Christian vs Secular State

 

Theologian Roland Chia highlighted this in the latest issue of the official newsletter of The Methodist Church in Singapore.“A democratic system that truly serves the common good by acknowledging, respecting and protecting the dignity of every citizen requires the moral compass provided by the great religious traditions, especially Christianity,” said Dr. Chia. Secularism on its own cannot provide such support, the theologian highlighted. This is “because it lacks the multifaceted wisdom and rich moral resources that the great religious traditions can offer,” Chia expressed.

Moreover democracy has sometimes facilitated evil. The theologian cited examples like McCarthyism in the United States and the Nazi period in Germany.

Democracy Needs 'Moral Compass' Religions Provide, Says Theologian, Monday, Dec. 13, 2010

 

The statement by Christian Post SG by their Theologian Roland Chia criticizing the secular nature of Singapore as lacking morality is misleading and hides the underlying perception that Christianity is needed by the secular state because it has the greatest tradition with multifaceted wisdom and rich moral resources over other religions. It is not arguing for Singapore to be a religious state rather, a Christian state. Quoting an example from Nazi Germany to reflect democracy facilitating evil is again highly misleading as Germany was a Christian Country with 80% Christian and Hitler, a good Catholic thought he was doing it for God – hence Jews and Gays became his main targets. What is moral in one religion, may be highly immoral and unrighteous in another.

Singapore is said to be a secular state and not a religious state so that no religion can claim a superior mandate not that it lacks religions simply because it was secular as implied by the article. Secularism means freedom and space in a state that is officially neutral on religion. If we were not a secular state, conflicts will certainly arise between the various religions which can be highly emotional for each party would say that they were right because God says so. There is simply no logical and reasonable argument to counter much alike the Christian Right saying that Homosexuality is sin simply because their interpretation of the bible says so.

A religious state is detrimental to Christianity because it imposes a fixed set of religious beliefs on all whether they are from the same religious tradition or whether they disagree with the majority religion. When Constantine became Emperor of Rome and embraced the Christian Faith, Christianity went from a persecuted religion to a national religion. Overnight, all became “Christian” irrespective of their faith in Jesus Christ. This undermines the personal nature of the Christian Faith which involves a sincere decision of faith and not an imposed religion because of the pressure from the State.

Conversely, a religious state does not mean a Christian state and it could well be another majority religion which will impose limitations of Christian Worship such as in Pakistan, India, Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia. If Singapore was not to be a secular country, and be for example a Buddhist country on account of the majority religion, would theologian Roland Chia still proclaim that it offers a moral compass when for many Christians many aspects of it quite reprehensive as proclaimed at length by Pastor Rony Tan.

Would a religious state versus a secular state offers us a moral compass? Or enhanced our democratic rule? The article was obviously alluding to Christianity being the moral compass and not necessarily other religions. However, if we to be a Christian country, we will no longer be an independent country with our democratic processes influenced by eternal foreign powers such as the Vatican, or the Global Anglican South.

A case of example of Ireland. It was reported that the Holy See put incredible political pressure on Ireland not to persecute the Priests who had committed gross sexual abuse against children. The argument was that the Vatican is a state, and so the priests were its agents. Therefore, if Singapore were to be a Catholic nation, do we swear allegiance to Singapore or to Rome.

A Christian country where “in God we trust” may actually be no different and may even be less moral. Consider the high crime rates, divorces and abortions in America and Italy. In Italy, even the Bank belonging to the Vatican has been implicated to be in collusion with the gangsters.

(Col 1:13 NKJV)  He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,

(Col 1:14 NKJV)  in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

Christians are not to look for an earthly kingdom or somehow make the kingdom on earth a heavenly kingdom. For, we belong to a Spiritual Kingdom whose citizenship is obtained by redemption through Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of Sins. We are in the Kingdom of the Son of God, whose head is Jesus, and not the Pope nor Benny Hinn, nor Pat Robertson nor any earthly ruler.

We have been trying to make this earthly kingdom, a heavenly kingdom by casting out all the sinners, chief whom we have identified as the Gay community never mind that it is the straight community who has committed adultery, divorce, and abortions. Gay can’t get married because we want to keep all the vices to ourselves and then blame gays for it.

The more dark and evil a religious system is, such as in Iran, the more scapegoats we will find to exalt our self righteousness and to sooth our conscience. In Iran, thousands of Gays are executed just for being gay. Is this the kind of morality we want?

A secular state protects its citizens rather than exposing them to a few religious extremists who commands the entire nation to do their bidding in the name of god. Where is democracy in religious countries where religion becomes the point of determination and not good policies. Are Christian religious countries such as Philippines far better than secular Singapore, or are they a jungle of corruption with a facade of morality like a white wash tomb with full of skeletons within.

 Secularism is a key factor in the success and growth in Singapore, for which we would have otherwise succumbed to religious fundamentalism, civil religious conflicts, and gays would be persecuted and rounded up and be put in jail. It is time that the Government, proactively enforced our secular nation and not allow the churches to exert their increasing influence in Religion, Government, Business, Education, Media, Arts, and family. It had happened in America in the 90s, which swept the Christian Right into power by the block voting of Christians. This could well happened in Singapore where City Harvest alone commands 33,000 zealot believers to a cause which may or may not be for the good of the nation. Even in a secular state such as Singapore, the Christian Right was determined to take over Aware, a secular organization through immoral means. Imagine what would have happened if Singapore was not secular? 

 

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