Sep 11, 2007

This Man Is A Hero

He looks pretty ordinary, doesn't he. He teaches science in a secondary school and has been doing so for the past eight years.

But make no mistake, he has plenty of guts. Or is in a position where he will need them. So I wish him all the very best.

For the background, click
here, here, here and here.

Wonder if the Ministry of Education or the school will now try to sack Mr Otto Fong. Remember this other case - "Teacher Unaccountably Terminated"?

Well, if it happens to Otto, I hope that all his present and former Raffles Institution students who have a conscience and are not homophobes will know what to do. Go to the principal's office and give your feedback. Write an email to PM Lee Hsien Loong (pmo_hq@pmo.gov.sg) and demand an explanation.

And if the usual fundamentalist Christians start crawling out of the woodwork to protest about the terrible sin of Mr Fong's homosexuality, (and the fact that he actually dared to admit it) - I can only say ..... Shame on you.Why are you Christians still picking on gays?

Leviticus 20:10 prescribes the death sentence for adultery. And plenty of heterosexual people in Singapore are having sex outside marriage. Why aren't you campaigning for them to be hanged? Or at least sacked from their jobs?

A bit hypocritical, aren't you. Or just confused? Never went two steps further in your head, to really think about what your cheerleading man in the pulpit was telling you? Then. Go. And. Think. Now.

53 comments:

$ F Y said...

hi Mr Wang,

This guy has guts, more so than any MIW candidate in the last erection. But I highly suspect a Mr Lui Fuck Yew is going to go after him.

(http://recruit-ong.blogspot.com/2007/05/pap-minister-equates-gays-to.html)

I don't need a wolf to masquerade as the spokesman for morality or Singaporeans:
"I'm not ready to move, and I don't think a major section of society is ready to move"

Do they realize that the major section of society does not want a casino or use their CPF to buy compulsory annuity? Who has moved on?

Anonymous said...

Here, here! That comment about Leviticus was spot on! I also recall one of those gay passages in the Bible being right nearby to a passage saying women should not be allowed to speak in church. Got a lot of prohibited things in there...dunno why they pick out just the gay people.

palmist said...

Can you think of other reasons beside Christianity that they want to sack him? I mean if they want to sack him that is the school decision what has it got to do with Christianity?

lost said...

Is he MOE staff, or directly hired by the school (since it's independent)? If the latter, does MOE have the power to dictate whether or not he goes? I suppose it probably can pressure RI into doing so, but I'm just wondering how much leverage MOE has over an independent school.

I'll like to think that RI itself is flexible enough to allow him to stay and even try to protect him, and that the parents of students there might be the more progressive sort (this is just gut feel - totally unsupported by any statistics =P). The ministry, however, is probably under pressure from more a more conservative populace, plus is probably less flexible as well.

Mr Wang Says So said...

I have amended my post for clarity. Mainly, at this point in time, I do not know whether the school or the authorities actually have any intention to dismiss him.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Molly Meek's opinion - Casualties of a Progress That Isn't.

Anonymous said...

Your comment about adultery.
In my opinion, it is still a "sin" despite the fact that our laws do not criminalize it.
Imagine a teacher blogging about his/her ongoing adulterous affairs. Sure it's not breaking the laws. But would you condemn MOE or the school if they take action against that teacher ? After all, he/she is great as a teacher. Come on, one cannot dispute the fact the values teachers holds (especially publicly) do influence students.
Same applies to a teacher glamourising about his choice of being a gay.

Anonymous said...

When KMT's Ma In Jeou was cleared of corrupiton in Taiwan's recently,
obviously Chen Shui Bian had a hidden agenda when he recently decried that Taiwan's Judicial judges should declare their political affiliations as to whether they are in the Blue or Green camp, to enable the public to judge whether any of the judges's "Summary Judgement" for those political trials were politically manupulated.

Likewise in recent issues involving the the repeal of S377A and sacking of gay teachers in Stinkapore, there must also be a hidden agenda when the Gahmen & MOE for that matter decried that it is to serve the interest of the conservative public.

But what I fail to see is the burden of proof or the basis of justification as to how the Gahmen arrived at each of the decisions based on the fact that it is to serve the public's interests. So many questions are often left unanswered such as :-

1) Was there any proof of burden such as statistic surveys carried out based on a national poll or referendum taking into consideration the public opinion whether conservative or otherwise ?

