When it comes to what Singaporeans prioritise in their lives, the government has some ideas. In a Singapore where the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is miserable and work-life balance a coveted privilege, it has been decided that Singaporeans should all be exhorted to put “family first”. And what better way to spread this message than with a pledge?

At first it just sounds a little silly, an idea that makes one roll one’s eyes and say, “Here we go again, yet another campaign!” Oh, slogan-crazy Singapore, when will you stop?

Then you hear the pledge, and the joke stops being funny.

We, the people of Singapore, pledge to build strong and happy families.
We affirm the commitment of marriage between husband and wife.
And take responsibility to nurture our children, and respect our elders.
We celebrate and honour the roles of each family member.
And uphold the family as the foundation of our lives, and the building block of our society.

It’s written by the National Family Council (with input from ‘stakeholders’), but sounds and reads like a conservative fundamentalist Christian manifesto. It pledges to “uphold the family as the foundation of our lives” while making sure to frame “family” in the narrowest of ways. It firmly defines marriage as a commitment ”between husband and wife”, thus pre-empting the radical impudence of any of the 20,000 Singaporeans who were at Pink Dot celebrating the freedom to love.

Lawrence Khong – he of the staunch belief that repealing Section 377A would unleash some sort of “homosexual agenda” that would rip society to shreds – must be so proud. In fact, the pledge echoes the words he used in his statement to Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, where he “affirm[s] that the family unit comprises a man as Father, a woman as Mother, and Children” and asserts that the family is the “foundation” and “building block of society”.

While aiming to encourage family life in Singapore, this pledge excludes same-sex couples, divorced parents, single parents, or anyone not in a ‘traditional’ nuclear family structure. According to this pledge, these people don’t deserve to be seen as families. On top of the everyday struggles of a single parent in Singapore – because, for some reason, the state can’t seem to treat them like any other parent – we have added this giant stinking whopper of an insult. Here you go, just a little reminder that you’re not accepted here.

I understand that this is perhaps yet another effort to encourage Singaporeans to get married and start having children, but it is high time that our social engineers realised that wilfully neglecting or excluding non-traditional families does not help the TFR. There are non-traditional families everywhere in the world, and there will be more and more of them as we strive to break down painfully patriarchal models (the very model that this pledge appears to be trying so hard to uphold). To behave as if none of that is happening in Singapore is either incredible naiveté or exasperating close-mindedness.

Gay Singaporeans are not going to recite this pledge, turn straight, get married and have five children. Divorced couples will not suddenly decide to get back together. Single parents will not become un-single. No matter how we alienate and marginalise these people they simply will not fit into the boxes we’ve picked out for them. And so we achieve nothing except to hurt and punish people just for deviating from the ‘norm’.

And this ‘norm’ is now marketed to us as “Singaporean values”, as a shared belief that we as a nation subscribe to.

This is what’s most aggravating about this National Family Pledge. It’s homophobic, bigoted conservative propaganda dressed up as a government-sponsored movement and sold to us as part of who we are as a society. It tells us that we should all subscribe to these beliefs, these beliefs that would disenfranchise so many of my friends, so many amazing people who have given so much to the country that now would not deign to recognise them.

At the end of the first recitation of the pledge, the Master of Ceremonies crows, “Well done, give yourselves a round of applause!”

But it was not well done, and deserved no applause. If this definition of family really is the “building block” of Singaporean society, then we can only conclude that we will be building walls to shut out those who do not, cannot, fit.

How can we applaud that?

  • hautzeng

    Dear Kirsten,

    I share your concern that certain values are being pushed as national ones, when they likely aren’t. But is all belief that homosexual behavior is sinful and to be avoided necessarily wrong, and that all who hold to them are conservative/religious bigots? Is there any possibility in your worldview that homosexuality could in itself be immoral and destructive? How do you justify your beliefs? Every definition entails exclusion. Could it be that it is you have excluded religious beliefs as necessarily false or even as an unacceptable foundation for civil society?

  • Jason

    Ironically, as a gay man, I will not exclude the possibility that my sexuality could possibility be immoral and destructive to your way of life. And precisely because of that, I am not about to make anyone recite a damn pledge to embrace homosexuality, and championing the rights of two men to marry each other. We’re too small a nation to exclude anyone from contributing to nation building… something the ministry should have thought about before embarking on this stupid idea.

  • Desirée Lim

    “Is there any possibility in your worldview that homosexuality could in itself be immoral and destructive?”

    No.

  • Ascend

    I guess the Family pledge would be unnecessary if certain quarters are not seeking to advance their insidious agenda through different medias and platforms. As with any pledge it is to affirm (and in this situation reaffirm) the belief of some fundamental and important core values of a society & nation and especially when they are now being undermined.

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    Like @desirelim:disqus, there is no possibility in my worldview that homosexuality could itself be immoral and destructive. Or at least, not any more immoral or destructive than heterosexuality. I don’t see one as being better than the other.

    However, I do accept that there will be people who disagree with me. I am well aware that there are people with different perspectives, and while I may strongly disagree with them I recognise their right to have their opinion just like I have the right to have mine.

    But it is unacceptable when they try to foist their brand of morality and values on everyone else without even entertaining the thought that there could be something different out there, or respecting other people’s right to have a different worldview. THAT is the bigotry that I cannot stand, and it is exactly what is happening in this pledge.

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    Exactly. I don’t believe that the family is so degraded in Singapore that people don’t know who they love or care for. Why is there a need for this pledge? People who don’t care for anyone won’t be converted by this, and people who already do have their loved ones will love them without five paltry lines drawn up by some council.

    What are we trying to entrench in our society here, and what are the motives?

  • NEWater

    Religious belief is the exclusive domain of stupid, deluded and weak-minded people who seek to undermine human civilization, development and progress. It is for this exact reason that religious belief has no place at all in civil society.

  • Roger Lim Hian Keng

    NEWater, define weak-minded people and strong-minded people. Because that is called generalization.

  • 8i8x

    Dear Kirsten,

    There is nothing wrong telling married couple to
    stay committed in a marriage instead of divorce . Or do you encourage
    divorce for anyone who feel like it? Please do not seek sympathy by
    quoting “single parents and divorced parents”, Your concern is “Husband
    and wife” (instead of “husband and husband”). You will say the pledge if
    it says,

    “We, the people of Singapore, pledge to build strong and happy families.
    We affirm the commitment of marriage between 2 person.
    And take responsibility to nurture our children, and respect our elders.
    We celebrate and honour the roles of each family member.
    And uphold the family as the foundation of our lives, and the building block of our society.”

    S377A
    is about anal penetration between two men. You are trying to redefine
    sexual relationship from gender oriented to genderless oriented.

    Please do not use a Pro-family movement as a propaganda for your agenda.

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    You don’t seem to understand that this is not a black/white situation. Just because I do not agree with affirming marriage as a commitment between husband and wife doesn’t mean that I want everyone to get divorced (although, if a couple decides that they cannot remain together anymore, who am I to tell them otherwise?)

    And actually you’re wrong. Even if the pledge is re-written in the way you have done it, I still won’t endorse this pledge. I don’t agree with preaching to people about marriage (not everyone wants to get married, and not every couple sees the need to get married to be committed), nor do I agree with the “roles of each family member”, because it’s none of our business how people define their “roles” within relationships. I also don’t see the point in defining relationships as marriage as having children. What about people who don’t want children?

    All in all, I find the pledge to be incredibly narrow, and unhelpful because it refuses to acknowledge the diversity and different relationships that people can have.

    I don’t know what you mean by redefining “sexual relationship from gender oriented to genderless oriented”. I will say, though, that Section 377A criminalises sex between men, which essentially means that a very important aspect of a relationship – that of physical intimacy – is illegal for gay couples. And this, in my eyes, is discrimination and bigotry.

    This movement might call itself “pro-family”, but it is really only “pro-one-sort-of-family”. And that’s my fundamental problem with it.

  • 8i8x

    This is a campaign to encourage commitment in a marriage, to encourage parents take responsibility to nurture their children, to encourage them to respect the elders.

    And you find that wrong. Maybe your perception of marriage is different from mine.

    By the way, an anti abortion campaign will not make an already aborted baby revive. But that’s not the reason for an anti abortion campaign.

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    I don’t get your sudden reference to an anti-abortion campaign, but okay whatever.

    If this were a Marriage Pledge for married couples to commit to then okay, let them decide. But this is marketed as a family pledge, with this narrow definition of family put forward as the “basic building block of our society”. This pledge purports to represent all of us, while excluding so many.

  • 8i8x

    Nice try for bringing in Lawrence Khong, S377A, single parents and divorced parents. And its not about the pledge after all. Thanks for affirmation my personal gut feel of your purpose.

    “Gay Singaporeans are not going to recite this pledge, turn straight, get
    married and have five children. Divorced couples will not suddenly
    decide to get back together. Single parents will not become
    un-single. No matter how we alienate and marginalise these people they
    simply will not fit into the boxes we’ve picked out for them.” Nice try, but not what this campaign is about.

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    But WHY isn’t campaign about them too? Why are we marketing this single, narrow view as a NATIONAL VALUE? This is what the pledge is doing, and this is what I am responding to.

  • Nicholas

    Hi Kirsten, a fascinatingly well-written piece in my opinion. I think the one brilliant thing that arose out of this fatuous “National Family Pledge” saga, is the show of humanism evident in this article.

    (My one issue is with the phrase “painfully patriarchal models”. I don’t see anything sexist or oppressive about a traditional nuclear family, by which I mean a family unit where a man and women work equally to raise children)

    The way I see it, conservatism is embedded in the bedrock of our society. It’s in pledges like these; it’s in the blatantly capricious censorship by the MDA; it spilled out like a torrent of vomit in the comments section of your recent Yahoo article on homosexuality in Britain. At times, the prospects don’t look good. However, consider that in every era of humanity, there have been those that argued that social cohesion took precedence over justice and the fundamental rights of the individual. They’ve always been proven wrong. I think it essential that humanists like yourself never give up on fighting for the civil rights of our gay comrades, less the forces of the local Right continue to dominate our national policy. Have a great night :)

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    Thanks for your comment!

    I wrote about “painfully patriarchal models” because the pledge alludes to honouring the “roles of each family member”, and in the context of the conservatism that I’m responding to I saw this allusion as an affirmation of various gender roles within the family, i.e. “father as breadwinner, mother as taking care of kids and household chores” which to me are painfully patriarchal. So it’s not really the nuclear family itself that I find painfully patriarchal, but the roles we expect people to play within that nuclear family.

  • Second Mouse

    1. Homosexuality is a genetic variant and immutable, i.e. it has been demonstrated time and time again in scientific study after scientific study that sexual orientation cannot be altered.

    2. Accepting gay people as equals and not criminalising them is not an insidious agenda that will result in straight people turning gay, unless said straight people were secretly gay in the first place.

    3. You probably think that all the advanced economies of the world (America, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, etc.), with their fancy universities and scientific studies and all that nonsense, are wrong, and you are right. Oh no the whole developed world is being polluted by an insidious agenda that only you and your cabal are aware of! Congrats! You win the Nobel Peace Prize. Along with Robert Mugabe and the guy in the loincloth from The Gods Must Be Crazy.

  • Second Mouse

    Please point out how homosexuality is (a) immoral and (b) destructive. Once you have accomplished that, no doubt by recourse to some religious argument, please tell me why other plausibly immoral and destructive things are not illegal. For instance: lying might be immoral, but there are no blanket laws criminalising lying in daily life. Being fat is destructive to one’s health and well-being, and it will probably destroy the lives of your wife and kids if you die of a heart attack, but there are no laws criminalising being fat. Being stupid is pretty destructive to the rest of us clever and enlightened folks, but hey presto there are plenty of dumb people roaming the streets, making bad and illogical strawman arguments etc (wink wink).

