Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Homosexuality Debate Cannot Escape A Moral Argument: A Letter to Straits Times

Note: I have submitted this letter to The Straits Times concerning the homosexuality debate, which was published on 26th July 2007 (see ST Forum online version). I shall put the letter on my blog for the benefit of those who have no access to the ST archive; the forum is only available for one week, after which all letters are archived.

One of the issues being hotly debated today in Singapore is whether S377a of the Penal Code should be repealed, and whether consensual gay sex should be decriminalized. My objective in this letter is to contend that the homosexuality debate cannot escape a moral argument if our legislature is to respect the moral values of the majority of Singaporeans.

It is a known fact that multiracialism and multi-religiosity form the social fabric of Singapore. Indeed, as a multi-religious community, Singapore cannot ignore the religious component of its society. In its deliberation of the homosexuality issue, the government is obliged to give due consideration to the majority voice. According to Statistics Singapore (1), the majority of Singaporeans are not atheists, agnostics, or secular humanists without religious affiliations. In this country, the majority of Chinese are Buddhists (53.6%), the majority of Malays are Muslims (99.6%), and the majority of Indians are Hindus (55.4%). Within our multi-religious society, a common consensus on this issue can only be achieved by being mindful of the morality of the religious majority. As Assistant Professor Yvonne Lee had pointed out, "the attention given to fundamental moral values of the majority of citizens by retaining S377A in its entirety strikes the right balance." (2) Therefore, the disregard of moral values of a large population of Singaporeans who subscribe to religious faith is not the solution to the homosexuality debate.

I recognize that the Singaporean government has been gracious by giving credence to viable opinions of various minority groups. As homosexuals in Singapore are a minority, they should all the more avoid the disparagement of other minority, albeit opposing, views. These include those from the conservative sectors of various religions in Singapore. In his recent letter to the Straits Times forum, Dominic Chua Kuan Hwee hinted that "the prejudice of a small number of church leaders" should not dictate the position of other Christians. (3) How Mr Chua arrived at the conclusion, that a minority group of church leaders had indeed imposed their views upon the Christian majority, is baffling. Neither do we have any reproducible evidence to support his hypothesis. By applying the rhetoric of Mr Chua, I sense that the small minority group of homosexuals in Singapore is essentially promoting an agenda that would eventually dictate the conscience of the majority. Is it then reasonable to pressurize the religious majority to go against their moral convictions, and to accept homosexuality as being morally correct? Therefore, just as homosexuals cry out for tolerance and desire their voices to be heard, they should likewise encourage other minority groups within the nation to express their opinions, be they conservative or not.

The singling out of a minority group of conservative Christians or extremists Muslims, and to put them in a negative light would do little in our journey towards a common consensus concerning the homosexuality debate. The social fabric of Singapore depends upon mutual understanding and tolerance between various religious groups, and the intolerance of any religious minority would inevitably lead to disharmony, social fragmentation and religious apartheid. Furthermore, Muslims in Singapore are generally moderate in their theological perspectives. We are likewise not living in the time of the medieval Crusades. Christians do not form a majority group in this nation, with only 16.5 % of Chinese and 12.1% of Indians professing to be Christians. Pro-homosexuality writers like Dominic Chua would have done better if he had addressed the statistically more significant religious groups, for example the Islamic community, in his assessment of the influence of religions within Singapore’s society.

We must admit that the homosexuality issue ultimately cannot escape a moral argument within an inherently conservative and multi-religious society. Various writers had attempted to argue for the decriminalization of homosexual acts from a pragmatic perspective. For example, Consultant Therapist Anthony Yeo, had challenged the traditional definitions and values of the concept of family based upon pragmatic and experiential observations. (4) Some of his questions were, "Is there an ideal form of family life," and, "Are parents from heterosexual marriages any safer for children?" Anthony Yeo’s thought-provoking questions should perhaps result in more fundamental questions being asked concerning the definition of a family. For instance, "Who should possess the authority to decide what constitutes an ideal family?" "Should pragmatic considerations be used to redefine the family structure, apart from moral considerations?" And, "Should we follow the majority consensus of what makes up a family, or should we allow the cognoscenti to decide for us?"