2) Was the decision made merely on the basis of the religious beliefs of a few minority, a equally overzealous Minister or the whole cabinet ?

3) Or are we being led to believe that each and every decision made concerning the public at large, our "conservative" section of the population is so unanimous in voicing their opinion that almost every sensitive issue is conveniently decided by our "conservative" public opinion?

4) The questions are endless ....

I think it is time for the Gahmen to provide the hard facts to justify each of their decisions, otherwise one can only imply and conclude that the MIW are no better than political liars, each with their own hidden agenda.

disappointed said...

Sigh... why is christianity yet again the whipping boy for all things anti-gay? Can we pls leave it out of the picture? It's hitting below the belt to put "Otto" and "Jesus Camp" together in the same blogpost. Each deserves to be treated separately.

Anonymous said...

Before we jump into any conclusions, perhaps we can investigate further.

For instance, anyone knows where the original MOE statement is, besides on Fridae.com? We need to read the whole statement from MOE. Fridae is a gay site. And it seems Fridae were the first to have access to the information. I may be wrong though.

Also, I have read somewhere that Otto Fong was already planning to leave RI. He has even received farewall cards from his students. Posted on his other blog, http://sirfong.blogspot.com.

I am not a fervent MOE supporter, but we have to be fair not to assume that when he leaves, it's MOE's fault.

I understand how he feels, but I do not agree with the way he has tried to further his cause after pondering over the facts. He may be a great teacher, but that doesn't mean he can be excuse from "dishonest" means of achieving his aims.

I may be reading too much into it but I feel that it is an underhanded way of doing things.

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

annonymous 11:33,

"Same applies to a teacher glamourising about his choice of being a gay."

Please. What are you talking about? You either have not read the letter, or are completely ignorant about the meaning of the word "glamourising". And for the last time, nobody CHOOSES to be gay.

xtrocious said...

Sorry...erm, which part of Otto Fong's letter glamourized the gay lifestyle?

Maybe my comprehension skills are a bit rusty...if anything, his letter told of the agony and pain that he had to go through as a gay teen and even as an adult...

Anyway, for Otto, I salute you for your courage to be true to yourself :)

Peranakan Dude said...

Wait...on what grounds would RI want to remove Mr Fong if he has been doing a good job all these years BEFORE he came out of the closet?

Religious grounds? RI is secular, and isn't a Christian school, so there shouldn't be an issue there.

Mr Fong as a "bad influence"? Come on, we all know how bright the little RI boys are. You think they'd suddenly all decide to hump one another just because they have a gay teacher?

Morality: I don't see gays as immoral people any more than women should be allowed to be preachers at the pulpit. And didn't we already see gay and lesbian preachers and bishops in the Church?

I really don't understand. RI made a big mistake, I feel.

Aristocrat said...

Hello M. Wang,

It's been a long time since I last left a comment but thank you for raising yet another critical issue.

The handling of homosexuality by the so-called conservatives covers a problem of dialectics inherent in their very discourse; terming it prosecutorial, hypocritical and violent wouldn't be unfair at all.

The discourse of politics (not in the governmental sense) calls for some destabilizing.

Anonymous said...

He is a hero, because I would not dare to admit if I were him. However, I believe it is more important to note if the trade off is worth admitting it publicly. I worry for his future job prospects and wish him all the best.

lost said...

Anonymous 3:22 is right. What sources exactly talk about the ministry's (or the school's, for that matter) response to the letter? I've only seen the fridae.com article regarding the ministry's response, is that legit? While I'm not doubting what it's reporting, I'm just thinking it might be a biased report on things.

Tuck said...

Aristocrat: The handling of homosexuality by the so-called conservatives covers a problem of dialectics inherent in their very discourse; terming it prosecutorial, hypocritical and violent wouldn't be unfair at all.

U Penn President Amy Gutmann delivered an excellent lecture on Extremism at the Humanities Centre on Stanford U on iTunes. Classified under Philosophy.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang,

You have confused Judaism with Christianity in your example from Leviticus.

The passage quoted from Leviticus (and indeed the rest of the Mosaic Laws) only applies to Jews, not Christians, so your comment is not valid. If Christians had to follow all these laws, they would be forbidden from eating pork, among other things. Basically, Christians are not required to abide by the laws of the Old Testament, but by the laws and principles in the New.