    It is bigoted to demand that people be marginalised on the basis of an immutable genetic variation that does not affect straight people nor will ever affect them. It is bigoted to wilfully ignore scientific information that has been around since the 1970s that has repeatedly pointed out that homosexuality cannot and will not spread like a contagion. It is bigoted to make up fear-mongering stories that are factually untrue about the dangers that homosexuality poses to society when no evidence exists to corroborate such stories in countries where homosexuality has been decriminalised for decades or even centuries, or has never ever been criminalised. Like the EU. Like the US. Like Canada. Like Japan and South Korea and China and Taiwan. It is bigoted. The end.

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    I really liked Gods Must Be Crazy.

    (Okay, so this comment is totally tangential, but hey I do.)

    And I also just realised that I totally misread @Ascend’s comment. I thought the “insidious agenda” he was referring to was that of the conservative fundies. My bad.

  • 8i8x

    Then write only about the pledge. lets include the divorced parents but discourage divorces, include single parents but discourage single parenthood from premarital pregnancy. We then propose a change of pledge to include that. What is your agenda? Propaganda for Same sex marriage? Normalization of genderless sexual preference?

  • 8i8x

    Second Mouse, you mean Bisexual is Genetic???????

  • Second Mouse

    Yes. Your astonishment at this does not mean it is untrue. Hey, did you know that light is both a wave and a particle? Did you know that time slows down when you approach the speed of light? Did you know that our tailbones are a remnant of evolution? Did you know that some people are born with two different eye colours or two different sets of genitals? I suggest you do a little light reading before showing off your ignorance with such pride.

  • Bryan

    So any person or religious person is labelled as a “Bigot” for having a differing opinion on a homosexual’s lifestyle? Our government has spoken out against gambling, does this mean they hate gamblers too? Anyone that does not agree with your opinion is a bigot? To have freedom of rights, we must first remove the rights of religious people to voice out their opinions so that there will be only one choice. Anything or anyone against the homosexual lifestyle is a bigot. Your pride is based on the ability to take away people’s voices even if they differ from yours.

  • 8i8x

    Please refer to me a white paper saying it is. By the way, you do not know me, I suggest you do a little reading before showing off your ignorance with such pride. Please research on M/dF and F/dM traits with social environmental effects.

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    I do not think that all religious people are bigots. However, the bigotry comes from them packaging their values as a NATIONAL value and “foundation of our society”, as if everyone in Singapore should subscribe to this view and not others.

    By opposing this pledge I am not trying to “take away people’s voices”. They are welcome to their voice. They are just not welcome to foist it upon the nation.

  • Eddie Ong

    Kristen, please don’t again lump single parent or divorced parent into your group. They’re a different situation altogether. While families like mine work hard to bring up our children, such pledge reminds us and spurs us on. This is something you may never understand. At least you shouldn’t even criticise it or play it down. It really only goes to show how aggressive your type will be if we 377A is repealed.

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    Oh @8i8x:disqus surely you know that things are never that simple. We cannot compartmentalise life like that: oh, let’s ONLY talk about the pledge, as if it doesn’t represent something bigger, as if it has NOTHING to do with how our state sees society!

    Here are my beliefs on the issue, which I have never hidden:
    - I believe in equal rights for the LGBT community. Currently I support the repeal of S377A, but if it came to the matter of same-sex marriage, then yes I would be a staunch support of same-sex marriage in Singapore too.
    - I do not believe that any particular group has the authority to foist their values and beliefs on to the whole country, as if there is no diversity and that everyone HAS to follow THEIR beliefs.

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    Please explain, what is my “group” and “type”? And what exactly do you think will happen if S377A is repealed?

  • 8i8x

    Yes , i agree, and you shouldn’t foist your values and beliefs on the whole country, like trying to change an existing law. We did not intend to change the law, like instituting adultery as illegal, although we believe that a husband should remain faithful to a wife and a wife should remain faithful to a husband. In fact, we are telling people that there are no sexual freedom in a committed marriage. Unless you think otherwise. And by campaign, its an encouragement. On the other hand, by repealing, its foisting your beliefs and values.

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    Thank you for not making adultery illegal! See, in this instance, you have NOT projected your beliefs on to others, and this is good.

    The same should apply to sex between men. S377A is the foisting of beliefs and values on to everyone. However, the repeal of S377A will deal with this: even after the repeal people will be free to be as religious or as conservative as they want, only that this belief has not been enshrined in the Penal Code as a discriminatory legislation against others. The repeal of S377A does not remove anyone’s right to believe what they want to believe, but it does remove the discrimination that one group has imposed upon the other.

  • 8i8x

    I disagree, you alone are not able to ensure Singapore will follow the footsteps of Boston, and recently, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Normalization of same sex marriage is redefining matrimony of a man and a woman, meaning redefining every gender oriented philosophy in a country.

  • Bryan

    Thank you for your fast reply Kixes. As a Christian, I feel offended that I am instantly been labelled as a “Bigot” for standing up for my moral convictions without a chance for defending myself. I am sorry that you have a prejudice against Christians. I understand that you do not feel that Christian values are to be imposed on to society and I respect that.

    However I do not feel comfortable that 21,000 Pink Dot Supporters out of the 5 million Singapore population which is 0.42% represents the majority of the population just because they are more vocal then the silent majority. I believe that Pink Dot is called a movement on their webpage and they have a campaign of their own which involves a yearly video posted in public domain(accessible to children as well) as well as an annual event that actively promotes & influence the homosexual lifestyle.

    Is a Family Unit made out of a Man & Woman together with children wrong(it seems to ring a negative bell in your post)? Am I wrong to support traditional marriage which majority of society grew up with? Does this means that as a “Bigot” I hate other forms of non traditional marriage?

    “We, the people of Singapore, pledge to build strong and happy families.”
    Do you think that we need more broken & sad families in Singapore since supporting strong & happy families seems to be a wrong value.

    “We affirm the commitment of marriage between husband and wife.”
    Is it wrong to support commitment in a marriage? I believe that non Christians are equally as committed to their marriage. Is this a unique Christian value?
    I believe that at the moment only a Man & a Woman can be married in Singapore under the law. Do you think it is right to break the law to get married?

    “We celebrate and honour the roles of each family member.”
    Does this sentence state that those who are not from a family are not honoured and celebrated?

    “And uphold the family as the foundation of our lives, and the building block of our society.”
    Should we take away the word “family” and replace it with bricks since bricks can also be used to lay foundations?
    Can there be humans in a society if procreation is not encouraged? Should there be a compulsory option to opt in to neuter Singaporeans to stop them from reproducing since starting a family is not worth making to build up our society?

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    Hi Bryan, I think you completely misunderstood my opposition to the pledge. You are seeing my opposition in terms of a binary: you think that because I oppose the pledge “to build strong and happy families” that I actually WANT sad and broken families. Or that because I refuse to affirm the commitment of marriage between husband and wife it means that I want people to stop being committed in that marriage, or stop getting married.

    This is not at all the case. I myself am engaged to be married, and I fully intend to be committed in my marriage. But this is a choice that I make for myself, and I do not feel comfortable preaching it to others, or having other preach it to me.

    I have no intention of labelling all Christians a bigots, because they aren’t. I went to a Christian high school, I have many Christian friends and I respect people who gather strength from their faith, whatever that faith may be.

    However, my reference to bigotry comes into play when a particular group tries to insert their beliefs and value system into a NATIONAL pledge and pass it off as the beliefs of EVERYONE. This, to me, signals an unwillingness to accept that people can have different perspectives, beliefs and value systems, and a need to lock everyone down to the way THEY see things. This is bigotry, and it would still be bigotry no matter who they are (i.e. Christian or non-Christian).

    In relation to your comment about Pink Dot, I just have two points that I want to make first:
    1. There is NO SUCH THING as a “homosexual lifestyle”, any more than there is a “heterosexual lifestyle”. Homosexuality is not a lifestyle choice any more than heterosexuality is.
    2. Pink Dot has NEVER “promoted” homosexuality. They are advocating acceptance. They are not advocating for everyone to turn gay. That would be futile anyway, because you’re just as likely to turn gay as a gay person is to turn straight.

    LGBT activists in Singapore are advocating the repeal of Section 377A. I have heard many people against this repeal say that it infringes on their freedoms and their rights. But that’s simply not true. You are welcome to carry on with your religious beliefs and your committed heterosexual marriage even after S377A is repealed. You can continue to teach your kids whatever you like about sex. No one will demand that you cast off your religion, divorce your wife or marry a man.

    All that the repeal of S377A will do is remove the stigma and discrimination against gay people that has been enshrined in our Penal Code all these years. We will no longer be able to tell young gay teenagers that they are criminals and aberrations in the eyes of the state and the law, which will have a huge effect on youngsters who are already struggling with their identity.

    The repeal of S377A, and movements like Pink Dot, do not infringe on the rights of those who do not share their opinion. You are still free to believe as you choose, with the knowledge, of course, that many might disagree with you.

  • Lim

    Wouldn’t you agree that there’s a limit to respecting other people’s right to have a different worldview? For example, would you promote the right for people with phidophile tendencies to be a childcare teacher for your own children? Your nephew or niece?

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    Of course I alone am not able to do it. That is why I cherish my friends, their compassion and their commitment. :)

  • Lim

    Second Mouse,

    1. Could you demonstrate scientific proof that homosexuality is a genetic variant? Multiple studies have at best proved it inconclusive (http://www.hollanddavis.com/?p=3647) and (http://hawaii.edu/PCSS/biblio/articles/1961to1999/1993-homosexual-orientation-in-twins.html).

    Should homosexuality among twins ≠ 100%, that itself would have proved at least a certain amount of biological influence, and disproved the theory that homosexuality “cannot be changed”.

    2. Gays cannot be equated as homosexuals, and comparing blacks and whites is a red herring. Reason being the former has biological influences, while the latter is purely genetic.

    That being said, many people who are pro-family in Singapore accept gays as part of our community. What we are uncomfortable with is when a minority part of the community prevents the majority from speaking up and vocalizing their values.

    3. Personnel attacks discredit you. Enough said.

  • Lim

    If the pledge is really going to be such a lame duck, why are you getting so worked up about this, Kristen?

    The same argument you’re using could be used against the national pledge. Why don’t you speak up against that too?

  • thor

    Dear Kirsten

    You should applaud the National Family Pledge as you know very well that
    The National Family Pledge is all embracive and all inclusive in what it declares!
    “We, the people of Singapore, pledge to build STRONG and HAPPY families.
    We affirm the commitment of MARRIAGE between husband and wife.
    And take responsibility to nurture OUR children, and respect our elders.
    We celebrate and honour the roles of each family member.
    And uphold the FAMILY as the FOUNDATION of our lives, and the BUILDING BLOCK of our society.”
    DOES NOT EXCLUDE divorced parents, single parents!

    In fact, the National Family Pledge pledges to build strong happy families, period!
    It is only the commitment of marriage that is between husband & wife.

    It is the COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY of the family to nurture OUR children & respect OUR elders.
    And whether you are in an intact family, a divorced or single parent
    family, the nation pledge to honor every family member!

    That is the important distinctive of Singapore’s National Family Pledge which is
    ALL-INCLUSIVE!

  • NicJude

    Firstly, Eddie, from the reply you got from Kristen from the first comment you made, it’s apparent that you either just gave up listening or simply want to oppose the article because it shows a bigger acceptance to the LGBT community that you’d like.

