science). And if it is, may I then ask you, now that I've raised some evidence, to substantiate your claim that homosexuality is a psychological disorder?

And if you can spare the time and effort, can you kindly elaborate on your distrust in the APA, for I find it difficult to follow your reasoning? Because if you distrust it due to the difference in time and space, then doesn't it follow that what comes from the Bible is even more unreliable?

Anonymous said...

Saltwetfish,

I don't believe in wby instead of the APA. I am weighing the facts given by those who cite the APA but do not consider why transexuality but not homosexuality is proven scientifically as a disorder beyond control compared to studies of psychologists which are to dated based on human feedback/surveys rather than scientific procedures. Please refer to the alternative references I have provided instead of just considering only findings from the APA. To me, objective scientific findings are more credible than those based on human feedback/surveys.

It still cannot understand why people say that homosexuality is different from transexuality and then later claim that homosexuals are similar to transexuals.

Perhaps homosexuals can speak up and share why they do not seek sex change since they feel that they are females trapped in a male body and they can't do anything about that feeling. My point is, if transexuals can act on their convictions that they are females, why won't homosexuals do the same? Won't they want to enjoy sex as females if they really believe they are females?

Until then, the impression they leave will be that they are not convinced enough about their feelings or it is just a lifestyle choice, which means, it is a choice, not something they can control. Then the argument that they can't help but be gay holds little water.

In that respect, I agree with wby about scientific proof. His argument about psychological disorder does not appeal to me. I am highlighting the credibility of psychological studies compared to scientific evidence. The former is not the same as the latter.

And I believe the act can be condemned but not the person the same way as stealing can be outlawed but we still accept the thief as a human being until there is evidence that homosexuality is an uncontrollable act, just like transexuality. Apparently, the latter occurs because of the way sexual organs are being wired to the brain. But that is not the case in homosexuals.

Anonymous said...

Correction in paragraph 4 - "not something they CAN'T control".

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, please read my comment carefully, especially on what I agree and don't agree on with wbg. And also the links provided to wiki and wapth on transexuality.

As a lawyer by training, I would think you are capable of picking up nuances in arguments.

Kwongheng said...

Jimmy said

"For those who are "pro-gay":"

Actually, I am not pro-gay per se, I am pro-equality.


"If you think two consenting adults cannot do anything offensive behind closed doors, I like to hear your opinion on incest, please."

Jimmy, you already betray yourself when you use biased words like "offensive". Offensive to who? Offensive to what? Secondly comparing homosexuality with incest show how little one understands the issue here. Actually, incest as not been "offensive" all the time throughout history, especially within the royal family. The main reason why incest is against the law is because it leads to inbreeding and may produce deformed or sick offsprings. There is a scientific, predictable and demonstratable basis as to why incest is not good for you and your family. As to the law against homosexuality, those arguing against could yet produce a scientific, predictable and demonstratable basis of harm to oneself or others. Whereas those for could cite tons of literature that are scientific, predictable and demonstration that it is no harm to the one or the consenting partner.


"I want to hear someone say he or she is okay with fathers having sex with daughters, mothers having sex with sons, brothers with sisters etc as long as both of them are consenting adults."

I think if people are consenting and if they want to have sex, go ahead as long as it can be demonstrated that they are no coerce or exploited or threatened. However, they should also know that their relationship bears fruit could lead to inbreeding. They have to think careful for their future offsprings.


"And, if the said act is not offensive, why must it be done behind closed doors?"

I don't understand what the law against homosexuality have to do with this question? We never ask for special privileges to be able to do it in public, if anything those should be applied to anyone, gay people are no exempted.


"And who set 16 as the appropriate age to give consent for sex, when one is still considered immature to vote, or watch other people have sex in the theatres?"

Again what has the issue of the law have to do with this question above?


"Just as we expect paedophiles to curb their desires even behind close doors, going so far as to make possessing child pornography a very serious offence, if society as whole decides that a certain activity is taboo, there may be some wisdom to it. Maybe in 500 years, child pornography will be legal, incest will be tolerated, and people of today will be cast in the same light as Victorian prudes. "


Again, I apply the same logical of scientific evidence and predictable outcome of harm, exploitation or potential to harm. The law against have sex with young children (again this varies from country to country) is set because it can be shown or at least demonstratable that young children can be coerce, exploited and threaten into a sexual relationship by an adult, especially one with authority and power. Of course, adult can also be coerce, exploited and threatened into a sexual relationship by another adult (but there is a law for this also).

What you are saying is that if a society decides that we should discriminate against black people or Jews, then there may be some wisdom to it and hence we should allow it to happen if we are in that society? Or that we should publicly burn witches to death? Or that we should stone people to death because they were women who were raped and made a report? There are wisdom in those actions? Please explain to me what wisdom. Similarly, please explain to me what wisdom there is for a law against consent same-sex acts?


It is not less then 50 year ago that the US thought cross race married is immoral. Should you accept that 50 years ago?


"But society as a whole has the right to decide what constitutes acceptable behaviour, even behind closed doors, away from public view."


Sorry which society you are talking about? If you are talking about Singapore, then its not the whole society, its only a few elitist who decides. Chewing gum was a acceptable behaviour for most of society, but the government stil bans it. When the garmen want couple to reduce children in the 60s, the society was against it and it was immoral for a lot of people to use contraceptives then, but the government went again. A large propotion of the Singaporeans are against casinos, the garmen still went ahead.


A good society is one that protects the minorities against threats, discrimination and injustice. If not, based on your description of a society, your ideal society would be Red Army China, Teleban Afgahnistan, Nazi Germany and Apartheid Africa, because it is the society as a whole which decided on the fate of some, but in Africa's case, the majority. Also you seem to have an ideal that each individual in society have the same rights to express their voice.