Christian justification for calling gay relationships a 'sin' is found in the New Testament (Romans 1:24-28), which happens to be one of the Mosaic Laws. Incidentally, the New Testament does not prescribe the death sentence for adultery. In fact, John 8 deals with your exact example, and Jesus would go on to break many of the Old Testament laws as well.

Anthony said...

Just a technical point.

I don't think that MOE -can- fire him. RI is an independent school. Their hiring decisions will be made by the school, not by MOE. I think the best that MOE can do is to apply pressure.

I'm not sure if Mr Fong is using this to his advantage but the nett -result- is that it's a fine piece of civil disobedience. MOE is screwed both ways - if they react, they will be severely overstepping their bounds. If they don't, the general public hue and cry will tarnish MOE's reputation further.

Brilliant!

Mr Wang Says So said...

"You have confused Judaism with Christianity in your example from Leviticus.

The passage quoted from Leviticus (and indeed the rest of the Mosaic Laws) only applies to Jews, not Christians, so your comment is not valid ... Basically, Christians are not required to abide by the laws of the Old Testament, but by the laws and principles in the New."


Thank you for pointing that out. Now if fundamentalist Christians will go around saying that they can go around and do what they do because the Old Testament doesn't apply to Christians,

then may I please remind them neither the Old Testament NOR the New Testament applies to non-Christians,

so please will they stop going around trying to impose their religious views on non-Christian gays.

PZ said...

Anonymous September 13, 2007 10:53 AM said...

Christians are not required to abide by the laws of the Old Testament, but by the laws and principles in the New.

Christians cherry pick the bible to support whatever claims they seek and apply pretzel logic to square circles.

Your statement is preposterous and if correct means they should not also follow the Ten Commandments.

It's time they all woke up to the fact that the biblical God is a fiction. We are all atheists when it comes to Thor, Wotan or the Juju man of the mountain. And the God of Abraham is no different.

The notion that the Bible is a perfect guide to morality is rubbish, given the contents of the book.

"Human sacrifice, genocide, slaveholding, and misogyny are consistently celebrated.

The Christian God's counsel to parents is refreshingly straightforward: whenever children get out of line, we should beat them with a rod (Proverbs 13:24, 20:30, and 23:13–14). If they are shameless enough to talk back to us, we should kill them (Exodus 21:15, Leviticus 20:9, Deuteronomy 21:18–21, Mark 7:9–13, and Matthew 15:4–7). We must also stone people to death for heresy, adultery, homosexuality, working on the Sabbath, worshiping graven images, practicing sorcery, and a wide variety of other imaginary crimes.

Most Christians imagine that Jesus did away with all this barbarism and delivered a doctrine of pure love and toleration. He didn't. (See Matthew 5:18–19, Luke 16:17, 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 20–21, John 7:19.) Anyone who believes that Jesus only taught the Golden Rule and love of one's neighbour should go back and read the New Testament. And he or she should pay particular attention to the morality that will be on display if Jesus ever returns to earth trailing clouds of glory (e.g., 2 Thessalonians 1:7–9, 2:8; Hebrews 10:28–29; 2 Peter 3:7; and all of Revelation).

It is not an accident that St. Thomas Aquinas thought heretics should be killed and that St. Augustine thought they should be tortured. (Ask yourself, what are the chances that these good doctors of the Church hadn't read the New Testament closely enough to discover the error of their ways?)

As a source of objective morality, the Bible is one of the worst books we have." - Sam Harris


It's time to stop believing in bronze age magic books and the nonsensical superstition they contain.

Stop persecuting Gays. And for goodness sake someone tell the Pope that gays are NOT "intrinsically disordered".

This sort of misguided teachings are the source of homophobia and the very cause of many gay teenage suicides and the misery for the untold number of families they leave behind.

"Religion is an insult to human dignity. Without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. For good people to do evil things, it takes religion." - Steven Weinberg.

PZ

Ling said...

To Anon 10:53

Jesus didn't come to destroy (or break) the law. He came to fulfil it. This whole topic can form its own discussion which would be inappropriate here.