Certain gay rights activists had attempted to assert their unalienable right to homosexual intercourse based upon two arguments. Firstly, homosexual acts are private, consensual activities between mature adults; and secondly, such activities do not cause harm to other people within a society. Taking morality out of the equation, are we therefore to allow the private, consensual sexual activities between family members (incest), adult and children (pedophilia), humans and animals (bestiality), or human and cadavers (necrophilia)? After all, such sexual activities may be private, consensual, and confer no harm to other people. Furthermore, should we allow polygamous marriages as viable family units in Singapore? Taking the assertion of such unalienable right to the logical extreme, are we consequently obliged to legalize incest, pedophilia, bestiality, necrophilia, and polygamy?

Finally, I conclude that the religiosity and morality of Singaporeans cannot be ignored in the homosexuality debate. Pragmatism alone cannot provide a satisfactory resolution to the discussion. Truth cannot be determined by merely the practical consequences of belief. Besides, a proposition that works does not necessarily mean that it is morally right. If pragmatism is allowed to be the sole consideration in the legislation of laws, then several criminal activities might even be justified based upon various pragmatic bases. For instance, the poor might be justified to steal, or to embezzle his company for financial gains. I therefore urge the government to seriously consider the moral value system of the majority in its derivation of a common consensus concerning the homosexuality debate.

Footnotes:

1. See <http://www.singstat.gov.sg/pubn/papers/people/religiousaff.html>
2. Yvonne C. L. Lee, Decriminalising homosexual acts would be an error, ST May 4 2007.
3. Dominic Chua Kuan Hwee, Singaporeans need to be more historically conscious and reflective in debate on homosexuality, ST July 21, 2007.
4. Anthony Yeo, Let's debate without prejudice, judgment or condemnation, ST July 13, 2007.

16 comments:

Domch said...

Dear Dr. Chia,

I would like to respond to certain points that you raised.

Firstly, you assert that "As homosexuals in Singapore are a minority, they should all the more avoid the disparagement of other minority, albeit opposing, views."

This strikes me as a particularly disingenuous comment, since it has been conservative Christianity that has been particularly vocal in their attempts to limit and circumscribe the social space available to gay and lesbian Singaporeans. Forgive me for descending to the language of the playground, but really, if I had to put it baldly 'you (meaning the general 'you') started it first'.

Elsewhere, you profess yourself baffled at how I "arrived at the conclusion, that a minority group of church leaders had indeed imposed their views upon the Christian majority," and question what evidence I have to support such a conclusion. I'm afraid you've quite missed my point.

The larger point that I was making is that there is no consensus within some Christian communions on the gay issue, notably the Anglican communion. You will grant that this is the case, I'm sure. If so, then why is it the case that the Singapore Anglican leadership has chosen to align itself on the conservative side, rather than adopt a more positive and benign stance? Surely this was the larger point that you should have engaged, rather than nitpicked about the lack of statistical evidence?

In the same paragraph, you attempt to frame gay activists in Singapore as "essentially promoting an agenda that would eventually dictate the conscience of the majority." You go on to ask "Is it then reasonable to pressurize the religious majority to go against their moral convictions, and to accept homosexuality as being morally correct?"

Again, the irony in your comments is striking. One could have easily applied the first description to conservative Christians, and I would equally ask: How fair are you being, in asking gay men and lesbian women in Singapore to live a life in the shadows and fringes of society?

If we adopt a utilitarian calculation, the pain and suffering that gay and lesbian Singaporeans have to endure under the status quo far outweighs the mild irritation to their value system that Christian conservatives would have to put up with were gay sex to be decriminalised. But I suppose it would be too much to hope that you would be able to empathise with gay and lesbian Singaporeans.