You mean after reading Mr Wang, YB, Mr. brown, etc (perhaps you've only read Mr Wang), you still believe that most of what this society believes is really what they believe and not something that could be engineered by the government via our mass media?

Kwongheng said...

Anonymous,

"It still cannot understand why people say that homosexuality is different from transexuality and then later claim that homosexuals are similar to transexuals."

Sorry you said people say, since you are talking about fact, can you show me which people said this then claimed later?

I don't know where you get your evidence from, but homosexuality is attraction to the same sex, they don't want to change sex, transgenderism is one who identifies strongely with the opposite sex and wants to be that. Can you please show me references which tells you transexuals the same as homosexual, but I can show your many references just based on definition alone (check ANY dictionary) that homosexuals are different from transexual.


"Perhaps homosexuals can speak up and share why they do not seek sex change since they feel that they are females trapped in a male body and they can't do anything about that feeling. My point is, if transexuals can act on their convictions that they are females, why won't homosexuals do the same? Won't they want to enjoy sex as females if they really believe they are females?"


Sorry, but do please show me references where you got this idea from, that homosexuals feel trapped in their bodies and wants to be female? As a gay man this is the first (okay maybe 20th time) time I have heard of this strange definition, I checked all my dicitionaries and could not find your definition.


"And I believe the act can be condemned but not the person the same way as stealing can be outlawed but we still accept the thief as a human being until there is evidence that homosexuality is an uncontrollable act, just like transexuality. Apparently, the latter occurs because of the way sexual organs are being wired to the brain. But that is not the case in homosexuals."

Actually whether or not is an "uncontrollable" act, on what basis should there be a law against it? What harm or demonstratable harm does it bring to the person or his/her partner? Nobody has yet to provide one.

Metta

Anonymous said...

Found something enlightening here:

http://www.symposion.com/ijt/benjamin/chap_02.htm#The%20Jorgensen%20case

Maybe the gays can speak for themselves. They are the ones to best defend themselves.

kwongheng:

There are gays who claim they cannot help it because they are trapped. Sorry, I hear and read it here and there from self-professed gays. If it is not true, then all the more it resembles a choice. Whether this choice is legitimate is already a subject of debate, which you can read for yourself. Just like heterosexuals are attracted to many of the opposite sex but are legally obliged and are able to control their sexual tendencies to acceptable norms, homosexuals should also be able to control their tendencies.

Readers will decide for themselves whether they think it should be a legitimate lifestyle in Singapore.

kid said...

So many words yet so little meaning:

Someone should tell me why the Bible does say that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to children.


kwokheng

kid said...

Is Ethics, natural?

Is Singapore, natural?

whybegay said...

Pandemonium

The majority or minority misuse/perversion of the sex organs does not dictate misusing of sex organs as being right or wrong. In my blog I have explained why non-procreation sex is a misuse.

Professional reference is not scientific evidence because professionals who cite references don't necessarily cite scientific evidence.

About the study done by neuroscientist Simon LeVay, although he noted several physical differences in the brains of homosexuals from heterosexuals, he did not prove whether the physical brain differences were present at birth or caused by conditioned environmental factors. I am already aware of his study.

Refering to a blog post titled "The "gay gene" (non)argument" in my blog, I wrote,

"There are people who imply that "gay genes" causes the larger brain cavity in gay people which is observed by fMRI(functional magnetic resonance imaging scans).

But there are also fMRI scans of London cab drivers who have larger hippocampus than people who are not cab drivers. Their enhanced hippocampus is caused by daily usage of their brain mapping system to navigate through the very complex and tricky London street network.

Every neurologist knows the fact that the brain is "plastic", the neural pathways in the brain are not fixed and can change over time."


The study you provided is not conclusive enough to prove whether homosexuality is biological or not. The APA's statement on homosexuality is also not conclusive enough, they mentioned that it is their opinion that homosexuality is not a psychological problem. However the APA has no conclusive evidence that homosexuality is inborn, nor have they found the presence of any gay gene.


Kid,
the Bible said that only people as humble as children can enter the kingdom of heaven. Being humble is the quality seeked, not naivety.

MT 18:2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself< like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Purbu said...

Yes, it is very disturbing. The law should be made without influences from any particular religion teaching to be fair to other religions unless the country doesn't practise the freedom of religion. It is just very inconsiderate for the council to act in that way.

Pandemonium said...

whybegay:

My first guess as to why we disagree between "misuse" is because of our differing moral beliefs. I believe in moral relativism but it is likely that you do not. Of course, I may have to read your blog to find out, which I will do if I can find the time.

And while I agree with you that some articles do not cite scientific sources such as academic textbooks and journal articles, that doesn't mean that all their references are invalid. For example, the Wikipedia article on homosexuality does cite scientific sources, though it is sometimes mixed with news articles.

As for the LeVay article, I'm just raising it as an example that Wikipedia does cite appropriate references. I do agree that his results do not necessarily imply that homosexuality is natural or born with, as he himself as clarified. And I used that as an example because I believe it serves to illustrate that Wikipedia has cited from reliable, scientific sources.

That said, you have mentioned that APA states that it was their opinion that homosexuality is not a psychological problem. However, I cannot find that particular statement, and I vaguely remember reading somewhere that their conclusion was arrived at based on a scientific report published many years earlier. I could be wrong about that though, and I do need to do some digging to support my claim.

And as for "gay gene", I don't think homosexuality is caused by a gay gene. It's too complex a state to be caused by a single gene alone, but, again, it is just my opinion and should not be taken as the truth.

1moresg said...

Jimmy Mum said,
"There is no scientific basis for a society's mores; they are merely a consensus on what constitutes acceptable behaviour."