I'm a Christian too, and I agree with what Molly Meek said in her latest post. (Don't know if she's a Christian or not, though, but this doesn't matter.) To God, all sin is sin, whether it's homosexuality or adultery or greed etc etc etc. Why is homosexuality criminalised and not adultery and so on?

I just hope that non-Christians out there know that there *are* thinking Christians who know better than to jump on the bandwagon (driven by Christians and non-Christians alike) who say that homosexuality should be criminalised. I myself received an email from an acquaintance, asking me to sign a petition to keep the law against gays as it is now. But I didn't sign it. Not every Christian is a gay-hater. Similarly, not every gay-hater is a Christian.

So can we just leave Christianity out of this?

Musings said...

"... may I please remind them neither the Old Testament NOR the New Testament applies to non-Christians, so please will they stop going around trying to impose their religious views on non-Christian gays."

Not sure if that is an entirely fair argument. What would your reply be to a religious person who says that

"may I please remind atheists that their irreligious views do not apply to religious persons, so please will they stop going around trying to impose there irreligious (or worse, sacrilegious) views on religious people" ?

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

Anonymous 10:53,

"The passage quoted from Leviticus (and indeed the rest of the Mosaic Laws) only applies to Jews, not Christians, so your comment is not valid ... Basically, Christians are not required to abide by the laws of the Old Testament, but by the laws and principles in the New."

And so of course, you believe women should be silent in churches (1 Corinthians 14:34) as well?

Anonymous said...

Hi, first time here. Just to say, Christians do not persecute gays. Its more of a "condemn the sin, not the sinner" kind of thing. So long as there is not gay sex involved, we do not condemn people for their sexual orientation.
Another thing I want to say is that, Otto Fong is definitely very brave for admitting his sexual orientation and I applaud him.

Alvin said...

some of the comments here reminded me of the West Wing episode...

http://westwing.bewarne.com/second/25admonitions.html

Anonymous said...

disappointed said...
Sigh... why is christianity yet again the whipping boy for all things anti-gay? Can we pls leave it out of the picture?

well, what about this?



http://www.fridae.com/newsfeatures/article.php?articleid=2030&viewarticle=1

(sample below, more on url)

September 7, 2007
singapore pastor warns of ''gay agenda''
By Sylvia Tan

Repeating a commonly-used refrain that gays are demanding not just equal rights but "special rights," a pastor at a Singapore church, which is widely known to be homophobic, alleges in a sermon that gay activists are aiming to "destroy" churches.

Senior Pastor Derek Hong of Church of Our Saviour which runs Choices, a reparative therapy (ex-gay) ministry affliliated to Exodus International

Au wrote on his widely read blog, Yawning Bread: “He says Christians must ‘rise up’ to fight the culture war, and that gays are acting on behalf of Satan. There's also an incredible amount of disinformation - about how gays are scheming to eradicate Christianity, for example.”

He further postulated that gay activists around the world are out to have the Bible classified as hate literature and silence pro-family groups, religious institutions… churches to prevent Christians from “preaching God’s word.”

“As Christians we have to rise up and make our voices heard,” he added. “Tt’s a spiritual war you and I have been called to participate in.”

Anonymous said...

Perhaps society is not ready for such a change and the idea of a man kissing a man or a woman caressing a woman is deemed by the majority to be unacceptable.

Give it another 5-10 years and perhaps a change of attitudes will come. Singaporeans are after all a pragmatic lot. Read MM Lee's comments on this topic.

The only thing that will spoil it for those who seek acceptance / recognition is impatience.

Anonymous said...

Musings,

One possible reply would be, "How do atheists impose their irreligious views on religious people? Atheists don't go around persecuting people for being religious. They don't try to criminalise people who go to Church on Sunday, they don't condemn people who abstain from beef or pork, and most importantly they don't walk around with heads held high, causing so much interference and trouble in others' lives, thinking they're making the world a better place."

If you're going to visit harm on somebody, you'd better justify it in terms of a universal law or principle that applies to everyone. I don't think asking for this kind of justification is akin to imposing irreligious views on religious people.

Anonymous said...

I love the West Wing.

For those who would use the Bible to condemn gay people, take a look at this video on Youtube.

President Bartlett takes a fundamentalist christian to task on the topic of homosexuality.

Anonymous said...