You also opine that "Pro-homosexuality writers like Dominic Chua would have done better if he had addressed the statistically more significant religious groups, for example the Islamic community, in his assessment of the influence of religions within Singapore’s society." I would like to reply that the Islamic community has proven itself very kind and tolerant thus far on the issue, unlike conservative Christianity.

I would also refer you to TinyRedLeaf's comments on your letter as well, in the ST Forum, where he points to a significant flaw in your case.

Sincerely,
Dominic Chua

vincit omnia veritas said...

Dear Mr Chua,

Welcome to my blog!

If your reply to my forum letter appears in the ST forum, let me assure you that I will give you a convincing rebuttal. In the meantime, I think it wise to keep my thoughts to myself.

As a Christian who is convinced of biblical truths, I urge you to read the Bible for yourself, and I pray that the Lord may lead you to the Truth.

Sincerely,
Vincent Chia

ddd said...

Firstly, just because the whole Christian community is not vocal in its opposition to homosexuality does not mean that we condone it. I myself am not particularly outspoken about the issue, but that does not translate that I am not opposed to the homosexual agenda, especially the mlitant homosexual wing. If you would take a survey of all Christians in Singapore, I am sure you would find that almost all Christians are opposed to the homosexual movement. To argue that just because only a small number of Christian leaders are vocal in their opposition = 'a minority group of church leaders had imposed their views upon the Christian majority' is totally fallacious (Fallacy of arguing from silence)

Secondly, the modus operandi of the homosexual movement in other countries, particularly Western countries, has been to portray itself as the victim while at the same time punishing and oppressing its opponents. What makes the Singapore homosexual movement any different? Under the guise of 'equal rights', homosexuals in Sweden attempted to silence the voice of a pastor who preach against homosexuality by callling it 'hate speech'. Homosexual activists have effectively silence all debate on the issue by costantly playing the victimization card while at the same time oppressing others. Why should we expect the Singapore homosexual movement to behave any differently? If the best the homosexual movement can come up with is to play the card of victimization, then your movement is totally without merit.

Using your own arguments, why then should we not decriminilize incest, beastiality, paedophilia, or necrophilia? After all, shouldn't we not 'limit and circumscribe the social space available' to these groups of people? How fair are you being, in asking paedophiles, people who engage in beastiality, incest etc. in Singapore to 'live a life in the shadows and fringes of society?' 'If we adopt a utilitarian calculation, the pain and suffering that paedophilic, incesteous etc. Singaporeans have to endure under the status quo' should also 'far outweighs the mild irritation to their value system that other Singaporeans would have to put up with were such sexual behavior to be decriminalised'.

As for me, I have enough of the duplicity of the homosexual movement. I call all of you out to demonstrate to me why your arguments cannot be used to argue for the rights of paedophilia, beastiality, incest etc. Either you stop your emotional blackail, or you agree that we shouldn't criminilize bestiality, incest etc. You choose.

vincit omnia veritas said...

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for your robust reply to Mr Chua, and for exposing the “duplicity” – which is a euphemistic term for “speaking from both sides of the mouth” a.k.a. “hypocritical approach” – of the gay rights movement.

Jenson said...

"Secondly, the modus operandi of the homosexual movement in other countries, particularly Western countries, has been to portray itself as the victim..."

This is probably true a few decades ago, when homosexuality was still a taboo. However, as one who has lived in London (gay capital of Europe?) for 10 years, I can say that the homosexuals are NOT the victims - Christians are.

Jenson said...

Dear Dominic Chua,

I had no intention of writing this comment, until I looked at your own blog - it makes a lot of sense why you wrote the things you wrote. I leave it to Vincent to address the points you are making.

Years ago, the kind of ideas you are espousing in Singapore would be deemed shameful - my parents and grandparents would attest to that! Today, you can do this with "freedom". However, as a wise man once said, "There is nothing new under the sun". Globalisation and the internet meant that the ideas from the West will somehow infiltrate into Singapore society.

Homosexuality is going to be a mainstream feature in Singapore. I guess in 10 years or less, it will be deemed unloving or even against the law to say anything against gays and lesbians. I say this because it is so in the West, where I have lived for 10 years now (London).

