The 377a repeal was defated in the Singaporean parliament on 22/23 Oct 2007. Though defeated, this day marks the start of the journey for equality and unity in the GLBT community. Rarely have so few people and so few signatures caused such a passionate debate and exposed the irrationality and hypocrisy of the debate. The strong influence by Christians in the fascade of the "majority" marks the end of innocense of the purity of purpose and love for Jesus seen in the revivals of the 70s till today. The keep 377a won the day, with 7 times more the number of signatures, but do they not know that when they signed their names online, they signed their names onto judgement by the Mosaic Laws which we used to condemn gays. We have invoked the curse of the law upon our nation and upon the church for we have never followed to the letter many of the Jewish laws and most christians would not even know them. When we sign on the letter, judgement is sealed. This is the greatest tragedy not the defeat of the repeal for 377a for it will one day be repealed with the evolution of society in time.
We would like to affirm that Gays are people of sacred worth and value, and are your friends, brothers, and colleagues. They are minority within a minority, whose existence (is)
- Not viewed as anything immoral or abnormal by Jesus Christ
- A Normal and common variation of humanity, not a sickness
- An inborn Identity not a lifestyle
- Warrants the same entitlement as faithful residents of Singapore, not necessarily just a Civil Right.
- Has meant great emotional suffering through oppression, rejection, condemnation and persecution by society despite it having done no harm to the family, marriage, or society at large. Gays lived in closets hidden from an antagonistic society, and many times even rejecting and condemning themselves.
When the Allied Forces landed on D-Day in the shores of Normandy, they occupied a small space but through that landing victory was almost assured. The landing was only a beachhead but the force behind it was unstoppable. So much has been achieved and the Government's intention to evolve gradually since 1998 in view of the very strong anti-gay feelings may not be practical anymore. We are too slow. We debate as if we were an Island, and indeed Singapore has become an isolated Island, the only state out of the 31 IMF advanced economies to still criminalized gays. We wish not to be a vanguard but we have now become the rearguard. The British attempted to make Singapore an Island fortress, but could not imagine the Japanese came from the back. (and now we decriminalize anal sex!). Even if we have been able to withstand the attacks, we would have staved to death. PC 377a has the potential to poorly define Singapore to the rest of the world rather than the great achievements she has made. This is a silly and unnecessary tragedy.
The 377a debate has been the most spectacular event in Singapore with pages of write up in the newspaper and almost a Goliath versus David battle. Rhetorical words such as Immorality, majority view, lifestyle, harm marriage, harm families, counter productive, and promotion were loosely used, generalized, and repeated often enough as if they are biblical truth. Sweeping statements were made such as promoting lifestyle, harming family and marriage without any attempt to support it. We came through as a majority self-centered nation that has lost sight that Gays are Singaporean residents too, many who pay taxes, served in the army and contributed much to society. The rights that we expect without even thinking, when applied to the gay community was deemed as promoting a lifestyle. It was the majority view that matters as if the minorities do not contribute to society and the nation building. A comparison with Western Nations were made, whereas a more pertinent comparison should be with Taiwan, and Hong Kong, similar nations and culture that have decriminalized gay sex. If we are to progress relative to these nations, everyone matters and all of us are in the same boat, and we need the whole crew working together and not sidelined.
The arguments by the anti-gay camp did not lived up to the standards of a civil parliamentary debate with much exaggerated, irrational and illogical comparisons and arguments like a cynic using all kinds of argument to disprove the existence of God or for the need for Jesus Christ. For example, it was said by an MP that Pornography is banned not because it hurts anyone but because of the morals of society. Likewise, homosexuality should be banned he asserts. In reality, with the newsstands are full of magazines with half naked women, our hedonistic straight morality is an eyesore for any gay men and could not be reasonably compared to two men having sex in private. The MPs are willing to condone half naked women in public view of magazines whilst could not even bear the thought of two men having sex in private even though out of sight. It was also said by another MP that genetic argument could not be used and compared it with a very rare stealing disorder. The stealing disorder harms and impacts many others and it is very rare and accepted in medical science as a disorder. However, Homosexuality is a common variation of humanity that crosses social and cultural boundaries and is considered not a disease. To compare it with stealing is irrational and unscientific. Many references were made from the Anti-Gay literature of the Christian Right.