    First of all, you’re not, I repeat – NOT a bigot because you’re a Christian. To be bigoted by definition is to “express or characterise by prejudice and intolerance”. By singling out a certain group as “acceptable” or “normal”, while alienating or condemning other groups of people, that is what makes a bigot.

    To begin with, no one said that marriage between a mna and a woman is wrong. No one. In fact, it’s the kind that everyone is taught from young to be acceptable. But what about other people who might not fit the mould of this one sort of “family”?

    See, everyone should have their own family, no matter the circumstance, as a means for moral and emotional support. Sure, some aren’t as complete as you see the “family” to be, but if it provides that needed ingredient necessary to motivate one to continue and is there to help carry burdens where possible, should that not count as a family as well?

    To your point of being Christian, ever wonder why it is that, in your Bible, “a man laying with another man” is not as mentioned as how a man and a woman should be in a marriage? And there are mentions that even a woman who is without a husband should not be thrown to the side of the road and have stones thrown at her? See, there’s ethics, and there are morals. Morals are easily cooked up by people to have their ways. Ethics are simple rules that dictate how one person SHOULD treat another. A simple illustration to prove this is: morals allow killing of someone if they have committed a murder; ethics does not call for killing another person no matter ho grievous his crime is. Why is the latter true? Simple. Two wrongs don’t make a right. If you have to commit a sin to correct a sinner’s sin, you think your sin is void? No; in fact, your sin is much bigger that the sin of the first sinner, the one you sin against to correct him. That, in fact, doesn’t make you a bright spot to be favoured.

    In fact, Jesus himself never took revenge on anyone, no matter what was done to him. He loved them instead and accepted them with wide open arms without prejudice of any kind. When you allow “anyone into your church”, do you do so in the same way? I bet not. If the person happened to be gay and the church found out, do you really think the person has a chance to stay beyond a few months after? Unless he “changes”, or he remains closeted and in such emotional pain, not a chance.

    Lastly, no one condemns the one-man-one-woman family. But, from what I hear of Christians, that sort of marriage is only for procreation and nothing else. If so, why marry at all? If I wanted to procreate, I could just get some girl to agree to have sex with me until she got pregnant and then have a baby – period. That’s not marriage, and certainly not a family. IF, in a family, there’s no love, or acceptance of EVERYONE in it, then it’s broken. Simply because there’s a lack of emotional and moral support for each other, there’s no family.

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    I hope that it will be a lame duck, and it looks like it’ll probably be.

    But lame duck or not, I think it is important to speak out against it because it is being presented as a NATIONAL initiative while also being so exclusionary.

    If you must know, I don’t think that much about the national pledge either. I haven’t written about it myself but I think Alex Au does a good job and raises interesting points here: http://yawningbread.wordpress.com/2012/08/12/why-i-oppose-the-national-pledge/

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    Erm, just because you capitalises words and say “ALL-INCLUSIVE!” doesn’t mean that it is.

  • Lim

    I believe your earlier argument that there’s no need for this pledge hasn’t really been substantiated by you. It seems that we’re now arguing if this pledge is valid as a national initiative. (let’s ignore the issue about the national pledge – it was raised in my argument as an example to substantiate a point, rather than an argument by itself)

    Moving along that lines, why not elaborate on who is being excluded in the pledge if we use the commonly accepted definition of a family? After all, this is 1) coming from the MSF, 2) intended to speak to the majority.

  • Lim

    Let the silent majority who promote family values speak up. Bigotry is a strong claim, and is most associated with those who use it.

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    It is precisely because it is coming from the MSF and intended to speak for the nation (which is far more than just the majority) that it is problematic that it is so exclusionary. I believe I have gone into how it is exclusionary in my original blog post, but let’s break it down again:

    - This pledge affirms the family to be the foundation and building block of society.
    - From its wording, the pledge defines family to be: committed husband and wife who nurture their children and respect their elders.

    This basically defines the nuclear family as the foundation of society, while making no mention of even the POSSIBILITY of any other sorts of family.

  • Bryan

    Thanks for clarifying kixes, I am able to understand your position more. If you bear with me I would like to offer my opinion.

    If people are born gay and are the minority of the population, does this mean their sexual orientation is the norm?

    How about pedophiles? Should we change the laws to suit them also since their sexual orientation for children can be claimed to be “born this way”?

    If someone is born missing a limb, does this mean that this is normal since they are born this way?

    If I am born Chinese, can I claim that other races are not normal since they were not born Chinese?

    The Pink Dot Movement isn’t as passive as you think it is. Their videos & website are on public domain and they have been trying to exert an influence on heterosexuals throughout the years. The term “Bigotry” is used on people who do not agree with homosexuality. People feel the pressure to accept them for the fear of being marked as a “bigot”. This fear tactic seems to be working well seeing how afraid people are now to speak out against homosexuality for the fear of being persecuted. Thus the vocal minority can claim that the silent majority’s silence means consent.

    They have shifted their stances from tolerance(community hidden from sight but we know of their existence) to acceptance(open public displays of homosexuality) and soon they will push for marriage rights(no longer just 1 Man 1 Woman) should 377A be removed. They will push for progression for rights(Like the USA).

    Imagine a scenario 10 years down the line for a progressive society. Singapore heterosexual couples have to wait longer for a HDB flat to start a family because homosexual couples now have the rights to ballot for a HDB flat too. Can you choose your neighbor? What if a heterosexual couple with kids isn’t comfortable with a homosexual couple as neighbors. Will you call them the 1 man 1 woman family with kids bigots too? The parents cannot protect their children from homosexual content because there will be special laws protecting the rights of the minority to have their content openly displayed.

    Your Christian friends have no choice but to stay silent because there will be a law that says you cannot voice out your opinions against homosexuality because that will be a hate crime. No one will stand on their moral conviction because of the fear of persecution. Is this the progressive society that you wish to live in?

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    There is a difference between democracy and majoritarian rule. There are some basic rights and protections against discriminations that should be upheld.

  • Bryan

    Hi NicJude, my name is Bryan not Eddie.

    I am not quite sure what you mean as I cannot discern which part of the Bible are you referring to? The Old Testament or New Testament? Are you asking whether homosexuality is a sin in the bible? Are you making a comment on adultery and the punishment of woman according to the civil laws based on the context of the Jews living in the Old Testament or the New Testament?

    I won’t mind answering your questions from a Theologian point of view based on the Doctrine of the Bible if you framed them in a more simple way I can understand.

    In the context of Legalism, In the Old Testament “An eye for an eye” or “A life for a life” if you commit murder. In the New Testament, Jesus went to the root of the problem by saying “If you harbor anger against someone, you have committed murder”. Is this too extreme? Did Jesus contradict the Old Testament Commandment of “Do not commit murder”? Rather Jesus knew the root cause of murder and that is the thought of anger.

    Since you have mentioned procreation. Yeah it is possible to make babies by sleeping around with different woman and making them pregnant. Why did God make sexual relations between Man & Woman so intimate in a 1 to 1 relationship? Men could have been made to bloom and saturate the air with sperm and make all the woman around him pregnant in an instant. But we were made to have an intimate relations within the Sanctity of the Marriage Covenant.

    Do you know what the Biblical equation of marriage is?
    1+1=1

    Shouldn’t it be 2 you ask? The Bible clearly states that when a Man & a Women have sexual relations within the marriage covenant, they form a union(spiritually). This is called soul ties. A couple is more united as 1 rather than 2 divided individuals. This concept is hard to understand in a “Me First” individualistic society.

    In the Individualistic society, when a man and woman enter marriage, both parties give their 50% to the marriage. This is equality of rights. But they also keep 50% for themselves because no one wants to gives everything. Couples start to quarrel when the ratio bends to 49% : 51%.

    In the Biblical equation. A woman submits to her husband fully and gives her 100 % to him. (Femminists hate submission to men). God gives the man full responsibility and authority over his household. Therefore man has to give his 100% to the women because God first gave, then the woman puts in her 100%. With 100% in, the children are blessed so much more in return.

    In regards to 2 wrongs don’t make a right. You are right on that. As a Christian if I do not tell my brother or sister what is wrong and close an eye to the evils that are being done, I have sinned. If I don’t stand on my moral convictions as a Christian against homosexuality, I would have sinned for my inaction.

    We Christians are called to be the light and salt of the earth but if we do not speak out against what is wrong, what good are we as Christians?

    What does it mean to take up the cross daily? It is to deny our desires and to surrender everything to God so that he can work in our life. My church does not discriminate against homosexuals, we encourage them to surrender to God in humility; the root cause of homosexuality and that is the spirit of lust. The spirit of lust has many physical manifestations but it all starts with a thought. God will cleanse and purify your mind when you receive him, he will give you the Holy Spirit who will dwell in you. You just need faith and trust and God will take care of the rest.

    Ultimately it is just how much are we willing to repent and surrender to him to have a complete change in our life from the inside.

  • SGHeathen

    Read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyranny_of_the_majority

    http://www.whatourforefathersthought.com/DemoRep.html Though Singapore is not America, we are also a Republic. Taking Democracy to its extreme is nothing more than mob rule. Christians are far from being the majority in this country. If it so happens non-Christians want to outlaw Christians what do you say? Were they the silent majority?

  • SGHeathen

    We, the people of Singapore, pledge to build strong and happy families.
    We affirm the commitment of MARRIAGE between HUSBANDDDDD and WIFEEEEEE.
    And take responsibility to NURTURE OUR CHILDREN (try to make them think the way I want them to think), and RESPECT OUR ELDERS (if you don’t think the way I want you to you are being disrespectful! easy method of persuasion! umph.).
    We celebrate and honour the ROLES of each family member (For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior..)

    And uphold the FAMILY as the FOUNDATION of our lives, and the BUILDING BLOCK of our society. (The individual cannot exist without the family!!! Or is it not? Is the sun part of milky way or milky way part of the sun? Oh shit. Without families there can be individuals but without individuals there cannot be families. Shit what nonsense am I spouting. I’ll just admit I cannot entertain the thought of family members disagreeing with me. I’m a authoritarian guy you see.)

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    I’ll not get into the theological debate here (especially since I really should be working on my dissertation instead) but I just wanted to chip in a couple of points:

    - I don’t particularly see myself as a Feminist with a capital F but yes, I disagree with the belief that the woman should submit 100% to her husband upon marriage. I find it patriarchal and unhelpful in today’s society. I also suspect that this is the “role of the family member” that we’re supposed to honour in the pledge, which is why I am uncomfortable with that line.

    - “If I don’t stand on my moral convictions as a Christian against homosexuality, I would have sinned for my inaction.

    We Christians are called to be the light and salt of the earth but if we do not speak out against what is wrong, what good are we as Christians?” <- I suppose some Christians interpret that as making it necessary to try however they can to influence national policy, and perhaps to even get into a position where they can write national pledges like this (to be clear, I am not saying that a Christian group definitely wrote the pledge, although looking at the affiliations of the National Family Council I have certain suspicions and concerns). Perhaps from their point of view they are "saving" the whole of the Singaporean population by getting us to pledge and commit to their values and the way they see life.

    However, Singapore is meant to be a secular state, and it is important in democracies for us to protect the rights of the individual and protect against discrimination. This is why it is unacceptable for the beliefs of one group to be seen as a national value.

  • thor

    How wrong you are Heathen!
    Without families there can be no individuals!

  • thor

    true, true . . .

  • thor

    Dear kixes
    this is our nation’s family pledge!

  • thor

    I beg your pardon kixes, I don’t mean to offend you with capitalising the words – but it was to highlight that no one is being left out – definitely not the divorced parent or the single parent that Kirsten was concerned for.