Tragic thing is, the gay/lesbian movement is so strong that even Christian churches are affected by it. I am thinking of Gene Robinson, recently appointed bishop in US and Roy Clements in UK. The latter, a professed evangelical, has reinvented himself and is still active in the ministry. So guess what, my friends in Singapore, soon you will find yourselves having to deal with homosexual elders/deacons/bishops/etc...

I shudder to think what my homeland would be like in the future. Living here in UK enables me to see the "power of the minority" - whether it is the gay movement or Islamic terrorists, both may be "minor" in numbers, but "major" in impact.

Anyway, that is just my thoughts and opinions.

Domch said...

Vincent, Daniel and Jenson,

Vincent, you wrote that "As a Christian who is convinced of biblical truths, I urge you to read the Bible for yourself, and I pray that the Lord may lead you to the Truth."

I have read the Bible many times, thank you, and I similarly pray that Jesus will open your eyes to the Truth, as he did with St. Paul, who was so active in his persecution of the early Christians.

Daniel, thank you again for missing the point of my argument. I have been stressing that there isn't uniform consensus within *global* Christian communions. I am not arguing that there isn't consensus within the Singaporean churches. My point is that if there is no consensus within a larger church, then why is it the case that the Singapore church chooses the conservative side? This for me is an interesting question, which leads me to the hypothesis that it is prejudice, rather than any theologically correct or sound opinion.

I would appreciate it if you read my comments more carefully before proceeding to argue against a misrepresented case.

Incidentally, if you want to speak of duplicity and hypocrisy, you really need look no further than proponents of ex-gay or anti-gay movements like Focus on the Family and Ted Haggard. I would refer you to this site, which documents the extensive distortions propagated by right-wing Christian organisations: http://www.truthwinsout.org/news/fighting-a-distortion-of-research/

Jenson, I completely fail to see the relevance of my blog to this argument. Firstly, the Kaki Isles blog isn't my blog - it's a joint blog maintained by a group of Singaporean friends whom I play Second Life with. Ultimately, you choose to see what you want to see. If your lens on life leads you to view society with such horror and loathing, then so be it.

Domch said...

Daniel,

Your slippery slope argument has been used so often that I really wonder why you trot it out as if it was a powerful argument. I'm sorry to disappoint you, but it really isn't.

Gay relationships differ from the various examples that you raise. Pedophilia, crucially, does not involve the mutual consent of both parties - it is clearly a form of abuse. Ditto for bestiality, which does not involve any conscious consent on the part of the animal. Those closely related by blood are discouraged and often forbidden to obtain marriage licenses because of the complications commonly associated with incest.

Please - I would appreciate more mature and informed debate than this.

vincit omnia veritas said...

Dear friends,

This debate may never end, at least not on this blog.

Mr Chua is a teacher in Victoria Junior College. You may want to continue your debate with him using the contact as follows:

Head (Corporate Communications) VJC
Mobile: 97737940
Email: chua_kuan_hwee_dominic@moe.edu.sg
Work number: 62402129

Since my wife is also a lecturer in Singapore, this is really a very small world.


Here's a quote from Mr Chua at http://www.cosmomovieawards.com/ig/20041027.htm

"The only appeal that seems to work is a pragmatic one that relies on dollars and cents."

The caption writes:

Dominic Chua, a 29-year-old Singaporean teacher, on winning rights for gays. Although Singapore’s government is notoriously homophobic and authoritarian, the country’s tourism industry is now actively courting gay dollars.


So much for the pink dollars i.e. hookers at Geylang with “social passes,” professionals with a predilection for sigmoid colons, and the IRs at Marina Bay. I sincerely suggest that the flag should change to pink and white.

ddd said...

Dominic:

I happen to care less of the views of 'global Christianity'. Most of them are apostate churches anyway; and most of the remaining are hypocrites, like Ted Haggard et. al. It's no point of you trotting out these 'churches' as I do not recognize them as churches; evidently anyone can call themselves a Christian nowadays, but that doesn't make them one.