True. But we can try to understand the 'truth'.

What constitutes acceptable behavior I think should be guided by science, by concepts of harm, by our understanding of rights, in a secular society does it not? Or is this not the consensus that is being shared?

In sexual offenses, consent I think best represent the consensus between rights, harm, and scientific understanding. Scientific understanding of when puberty takes place helps in the determination of when consent can take place. Rights suggests a sort of autonomy of an individual to choose. Harm is ever present in most offences we choose to criminalized.

Informed consent runs through the above ideas expressed often in society - rights, harm, scientific understanding.

So we ask ourselves whether there is consent, and I think that it is a workable theory that corresponds best with the reality. Other theories (or not theory at all) somewhat fail).

-

Most people's shared horror at incest can be very easily explained through the language of evolution - I think that it will clarify our understanding. Things are probably very complicated. How this will pan out is quite complicated. What however is absent are a particular large group of individuals who desire to have sex in a family scenario (where consent is freely given). So it is somewhat a non-question.
-
I think that objective truth can only be grasped at - not achieved. But it does not mean we no longer try. What we have is an imperfect view of the question whether something is natural or not natural, and I do not believe we will ever know the true picture. But we can always know the better answer. And in this case, the better answer is that Homosexuals are natural, that their rights should be respected, and their activities do not constitute harm to the other party if consent is given.

Unlike pedophile or incest.

1moresg

kid said...

whybegay:

And what does 'humility' mean, exactly?

Anonymous said...

For those of you who have read about WBG's "debate" with Aaron and Kitana sometime last month, you should know that he's just been rehashing his old stand.

Nothing new here, move along.

Anonymous said...

"By the way, click on image in post, if you are interested to know what lesbian Christians have got to say about their lives."

This link from Sammyboy's is a first hand account of an ex-lesbian's experience:

http://www.christian-faith.com/html/page/lesbianism_and_drugs

Lesbians do not all have the same opinions and attitudes towards the church like Yawning Bread and Mr Wang seem to suggest in their posts, nor is their sexual orientation uncontrollable.

I am surprised that the same people who champion freedom of speech and religion are the ones who bash the church for giving feedback to the government which is their right but is construed by YB as a demand to change the law. That is distortion.

Haven't the gays been trumpeting and demanding for their rights too? That's double standards.

the Stark in Winterfell said...

To Whom it May concern;

I dun think those who criticise NCCS are indulging in church bashing. The NCCS has stated an opinion and people are merely stating an opinion to the contrary. NCCS has a right to request a change in section 377, on the other hand those who do not believe in section 377 have a right to state their disapproval.

Anonymous said...

Here is another testimony of the good things Christianity has done for homosexuals:

http://www.christian-faith.com/testimonies/porn-gay-lies.html

Would they be happily testifying for Jesus if they were not happy that they got out of the addiction? Would they, if they are forced to conform?

Would you say that the church is suppressing human rights if they are trying to free people from their miseries? Would you bash someone for doing good? Most probably, only when it threatens your own agenda, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

stark,

Yes, you are right. But stating disapproval does not mean accusing the church for demanding (that's what YB wrote in his blog), does it?

the Stark in Winterfell said...

The church is entitled to their stand. The issue however is whether Singapore, as a secular state, should continue to have Section 377.
Anyway instead of bashing Mr Au for being unhappy with the church, why not try to see things from his point of view? Judging from the stories of how the gays were treated in the past, it is not surprising why Mr Au does get irritated over the issue.

Pandemonium said...

anonymous:

You have raised anecdotes of successful religion therapy. There are also numerous anecdotes of unsuccessful therapy. Why is yours more right than theirs, may I inquire?

My stand (and, I believe, the stand of many others here) is that anyone should have the right to choose what they want. That is, if they choose religion therapy and successfully changed themselves, then I feel happy for them. Likewise, I would also feel happy for people who openly embrace who they are - homosexuals - believe in their own rights. Pardon me if I'm wrong, but isn't this best conducted if we remove all compulsory legislation on it?

Elizabeth Chia said...

For those who are interested in more testimonies of changed lives, here is a link to more testimonies and feedback from gays (found in the guestbook):

http://jebruce.tripod.com/index.html

From what I see, homosexuals are confused but are definitely real men. They have been confused by the environment an caved in to temptation when they found it hard to cope. You will have to decide for yourself whether you wish to be free.

Jimmy Mun said...

I want to thank ~zx~ and 1moresg (your name is Ben right?) for reading through and understanding my meandering words. kwongheng, not so much, since he is so eager to make a strawman out of me and burn me alive.

Thanks to Steve "Gorgeous" Irwin tv shows, I was introduced to this creature called the Black Mamba. I think almost everybody irregardless of culture or upbringing will agree that there is something about the look of this snake that screams "EVIL!". Some may say this is a result of conditioning by the media, but I believe something more primal is at work. Before the advent of modern medicine, once bitten by this snake, there is no chance 100% of getting twice shy. I do not think it a stretch of imagination that this snake so terrorised our ancestors in Africa that only those who are born with the fear of this snake survived to pass their genes on.

Indeed, I believe our natural instincts are honed by evolution to enhance the survivability of humankind.

Just as the Black Mamba naturally instills fear, incest naturally induces disgust, so we will move our butts and look for a mate outside our family.

Incest is by far more taboo than homosexuality throughout history, and is seldom seen in the animal kingdom.

BTW, incest doesnt guarantee defective offspring; it merely increases the probability. Many other factors also increases the risks of defective offspring, like smoking, alcohol consumption or parental, especially the maternal, age. Should we have laws banning older pre-menopausal women who smoke and drink from having sex on that basis?