    In fact, all individuals are derivatives of families. And everyone is a part of a family whether he or she is married or single or is a divorced parent or even a single parent! — simply because someone had birthed that individual and in the complexities of the relationships the birth mother and the genetic father have, a family is there surrounding this individual!

    Hence I tried to stress the all-inclusiveness of the Family Pledge simply by capitalising it!

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    But where was the consultation with the nation? It can’t be the NATIONAL family pledge just because those in power suddenly decide that it is.

  • SGHeathen

    I am not talking about procreation here. I am responding to the concept of family as the building block of the nation. A man thinks for himself. The brain belongs to the individual and not the family. Your conscience is your conscience and not your family’s. When a man commits a crime we sue him and not the family. Society is a collection of individuals. Some of them belong to conventional families and some do not. If family means the people who mean a lot to you, those you will fight for and love then it may not comprise of a father mother elderly and siblings. Some treat their colleagues and friends like they would their family members. Not that they are not pious but people go through different circumstances and some just bond very close. Then again indeed individuals can come together to procreate and then separate afterwards whatever the reasons. Without fertilization there can be no individuals. A husband and wife is not necessary. Heck, a marriage is also not necessary. And the people involved can be as happy, lead a meaningful life, contribute to society as much those who are defined in the pledge can. This obsession with defining what a family is comes down to a group of people’s binary minds who cannot accept that other people have a family different from what they want.

  • J. Long

    It seems that however you word this commentary to the NFP, it’s going to turn out “offensive” to the people who wilfully take any and every bit of offence they could. “Oh how could you, Ms. Han,” they say, “protect the values of these heretics when their beliefs have no weight in this society that does not accept their presence?”

    Unfortunately, this for us Singaporeans seems to be – sort of – on the same page, or is a parallel analogy, as (this is a favorite story I always like to bring up) the act of telling Japanese people that discrimination and racism is not an American exclusive term, or that using it on a Japanese indicates naivete on the quote-unquote accuser’s part.

    Has the Information Revolution failed us, I wonder. Is the shift of power balance tilting back in the favor of those in rule? China and the Great Firewall comes to mind. =(

    But, on this part, even if I am slightly antagonistic to LGBT people (a fact that is not lost on me, after all =S), I fully support the view that if they don’t do nothing then we ain’t got no right to do nothing on them either.

    Indeed, we cannot applaud exclusivity.

  • Second Mouse

    Talking with stupid Singaporeans makes my brain hurt. There is no end to the stupidity. It’s like talking to a Nazi… “What if one day you have to live next to a Jew? Aren’t we Aryans the silent majority of the Third Reich? What about our children being polluted by their ways? What if it is a hate crime to spit on people who are different from us?” Er… ok. Hard to tell you why it sucks to be a bigot if you don’t already think so.

  • Second Mouse

    1. The current consensus is that it is determined by multiple factors including genetic predisposition and exposure to hormones during gestation leading to immutable physiological changes in the brain. Environmental factors may come into play but may affect brain physiology rather than psychology. Genetically identical twins may still exhibit differences in height, intelligence, predispositions etc. but it doesn’t mean they can change their height, intelligence, etc. Studies of twins have shown that there is a statistically significant higher coincidence of homosexuality between twins, which is what matters. Your 100% claim willl never be accepted by anyone with any understanding of biology. There are many papers on the topic and unfortunately you will need an academic subscription to journals to view them. Oh, and some intelligence and basic literacy is required too.

    2. Oh look. I’ve wasted my time talking to someone who doesn’t understand biology or genetics and is just using those terms for fun.

    3. And who thinks that calling a stupid and self-righteous person “stupid” is a personal attack, but calling for the criminalization of homosexuals is not. Yes, you are right – you have said enough. Bye bye! We won’t miss you!

  • Jan

    I LOVE the family pledge. It describes very nicely strong family values that we should all hold on to and aim for; values that are slowly being degraded.

  • Tristan

    By that do you mean the government has no right to exercise their power to govern this nation according to the values that inform this society?

  • Jan

    Well said Bryan! You are so right that a very vocal minority seems to think that their agenda is so much more important that the silent majority.

  • kixes

    “…according to the values that define this society” <- What makes you think that these values define out society? I'm a Singaporean and these aren't my values. Who gets to decide? The government can govern the country, but it shouldn't be able to impose exclusionary values on everyone.

  • kixes

    Sorry, “inform” rather than “define”. I was trying to quote from memory and my brain is a bit fried (2am where I am).

  • 8i8x

    Thank you for sharing with us your agenda to bring Singapore towards normalization of same sex marriage, towards where Boston is today, where preacher is jailed for preaching the bible on book of roman, where parents have no more rights on their children path of education. Where sexual freedom is proclaim as human rights.

  • Tristan

    So Kirsten, you get to decide while the ruling power doesn’t? You are entitled to your exclusive rights while the government should not be entitled to their exclusive right to rule?

  • kixes

    When have I decided, pray tell? I have not decided for everyone what their values are. What I am doing is pointing out how unrepresentative and exclusionary these values are, and that the government should not endorse or perpetuate efforts to foist beliefs on everyone.

    In my opposition I do not deprive anyone of the right to believe what they want to believe. I merely ask that they do not package this as something representative of all Singaporeans.

  • Tristan

    Kirsten, you have decided that this National Family Pledge written by the National Family Council, a pro-family institute, is hate speech. You are asking a pro-family organisation not to encourage Singaporeans to build strong families. You do realise you are not obligated to recite this National Family Pledge if you don’t believe in it.

  • Lim

    1. It seems that your main point is: studies of twins show a statistically significant higher of homosexuality between twins and non-twins, and therefore proves that homosexuality is caused by genes.

    This might not be accurate. As you yourself have noted, certain physical traits such as height and intelligence is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Similarly, if homosexuality isn’t demonstrated with a 100% similarity (such as eye/hair color), it can’t be proven conclusively that it’s purely a genetically linked trait.

    2. As per above

    3. Who’s talking about criminalizing homosexuals? I had the impression we were discussing about the family pledge.

    It seems that you are straying away from this. Do you have a certain agenda?

  • Lim

    I’m not sure why you’re bringing in Christians per se. I’m referring to people who support family values. That might well include the Muslim neighbor you have, the Buddhist bus driver whose bus you take, as well as the majority of Singaporeans who aren’t supportive of defining families outside of a nuclear family.

  • Lim

    For this post, I’m arguing that bigotry is being practiced by the writer of the blog post. If Singaporeans who support family values are accused of practicing bigotry, surely those who call out for the majority to change their values are doing the same.

  • Lim

    Are you arguing that the definition of the family should be changed from what is popularly accepted?

  • Lim

    Kirsten, taking this line of argument, are you also arguing that each pledge and policy the government does must have 100% acceptance and inclusion of all Singaporeans?

  • Second Mouse

    Yes I have an agenda. You caught me, you sly clever boy! This is my agenda:

    1. Weekly meeting with shareholders
    2. Discussion of stock options

    Oops wrong agenda. I think you meant this one:

    1. Force Singaporeans to reveal their stupidity and bigotry in online comments sections

    2. Send link to office buddies

    3. Laugh

    4. Repeat steps 1 to 3

    I would gladly continue this conversation with you but… no, I lied. You can take up your argument with some other entity. Like the UN. Or the rest of the developed world. I hear David Cameron and Barack Obama and Ban Ki-Moon got their scientific information and policy advice from the wrong people – clearly they forgot to ask for your pearls of wisdom on the topic.

  • Lim

    Hi Second Mouse, sarcasm seems to be your weapon of choice in this debate. However, my struggle isn’t against you. Have a good weekend.

  • NEWater

    That’s easy.The main thing that baffles and angers me about Christians is how they can understand so little about human nature that when, in their fervor to convert another person, they tell that person (as they inevitably do, in one way or another), “You’re bad, and wrong, and evil,” they actually expect that person to agree with them. It pretty much guarantees that virtually the only people Christians can ever realistically hope to convert are those with tragically low self-esteem.

  • J. Long

    You do realize that we should not blindly accept the NFP because of the breadth of the words within?

    I see a perpetual disconnect between those who thinks that almost everything is wrong in Singapore, and those who think that almost nothing is wrong in Singapore.

    And as someone who leans towards thinking the former, here’s my take: Kirsten did -not- ever say that the NFP is hate speech, so if you insist on that, you’re being narrow-minded.

    What she had pointed out is simple: “Why are you deciding what our personal values should be, people-in-power?” That is to say, if you agree with the NFP then it’s fantabulous for you, but how about the many people out there who do not? You cannot simply brush these people aside like you do in a closed social setting; they exist, and should not be excluded from something that is deemed to be of “National Level’ importance because the word “National” is used together with the words “Family” and “Pledge”, whose meaning is extremely broad.

    If you had read the news, you’d have realized that this – namely, arguments of what constitutes a “family” – is exactly the same argument going on in many places around the world, e.g. California where they (sensibly) repealed a state law that is very similar to Section 377A, e.g. whole of America in general, e.g. whole of Europe in general, especially France where this is fast becoming one of the key defining moments of President Hollande’s term… and the trend is towards acceptance.

    Forward thinking, Tristan. And realize that the author does not hate on people who hate on the LGBT community; she is merely stating the fact that it is non-inclusive, and I personally think should not have been branded with the terms “national” or be given “national-level” importance in the first place.

  • J. Long

    Taking your line of argument, it is thus alright to repeat Operation Spectrum on the Singaporean populace?

  • J. Long

    Glad that you love it, and I agree with many parts of it too.
    What I never agreed to, however, was that this was to be of national level importance, or that the -entire- country should necessarily be using this pledge as their guiding light, because that’s just stupid oppression.

    In other words – no one should/could decide what is right or wrong for everyone.

    On the other end of the spectrum, I am not advocating for anarchy either – just in case you want to go all-out aggressive and accusatory of me as some kind of evil heretic.

  • Eddie Teng

    I’m sorry for you Heathen, must be a rough back ground for you.

  • thor

    oh dear,
    that sounds like putting the gasoline hose into the exhaust pipe of the car!

  • thor

    You are so right Heathen to say that “Society is a collection of individuals.”

    Actually, society is a collection of individuals contributed by families. In fact in not so far off times & still existing today in Singapore, collection of families form clans – the Toh clan, the Ng clan, the Lim clan & so on & so forth . . . and the aggregate of all family clans in Singapore form the greater Singapore society!

    Hence I maintain that families form the building blocks of society.

  • thor

    Hi kixes
    Honoring the role of each family member in no way suggests a patriarchal model of a family, which incidentally is not stated nor alluded to at all in the National Family Pledge.

    The National Family Pledge means nothing more or less – other than the fact that the father is ‘father’ & the mother is ‘mother’ when they individually owned & contributed their distinctive gametes to form the child birthed into their family notwithstanding if the parents subsequently separated or divorced or even if the child was birthed without any customary or legal marriage between the father and mother and ends up with only a single parent! In such an unfortunate situation, the poor child would still be referred to as coming from a single-parent family.

    In this day & age, such a pledge will not be able to prevent a dual income status for most families where both the father & mother are able to earn a living, bring home money for the family to raise their children.

    Therefore, the National Family Pledge still remains an all inclusive pledge, even for the LGBT community because they are truly the offsprings of an union between their fathers & their mothers!

  • SGHeathen

    In what way does one ‘support family values’? Is it by imposing one’s own definition of families on others? Is it by implying that people who do not accept your definition of family as unpatriotic or not Singaporean enough? You can have your own definition of family. You can run your family the way you like. But do not expect every body else to conform to the way you do. It does not matter whether your are Christian or Muslims. It just so happens the people who are loudest about these matters are Christians. They can’t seem to keep their opinion to themselves but want everybody else to follow suit also.