You also said:

'Gay relationships differ from the various examples that you raise. Pedophilia, crucially, does not involve the mutual consent of both parties - it is clearly a form of abuse. Ditto for bestiality, which does not involve any conscious consent on the part of the animal. Those closely related by blood are discouraged and often forbidden to obtain marriage licenses because of the complications commonly associated with incest.'

Firstly, so can I surmise that you are against all these sexual behavior then?

Secondly, regarding paedophilia, are you telling me that if there is mutual consent, then it would be ok? For beastiality, since evolution states that we are all animals anyway, what makes you so sure that the animal doesn't exercise 'consious consent'? I do not have the link at the moment, but I have read sometime in the past that a chimpanzee in heat desired to mate with a female researcher. Would such an action, if done, be considered legitimate according to you, since there is mutual 'conscious consent'? Lastly, with regards to incest, I thought you homosexuals and homosexual symphatizers said that we shouldn't prohibit people to be together and (in Massachusetts) get married because they love each other? Why should you stop brothers and sisters getting married due to 'complications'. After all, aren't there a lot of complications in homosexual relationships, but that doesn't stop any of you from getting into one? Have you heard of the German brother and sister couple who sued to stay together in 'matrimony'?

ddd said...

Oh, btw, Vincent, how did you manage to get all his contact info... Scary...

Jenson said...

Hi Dominic,

Believe me, I am not trying to be difficult, but your group blog and your latest comment goes directly against what the Bible teaches about Christianity and homosexuality. As you have already professed to have read the Bible many times, you know what I mean.

"If your lens on life leads you to view society with such horror and loathing, then so be it."

What sort of "lens on life" would you suggest that I wear? This is a serious question, I am not trying to be sarcastic.

Domch said...

Daniel,

Your view that churches which are affirming of gay and lesbian people are 'apostate churches' is interesting. Permit me to ask - how did you arrive at such a view? Was it not a view shaped by your church leaders? I imagine that your immediate response will be to hotly defend the independence of your own opinion, but if you can just bear to really sit down for a moment and think about it, these are inherited views and inherited opinions. We are currently engaged in a cultural debate begun not here but 20 years ago in Western countries.

Now, imagine a situation in which you had come to know Jesus in a gay-affirming church. You wouldn't be saying some of the things you say, because your views would have been shaped differently. And this is what gets my goat - that churches are tying faith in Jesus to an irrational hatred of gay and lesbian people. If you stepped outside of your normal perspective for a little bit, you would be able to see this.

I'll share with you my hypothesis on why conservative Christians tend to get a little bit obsessive about the gay issue. It comes down partly, I think, to the importance which Christians ascribe to the Bible.

Protestantism, in breaking free of the Catholic Church, needed to find a source of authority other than the Pope. Whereas the Catholic Church traditionally calls on two sources of authority - the Pope/Magisterium *and* the Bible, because the Protestant movement was rejecting the Pope, it had to turn to the Bible as the sole source of authority.

When something is your source of authority, then it is a very human tendency to want to believe that it is infallible and perfect. Catholics used to - and to some extent still do - think this way about the Pope. Hence the Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility - the idea that the Pope cannot possibly be wrong when it comes to moral teaching, because the Holy Spirit preserves him from error. It isn't surprising, therefore, that Protestants would feel very very strongly about the inerrancy of the Bible.

The Bible, however, is a difficult document to approach. It's important to bear in mind the different layers or filters that already pre-exist, even before we start to open it. For one thing, it was written in a different language, by a particular writer belonging to a particular culture, at a certain point in history quite removed from us. For another, it was translated from several versions - again, by translators belonging to another culture, at another moment in historical time.

You may think I'm being silly, but these filters are important, and all too often we forget that they exist. Don't take my word for it - try it for yourself. Find a newspaper article in Mandarin or Bahasa, ask 3 different friends who are relatively bilingual to translate the article to English (or from English to Mandarin/Bahasa), and then compare the translations. There are bound to differing emphases in the different translations. We bring to the act of reading and writing our own worldviews, our own understandings - and - dare I say it, our own prejudices.