What of homophobia then? Should we feel guilty when our skin crawl at the sight of two men kissing? Is it a natural inborn instinct that keeps us from follies, or as gay rights activists put it, a state of conditioning by the government, the churches and the media?

I am raised a Catholic with no openly homosexual friends. I admit my subjective view can be wrong. Which is why I believe that societal consensus can be wiser than me. This is how a democracy should work, right? Vox populi, Vox Dei - Voice of the people is the voice of God. And when the society is collectively homophobic, I would want to think harder about my position rather than immediately conclude that I am smarter than them.

I am incredibly graphic from here on, those who are uncertain of their maturity, please seek parental guidance.

And then on to the "no harm" principle. Even behind closed doors, we cannot legally give consent to death, or assault. We assume that someone who says they are okay with all that is in a mentally incapacitated state. While I am no expert in anal sex, I believe most will agree that penetrating the anus is tricky business compared to vaginal sex. If the two parties have poor technique, poor communication or poor artificial lubrication, grievous physical damage can result. And I hope nobody needs me to prove that diseases like HIV, anal cancer or Hepatitis are transmitted more easily via anal sex than vaginal sex because of the higher likelihood of cuts in the rectal wall. Can a person, especially a first timer, be capable of giving an _informed_ consent on a potentially very painful ordeal?

At this point, someone may be eager to point out that the anus was never designed as an "entrance". If one believes the human body is designed, I want to know why men have a prostate gland up our anus. While the female prostate is correctly positioned within the vagina and probably functions as a G-spot, why is the male G-spot situated in a location that doesnt see any action in "normal" sex?

It is also said, that if the prostate gland is stimulated, it can result in an enormous orgasm. I had read about someone having a spontaneous ejaculation after the insertion of a thermometer in the anus. What if anal sex is like heroin - a short-circuiting of natural processes that can be highly addictive, and results ultimately, in destruction of the addict? For those who insist that a heterosexual person cannot be "turned" gay, how do you know for sure? Have you endured through anal sex and decided it is not fun?

~[z][x]~ said...

Anonymous 3:51,

I am surprised that the same people who champion freedom of speech and religion are the ones who bash the church for giving feedback to the government which is their right but is construed by YB as a demand to change the law. That is distortion.

--> The problem here is that the church is using RELIGIOUS reasons to justify the secular legal system. It's not that they do not have a right to give feedback, but doing so on religious grounds is dangerous should be discouraged.

Their logic goes this way... "Since (we think) the bible declares that homosexual acts are 'sinful, abhorrent and deviant', therefore the state should outlaw homosexuality". Have you thought of the danger of allowing these thoughts to prevail in a multi-religious society? If you consider it the right of the Church to make statements like that, what is stopping them from coming up with a "Since the bible declares that the worshiping of other Gods is 'sinful, abhorrent and deviant' (and trust me, that's more obvious than homosexuality), therefore the state should outlaw the other religions in Singapore'?

Freedom of religion is the freedom to practise one's faith privately without obstrusion from the state. Freedom of religion is NOT a license to impose your religious beliefs on the lives of others, especially those who are not even of the same religion.

Elizabeth Chia said...

Pandemonium,

I will provide more than anecdotes, if I may, to assure you my conclusion isn't based on just one person's story or only the APA.

http://www.pfox.org/
I agree that gay activists will be more convincing if they can prove that homosexuality is permanent and irreversible condition from birth. Until then, it will be difficult to change society's perception of it.

For more resources, please follow the links in:

http://jebruce.tripod.com/id7.html

elizabeth chia said...

Pandemonium,

Hi again. I am a christian so some may say I am biased. Hence, I am including something from an atheist psychiatrist who, I think, was one of those to said that homosexuality was not a psychological disorder (as quoted by those who cited APA references) but also says that it is not an irreversible and permanent condition (which gay activists have left out in their citations).

http://pfox.org/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=26

Saltwetfish said...

Ah my dear Elizabeth,

From the same link you sent, I quote the following:

"My study concluded with an important caveat: that it should not be used to justify a denial of civil rights to homosexuals, or as support for coercive treatment. I did not conclude that all gays should try to change, or even that they would be better off if they did. However, to my horror, some of the media reported the study as an attempt to show that homosexuality is a choice, and that substantial change is possible for any homosexual who decides to make the effort.

In reality, change should be seen as complex and on a continuum.
Some homosexuals appear able to change self-identity and behavior, but not arousal and fantasies; others can change only self-identity; and only a very few, I suspect, can substantially change all four. Change in all four is probably less frequent than claimed by therapists who do this kind of work; in fact, I suspect the vast majority of gay people would be unable to alter by much a firmly established homosexual orientation."

-http://www.yawningbread.org/arch_2006/yax-545.htm
- http://www.yawningbread.org/arch_2003/yax-328.htm

Oh, by the way, I know you are Christian, but isn't it strange your reference only lists Christian organistation have reparative therapies for gay people?

I did not see a non-religious organisation providing those services, neither did I other religious organisation providing such services. I wonder if that tells me that this believe is only a one side affair?

Saltwetfish said...

Sorry, I meant to say here are some links on the research usually quoted by Christian organisation in their anti-gay campaign:

- http://www.yawningbread.org/arch_2006/yax-545.htm
- http://www.yawningbread.org/arch_2003/yax-328.htm

le radical galoisien said...

"I object to paedophilia because the child is too young to give informed consent."

Yet, mrwang, some are quite explicitly informed about the whole affair. While I support the concept of informed consent, I think it needs some revision, especially where boys are judged to be always be more informed than girls in a relationship of equal age.

Anonymous said...

The threat is not NCCS. If that were the case, the Bible would be the threat.