(Mark 4:21,22 NKJV) Also He said to them, "Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lamp stand? "For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.
The repeal 377a has achieved much for it forced the anti-gay advocates and their religious right supporters to come out of the closets, and display in public and on the parliamentary records their positions and arguments which borders on being emotional, fearful, unreasonable, incoherent, irrational, distorted, and full of rhetoric. Biblical Christianity is about giving up our rights for others whilst their attitude is to demand their maximum rights at the great expense of Gays who had done them no wrong. Such carnal ways of men with their hearts full of hypocrisy and judgment can only lead to a great fall. The NMP who has championed retention of 377a is a Christian who has spoken in some churches on this issue. There are many dedicated church services specifically on this issue. The Christians are fearful of using a religious argument that they package it as “majority”, “causes family breakdown” etc. This lacks integrity. It is clear that the campaign is significantly influenced by the National Council of Churches and its members and consistent with NCC presentation to the Government to not only retain 377a but to further enforce and strengthened to include lesbians.
(Rom 12:2 NKJV) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
For the Christian church, it is important to respect the separation between religion and the state, and to follow closely on a strictly biblical approach for the ministry of the believer. When our position on Homosexuality becomes that which the outside world sees as defining Christianity, we may have but lost the war. The conservatives in the Episcopalian church in the United States have been battling their liberal opponents on very core issues such as an inclusive Gospel (based on other religions being pathways to God) versus an exclusive Gospel (Jesus Christ Only). So when the “Gay issue” came out, it became a major battle cry. It is sad that the Episcopalian church is facing a crisis on a secondary issue. Have we been debating this week on a red herring, a non issue for the church and for the state?
(John 15:13 NKJV) "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
Are we appearing like the crusaders or the templar knights with our shield bearing the Christian Cross and a sword that kills!. Peter was reprimanded by Jesus when he drew arms to protect Jesus. We are called to love, and in that love, to sacrifice and give up our lives for others that they might know Christ and His saving Grace. We are called to be ready for persecution but not to be the persecutors. As a result of our errors in judgment, Christianity has never been well accepted in the Middle East. Are we repeating this error and separating a people group forever from the Gospel? There is much blood in our hands for the persecution of gays by the church for last thousand years.
The constant fear that homosexuality will infect the HDB heartland is arguable in the fact that very few straight men would ever remotely consider to have sex with another men. The only way is through religion where the god that we worship demands it of us as in the Idol worship or abomination in the OT bible. Fundamentalist religions are innately unnatural and we have seen many examples of suicide bombers and acts of violence done in its name, which no sensible person would normally commit. We have a real danger of Fundamentalism and not gays infecting Singapore from its foreign backers causing real divisions.
(1 Pet 2:11,12 NKJV) Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
The bible urged us to live like pilgrims on earth, whilst looking forward to heaven and not to be of this world. Our fleshly lusts driven by our self-righteousness results in war like conduct against gays when we persecute and kill in the name of God. We rationalize our conduct as being the “salt and light” of this world to get rid of those we deemed immoral. The greatest tragedy today is not that 377a will or will not be repealed for this will come when the other developed nations adopt gay marriages as norm. The greatest tragedy is that the Christian Church, and Christianity in Singapore will be spoken as evil doers by the gay community. The laws will be repealed in a few years, but the damage done to the name and image of Christ are unlikely to be undone. When the 377a will be finally repealed, the same irrational arguments will then be used against Christians and they will put us in closets and take away all the special rights we hitherto took for granted. And we will look into heaven and ask “Why God?” just as Gays today look to the heavens today and demand that heaven hears their cry for justice to be done here on earth as it is in heaven, and for Christians to be taken to judgement.
Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,
pilgrim though this barren land;
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
hold me with thy powerful hand;
Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven,
feed me till I want no more,
feed me till I want no more.
Open now the crystal fountain,
whence the healing stream doth flow;
let the fire and cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through;
strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer.
be thou still my Strength and Shield,
be thou still my Strength and Shield.
When I tread the verge of Jordan,
bid my anxious fears subside;
bear me through the swelling current,
land me safe on Canaan's side;
songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to thee,
I will ever give to thee.