So, while it is easy for people to say (as I believe Jenson mentions) that the Bible *clearly* teaches that homosexuality is wrong, I don't think this is the case. For one, the people who wrote the Bible didn't have the same cultural and psychological understanding that we do of homosexuality.

Man-to-man sex in ancient times was something that took place in some of Israel's neighbouring religions. It was seen as temple sex - something to propitiate the gods, to gain divine favour. This is what St. Paul is writing against, in his letters. He is essentially saying to the early Christian communities: "don't take part in these pagan rituals". But temple sex that you engage in because you want something from a pagan deity really isn't the same thing as two guys falling in love with each other.

I could go on at greater length, but I hope that you'll read this with an open mind, and begin to see where I'm coming from.

sincerely,
Dominic

ddd said...

Hello Dominic:

where should I start?

""Your view that churches which are affirming of gay and lesbian people are 'apostate churches' is interesting. Permit me to ask - how did you arrive at such a view? Was it not a view shaped by your church leaders?""

No, it is not. My former church was one of those who don't teach the Word of God and so far I have not heard any sermon by a Singapore pastor against homosexuality. All my views so far the Holy Spirit has taught me personally, of course through the medium of books etc.

""We are currently engaged in a cultural debate begun not here but 20 years ago in Western countries.""

No, it is not. As I would want to remind you, Greek culture was the most prominent pro-homoexual culture then, besides Sodom and Gomorrah of course. This argument goes back right all the way to the days of the early church.

"Now, imagine a situation in which you had come to know Jesus in a gay-affirming church. You wouldn't be saying some of the things you say, because your views would have been shaped differently."

That wouldn't have happened anyway, since the pro-gay churches, i.e. in Singapore - Free Community Church, do not preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

""Protestant movement ... it had to turn to the Bible as the sole source of authority""

That is false. The Protestant movement started off with a historical basis in the teachings of the early curch fathers like John Crysostrom, Augustine of Hippo, Tertullian etc. The early church fathers believe in doctrines such as Sola Scripture or Scripture alone, as Webster and King have demonstrated in their book Holy Scripture, with collations of citations and teachings of many early church fathers. The Protestant movement has always been to restore to the Church what was her teaching in times past before the Papacy had corrupted the pure teaching of the Church.

""When something is your source of authority, then it is a very human tendency to want to believe that it is infallible and perfect.""

This is erroneous. You can look at my article on my webpage where I showed that the infallibility, inerrancy etc of Scripture is clearly stated in the text of Scripture itself. The Scripture are verbally, plenarily inspired, totally infallible and ierrant in all that it mentions. You can see my article at http://www.angelfire.com/falcon/ddd_chc82/theology/Sola_Scriptura.html if you are interested. If you were to look at patristic sources, the early church father also do believe in such a notion, thus your statement is false.

""The Bible, however, is a difficult document to approach.""

I totally disagree, though I do not wonder why you said what you said. Here is why:

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor. 2:14)

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Cor. 4:3-4)

Scripture is perspicuous, which is to say that it is plain. Since I am operating on the presupposition of the Word of God, what Scripture says is true, and Scripture says that it is true. As I have proven in my article referenced above, it Scripture is necessary for the Christian, it must needs by sufficient, infallible etc, otherwise don't bother to call yourself a Christian in the first place. I would of course deny to you that there is such a thing as a point of neutrality whereby you can be neutral in rejecting this presupposition of mine. Your presupposition of secular humanism is not something I am willing to concede.

"" For one thing, it was written in a different language, by a particular writer belonging to a particular culture, at a certain point in history quite removed from us. For another, it was translated from several versions - again, by translators belonging to another culture, at another moment in historical time.""

Yet it is written:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, and correcting in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16- NIV)

Also, this argument of yours presuppose that God could not have preserve His Word such that translations etc. could corrupt it, but why should I concede this point? We are not talking about the words of men, but the very Word of God itself. Unless you can convince me that God is deistic and does not interfere in the world, I see no reason why I should concede your point.