Your proposed amendment promotes DISHARMONY between the straight and the gay in SINGAPORE, NCCS CLOWNS. Look at this comment list for evidence of CONFLICT! It's war out here! I'm saddened by this. Wait, maybe we can ban all religious devices that challenge the state. Yeah, maybe that's what we can do. Religiously neutral. The Switzerland of religion. Oh, either way we have a freedom issue, right. Sorry.

"Assuming that we have a situation of a Muslim convert that wishes to be baptised in a local church … could the act of baptism performed by the pastor be prejudicial to the maintenance of religious harmony and likely to disturb the public tranquillity?"

Yeah, and your proposal disturbs the public tranquility between people who cannot deal with it (like yourself) and people who are okay with some homosexuality (like the civil sector some time back). Stop rocking the boat!

"At the same time, we do not condemn homosexuals as the Bible calls us to hate the sin but love the sinner. "
So go tell all your people to hate the sin but love the sinner! Why are you looking to the government to do your job for you?
By imposing a punishment, the government would be more or less condemning them in front of the public eye, wouldn't they! Your God may love everyone, but not every human can love a criminal, no sir. Heard of the Yellow Ribbon? Maybe we should slap a fine on this fellow named Lesbianism... where does he/she live?

Miss T said...

"I am surprised that the same people who champion freedom of speech and religion are the ones who bash the church for giving feedback to the government which is their right but is construed by YB as a demand to change the law. That is distortion."

I don't think it's appropriate for the church council to give any feedback to the government on any laws deemed irrelevant to the its teaching. Religion should be totally out from any Singapore legislation or law. Otherwise, every religion in Singapore will come out and give their own feedback about whether Singapore's law is coherent with their own teachings.

And to think of it, it was a very bold step for the church council to give feedback on how the government should run her country, wasnt it? :-)

Pandemonium said...

Elizabeth Chia:

Hi!

Firstly, I think there are doubts raised about the success of these therapies. There was a study on supposedly successfully converted gays who were apparently happy with their lives and now engages in heterosexual relationships. Since it has been determined that the brain structure of homosexuals are different from heterosexuals, the study found that a large proportion of these people are still homosexual, but through various reasons, perhaps will power, they made themselves belief that they are heterosexuals.

I believe I read this research in Yawningbread, but then again, as I quote from my memory, I cannot thus provide you with a link, and if you insist on one, then I may have to look out (and there's no guarantee of finding it).

Even if homosexuality is not permanent and can change, I do not see a reason why homosexuals should change, since there is, in my opinion, nothing wrong with homosexuals. My current attitude is that it is natural, and until I see conclusive, contrary scientific evidence, I doubt I will change my position. After all, if you were to allow me to draw an analogy, just because every guy can build up a six-pack (save for special exceptions) doesn't mean everyone should. Perhaps I have missed out some vital points, and if you would, please enlighten me on it.

elizabeth chia said...

Hi Pandemonium,

I am glad that you are able to engage in an exchange without insisting that the other party is definitely wrong, or unable to think rationally with the "if you are not for me, you are against me" or "if you don't agree with me, you can't think critically" attitude.

You must have noticed I did not say (nor did the church) that homosexuality/lesbianism MUST be criminalised. It was YB who wrote that the church demanded, which is not true because feedback does not equate to a demand. That is one reason why I spoke up.

I don't think it is wrong to give feedback with one's own views to explain a stance, and certainly you do not expect the church to support homosexuality, do you? It's a matter of being honest about one's stand. The church is trying to take care of its sheep the christian way. Is that wrong?

And those accusations/allusions, by some, to the church being the invisible hand behind the government's decisions are flimsily based on conjectures. Just because there are X nos. of christians in the service does not mean decisions are based on christian preferences. There is no proof at all. Also, are the non-christian leaders skivving then? I don't think it is healthy to spread unfounded allegations.

You may argue that it is just an opinion, but what would you say if I said, "Hey, I think YB is trying to incite hatred from non-christians against the church and manipulate them to into supporting his cause just to spite the church/establishment."? It is my opinion, but would it be fair and responsible of me to propagate that idea?

Another point is that while some gays may have the right to choose to remain gay, there are others who'd rather not and would like to be heterosexual. Therefore, to say that since homosexuality is not a mental problem, it is natural and gays should not be made to go against what is natural, is simply too simplistic. There are gays who hate their lustful desires for men. To them, it is not natural and they would like to go against that tendency.

In addition, the logic is flawed. Just because there is no mental problem, it is normal and therefore should be permitted? In that case, can I say that since drug trafficking is not a mental problem, it should be permitted?

Whether you like it or not, Singapore is not as liberal as some may wish it would be. And just because certain countries allow it, does not mean it is good, or for that matter, being liberal is good and conservative bad. Being open-minded is not the same as being liberal. Being conservative is not the same as being closed-minded.

Even if being liberal is 100% good, would you expect society to warm up to your ideals instantly? A reasonable and mature person will say no. It will take time.

For instance, if someone has a smoking problem and is told that it is better to quit, should he be expected to abstain completely instantly?

There are some who express frustration that people simply don't understand just because they do see immediate results and begin lashing out at others for being incapable of thinking etc. These people are doing themselves and their cause a great disservice because that will only infuriate their targets and galvanize them against change even more.

So, yes, we have to learn to be patient, tolerant and see things from others' perspectives. It is a fact of life that we will have to accept.

And finally, please, don't immediately assume that if a person is not convinced about your cause, he is definitely against you.

That is all I have to say and I hope gays and lesbians will not take me or the church as an enemy all out to make life difficult for them.

Mr Wang Says So said...

"While I am no expert in anal sex, I believe most will agree that penetrating the anus is tricky business compared to vaginal sex. If the two parties have poor technique, poor communication or poor artificial lubrication, grievous physical damage can result."