Why pick on Christianity Mr Wang? In the Middle East, homosexuals are killed everyday - executed - beheaded - stoned to death. You complain of prejudice - but you yourself are full of it, hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

To the person who reckons that "Atheists don't go around persecuting people for being religious. They don't try to criminalise people who go to Church on Sunday"

Hey- go get yourself an education - the communists do that - see the persecution of religions under Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, and your current friendly atheists in North Korea.

Musings said...

"How do atheists impose their irreligious views on religious people?"

I was thinking not of Singapore, but certain other countries, where it is an offence for a religious leader to tell fellow believers that homosexual sex is "sinful", or to refuse to allow a civil union ceremonies to be carried out on the premises of the place of worship.

It is also not uncommon, in other countries, for the civil process to be abused in order to compel schools to stop teaching the possibility of creationism / intelligent design alongside evolution, or to admit students who do not satisfy admission criteria partly based on religious requirements. (However, in fairness, I should mention that religious groups do use the same process to compel "secular" institutions to conform to their standards as well).

Please note that I'm not saying that I agree with the disrespect if not hostility or hatred which some Christians exhibit towards homosexuals, or that I agree with all of the doctrines which conservative Christians embrace. In fact, I do not see sound reasons in the refusal to decriminalise homosexual sexual acts. But I hope that readers will realise religious people / Christians have also been the victims of over-enthusiastic "secularisation". (I suppose one short reply to that, is that Christians are merely reaping all the wrong which they've sowed - I don't fully disagree with the view that if Christians had lived up to the Biblical standard of love, there would be lesser reason people to hate us).

Anonymous said...

This is Anon from 13/9 10:53 AM, responding to Mr. Wang and ~[z][x]~.

Perhaps my initial post was poorly worded. Because Mr. Wang's example from Leviticus is part of Jewish law, he should have chosen an example from the New Testament. It was not intended as a justification, nor a condemnation, of Christian attitude towards homosexuality.


To PZ, you wrote that

> Your statement is preposterous and
> if correct means they should not
> also follow the Ten Commandments.

Coming right after your previous paragraph, you've just used pretzel logic. The content of the Old and New Testaments is not mutually exclusive. You don't have to hurt your credibility unnecessarily with sweeping claims.

Again, this is not an attempt at justification or condemnation of Christian attitudes in general, or a personal attack on PZ, but rants from either side of the debate do their cause no favours.

I must be stupid said...

Aiya why quarrel? Read this

http://singaporepeasants.blogspot.com/2007/09/all-can-be-happy-and-gay-win-win.html

All can be happy!

PZ said...

To Ling and anon:

Ling - I just hope that non-Christians out there know that there *are* thinking Christians who know better than to jump on the bandwagon (driven by Christians and non-Christians alike) who say that homosexuality should be criminalised.

Anonymous September 13, 2007 8:11 PM - Christians do not persecute gays. Its more of a "condemn the sin, not the sinner" kind of thing. So long as there is not gay sex involved, we do not condemn people for their sexual orientation.


Unfortunately there are many self-righteous and hateful Christians who certainly are more vocal and use gays as whipping boys.

Reverend Michael Bray, a prominent American anti-abortion activist, when asked why evangelical Christians were so obsessed with private sexual inclinations such as homosexuality, which didn't interfere with anybody else's life. His reply invoked something like self-defence. Innocent citizens are at risk of becoming collateral damage when God chooses to strike a town with a natural disaster because it houses sinners.

In 2005, when New Orleans was catastrophically flooded after hurricane, Katrina, Reverend Pat Robertson, one of America's best-known televangelists and a former presidential candidate, was reported as blaming the hurricane on Ellen De Generes, a lesbian comedian who happened to live in New Orleans.

You'd think an omnipotent God would adopt a slightly more targeted approach to zapping sinners - like a judicious heart attack, perhaps, instead of the wanton destruction of an entire city.

Want more examples?

Reverend Fred Phelps, famed for preaching with slogans and banners denoting phrases such as "God hates fags," "AIDS cures fags,"

These evil characters are champions of Christianity and their ilk would be harmless comedy, were they less typical of those who today hold power and influence in the United States.

Why not leave Christianity out of this?

How not to?

To anon, please keep your idea of morality to yourself.

If you can consider an egoistic, egotistic, evil person as your saviour, you have a serious problem understanding what it is to be moral.