  • SGHeathen

    Grammar error “Muslim*”

  • SGHeathen

    This is the huge problem. Nobody else is trying to define what constitutes a family. There are people who always start this petty shit defining words that is irrelevant compared to the many issues that we are facing. I seriously do not care what the fuck you define as a family. But don’t make it seem like those who are as close as family aren’t or those who don’t need the conventional family structure somehow less Singaporean.

    Do also realize that ‘traditional’ families have always been different. Our great great grandfathers may have had a few wives. Some societies are polygamous and matriarchal at the same time. You may not be used to or like these practices but it doesn’t mean their families are not as loving, happy or successful as your ideal family.

  • SGHeathen

    Not everybody belongs to clans. Singapore is a multi-cultural society. It is not the aggregate of Chinese clans. Without individuals can there be clans? If the answer is no then individuals are the building blocks of society. If the answer is yes then name a clan with no individuals.

  • SGHeathen

    Lol yeah surrounded by people who constantly spout nonsense and try to dabble with the lives of other people

  • Bryan

    Dear kixes, I think we can both agree to disagree on our opinions. But there is something very important I have to tell you. I have prayed and interceded to God on your behalf and this is what the Holy Spirit revealed to me.

    Legalism or the laws of “Do & Don’ts”. You have publicly made a statement that implied that the National Family Council & Pastor Khong are “Bigots.” Your statement is in public domain as your blog is visible to public. The National Family Council & Pastor Khong have legal grounds to sue you for slander & defamation in order to defend their reputation. If the case is taken to court, you would have to prove that NFC is an organization that discriminates against the minorities mentioned to prove your case. You would have to prove that Pastor Khong’s church FCBC puts up discriminatory notices barring minority groups from entering the church services or seeking help from the church. You would need strong evidence other than your own opinion when you slander someone or an organization. That is Legalism, the right to defend your reputation when being slandered.

    Compared With

    Laws of God that are written in our hearts as Christians. Jesus calls us to love our enemies. Pastor Khong has the power to forgive you even though you have slandered him by calling him a Bigot. And I believe he definitely will forgive you and not pursue a court case even though he has the right to do so as a Citizen of Singapore. You want to know why he will forgive you? Because he is an Anointed Man of God and the favor of the Lord is with him because he keeps the laws of God close to his heart.

    Which brings me to the word that God has for you. This is what the Lord says:

    “You struggle with insecurities in your life. The Spirit of Negativity clouds your judgement and you see mostly the negative side of things. Even on your wedding day, you will be insecure and constantly be on the look out for anything that is out of order. You will nitpick the smallest details and even when you have children, you will see their flaws more then their goodness.”

    God will be your security and your peace. You will no longer be in bondage to these issues when you surrender to God and fully understand the meaning of following Christ. All you have to do is to believe in Jesus.

    This will be my last post here. Thank you for taking the time to read through and I hope that you will respond positively to what God has revealed to you.

  • thor

    Guess if we have to split hairs, I can concede that the individual is the basic unit of any society, but not the building block of society as the family naturally assumes the immediate next level grouping of individuals and it is the different families of different races in multiracial Spore, which conglomerates to form a national society. And so the family remains the fundamental building block of any society.

    For the plain recognition of the immediate family, it is universal practice in all societies, other than residential address, to record on birth certificates the name of the birth mother and the accepted father whenever a child is born into a FAMILY!
    This is an indisputable fact of the recognition of a family unit accorded by most societies! Otherwise, all societies can dispense with statutory use of birth certificates which can be easily replaced with a simple ID card!

  • thor

    You are evidently not gracious when you hurt!

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    When did I “call out for the majority to change their values”? They are free to believe whatever they want to believe and have their nuclear families. I never asked anyone to get divorced or turn gay or anything. They are free to live as they want.

    All I ask is that they don’t present their values as something that is representative of Singapore as a whole.

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    Thanks @J. Long!

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    Thank you for your prayers. I don’t particularly subscribe to your faith myself, but I appreciate your well wishes.

    I believe I have already explained in my previous posts about my reference to bigotry. You still seem to not have understood but there is nothing more I can say to explain my position further on this point that I haven’t already said.

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    I have never said that homosexuality is the “norm”. I have simply argued that we should not impose norms on everyone, especially when these norms are derived from personal or religious beliefs that not everyone subscribes to.

    And one point that I must express strong objection to: the mention of paedophilia that so often comes up in arguments about LGBT rights. Paedophilia CANNOT be compared to homosexuality, or same-sex relationships. Same-sex relationships are consensual (if they weren’t, it would be rape/harrassment, just like in the heterosexual context). Paedophilia, on the other hand, has to do with children who CANNOT give consent. These are very, very different situations, and it shows very little understanding to conflate homosexuality with paedophilia.

    In the end of the your comment, do you realise that you are arguing for your “right” to tell homosexuals that they cannot live near you, and that you want your right to discriminate against this group of people? Newsflash: that’s not a right.

    Here’s an exercise: take the last two paragraphs of your comment and replace “homosexual” with something else, like “Africans” or “Japanese”. You see how discriminatory it is?

  • thor

    Fyi, the Muslims are 100% behind the National Family Pledge as they believe it too!

  • inrsoul

    Aren’t you the presumptuous twat that you are with the above statement. I am a Christian too and I do not deal so kindly with ridiculous fundies such as yourself. Where is the love or compassion that Jesus Christ speaks of? Or are we reading off from different bibles eh?

  • Crystal

    As an atheist, I take issue with the Judeo-Christians assuming I believe in their mythology. I don’t. Jesus, Santa Claus, Zeus, Dragons-all myths. Replace God with unicorns, or pixies, or imaginary floaty guy in the sky fanfic you get the seriousness with which I take those arguments.

    Using god or prayer or any such bullshit is merely trying to hide behind a false shield of faux righteousness rather.han owning the fact that you believe you are better than others. You think you are more deserving of rights. You think you are more deserving of housing. You believe you have the right to love without condemnation. You think you are more deserving, rather than accepting that everyone is equally deserving of those things . The very definition of bigotry is believing you are superior. So yes, anyone who says they are more deserving of anything than someone who is LGBT is a bigot.

    I have yet to see Kali rain destruction upon any country with gay marriage. Zeus has not tossed thunderbolts of destruction. Hell, divorce rates haven’t even gone up. In Massacchusetts, the first US state to legalize same sex marriage, has the lowest divorce rate in the 50 states.

    The only thing same-sex marriage has done is to legitimize the families of same-sex couples (where no child is an accident, but a deliberate choice to have and raise a child–which statistically has also meant lower child abuse rates and more, not less, stable families. There is no increase in the likelihood of those children identifying as gay-none). It means a spouse can make medical decisions in case of emergency.

    Same sex equality doesn’t affect the stability of any straight marriage. Women getting the vote didn’t destroy male privilege, even though you have to wait in a line twice as long. Extending rights makes us better, not worse.

  • Bryan

    Dear kixes, I was trying to understand your theory that homosexuals are born gay since homosexuality is not a choice according to you. Please help me understand the truth behind what you say.

    I would like to know how medical doctors can test or ascertain that a newborn child is “born gay” upon delivery. I know that blood can be tested, the parents can declare the race, looking at the sexual organs will define male or female but are there any medical ways to test sexual orientation upon delivery of a child to declare that he/she is “born gay”?

    What if a “born gay” child is born into a heterosexual family? Can the child be influenced by the parents into a heterosexual since he is stuck at his destiny of being “born gay”? Do the parents simply admit defeat immediately trying to raise a boy/girl to be a strong father/mother parent in a 1 Man 1 Woman relationship because:

    “We should not impose norms on everyone, especially when these norms are
    derived from personal or religious beliefs that not everyone subscribes
    to.”

    What if “born gay” was stamped into our Pink IC when we are born? Does that mean our Destiny is set and we cannot change our Destiny because our Sexual orientation isn’t a choice because we are simply “born gay”? Would you as a parent/mother in future try to influence your child with “heterosexual content” or “homosexual content” because your child’s destiny is classified as “born gay”?

    What would you tell your child when he ask you this question?

    “Mummy, can I change my sexual orientation and stop all these homosexual material that is given to me because I am “born gay”? That being gay is not a choice and I am stuck with this Destiny of never being with a woman in marriage?

  • Nicholas

    Jesus Christ, is there ANYTHING more offensive, or more solipsistic, than a Christian claiming that God speaks to him, and him only? And that the Almighty has graciously chosen to ‘forgive’ us heathens for our ungodly sins and opinions? “Pastor Khong has the power to forgive us”? Do you mean the delusional charlatan who convinced his herd of sheep that a deity speaks to him at night? Us on the pro-gay rights movement did NOT ask for the forgiveness of anyone, mortal or immortal, and even if one did do so on our behalf, I for one would actively reject such a presumptuous intervention. Get OVER yourself.

    You religious conservatives, and Islamic extremists, reveal precisely the danger and immorality of fundamentalist religious doctrine. You people believe that you have GOD on your side, and that’s why you cling to such ARCHAIC and plainly idiotic beliefs, such as the belief that all gay people should be put to death (Leviticus 20:13). You don’t actually THINK about the moral value or veracity of these verses do you? Do you ALSO think that people should die for working on the Sabbath (Exodus 31:14), or that castrated men don’t deserve the “assembly of the Lord” ? (Deuteronomy 23:1) THINK for a moment, would you.

    You’ve made NO rational argument for the superior morality of Christian Law condemning homosexuals, instead, in the last bid, you’ve brought up legalism and the possibility that the government and Khong might sue Kirsten right here and now. (Not that Khong needs to sue anyone; no no, they’ll simply go to hell and burn for eternity once he submits his weekly report to God himself) To threaten those who fight for anti-Christian civil rights, is no doubt moral equivalent of the Catholic Church burning Protestants and heathens alive, in a time when they had some ACTUAL political power.

  • Kenneth

    Totally agree. I love the family pledge too. Speaks of how normal society should be and affirms the views of the silent majority. What same sex marriage? I don’t feel it’s deserving to even affix the word marriage to it. No such thing. Disgraceful.

  • Bryan

    Dear Nicholas

    Leviticus 20:13
    “The belief that all gay people should be put to death”

    I do not believe that gay people should be put to death. Let me explain my position why. In the Old Testament, the punishment for living in the Jewish Community was indeed death for major sins like homosexuality and adultery. The punishment for sins at that point of time was animal sacrifices, the more serious sins was by stoning to death. You can only atone for your sins by blood sacrifices. How to make the sacrifices, who can make them etc is classified as ceremonial laws, civil laws on people to people relations, 10 Commandments was God To Men relationship.

    Do take note that Israel was among Pagan nations who were Pro-Adultery & Pro-Homosexual and Pro-Sin/Detestable Sins in God’s eyes. Anyone who lived in the Jewish Community knew that as God’s chosen people you had to live by God’s laws as well as the civil & ceremonial laws of the country of Israel. They had the choice of leaving the country to a country that practiced immorality. They did not attempt to change the law just to suit themself as an act of obedience to authority. That would be rebellion against the State.

    In the New Covenant of Jesus being the sacrifice, we Christians no longer have to make sacrifices for our sins because Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice. We just need to come to Jesus in repentance and humility. Homosexuals can also seek for forgiveness however true repentance means you do not go back to your old ways of living a sinful life. By God’s grace, he gives you a time window to repent and does not strike you down the moment you sin.

    Do you ALSO think that people should
    die for working on the Sabbath (Exodus 31:14),

    I do not believe that people should be put to death for working on Sundays. If not all Pastors would be dead.

    Mark 3:4
    Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to
    do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.

