Hi, Mr Wang:
This is my first time writing to you. I appreciate your taking time to read this letter. I'm a 25- year old man who has been a Christian for more than 9 years. I currently attend XXXXX, one of the biggest mega churches in Singapore.
I've been following your blog for quite a while and read with great interest and enjoyment many of your articles. One of the most popular topics has been catching my attention recently (about homosexuality in Singapore).
I respect people with different religious / philosophical preferences. I do know many in our world today are not ready to accept the Christian faith just as I don't accept theirs. The same would apply to people of different sexual orientations. There has been so much buzz generated around the local gay community and Section 377. The potential for misunderstanding is unavoidable. Please consider that homosexuals are not the only ones on the receiving end of insensitive, hurtful remarks. In fact, as I see it, many Christians (whether here or round the world) are getting attacked for things that they are not guilty of saying or doing.
In the last few months, the war of words between the pro-gay supporters and the anti-homosexual Christians has been a burden in my heart. It's saddening to see the so-called 'righteous' believers declaring war against gays and at the same time, painful to know that people have very negative views of churches being gay 'witch hunters'. I decided that somebody has got to hear what I have to say.
Based on the Bible, homosexuality is indeed a sin. This belief is not based on some religious folks' puritan conclusion. The Holy Book itself states it loud and clear. However, while I'm not for homosexuality, I'm definitely not anti-gay. People who hear these words may dismiss me as a hypocrite. To the individuals with such narrow minds, consider this: Does your intense dislike of your spouse's smoking habit immediately make him/her your bitter enemy ? Does a father who hates dishonesty set out to destroy his 8-year old son for lying about his poor Math results? I believe many will find my remarks reasonable when they think seriously about it.
It would contradict the beliefs of my faith if I said (just to 'appease' people) that homosexuality is not sin. On the other hand, if I set myself against a person just because he's gay, then I'm also disobeying the word of God, which is to love people. So try to understand that this 'against the act but not the person' stance adopted by many good Christians is not based on hypocritical cowardice.
My next few points will likely infuriate my 'other' fellow Christians who find it satisfying to thump the Bible on gays. I do my best to understand the plight of local homosexuals. In fact, during my army days, I had a gay friend for whom I have a healthy respect and I believe that he was one of the nicest and most encouraging guys in camp. It would be disappointing to see overly zealous Christians embarking on what they so believed is a God-approved crusade and hurting people like my friend who just wants to live a peaceful, normal life but has to suffer because he is 'different'.
Well, shame on the zealots. Shame on the principal of a Christian secondary school for punishing a butch right in front of an assembly, her 'crime' for having short hair and looking too much a 'boy'. Shame on the Singapore pastor who mobilized fellow believers against the homosexual community
during one of those gay controversies. Shame on American preachers who are ready to blame gays for the 9/11 attacks. Shame on all those who are quick to condemn but fall short of being compassionate. I only hope that such believers are aware of the sin they are committing.
In closing, I also hope that Section 377 of the Penal Code will be done away with. Yes, you hear me right, straight from the mouth of a Christian. The way I feel it, these laws persecute gays. If adultery can be decriminalized, I don't see why Section 377 can't be scrapped. Really, it's time for the judiciary and general society to be fair and decide that homosexuals need not have to live in fear because of that law.
Lastly, thank you, Mr Wang, for your patience on going through my letter. I hope whatever I had written will help you better understand my position and that of like-minded Christians. And I also hope that your readers and fellow countrymen will share this understanding. Thanks again for your time.
Sep 28, 2007
Honest Words From A Local Christian Boy On Singapore's Gay Issue
That's a very long title. I didn't come up with it. It was the title of a long email that a reader, T.W Tan, sent to me. With his permission I reproduce his email below (he did request that I not mention the name of his church). The email has been edited for clarity and brevity.