LOL. Jimmy, I guess you didn't know this - but under the new Penal Code amendments, Parliament proposes to make it perfectly legal for a man to penetrate a woman's anus, but not for a man to penetrate a man's anus.

Your thoughts, please. :)

Similarly it will become legal for a woman to perform oral sex on a man, but not for a man to perform oral sex on a man.

In fact, the current maximum punishment for male-male sex is equivalent to the current maximum punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Your thoughts, please.

whybegay said...

So who wants to start a petition saying that the NCCS should not have political agendas in their views, and should stay out of matters related to psychology which they are not qualified to comment?

~[z][x]~ said...

Hi Elizabeth,

A few comments to your thought provoking reply:

"You must have noticed I did not say (nor did the church) that homosexuality/lesbianism MUST be criminalised...because feedback does not equate to a demand."

--> I think the issue here is not whether it is a 'feedback' or a 'demand'. I personally, do not think the NCCS has 'demanded' of the Govt. The issue here is whether the NCCS has the right to use wholly religious reasons (a very impt caveat) to 'pick-and-take' and comment on secular laws that govern christians and non-christians as well.


"The church is trying to take care of its sheep the christian way. Is that wrong?"

--> Yes, if taking care of its sheep requires the harming or marginalizing of others. The church has the right to tell the faithful that they shouldn't 'be' homosexual. (assuming, rather wildly, that one can choose to 'be' homosexual). It does not have the right however, to tell the govt that non-christians too, should not 'be' homosexual, which is what it is effectively doing, knowingly or not, by publishing that statement.


"And those accusations/allusions...I don't think it is healthy to spread unfounded allegations...You may argue that it is just an opinion...but would it be fair and responsible of me to propagate that idea?"

--> Totally agree. Opinions matter. We shouldn't be making wild opinions that are beyond our understanding, which is actually, the point Mr Wang and many of us are making against the NCCS, no?


"Another point is that while some gays may have the right to choose to remain gay, there are others who'd rather not and would like to be heterosexual."

--> Thus to each his own! Nobody is complaining against homosexuals who are unhappy with their natural identity and wants to seek the help of the church, right?


"There are gays who hate their lustful desires for men."

--> Becareful when you use the word 'lustful'. Homosexuality is not synonymous with 'lust'. Implicit in this sentence of yours is the misconception that homosexuals are promiscuous, which is a groundless assertion to make.


In addition, the logic is flawed. Just because there is no mental problem, it is normal and therefore should be permitted? In that case, can I say that since drug trafficking is not a mental problem, it should be permitted?

--> No you can't, because drug trafficking causes a direct, tangible harm to the society, so whether it is normal or a mental problem is inconsequential. Likewise, states ban murder and rape NOT because these actions point to an unnatural, mental problem but because it constitutes a direct harm to innocent members of the society. In fact, the only conceivable reason, in my opinion, as to why we are even discussing the 'naturalness' of homosexuality is because most have realized that homosexual acts do not harm any other and rightfully speaking, have no grounds at all to be criminalised.


Even if being liberal is 100% good, would you expect society to warm up to your ideals instantly? A reasonable and mature person will say no. It will take time.

--> But how much? I look at the unjust laws against homosexuals today on the same par as unjust laws against african-americans in the US before the civil rights movement. What would you do if you were in the earlier half of the 20th century and find yourself among the african-americans who were being unjustly treated? Would you tell them 'it's ok, society is not so liberal, but you know, it takes time'? The issue being debated here is not about whether God exists, or whether our education system is on the right track, issues which, I grant you, should be conducted in the most civil and patient of manner. The issue here involves the basic rights of thousands of people who are unreasonably and irrationally marginalized by the state. I am not asking for you to endorse the impatience and 'intolerance' of many gay-rights activists. But I hope that from this angle, you can at least try to understand their urgency and passion. Remember, we're not arguing for fun, we're arguing about thousands of innocent people, who you would agree, deserve, yet are deprived, of being treated equally before the law.

Jimmy Mun said...

Mr Wang,

while I agree that Section 377A should be repealed along with Section 377, for the sake of argument, I can say that women do not have a prostate gland up their anus, and thus, perhaps, may not be susceptible to anal sex addiction, if it is addictive at all.

(The argument, like me, swings both ways, since the existence of the prostate gland can be seen as evidence that anal sex among men, is encouraged by nature. In fact, anal sex with women can be seen as _MORE_ offensive and demeaning to women, and contributory to our low birth rate. Let's delete male to male references in Section 377A to male to female!)

The government can express disapproval of homosexuality without using the blunt instrument of law. Adultery is not illegal, but we cant say Singapore approves and promotes adultery, can we?

1moresg said...

A bit of an aside. Please stop comparing homosexuals to smokers.

As an ex-smoker, I find that unfortunate and misleading.

1moresg said...

Jimmy,

Regarding your Graphic details, I think we no need to go that far. That are many contracts that are entered into by unsuspecting people that might cause them great financial harm. A reckless person who drives a road vehicle enter too into a societal bargain that we too often regret. The circumvention of what "informed" exactly represents is a complicated process. What is traditionally prescribed for a case of lack of informed consent is the preparation of more 'information' to the parties. In your graphic case, I will shy by saying that parties who are so-willing to experiment should engage the internet with its overflowing information.

elizabeth chia said...

Hi pandemonium and the rest who responded to my comments,

All I am trying to say is, we can agree or disagree, but we will not progress to a higher level if we start pointing fingers and resort to personal attacks/ridicule instead of focusing on the issues, facts and opinions objectively. I try my best to acquaint myself on the subject from many sources.

To me, it is more constructive to try to understand where the other parties come from and allow them space for their opinions, be positive and try to arrive at conclusions objectively.