    Why was the law on the Sabbath made in the Old Testament? Because the hearts of men were greedy, the Jews were surrounded by Pagan Nations who worked everyday doing trades. Pagan Nations wanted to trade with Jews even on Sundays. This displeased God as he gave Men the commandment for a reason.

    The Sabbath was made to honor God therefore Jesus prefers Men to do good deeds on the Sabbath for the sake of Christ rather then indulge in other worldly things.

    or that castrated men
    don’t deserve the “assembly of the Lord” ? (Deuteronomy 23:1)

    I believe that anyone that follows Christ can enter the presence of God. Let me explain why.

    Once again, the ceremonial laws at the time of the Jews stated that “No one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of the LORD.” This type of people were deemed to be unclean in God’s eyes. The law was to protect people from unknowingly entering the assembly, lest they be struck down by God and die. Because coming to God when you are ceremonial unclean is detestable.

    In the New Testament under the New Covenant, anyone can come to Jesus because when Jesus died for us while we were still sinners, we no longer need any ceremonial laws to observe and enter into the assembly of God. Jesus will give us the Holy Spirit which dwells in us when you receive him.

    The Holy Spirit discerns what is true and what is false, this also includes Spirits. In fact we are called to test the Spirit when we Christians sense something is wrong. Do you know the concept of faith?

    Faith is breathing air knowing that it isn’t toxic, drinking water knowing it isn’t poisoned.

    As Singaporeans, do we choose to submit to the laws of Singapore or do we choose to rebel against it? Or do we have no faith in our government that we need to rebel against our government?

    I was also comparing Legalism vs Law of God written on our hearts. Let me elaborate in the context of homosexuals.

    In Singapore’s context. 377A is the version of Sodomy law in other countries. Legally if you break 377A and are found out, you can be charged in court and you have a legal right to defend yourself. But this doesn’t mean that every offender can start challenging the law and changing it. This is rebellion against the state law.

    Law of God written on our hearts means that whatever unpleasant names and labels you call Pastor Khong and any other Christians who voice out against homosexuality lifestyle, As Christians we have to forgive you, if we really are true to following Jesus. Because Jesus forgave all of mankind by dying for us.

    The issue here as I have mentioned is slander. This blog is in public domain, accessible to anyone. You can say anything you want but you must be prepared to defend it in court when you start identifying certain organizations and people with Bigotry. Because under the law, you have a right to defend your reputation when someone defames your name.

    In the context of Pastor Khong, he has a legal case against the author of this blog. Should the case come to court, both sides have to prove their side of the story. Pastor Khong and his church FCBC would have to show proof that they do not discriminate against homosexuals, while the author of this blog has to show the court that they do. This is Legalism.

    But Pastor Khong will not take this case to court even though he has every right to defend his name. It is because Pastor Khong puts the Cross before himself, gives up his individual rights, and chooses to pursue God. In other words, he submits everything to God in humility, God gives Pastor Khong his covering of protection and assurance.

    In this individualistic society of “Me First”, I do not expect you to understand this. There will be people who idolize themselves and not submit to God, there will be people who submit to God, putting God first.

    God speaks to those who simply obey the first Commandment.

    Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

    God speaks to those who communicate to him, not because the Law of the Bible says so. But because we love God and put him first and treasure this special relationship with God.

    God speaks to anyone who loves him and seeks him, not just Pastor Khong. The Holy Spirit that dwells in us enables us to have an intimate relationship with God.

    If God is not speaking to you. The simple question is “Do you put God first?”

  • Nicholas

    First of all, I must commend you for producing a reply as elaborate as this. I must also remark on your remarkable composure, a feature not always evident amongst people I debate with. But none of the above actually add to the the moral strength of your arguments.

    “Homosexuals can also seek for forgiveness however true repentance means you do not go back to your old ways of living a sinful life.”

    Disgusting beliefs like these are everything that pro-gay rights activists have to work against. That homosexuals, simply in fulfilling their sexual destiny, are thought of as ‘sinful’, disordered and “morally evil” individuals (as the Pope Ratzinger put it). I repeat Kirsten’s, and incidentally Lee Kuan Yew’s, notion that there is no such thing as a homosexual lifestyle. Given the international suicide rates of gay youth, let alone in Singapore, the last thing we need is this kind of stigmatisation and victimisation, often religiously-inspired, that amounts to little more than playground bullying and name-calling.

    “I do not believe that people should be put to death for working on Sundays. If not all Pastors would be dead.

    …I believe that anyone that follows Christ can enter the presence of God.”

    Then you concede that the word of the Bible, or the Word of God, is not infallible. It logically follows that the verses and laws condemning the sin of homosexuality are themselves fallible, and you have every right to reconsider your stance on the issue.

    “Do you know the concept of faith?

    Faith is breathing air knowing that it isn’t toxic, drinking water knowing it isn’t poisoned.”

    Please don’t decorate with this word with specious metaphors and blatant casuistries of that sort. The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘faith’ as “strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof”. “Faith”, by it’s very definition, necessitates the acceptance of an idea (such as homophobia) without reasonable doubt. It stands in opposition to reasoning, critical thought and everything that we term “thinking for ourselves”. To invoke “faith” is not an argument at all; it’s simply to say that “I don’t need proof in my beliefs”, in which case you wouldn’t need to go to such lengths to convince an infidel like myself :)

    “As Singaporeans, do we choose to submit to the laws of Singapore or do we choose to rebel against it? Or do we have no faith in our government that we need to rebel against our government?

    In Singapore’s context. 377A is the version of Sodomy law in other countries. Legally if you break 377A and are found out, you can be charged in court and you have a legal right to defend yourself. But this doesn’t mean that every offender can start challenging the law and changing it. This is rebellion against the state law.”

    “State law” is not, and has never been, the absolute equivalent of “the right thing to do”. For instance, “state law” condemned Edward Snowden for revealing state secrets. But it is questionable as to how immoral Snowden’s actions actually were; he was, after all protecting the constitutional rights of Americans. While our laws rightly criminalises murder, rape, and robbery, the same moral value does not apply to laws such as 377A, which as PinkDot shows, may be incompatible with the zeitgeist, or moral atmosphere, of our age. It’s why we are presenting a constitutional challenge specifically to 377A, and not to a law that punishes rape. If to resist these blatantly immoral “laws” is to be a punk rebel, then Martin Luther King, Emile Zola, Nelson Mendela and many other historical figures who fought for justice and civil rights, against the will of the majority, would all be punk rebels wouldn’t they. I wouldn’t mind being a punk rebel in that case.

    “Law of God written on our hearts means that whatever unpleasant names and labels you call Pastor Khong and any other Christians who voice out against homosexuality lifestyle, As Christians we have to forgive you, if we really are true to following Jesus. Because Jesus forgave all of mankind by dying for us.”

    Again, I must repeat my objection that I did not in fact ask for forgiveness, that is because to do so would be to concede that I have committed an error in fighting for the rights of my homosexual friends. I do not think, and have not thought, that it is an error to defend the homosexual community.What do we say of those who claim to forgive another who does not ask for forgiveness? “Asinine fatuity”, as C.S. Lewis put it.

    So long as we’re on the topic of the morality of Jesus and religious doctrine, does this idea of vicarious redemption not seem immoral to you? Society rightly recognises “scape-goating” as an evil; a man who loves you might take on your punishment, but he cannot absolve you of your sin. So here I’m told that a man was crucified thousands of years before I was born, of which I had no idea of it, and then I’m told that it was for me, that my sins are forgiven because of this human sacrifice. If a decent and responsible human being were present, he/she would stop this act of barbarism and say “My sins are my own. I will answer for my own transgressions. Relieve this man at once.” Instead, we are told that we have no choice in the matter. That Jesus will atone for us, be our scapegoat, whether we like it or not. What is to be thought of that?

    “In this individualistic society of “Me First”, I do not expect you to understand this. There will be people who idolize themselves and not submit to God, there will be people who submit to God, putting God first.”

    Please do not patronise me with statements like these. I freely admit that I, at times, can be an insufferably arrogant young man. But what is there to say of the falsely modest person of faith, who tries to explain how he/she, merely a creature of God, can possibly know what the Creator intends for us? How much vanity must be concealed, in order to pretend that one is the personal object of a divine plan? Speaking of “Me First”, surely one must think of the Christians who, come Armageddon, will to be raptured to heaven, while the rest of us unbelievers burn in hell.

    “If God is not speaking to you. The simple question is “Do you put God first?”"

    It could also be that God is not speaking to a heathen like myself, because no such deity exists. And that because the universe is such a mess of chaos, arbitrariness and barbarism, that we should all the more embrace our homosexual friends and resist the tide of discrimination, not as gays and non-gays, but as fellow human beings.

    P.S. Dear Bryan, I find you to be an extraordinarily persistent man with an admirable fortitude in your convictions. If you truly consider yourself to be a moral person, I urge you, as a fellow Singaporean comrade, to reconsider your stance on issues like these, and perhaps even reconsider your faith. Good day to you :)

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    @disqus_4C5k5RXBlR:disqus: “Faith is breathing air knowing that it isn’t toxic, drinking water knowing it isn’t poisoned.”

    Actually, I would suggest that is faith is breathing air BELIEVING that it isn’t toxic, drinking water BELIEVING it isn’t poisoned. You don’t actually know if it’s toxic or poisoned or not; you’re just taking it on trust. Hence the phrase “leap of faith” – if you already KNEW then it wouldn’t be a leap!

    I do think that faith can play an important role in people’s lives. I’m agnostic rather than atheist because I see the value in believing in something beyond what we can see, and drawing strength from it. But faith cannot be blind faith; we should constantly be self-aware and striving to be better. And discriminating against others or arguing for our so-called “right” to discriminate against them is not being better.

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    Dear @disqus_4C5k5RXBlR:disqus, I was trying to understand your theory that heterosexuals are born straight since heterosexuality is not a choice according to you. Please help me understand the truth behind what you say.

    I would like to know how medical doctors can test or ascertain that a newborn child is “born straight” upon delivery. I know that blood can be tested, the parents can declare the race, looking at the sexual organs will define male or female but are there any medical ways to test sexual orientation upon delivery of a child to declare that he/she is “born straight”?

    What if a “born straight” child is adopted into a homosexual family? Can the child be influenced by the parents into a homosexual since he is stuck at his destiny of being “born straight”? Do the parents simply admit defeat immediately trying to raise a boy/girl to be a strong partner in a 1 Man/Woman 1 Man/Woman relationship because:

    “We should not impose norms on everyone, especially when these norms are derived from personal or religious beliefs that not everyone subscribes to.”

    What if “born straight” was stamped into our Pink IC when we are born? Does that mean our Destiny is set and we cannot change our Destiny because our Sexual orientation isn’t a choice because we are simply “born straight”? Would you as a parent/mother in future try to influence your child with “heterosexual content” or “homosexual content” because your child’s destiny is classified as “born straight”?

    What would you tell your child when he ask you this question?

    “Mummy, can I change my sexual orientation and stop all these heterosexual material that is given to me because I am “born straight”? That being straight is not a choice and I am stuck with this Destiny of never being with a man/woman in marriage?

  • J. Long

    Here’s my question to you, Kenneth, on account of your dislike for LGBTs which I am also sharing.

    In all honesty, is what they doing hurting us?
    Will it literally kill you to let two people in love do what they wish to?
    If it won’t, why won’t you?
    Because of… some… antiquated idea that marriage is only between man and woman?
    In this case, have a look at this:
    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/06/scotus-same-sex-marriage/

    Yes, we know we are not America, but see, you saying that the same problem of “definition of marriage” being non-existent in Singapore (or, in other words, an “exclusively ‘murica problem”, is the same as (oh god I love to repeatedly quote this story) me telling a right-winged Japanese that he is not a racist, because he thinks anti-Korean, anti-Chinese commentaries are sincerely the truth and nothing but the truth. (fact: it isn’t.)

