|Secularism versus religious activism|
The eight years of the Bush Gorvernment with its very strong Christian support and emphasis on morality seemed to instead translate in recklessness and lack of moral values with the big businesses using the loose regulations to lend money to those who cannot afford even when the banks are themselves not backed by sufficient savings, and the financial and insurance institutions jumping on this properity theology bus of making more money and having great multiplied prosperity. In their "moral" high ground, gay marriages are banned and exposed to hate crimes. In the same time, given much freedom for gun owners resulting in a very high murder and crime rate. When the Iraqi war started, Christian sites broadcasted "onward christian soldiers" as it showed the armed forces going to war under the reason of the weapons of mass destruction which has now proven to be incorrect, resulting in a bil of 900 billion dollars and a million dead. There is a need to return to a secularism giving space to all, and a rule based on self constraint and control, justice, mercy, fairplay, equality and common sense.
The political power and electoral strenght of the Christian Activists in the government in the last 8 years have meant that they could do almost whatever they wanted within the law. Using public referrendums, many laws were changed to come against gay marriages using the excuse of protecting their straight marriages which is under threat because of straight divorses and abortions. Why didn't Focus on Family and Exodus banned abortion and divorse instead, because gays are weak and a small minority group whilsts abortion has strong support by the majority. The hypocrisy by the religious activist is beyond understanding and Jesus specifically highlighted the yeast of the Pharisees which would destroy the very good works of the blibical faith. The yeast makes the bread expands many times thus impacting every part of the faith. Jesus warned us against the yeast of the Pharisees who knew the law and the scriptures and were jealous for God, yet sent the Messiah to the Cross and put people under religious bondage. The bible has shown that religious power, rule and control here on earth has destructive consequences.
The risk of religious rule and activism is that it is agressive, self justified by religious mandates instead of common sense, logic, and rule of law, and secularism. " Secularism" is very focused on giving space for all people and a call for constraint and protection irrespective of financial status, language, race, religion, sex, and sexual oreintation resulting in peace and harmony where everyone can contribute to the society and economy, whilsts "religious Militiancy" often imposed religious rule and law upon society well outside the walls and space of the church, and promotes an unsustainable prosperity theology of increasing stock market indexes, personal wealth and property gains. In order to "create" such wealth, we also destroy the environment by taking away all the natural resources. Many religious groups still do not believe in global warming, why? because it does not fit within their prosperity theology. Which kind of rule do we prefer in Singapore? in the long term, a secular society would give us far more peace and sustainability.
The rule of the Christian Activist during Bush 8 years of tenure has resulted in a gross debt being 100% of GDP expected over the next decade even worst than the amounts spent for growth and recovery in the aftermath of world war two in the late 40s and early 50s of infrasturcture built up for the baby boomers. Worst still the debt gives us little infrasturcture built up for future prosperity but instead goes to the rich, to the CEOs and senior managers who had skimmed billions in bonuses. In debt, we are owned by our lenders - China, Japan, Europe, and the Arab countries which we have to please and indirectly will dictate the foreign policy. The social security burden will hit America soon and with it further reducing spending by the retirees and depleting Government spending. The rich are becoming richer whilst the poor and the weak have become more vulnerable resulting in social issues.
The televangelist crying out for funds to defeat an imagined threat of the "homosexual aggenda", and for us to sow in order to reap our own 100 fold harvest, and for world wide evangelism and to receive healing from God, have really milked the innocent and the needy. Much went instead to their large bank accounts, huge mansions, private jets, and expensive shopping - all perfectly legal, above board, and tax exempt. Christian activists in Singapore has invited many of these televangelist to preach in our mega churches week in and out, to spread their theology to influence all the spaces in society. The transformation 2009 was a classic example of this move which has started in the last 10 years learning from the move in America from the 80s. It is not suprising that Pastor Derek Hong of the Church of Our Savious railed against the alleged homosexual aggenda solely based on the theology and teachings of the Christian Right in America. His rethoric makes little sense and meaning here because it was solely based on America (not Singapore) where homosexuality has been decriminalised and there has been a push for gay marriages. We are still a long way off.
We should not encouraged foreign political influence through religious activism. The National Council of Churches Singapore may have distanced themselves publicly in the Aware saga but a pastoral letter by their Archbishop and the Editorial at Christian Post SG "Ashamed of the Gospel" and "Offence of the offence" showed a very different outlook and perhaps their "real" opinions. It is time to limit religious activism in Singapore and to protect the secular space lest we fall down the slippery slope of financial, political, and social problems. A move towards giving gays the basic rights may inflamed passions but give a strong statement of maintaining a secular space.