""We bring to the act of reading and writing our own worldviews, our own understandings - and - dare I say it, our own prejudices.""

Agreed. And that's why if anyone wants to know what Scripture is teaching, he/she is to:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom. 12:2)

When Christians meditate on the Word of God; on the whole counsel of God, there is a transformation of the mind and therefore we can know exactly what God wants to tell us through His Word. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit illuminates us to understand the Scriptures (1 Cor. 1:10-16)

""Man-to-man sex in ancient times was something that took place in some of Israel's neighbouring religions. It was seen as temple sex - something to propitiate the gods, to gain divine favour.""

This is only partly true. Homosexuality in the Greek culture was not confined to religious sex; it was done for 'pleasure' too. So your arguments collapsed on itself.

However, EVEN if they do not, you cannot argue that the Scriptures condemn homosexuality of all kinds. Reading Rom. 1:18-32 in its context shows that it is impossible to twist the text to say that only religious homosexuality was involved. I would want to see you try to do so without jumping around the texts (ie not following the text) or trying to postulate social reasons which are not alluded to in the text. In fact, the text of Rom. 1 clearly states the WHY of homosexuality; it is God's judgment on rebellious and depraved humanity. Also, it is impossible for you to explain away 1 Cor. 6:9, where in the original Greek, new words were used which are obviously an attempt to describe homosexuals (both the 'manly' and 'effeminate' variety), which are not good Greek also, but rather shows a literal translation from the Hebrew, of which Christians in Corinth then were said to be like them but were not after their conversion to Christ.

""I could go on at greater length, but I hope that you'll read this with an open mind, and begin to see where I'm coming from.""

Sure, I can see you come from the viewpoint of an unbeliever, since you claim that the Bible is a difficult document to approach. I, similarly, hope that you will come with an open mind to the truths of Scripture. More importantly, I'll pray that God will open your heart to the truths of the Gospel, for unless He does so, you wil continue on in your darkness of mind.

ddd said...

Oh, btw,for Dominic:

I believe that large parts of Christianity is apostate too, not only those who affirm homosexuality. For example, Ted Haggard's church is somewhat apostate too, so it's useless bringing him up. I don't have a very high view of James Dobson also, so you can spare me anything about Focus on the Family.

Nevin said...

I take issue with the misuse of the 'slippery slope' argument which seems to posit that a repeal of 377A will probably lead to the eventual legalization of "incest, bestiality, paedophilia, or necrophilia" and one would suppose, from the alarmist view taken, that this would doom society in the long run.

Daniel in particular frames it thusly: "Using your own arguments, why then should we not decriminilize incest, beastiality, paedophilia, or necrophilia? After all, shouldn't we not 'limit and circumscribe the social space available' to these groups of people?"

Such a statement is unintentionally ironic because necrophilia is NOT a crime in Singapore. The proposed amendments to the Penal Code will criminalize necrophilia (but has not come into force yet). Under the current version of the Penal Code(1985 Revised Edition, available at http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/) necrophilia is perfectly legal today. Now, the world hasn't ended simply because necrophilia is or is not legal, and neither will a repeal of 377A lead to a cataclysmic outcome that some of the fear-mongering comments would lead one to believe.

A further attempt to justify such a shaky "slippery slope" argument shows a remarkable misunderstanding of the law:

Secondly, regarding paedophilia, are you telling me that if there is mutual consent, then it would be ok?

The is no issue of consent in cases of pedophilia because a minor is incapable of giving informed consent. This is why sexual relations with a minor is regarded as statutory rape. For the same reason that a minor cannot conclude a contract (generally, but subject to some exceptions), the law deems the minor incapable of giving consent. It does not matter whether there is consent or not. Similarly someone who is insane or of unsound mind cannot consent to sexual relations because the law deems them incapable of giving consent.

As Mark Twain would say, "the reports of my demise were greatly exaggerated", so too is the hyperbolic use of the 'slippery slope' argument.