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.