When someone decrees that regardless if you are goodness personified, you must believe in him or else you are going suffer in Hell for all eternity that guy is evil and has serious ego problems.

Can anyone humane believe in everlasting punishment?

So please spare us the "hate the sin not the sinner" codswallop.

PZ

PZ said...

To anon:

Coming right after your previous paragraph, you've just used pretzel logic. The content of the Old and New Testaments is not mutually exclusive. You don't have to hurt your credibility unnecessarily with sweeping claims.

It was you who claimed that Christians are not required to abide by the laws of the Old Testament, but by the laws and principles in the New.

Don't they follow the Ten Commandments? I suppose the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments is to be found in the New Testament by your logic?

Or Christians don't have to "abide by the laws" of the Ten Commandments?

Well which is it?

I did not at all imply or suggest that the Old and New Testaments are mutually exclusive. Where did I state this?

PZ

Anonymous said...

As usual, a remark on religion causes whole segments of people to get annoyed irritated and angry

Not all Christians are anti-homosexual, in that some believe that there is no need to "sexist" in the same way being racist is wrong. In fact, condemning that and segregating them is wrong too.

Obviously, painting all Christians to be torch-bearing mobs bent on hanging gays is both inaccurate and extremely impolite.

Secondly, even if you don't like Christians views on certain issues, do you have to go there and vilify their religion, saying God is false? And it is amusing to see you quote some Sam who Harris? to back you arguments. If you wish to debate the lack of an interventionist God, I'm sure there are several forums out there which actually allow you to do so.

Obviously, you can tell I am a Christian. I am but do I mind having a gay teacher teach me? I don't even see what the issue is about.

I am curious about one thing though. Are male teachers discouraged from teaching in all-girls' schools? If so, might there be an argument for not having a gay in an all-boys' school?

Anonymous said...

Why the generalizations? It's a sad state when that forms part of ur argument.

As Ling said "Not every Christian is a gay-hater. Similarly, not every gay-hater is a Christian."

There are tons of Christians who have absolutely nothing against gays. Get over it!!

Denzuko1 said...

It is strange that only in Singapore the government spearhead many things, including prejudice against a certain behaviour pattern, creating in-equality, apatheid by income level.

Yet this is something tolerated by many Singaporeans because they are getting micro benefits out of the system.

I recalled during the election nomination that many people went to support the ruling party at the registration centre. A friend of mine who worked as an RC for the party feedback that is is very easy to do so, you just need to provide a pack of rice for lunch and they will be happy to support. So they may not support the party but they support the pack of rice.

It is uniquely Singapore.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Sure, I understand that there are some Christians who are not anti-gay. Naturally my post is not about them.

Anonymous said...

It is strange that the 'conservative majority' is always used as a convenient excuse by the gahmen to justify their policies and laws.

In 1996, our Women's Charter was amended to specifically allow persons who have gone through a sex re-assignment surgery to legally marry under their new sex. We were the first country in Asia to do so. And up to this day, the only other Asia country that allows this is South Korea.

I wonder where was this 'conservative majority' then. Or did the gahmen then proceeded and bulldozed its way through the legislative change without taking heed (gasp!) of this 'conservative majority'?

Full wording of the relevant section in the Women's Charter as follows:-

**********************
12. (1) ...

(2) It is hereby declared that, subject to sections 5, 9, 10, 11 and 22, a marriage solemnized in Singapore or elsewhere between a person who has undergone a sex re-assignment procedure and any person of the opposite sex is and shall be deemed always to have been a valid marriage.


(3) For the purpose of this section —

(a) the sex of any party to a marriage as stated at the time of the marriage in his or her identity card issued under the National Registration Act (Cap. 201) shall be prima facie evidence of the sex of the party; and

(b) a person who has undergone a sex re-assignment procedure shall be identified as being of the sex to which the person has been re-assigned.
...

**********************

Anonymous said...

2007 years after much discussions, debates, arguments, studies, researches and all the participations of Singaporeans lately, is anyone the wiser, enlightened?? Thank You !

Anonymous said...

Well said, Anon 9:24! My sentiments exactly. I don't see any problem with having a gay teacher. Being gay doesn't make one a sex offender or a paedophile.

Likewise, being Christian doesn't make one homophobic, out to exterminate gays and lesbians.