    (yes, this HAS happened before, you may go YouTube for medamasensei’s videos on racism and look at the comments I made there.)

    As much as I personally dislike the notion of an alternative orientation, I have fuck all rights to stop them from wanting to do what they want to. Have you forgotten? We grew up being told that we should at least be tolerant. It’s also not the end of the world if we repeal Section 377A.

    You choose what you believe in. You don’t go whacking people around the head telling them what to believe in – otherwise, aren’t we going to be just the exact same as North Korea?!

  • J. Long

    My question to Singapore and anyone who’s currently feeling “annoyed by this person who advocates LGBT lifestyles”, even having an ounce of an idea on what they are going to be talking about.

    Seriously, -does- it or -will- it actually kill you to accept the fact that:

    1. If you’re insisting to the death on the definition of marriage as between “man and woman” exclusively, you are hurting people whose love for their partners (whatever their other halves may be) is being held back by such definition?
    2. If you are hurting people, whatever the hell you believe in, then you have sinned? (or, haram, or whatever that constitutes negativity?)
    3. If you have sinned, shouldn’t you seek penance/forgiveness, and finally…
    4. Shouldn’t you apologize to the people you are hurting with your ungracious, inconsiderate, bigoted remarks?

    Or are you really too far gone and you’re here just to hate?

  • Kenneth

    Well, it wouldn’t kill us, but it certainly isn’t not hurting us. It’s like setting a bad example for our children and future generations. It certainly isn’t normal and allowing it is like casting the foundation to greater ills. Repressing it now is arresting the problem at its roots instead of allowing it to grow bigger. I’m not saying we should exclude them,but instead of encouraging them,we as a society should put pressure on them to lead a socially acceptable lifestyle

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    The thing is, YOU think it isn’t normal. But that’s YOUR opinion, not fact. Who are we to “put pressure” on others to lead a “socially acceptable lifestyle”. What the hell is a “socially acceptable lifestyle” anyway? Norms and social acceptance change all the time – go back several decades and it wouldn’t have been socially acceptable to have interracial marriages, or for black people in the US to sit where they wanted in the bus.

  • Kenneth

    Well kixes, it’s not just me, but quite a large percentage of the majority too! And if you consider the whole thing about marriage of a man and a human and family, required in order for continuation of the human race, that I think, kind of leans towards fact.

  • J. Long

    Sorry, what’s socially acceptable again?
    Your thoughts and that of the chapter you believe in?

    Do you understand the words that are presented to you on the screen? If you did, I wonder if you actually read this:

    “You don’t go whacking people around the head telling them what to believe in – otherwise, aren’t we going to be just the exact same as North Korea?!”

    Yes, and you’re doing exactly that now given the way you responded. GJ.

    Let me reiterate this again: Everyone has “fuck-all” – that is, NONE AT ALL – rights to interfere with everyone else’s beliefs. That includes “pressuring them to lead socially accepted lifestyles”, very unfortunately for you.

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    Even if it is the opinion of the majority it is still OPINION. And the opinions of the majority can change. Like I said in the previous comment, decades ago the opinion of the majority was that the races shouldn’t inter-marry.

  • J. Long

    Tyranny of the majority indeed, you want to bring up you and your dear family, sure.

    Grow a backbone. Speak for yourself! Shoving beliefs onto others just smack of cowardice!

    Oh, and need I remind you that that sort of belief nearly brought our world down? Or is 1938~1945 way too far from you? It’s exactly this kind of thinking that drove the Nazis to execute their so-called Final Solution!

    ==VERY LARGE DISCLAIMER GOES HERE==
    Just in case someone’s going to say “but aren’t you shoving this no-bigotry comment down Kenneth’s throat”, I’m going to make myself fantabulously clear: I am only telling him to back off of people he knows next to fuck all about, and in fact I do support the pledge, just that I do NOT think my support needed at all to be national level, rather than it being the personal mantra it had always been.

    In other words, not even I have any rights to tell Kenneth to change his belief, but I have an obligation to tell him he’s attempting to pressure others into doing just that, and that that is terrible behavior.

    No one’s hurting no one. Get off of others’ backs. If you feel aggrieved that two persons are one-two-ing your comments/lifelong beliefs, imagine how your comments look to people who lead the “lifestyles” you just condemned as “not socially acceptable”, eh?

    You make me not feel terrible, nobody makes you feel terrible. You go that way, I go this way.

    No. harm. done.
    ==END OF FANTABULOUSLY LARGE DISCLAIMER==

  • Kenneth

    Well, I can see this is going nowhere and we can go back and forth here. Bringing up nazis and nationality and other seemingly similar anecdotes to prove a point is fitting a square peg into a round hole. We agree to disagree then. I do have a backbone and I still do speak for myself. I don’t think belief is the right word to describe a natural continuation of the human species though.

  • Kenneth

    Well hey, inter marriage is kinda different about the issue here don’t you think.

  • J. Long

    You didn’t get it? Try comprehending what she meant. Read the entire post again.

  • J. Long

    Let’s see here, we didn’t quite agree to disagree.
    Rather, you disagreed wholeheartedly to the alternative view that a “family” can only be of a societal block with a “pair” that can necessarily “procreate”. Once you attach the meaning of “family” to “the ability to procreate”, then there can be no other definition of a “family” other than “man and woman”, which is why you keep going on about continuation of species and all.

    As far as I personally go – not speaking for Kirsten:

    I am aware of that.
    I am telling you that definition is wrong.
    I have been telling you that imposing that definition on people who do not believe that is wrong.
    And yet, I share the values in the pledge, because that is what I am working towards.

    What I have merely proposed is tolerance.

    And might I quote you?
    “Well kixes, it’s not just me, but quite a large percentage of the majority too!”
    Sorry, backbone.exe not found, backbone.ini file not found, http://www.backbone.com/kenneth also not found. All that proves it is that you need a “large percentage of majority” to make a stand. Hence, I asked you to speak for yourself.

  • Bryan

    Dear Nicholas, thank you for your response. I believe we can both agree to disagree on most of the issues here. Thank you for your input.

    I disagree with the issue that homosexuality is not a choice or the theory of “born gay”. Because I have not found a medical doctor that is able to diagnose a newborn child as “born gay”. I know that blood type can be defined upon birth, race can be declared by parents, sex can be determined by looking at sexual organs but to define “born gay”?
    I find it hard to accept.

    If a child is indeed born gay, what can the parents do since he is “stuck at being gay”? Do they seek help, try and influence their child to become straight, throw heterosexual material at him attempting to change him? Or give up trying? Whose choice will it be to influence this baby’s life? The child’s destiny of being “born gay” or the parents?

    I entirely agree with you that it is not fair for society to discriminate against homosexuals. In fact Pastor Khong does work with homosexuals in GateWay Entertainment, most of his dancers are homosexuals but he employs them anyway. But when it comes to his morals convictions they know his stand on homosexuality.

    I do empathize with the suicide rates of both straight people and gay people. A life is indeed very precious, even more the soul of a person. I am sorry that past generations of Christians that you know directly or indirectly have been rather insensitive to homosexuals.

    Which is why all the more I believe that these people need God. Only God can help them because only God can change the heart. (You are free to disagree with me on this)

    In today’s modern context, FCBC does not put discriminatory signs stating that homosexuals cannot enter our services, use our facilities or even seek our help in other areas. However we are strict when it comes to selecting staff and leaders of the church. Because a true disciple of Christ will not continue living a life of sin. People who have committed sexual sins not returned loans, integrity issues etc and have not repented have been purged because of their unrepentant behavior.

    There is a difference between the 10 Commandments, civil laws that governed the nation of Israel, ceremonial laws that were used for rituals.

    On this issue of entering the presence of God. Sin has separated us from God. When we receive Christ even as a homosexual or pre believer, God looks at the heart and the level of sincerity. There are people who verbally confess to receive Christ but in their hearts they just do it because they are pressured to by their friends.

    When you enter a church even before you receive Christ, the Presence of God is there. In today’s modern context, God will not strike you dead(because you were not informed of the consequences). Because Jesus has already died for you, and he transcends the concept of time, so it doesn’t matter when or where you are born, Jesus already died for you no matter which part of history you exist. You do not need to prepare any sacrifice to come to church because Jesus already paid the price as the sacrifice. This is God’s grace that sinners can come before God.

    In the Old Testament, the reason why unclean Jews died instantly was because they did not follow the criteria of ceremonial laws of making sacrifices to atone for their sins. They knew the ceremonial laws and knew they will die if they didn’t follow it correctly(informed choice). When Jesus died for us, these ceremonial laws was made void because Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice.

    I understand the Bible through God’s revelation of wisdom to me. This may sound illogical, but to understand the Bible, you cannot rely on logic. I acknowledge that I as a mere human being, cannot fathom the hidden treasures of wisdom hidden in the Bible. Only the Holy Spirit can reveal these wonderful secret meanings of the Bible.

    In other words, a Christian and a non believer read the same words, but God’s wisdom is revealed to the Christian because he/she has abandoned logical thinking or human understanding of the Bible, because our faith is well, based on faith.

    In fact I will go as far as to say I have blind faith. I have come to a point where I realize that the decisions I have made in my life are very illogical. I was jobless for a year yet I still chose to go to bible school for 4 months despite having no income and still no income for another 4 months. God has provided for me financially through my parents. I went to Sri Lanka to built water filter tanks for rural villagers and I drank unfiltered well water and did not even fall sick. God’s protection was on me even in a country that does not have the hygiene level of Singapore. I could go on on the many wonderful things God has done for me but I do acknowledge that you may not be comfortable with me trying to impose my beliefs on you and I respect that.

    As to the Laws of God written on our hearts. We are not asking for an apology. We are just saying that although we feel offended as Christians being labeled as Bigots, we have chosen to forgive you. Although we feel wronged, we will show you love in return.

    I think we both can agree to disagree with whether 377A should stay. You should know where my moral convictions stand and I respect your moral convictions.
    But please do understand that I have a right to voice my moral convictions just much as the people from Pink Dot do.

    I think Christians along with other religious groups do have a say in running the country. If not the government would not have consulted the major religious leaders. If the Pink Dot movement minority can impose their values of “Tolerance” & “Acceptance” on people who might not be comfortable accepting their values, I don’t see the issue of a Christian minority also imposing their values on Singapore.

    The Christian agenda is quite clear: We do very much intend for Godly righteousness to prevail in Singapore and we will pursue righteousness in obedience to God(some people are willing to die for their moral convictions). FCBC also has a 24 hour Prayer Tower that prays for the nation because our battle isn’t against flesh and blood. Spiritual Warfare is equally if not more important.

    The Homosexual Agenda is clear at trying not to be clear: From “Tolerance and Acceptance” initially by claiming that just the first two is enough without having an Agenda. Followed by Annual Gay Pride Parades & the promotion of it(Pink Dot) Then trying to repeal 377A in court and engaging QC Lawyer Lord Goldsmith(a well known Pro-LGBT Activist) . Then finally admitting that they will push for same sex marriage next. What makes you think they will stop there? What’s more in their agenda-less Agenda?

    At least the Christian Agenda tells you the truth that there is an Agenda but The Homosexual Agenda tries to deceive you that there isn’t one.

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    What I find most problematic about “agree to disagree” is that it’s a privilege available to those already in the majority rather than a resolution acceptable to both sides.

    For an LGBT person, he/she is being told:
    - We don’t think you have the right to come out and be who you are.
    - We don’t think you have the right to love whoever you want to love.
    - We don’t think you and your partner have the right to call yourself a family, not in a way that the nation will recognise.
    - We don’t think you and your partner have the same rights to live openly like a family like the rest of us.