It is important to clarify what the church meant because not everyone is discerning enough like some of you, to pause and think before arriving at a conclusion.

I have done my part in sharing my viewpoints on the issue based on my christian faith. No doubt, there will be differences in interpretations of the Bible, but as a member of the church, I respect my pastors' decisions (and I don't disagree with what they did and their stand on homosexuality, otherwise, I will not be a member of the church) because I am definitely not wiser than the collective wisdom of all the spiritual leaders in the NCC.

Furthermore, they are anointed and trained by God to lead and decide for the church. And they are accountable to God.

So are gays and lesbians. They are responsible for their own choices. It is not my job to force them to agree. But I feel compelled to fight for those who wish to be heterosexual. I am a messenger responsible for sharing the gospel. The rest is up to my God.

Kitana said...

I'm not very interested in adding to this already very-long discussion.

I just have a couple of minor points to make to the final part of Elizabeth's comment, which I think was pointed out by other commenters above:

"So are gays and lesbians. They are responsible for their own choices. It is not my job to force them to agree. But I feel compelled to fight for those who wish to be heterosexual."

Erm. Why do you see the need to fight for those who wish to be heterosexual? Since when was disagreeing with the NCCS wanting to impose upon society a law that clearly discriminates against the rights of homosexuals, an infringement upon the rights of heterosexuals? Is this akin to saying that if homosexuals have the right to choose how they wish to live their lives, the rights of heterosexuals will be infringed upon, or that heterosexuals will become homosexuals as well?

BTW Jimmy, I have to take issue with:

"(The argument, like me, swings both ways, since the existence of the prostate gland can be seen as evidence that anal sex among men, is encouraged by nature. In fact, anal sex with women can be seen as _MORE_ offensive and demeaning to women, and contributory to our low birth rate. Let's delete male to male references in Section 377A to male to female!)"

I honestly don't see how anal sex is degrading to either male or female, provided tt it is consensual. I personal think tt it's rather kinky, actually. To assume tt it is degrading towards women implies some kind of underlying paternalistic need to "protect the weaker sex". We honestly don't need tt much protecting, you know. =)

Anonymous said...

Can anybody explain why a perfectly heterosexual person can also be a homosexual at the same time ie. I'm referring to bisexuals? By any chance, is it also by choice? Deviant? Or perfectly natural?

I remember someone explained it is due to Mother Nature trying to add spice & diversity to our otherwise boring life on this planet called Earth.

Anonymous said...

Under the revised Penal Code :

(1) A man can still penetrate a woman's anus with her consent.

(2) By all means a woman can also penetrate another woman's anus with her consent.

(3) By no means can a man penetrate another man's anus even it there is consent.

The perceived harm caused under (3), however severe it may be, is no different from (1) & (2).

So the question to the Govt should be why should it even bother to criminalise (3). Don't we have better things to do.

kiddy gloves fit said...

whybegay:

So who wants to start a petition saying that the NCCS should not have political agendas in their views, and should stay out of matters related to psychology which they are not qualified to comment?

I'll start one if you give me your email for me to cc the petition when I send it to the government.

I maintain that religion and the state should be kept separate.

May I remind: Singapore's is noted for its secular govt, not a Christian one.

Otherwise, Muslims could well argue that none of the madrasahs need be threatened with closure just because their students don't perform sufficiently well to MOE's standards.

That is, unless we have a clear and open referendum that there is indeed a conservative majority amongst Singaporeans, one could well argue that febrile Christians (ie. some Christians, not all) aren't integrating into wider Singapore society either.


kh

Anonymous said...

The only conclusion for the Govt's decision is :-

Don't play play with the man's asshole as the Man is far more superior than the Woman.

kiddy gloves fit said...

Anon (March 20, 2007 10:45 PM):

Then how would that correlate with the govt's supposed stand over the inequality of women?

Jimmy Mun said...

Kitana,

thank you for asking, because this analogy is too good to be kept under wraps.

A man drives a car to a woman's house. The woman has a proper driveway leading to a garage at the front door. If the right buttons are pressed, the front door opens, and the car can be comfortably parked inside.

But the man ignores the front, and instead chooses to drive into the narrow rear gate. The woman, eager to meet her friend, agrees. Nevertheless, and the rear fence is damaged in the process. On the way in, the man even spills some trash cans lined in the rear garden and soils his car.

Then the man drives over to another man's place. This guy has no driveway, no garage because he has a huge fountain in front. So there is no choice but to drive up the narrow rear gates and park in the rear garden.

Some may claim that parking in the garage in front gets boring after a while. I tell you, it never gets boring. Parking is a technique that takes a lifetime to master, even if you restrict yourself to the garage.

whybegay said...

kh,

starting a petition does not require my email, you can start one online.

To everyone there is an important announcement,

allow me to resolve the confusion on the penal code.

The penal code is not actually something that is a practical law. Because the penal code states that "unnatural acts" done even in private is illegal.

But if something that is done in private cannot be known by law-enforcers, so how can the penal code be effective? It would then be a catch-22 situation.

So yes, the penal code is just to dissuade homosexuality, and its promotion. Similar to suicide being illegal, if one is dead, one cannot be held guilty of a crime. Therefore these are examples of law being used to dissuade certain acts.

Laws are established to dissuade society from doing certain acts. The law is a warning to society of not crossing certain moral limits.

So the penal code currently targets male homosexuals and not lesbians, because the focus of establishing the penal code is on dissuading male homosexuals, because they are suspected of being the spreaders of HIV. Women lesbians are not targeted because they are mroe or less not deemed threatening by society.