Yet many of the comments fall to one extreme or the other. Just how mainstream are the views we read about? My feeling is that it is a vocal minority on both sides who are responsible for all the vitriol.

We have some Christians judging gays. And we have not gays but atheists (or at the very least, non-Christians) judging Christians. It's possible that all the atheists posting here are gay, unlikely as it maybe, but however you look at it, this is just messed up.

Lighten up people!

PZ, your answer is in Mark 12:28-34.
But I have the feeling you will still find problems with it, or dig up something else to complain about.

peasantsgetowned said...

I would agree with Ling that not all christians are anti-gay and there are indeed christians who are gay that are being discriminated by their own church which is a sad thing.

PZ said...

To Christian anon September 14, 2007 9:24 AM

if you don't like Christians views on certain issues, do you have to go there and vilify their religion, saying God is false?

If the vocal hate squad of the Juju of the Mountain religion cite their *holy* magic book to persecute gays it would be incumbent on me to highlight the silliness of taking their morality from an archaic bronze age book written by ignorant men and that their Juju Mountain-man head honcho is an imaginary thing.

I appreciate that some Juju believers are nice people and do not hate gays but this does not excuse the silliness of their beliefs.

After all, Christian murders of abortion doctors and Islamist suicide bombers are not motivated by pure 'evil' however misguided we may think them. They are motivated, by what they perceive to be righteousness. They are religious idealists who, by their own lights, are rational. They perceive their acts to be good not because they have been possessed by Satan, but because they have been brought up, from the cradle, to have total and unquestioning FAITH.

"Religion is an insult to human dignity. Without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. For good people to do evil things, it takes religion." - Steven Weinberg

PZ

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous September 13, 2007 10:38 PM,

You're missing my point. The point of my post was to demand justification for visiting harm on others in terms of a principle that applies to all. Certainly those atheists you mentioned are as guilty of flouting this rule as religious people who persecute others, but I never intended to view them in the same vein as those atheists who simply object to non-religious people being made to suffer in the name of religion. Perhaps I should have made my earlier post clearer in this regard.

Musings, I agree. I don't support the practice of "secularising" religious groups either. Apologies if I over-read your previous post.

Anonymous said...

guys,
the prophecy time line is on track. the most recent signs that have emerged is the marriage between church and mammon - both capitalising land usage for high returns with public monies.
if you think the church is at war with gays, you are dead wrong. she is too busy milking the golden calf lah.

PZ said...

PZ, your answer is in Mark 12:28-34.But I have the feeling you will still find problems with it, or dig up something else to complain about.

AnonSeptember 14, 2007 3:01 PM, what exactly is your point here? If you want a proper discussion please be less cryptic.

It would also be helpful if you want a discussion to at least identify yourself as anonABC or anonXYZ for easier indentification. There are so many anons responding I don't know who is saying what to whom.

PZ

Anonymous said...

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Unfortunately, many churches are a source of such intellectual suicide and bankruptcy. Hardly any Christian in a church ever voices out if a pastor make dubious remarks, giving them even more leeway to make more and more nonsensical rhetoricals, reinforcing stupidity, and a very conscientious one.

"Hey- go get yourself an education - the communists do that - see the persecution of religions under Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, and your current friendly atheists in North Korea."

You are the epitome of the 'stupid and vocal and loud Christian' that's all around. And one thing, communists may be communists, but they don't do it in the name of atheism, but in the name Marxism. And yes, communists follow their whatever doctrine blindly too as if they are infallible truth, and that's the source of nonsense happening in the world - intellectual bankruptcy the self-justification of ignorance.

Poem Reciting Roti Prata Man said...

The Church is just an institution that controls the mass. Relationship with god is a personal thing. The Church is never a necessary condition. It is bloody sufficient. Not many people sees that. And you hear to hear occasional news about boy-playing pastors and church declaring wars on gays??!! Do I bloody need that?

Similarly, the power thirsty PAP is controlling the mass; it's just bloody sufficient. Time for it to ______ before it bloody implodes with massive disgrace news that stinks from within.

Most Singaporeans are giving far bloody LEEway to PAP.

Mr Wang Says So said...

As the temperature of this thread is getting a little too high, I've decided to close it. No more comments will be accepted.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Our Social Identity - By Teh Si.