The Straits Times reported 10 Aug 2009 “Were Protestors Raped” that it was alleged that woman and boys who protested against the Iranian Government were routinely and savagely raped at Iranian Prisons. Such is the extreme show of red neck conservative male brutality motivated by religious zeal and the need to show their male control and power. The intention was to humiliate, to dehumanize and to destroy the self worth of the person who will be considered as forever defiled. The same religious zealots has been previously tortured and killed thousands gays in the Iranian Prison. It reminds us of Sodom and Gomorrah where the men of the city raped the weak and the vulnerable whether the visitors or the surrounding cities to show who was in control. But those who seek freedom shall never be quenched, and the majority and the powerful who pepetrate injustice and cruelty will not have their way forever.

This was no feminine gay man as often joked by Rev Joseph Prince of New Creation Church but rugged, rough straight men, eager to show off their total authority, manhood, control and power over their hapless captives by sodomizing them. The Pastor has said that those who beat up their wives are “pondan” or “gay”, which again blame gays for the straight men abusing their wives just as Christians blame gays for their straight religious counterparts in the bible worshiping idols where same sex acts were done as part of the religious worship. Just because they are Pastors do not give them the grace to do and say what they like without being accountable to God, and to those who have suffered as a result.

It was not the gay man who brought Sodom and Gomorrah “over the line ordained by God”, but male centered agression brutality and cruelty. Perhaps God created Gay men and Lesbians to bring us balance. Surely, we have sodomized the Gay man by taking away their rights, liberties, dignity, and freedom of marriage. The Blacks in America in America have suffered much, but for Gays we went much further and have taken away from them their religious liberties, when we condemned them as sinners doomed for hell, for no black man has ever been called intrinsically sinners because they were black. Therefore we have dammed Gays on Earth and in Heaven. Gays are but a small minority of no more than 5%, hence we can violate them according to Pastor Rick Warren. However, God especially hears the cries of the downtrodden until it reaches heaven and God may send His Angels to visit us, perhaps drag queens to test us whether we would expel them from our worship.

The Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, in his national day rally speech on 10 Aug 2009, highlighted the dangers of religious extremism giving the example of the takeover of the secular woman’s group Aware. Although the PM praised the positive re-action taken by the National Council of Churches to distance themselves from the Anglican Church of Our Saviour, their Archbishop who is ironically also the Chairman of the National Council of Churches was clearly indignant. In the Christian Post Article “Archbishop Exhorts Christians to Go the second Mile for Singaporean” 18 Aug 2009, The Most Rev John Chew implicitly highlighted what he terms “Militant Humanism” in Singapore, and for the Christian response to go the second mile, to be willing to be slapped in both cheeks.

Going the first mile in the bible refers to the Romans Soldiers lawfully demanding the Jews to carry their goods and military hardware for the maximum of one mile. This law is of course extremely unjust and unfair – as one would not want to help the Roman Soldiers who were Jewish oppressors and occupiers of their land very willingly and had to be forced. Therefore, by quoting the second mile, perhaps, the Archbishop was indirectly stating that as much as he was unwilling to distance himself from Aware, he had too for it was perhaps the Government’s direction. Is he asking Christians to go for the second mile, to continue to enter into the secular space again (as per the Transformation 2009 Conference attended by the Mega Churches) even to the extent to be slapped in the other cheek?

The sermon by the Archbishop implies that they were the victim instead of the aggressor for the Aware issue which was hardly factual. The Christians in Singapore unlike the Gay community had not been wronged. There was no “going the first mile”, as they had not like the Jews suffered any injustice from their Roman oppressors (aka the Government). The Church has incredible freedom here in Singapore even freely importing fundamentalist and extremist theology and inviting foreign Preachers. However, taking over Aware crossed the secular line ordained by the Government.

The bible calls us to love our enemies, in reference to those who oppressed us, for our faith, for preaching the Gospel message of salvation to the ends of the World but not be persecuted for unrighteousness sake ie doing wrong. The Aware Saga did not extend the Gospel but revealed a militant nature of our faith where even though strictly legal our actions were morally wrong. We are rightly criticized for not only going outside our religious boundaries but for our immoral ways crossing the line of common decency. We have a right to insist that Gays leave the church, but we have no right to demand this outside the walls of the church, in the secular space, with 377A mentioned by the PM being a prime example, nor attempting to use this argument to take over an unrelated secular space. Our actions show a religious militancy rather than any militant humanism mentioned by the Archbishop.

Historically, the First Mile, represents the requirements of the Roman Law for labor to assist the Roman Soldiers. Gays in Singapore had to bear the first mile, being persecuted by the Religious Fundamentalist who has insisted on the law to criminalize gays. We have to tolerate the constant attacks by the Christian Right using the law to legitimize their condemnation against gays. However, we should not behave like those who persecute us, but rather to response with grace without given them what is due to them. We are to love our enemies, the Evangelical Pastors who go out of their way to condemn us from the church pulpit. Our battle is not against them, but to preach the good news, that Jesus is inclusive.

The agenda by the Christian Right is to condemn Gays and to paint a very bad and negative picture with outright lies and distortion of truth lest gays come out of their self imposed closet. They know that once gays accept themselves as wonderfully created by God neither intrinsically sinful nor of a fallen nature, they would start accepting their sexuality as a gift. The War would be lost when Gays start coming out of the closet with pride even though battles may be seemingly won such as proposition 8. The battle is to keep gays in an imaginary prison of their own mind and closet and in self condemnation.

The younger generation is coming out, with far less religious baggage to bind them and able to accept themselves in early teens rather than 20 years later, Times have changed, a tide which will soon overwhelmed the Christian Fundamentalist. Even if we do nothing, the laws against gays and for same sex marriage will be overturned one day, but we would have lost an entire generation who would be strongly antagonized against Christianity. Would they become a torn at the side of the church which they have legal and moral right to be after a thousand of years of persecution questioning whether the bible is the ultimate authority after being so abused by Christians and misused and mis-interpreted to keep gays in bondage. The question of whether Homosexuality is a gift from God or whether it is the result of a fallen nature so hotly debated would simply fade into history as unnecesarry and the reply being self evident as Gays come out of the closet in a tidal wave. Their churches will be opened to the public - no more hiding, their faces revealed, their worship, their stories of faith revealed as a testimony to God's faithfullness. We will no longer be ashamed of who we are in Christ perfect love.

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