But the NCCS thinks that the penal code is an active law that can be implemented, and they have slandered/defamed the government of promoting homosexuality lesbianism by not including the lesbians in the penal code. The NCCS can actually be sued for slandering/defaming the government with their serious allegation. Dr Vivian has reaffirmed the government's stand that it is not promoting homosexuality.

The penal code is only meant to dissuade homosexuality, it is not an actual practical law. Even the NCCS can get confused by the penal's code intention. This is the reason why the NCCS should not be a partisan of politics, holding political agendas while hiding behind the name of religion.

Ms Bhavani should write a reply to the NCCS.

Someone quick write a petition online for people to complain.

whybegay said...

Oh wait.

Homosexuals and some people have accused me of being biased by not applying what I say about homosexuals to heterosexuals.

But my blog's focus is on what I perceive to be a greater threat. So heterosexuals are also sinful but I find homosexuals to be more sinful, as explained in my blog too.

I say "why be gay" and they say "why not be gay"?

It is actually an offence to promote homosexuality which is already deemed criminal.

It is ironic how homosexuals say I am being unfair by not focusing on the misdeeds of the heterosexuals as well. But my blog writes what I want to write without anyone's dictation or diction.

Now, the NCCS has stated that the government is being unfair by not focusing on lesbians in the penal code.

How ironic and full circle things have come about.

Extremist people have to deal with other peopl's extremist views. How ironic and sad like karma.

kiddy gloves fit said...

but whybegay:

what if one of my chat-bots would like tea with you?

...and pickle your mind?

Jimmy Mun said...

Adultery is a crime in Taiwan, and it is actively enforced. That means, if a wife suspects her husband of cheating, she can file a police report, and the police is legally required to investigate, and if necessary, break open locked doors to nab the adulterers.

If Christians are serious about enforcing our values, we should outlaw adultery ahead of homosexuality. It is a _commandment_ for crying out loud, and Jesus had explicit disapproval of adultery, even if he spared the life of the adulterous woman.

Besides, Singapore had shown that Section 377/Section 377A can be enforced without any infringement of privacy, via sting operations as mentioned by Alex Au in his YawningBread article.

If Singapore's legislature decides gay sex is illegal, the executive branch must enforce it. The executive branch has no right to be selective about which laws to enforce. The fact that the executive and the legislature is one and the same suggests to me that we have a case of institutional split personality at work here.

I think it is obvious to everybody by now that whybegay is really trying to support gay rights using reverse psychology. I think it is not possible for anybody with average intelligence or ability to be so sloppy in their analysis or so ignorant of the issues involved.

kiddy gloves fit said...

But how can one be sure, really, that the code is not in fact meant to be exercised in practice?

After all, the police has a known and documented reputation for going on binge-enforcement sprees, most notably, over the issue of seat-belts.

kiddy gloves fit said...

Or, how are people to be assured that the presence of certain legal writings do not encourage people to exercise arbitrary power, given the fear that the Evangelicals are hugely influential in government service?

Jimmy Mun said...

BTW, the legal limit for abortion in Singapore is 24 weeks. 6 months. You can use Medisave to pay for your abortion.

My friend delivered twins at 6 months and they both survived and are healthy.

I can see my son's penis on the ultrasound scanner at 12 weeks, let alone arms, legs, head, eyes, and movement.

If the Singapore government claims to be socially conservative, we would not have such liberal abortion laws that would make Hillary Clinton cringe.

If social conservatives have to expend their brownie points to pressure the Singapore government for change, it should start with banning late term abortions, ie. bringing the legal limit to below 20 weeks. Leave the homosexuals alone, for now.

whybegay said...

Sting operations don't take place in homes as it can in public areas, especially by law-enforcers who have nothing better to do than to uphold written laws to the letter.

And I am not supporting non-existent gay rights, don't get me wrong by defaming me. I simply feel that the NCCS is unqualified to talk about psychology and politics, and should stay out of them.

Anonymous said...

Sigh. Why donch we just ban religions in Singapore? Solves the issue.

But then, we would have also banned culture and the daily colour irritation from evangelists who thinks I will go to hell and only they can save me by letting me pay 10% of my salary to their church funds.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sure they are at least as qualified as you are, Mr. WBG.

By the way, there is no need to use the phrase: "homosexuals/lesbians". Lesbians are homosexuals, period. Unless you somehow has got it stuck in your brain that only gays are homosexual.

kiddy gloves fit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kiddy gloves fit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pandemonium said...

Here's (probably) a last post to conclude my comments.

Elizabeth Chia:

I think what many people are unhappy about is the church trying to legislate their religions beliefs onto non-believers. If the church keeps it within believers (and thus need not any legislation), I believe most are okay with that. Granted, it can be argued that, in the church's point of view, the ideal society is one without homosexuality, and they are just trying to forward Singapore into this ideal society. To that, my opinion is that they are entitled to their opinions, but it is unlikely to be accepted because the government will keep non-believers' interests in mind when considering such matters. Which is my position in the first place, that the government would criminalise lesbianism or enforce gay sex laws.

whybegay:

Thank you, but I certainly don't agree with a petition because, first, I question the power of petitions in Singapore, and second, like I've mentioned just above, the NCCS has the right to state their opinions. It is only if the government accepts their opinion and passes a law that makes lesbianism illegal, that I'll consider a petition.

YCK said...

1 Corinthians. Paul's epistle. Does he have more things to say about homsexuality than the whole of the Old Testament or Gospels? Why is there so much weight placed on his letters? Could someone quote one of the prophets or Jesus Christ on homosexuality? Why Paul?

Anonymous said...

I am an atheist and I think homosexual tendency has two aspects to it> One born with it obviously is naturally homo by nature< But whence he or she influences others without natural tendencies to be sexually involved with them> it is likely to cause upsets

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