    And then they are expected to just “agree to disagree”? This situation of “agreeing to disagree” necessitates them swallowing their own pain in the face of discrimination. “Agree to disagree” is just a nicer way of saying “suck it up, I don’t give a crap about you”.

  • Kenneth

    Thank you for asking j long. I, in fact, do understand perfectly what kixes had said.

  • J. Long

    No, you didn’t, when you asked about inter-marriage it implied that you thought she was going off on a completely different tangent.

    Which she isn’t.
    She’s doing two completely different things:

    1. Reinforcing the point that the “opinion of the majority” is fickle.
    2. Telling you that that notion is considered outdated, and we’re more accepting of it now.

    And that you failed – twice – to understand, at least to me.

  • Kenneth

    I was replying to that particular post, having not read the earlier one due to it not being loaded for some reason.

  • Bryan

    Dear kixes, interesting para phrase. Primary I believe that homosexuality is a choice but allow me to humor you.

    I would like to know how medical doctors can test or ascertain that a
    newborn child is “born straight” upon delivery. I know that blood can be
    tested, the parents can declare the race, looking at the sexual organs
    will define male or female but are there any medical ways to test sexual
    orientation upon delivery of a child to declare that he/she is “born
    straight”?

    I do not know of any measurement of testing whether a newborn child is straight. I believe that sexual orientation is sacred and no doctor has the right to tell a newborn baby about his sexual orientation. Why is sexual orientation sacred? When you have sexual relations, it is a spiritual union as a form of worship to God or whatever God your are worshiping. So a doctor has no rights over this matter.

    What if a “born straight” child is adopted into a homosexual family? Can the
    child be influenced by the parents into a homosexual since he is stuck at his destiny of being “born straight”?

    Yes he can be influenced into being a homosexual. How do you learn the concept of right and wrong? From your parents.

    Do the parents simply admit defeat immediately trying to raise a boy/girl to be a strong partner in a 1 Man/Woman 1 Man/Woman relationship because:

    “We should not impose norms on everyone, especially when these norms are derived from personal or religious beliefs that not everyone subscribes to.”

    It is the parent’s role and responsibility to nurture the child the best they can. Because the closest contact the child has is his/her parents, the “straight” child can be turned into a homosexual based on the values of the parents. Sooner or later the “straight ” child will find that his/her parents are the minority and that society has a different set of values. The child will be deeply in conflict and he will have a tough life growing up.

    What if “born straight” was stamped into our Pink IC when we are born?
    Does that mean our Destiny is set and we cannot change our Destiny
    because our Sexual orientation isn’t a choice because we are simply
    “born straight”? Would you as a parent/mother in future try to influence
    your child with “heterosexual content” or “homosexual content” because
    your child’s destiny is classified as “born straight”?

    I believe that Destiny can be changed. Man was meant to have the full blessings and authority from God. But the serpent(Satan) deceived Mankind. When Adam ate the fruit, he was destined to die(spiritually and physically) because he had sinned. Jesus reversed this curse when he died at the cross. We will still physically die but we have a spiritual life spent in eternity(in heaven or hell)depending whether we receive Jesus.

    Can you reverse the reverse? The Bible simply put:
    Creation-Sin-Redemption

    As a future loving husband and doting father(prophecy spoken over me by a Pastor 2 years ago). I know I will have a wife and children in the near future.

    Let me tell you how I will raise my child. I will raise my son on Godly Values and teach him the laws of God that is to be written on his heart. Because I personally have seen Godly Men in my community, Men who take their roles as Father and Husband very seriously. They may not be perfect but they all strive to be perfect. The laws of God are written on their hearts and they are consistent, whether at home, with their spouse, with their children and with God.

    Because of these strong role models, they have influenced me to improve myself as a Christian as well as the importance of a strong 1 Man 1 Woman family roles. If the Parents know how to raise sons into masculine fathers, daughter into feminine mothers, this family unit will be strong because these sons and daughters will continue the cycle of the 1 Man 1 Woman families because they will not have gender identity problems.

    What if my son is a homosexual despite me doing all of the above? I will still love him as Jesus does. I will however not approve of him getting into relationships with other men. I will tell him to flee from temptations and I will pray and fast for him. I will encourage him to walk closer to the Lord and I guarantee you, God will purify his heart, remove the spirit of lust in him. He will definitely have his fair share of struggles but as long as he walks with God, God will change him from the inside. He might stumble but I will not condemn him. I will put my entire faith and trust in the Lord, God will honor me for my faithfulness and that my son, though was once lost, will find his way back.

  • Nicholas

    “I disagree with the issue that homosexuality is not a choice or the theory of “born gay’… If a child is indeed born gay, what can the parents do since he is “stuck at being gay”? Do they seek help, try and influence their child to become straight, throw heterosexual material at him attempting to change him? Or give up trying?”

    Personally, I cringe at the notion that some would call it a “choice” or a “lifestyle”; do you imagine that homosexual children, hoping to be thought of as “morally ill and perverted”, suddenly DECIDE to be gay?

    As to the question of parentage, it’s incredibly simple really. Is it not the moral duty of every father and mother to love their offspring, and ensure that their child lives a happy and dignified life? Then the corollary of that is to allow their children to be “who they are”, and that means accepting and loving their gay children in spite of their personal convictions. Former U.S. Vice President Cheney was, and continues to be, a staunch Christian yet he still claims to “love (his gay daughter), full stop”.

    “In fact I will go as far as to say I have blind faith. I have come to a point where I realize that the decisions I have made in my life are very illogical. I was jobless for a year yet I still chose to go to bible school for 4 months despite having no income and still no income for another 4 months. God has provided for me financially through my parents. I went to Sri Lanka to built water filter tanks for rural villagers and I drank unfiltered well water and did not even fall sick. God’s protection was on me even in a country that does not have the hygiene level of Singapore. ”

    Well this is a matter of philosophical differences isn’t it? I wholeheartedly respect your humanitarian interventions, which incidentally allows me to reiterate my belief that Christians, unshackled from their archaic doctrines, are almost always perfectly humane and moral individuals. You might attribute your humanitarian fortitude and financial security to God, whereas I on the other hand would say that you should thank your parents, and the strength of your own health and constitution (while you were in Sri Lanka) instead. If a man recovered from cancer, I suppose you would consider it a miracle, and proceed to thank God, whereas I’d look to the medical technology, and thank the doctors. Surely this must seem very arrogant of me, as it does to so many of my Christian comrades, but then again I think a sliver of self-respect is well-deserved in such matters of life.

    “I think we both can agree to disagree with whether 377A should stay. You should know where my moral convictions stand and I respect your moral conviction… But please do understand that I have a right to voice my moral convictions just much as the people from Pink Dot do.”

    Most definitely. If freedom of speech wasn’t extended to those with different philosophies, there’d be no point to freedom of speech would there? I simply seek to appeal to your humanitarian side, the side that empathises with the homosexuals, the side that believes it is unfair of society to punish and oppress our gay friends, and ask you to perhaps reflect on your beliefs.

    “I think Christians along with other religious groups do have a say in running the country. If not the government would not have consulted the major religious leaders.”

    Yes, this is essentially an extension of freedom of speech isn’t it? And again it is true that our religious groups do have a fundamental say in how our state operates. I disagree with your convictions, but I would defend your right to exclude homosexuals etc. But the fact is that we do not live in a theocratic state, in which the laws of Abraham, Moses and Jesus are the equivalent of state law. Our constitution is very definitively secular, in which the civil rights (the right to civil union) of gay Singaporeans can, and should be, defended.

    “The Homosexual Agenda is clear at trying not to be clear: From “Tolerance and Acceptance” initially by claiming that just the first two is enough without having an Agenda. Followed by Annual Gay Pride Parades & the promotion of it(Pink Dot) Then trying to repeal 377A in court and engaging QC Lawyer Lord Goldsmith(a well known Pro-LGBT Activist) . Then finally admitting that they will push for same sex marriage next. What makes you think they will stop there? What’s more in their agenda-less Agenda?

    I believe Kirsten addressed this point many comments ago. Essentially, what do you THINK will happen once our homosexual friends have fought for their right to marriage? That they will enjoy some sort of special rights, and that we’d all be forced by law to love and accept homosexuals despite religious convictions? Bullshit. The phrase “agenda-less Agenda” is unnecessarily surreptitious, and you present a blatant exaggeration simply to keep your argument afloat. Here’s what will happen: they’ll simply enjoy the right to marriage. (And then, soon after, gay divorce) They will be free from the fear that policemen will knock on their door, if they would DARE to enjoy each other sexually. The state will recognise our homosexual friends as human beings deserving of the same rights as every other Singaporeans.

    That’s it, Bryan. That’s all it takes.

  • Bryan

    Dear Nicholas, thank you for your reply. I really do enjoy having a civil discussion and I appreciate you respecting my beliefs. I will also respect your beliefs and I believe we can both agree to disagree on this topic of homosexuality.

    I really have nothing further to add, as I did not come here to argue, rather I came here knowing that although I might face hostility from Pro-LGBT Activists, I came here to build relationships. As a Christian, there is no point winning the argument and losing the relationship.

    For as Christians, we are saved to do good works and good deeds. I do hope that I have honored God by coming here to post in love rather then hostility.

    God bless you and have a good week ahead :P

  • Nicholas

    The same to you, Bryan :)

  • http://kirstenhan.me kixes

    “Primary I believe that homosexuality is a choice but allow me to humor you.” <- That there is the very fundamental difference between us. From the rest of your comments I can tell that your aversion to homosexuality comes from your religion. Fair enough. But you cannot foist this on me, or anyone who doesn't share the same view.

  • Bryan

    Dear Kixes, then let us agree to disagree since we both have different beliefs. It was nice chatting with you. I have no intention of forcing my beliefs to you. This will be my last post.

    God bless you and have a great week ahead.

  • 8i8x

    Obviously you have a wrong perception of people who believe in Jesus. The above post is full of generalization, again.

  • Soe Min Than

    or you could use the term eager Chistians to exclude the other ones that don’t.

  • Soe Min Than

    You are right on with those examples of our own ancestral families. Yet it is very hard for us to reconsider notions that are so widespread and reaffirmed at so many levels in our lives. I am of the opinion that we do not have a system that rewards or trains our critical thinking muscle, allowing many of us to slide down the slopes of fallacies.

  • Soe Min Than

    it would be good if you were the NFC’s spokesperson. Then you could lend some weight to your interpretation.

  • Soe Min Than

    That was funny looking at the votes on your comment.) the mind’s attraction for what it wants to see never ceases to amaze me. I feel almost guilty knowing others don’t enjoy the wit in such exchanges as much as I do.

  • Soe Min Than

    Which shouldn’t happen if everyone respected each other as individuals, and not raise their opinions as more important than that of others’ whether the majority or minority. With the faith that wise words will be weighed by people who have ears as much as unwise words, for their own intrinsic values and not forced upon by threat of chastisation.

  • Soe Min Than

    so you are equating homosexuality to sociopathic tendencies like child rape?

    Don’t you mean something more like in apartheid South Africa where they kept coloured people away from the white folks so that they wouldn’t taint them. Most of em white folks there were Christians were they not?

  • Soe Min Than

    No offense, to Christians. just a related question. Isn’t it a closer model to compare to?

  • Pingback: The Family Pledge | SingaporeLDW

  • Evay

    Thor,
    And that’s precisely the problem – it’s not a family pledge the entire nation wants.

    Go and spend some time with your wife today. Your family needs your attention. Your kids need your care and concern. Strengthen your family. Make sure your family is a model building block of the nation.

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