Pastor ambushes Goh Chok Tong with demand to defend 377A

pic_201301_28Former prime minister Goh Chok Tong wasn’t given his moniker ‘kayu’ for nothing. ‘Kayu’ is Malay for ‘wood’. Despite decades in public life, he is still very wooden when it comes to public speaking.

So, when he was ambushed by Pastor Lawrence Khong of Faith Community Baptist Church, making a demand to keep Section 377A of the Penal Code, all Goh could gurgle out was “You stand by your belief, and you’ll be fine.” Perhaps he meant to say you’re entitled to your beliefs, but in typical Goh clumsiness, he ended up saying something that sounded like endorsement.

Section 377A is the law that makes it an offence for two men to be sexual with each other.

The pastor’s attack whipped up enough responses online that Today newspaper had a story on it in its 18 January 2013 edition (Pastor’s plea to retain Section 377A sparks online furore).

The newspaper story had a curious opening, though. It said that “Mr Goh happened to pass by the Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC) during his regular walkabout in his Marine Parade constituency and was invited by the church leaders to meet the congregation.” Yet, it also reported that “While Mr Goh was on the stage in the church’s auditorium, FCBC senior pastor Lawrence Khong (picture) read from a prepared statement.” If Goh’s appearance was unplanned, why was there a prepared statement? Or was this another case of the mainstream media doing damage control for a political heavyweight? Something doesn’t add up.

pic_201301_29Anyway, the church was quick to have Goh’s picture taken and put it and the prepared speech up on its website. You can see the archived page by clicking the thumbnail.

Khong said:

We affirm that the family unit comprises a man as Father, a woman as Mother, and Children. This is the basic building block of society, a value foundational for a secure future, a premise fundamental to nation-building.

We see a looming threat to this basic building block by homosexual activists seeking to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code.

Miak Siew, pastor of Free Community Church, in an open letter to rebut Khong’s words, wrote:

The idea that “the family unit comprises of a man as Father, a woman as Mother, and Children” is not biblical. As Dale Martin, the Woolsey Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University, writes, “Most Christians assume that the current centrality of marriage and family represents a long tradition in Christianity, it is actually about 150 years old. One could even make the argument that the current focus on the heterosexual nuclear family dates back only to the 1950s.”

Strong families are not defined by their composition. I know of many families that do not fit into your mould of “one man as the father, one woman as the mother, and their children.” I know families of single parents, families of grandchildren raised by their grandparents, families of couples without children – some by choice, some by circumstance. But what makes strong families is the love that binds them.

* * * * *

This clinging on to the prescription that only a mother and father can form the bedrock of a family needs to be put under a microscope. By saying that two mothers or two fathers cannot be a viable basis, it in effect says that there is something essential about a woman that can never be found in a man, and vice versa. Yet, the rhetoric never specifies — or if it tries to, does not provide any scientific support for its claims — what those essential characteristics are that cannot be found in the opposite sex.

pic_201301_31Pete and Mark describes their multi-year effort to have a son and all the hurdles they went through in this audio file from Australian Broadcasting.

Common sense tells us that the chief ingredients of a happy, strong family are love, understanding, nurturing support and some provision for material wellbeing. What’s so male or female about any of these ingredients?

It doesn’t take deep thought to see that the real fear — one so deep that most of the anti-gay crowd don’t realise it themselves — is that there may be no essential difference between male and female.

Why is this idea so frightening that so many people would resist it?

Because there is more than just wanting to believe in an essential difference between male and female. There is the implicit notion too that men are superior to women. If one were not superior over the other, it wouldn’t matter too much to dissolve the divider. The fact that dissolution is so strongly resisted tells us that there is a power gradient that is being protected by those efforts.

The campaign against equal rights for gay people is a proxy war to defend all sorts of ideas and practices that support patriarchy and male privilege.

* * * * *

pic_201301_34Lots of people around the world mouth the ideal of equality for all without much understanding of what it really means and the many ways in which we fall short.

And indeed, we do fall short in many areas. It’s a work in progress and there’s plenty of room to move forward.

I am not just referring to gay equality. On matters of race and ethnicity, religion and gender, there are plenty of imperfections. But one thing I have noticed from the progress humans have made so far is that having one dominant “tribe” makes it very hard to realise the goal of equality.

pic_201301_30aTake a situation, for example, when no group is a majority. This can be a multi-ethnic society or a multi-religious one. In such a situation when every group is a minority, it is easier to accept a ‘live and let live’ philosophy. It is easier to put into practice the ideal of equality (and equal freedom) among ethnic groups or religious groups.

But when one group is dominant, be it racially or religiously, it gets much harder to accord smaller groups real equality. We see it in Japan where the Korean minority is heavily discriminated against. We see it in France where despite the country’s rallying cry “Liberté, égalité, fraternité”, people of African origin aren’t fully mainstreamed.

pic_201301_30bThen there’s Pakistan, where Shi’a Muslims suffer violence from the majority Sunnis, or in Egypt where the Coptic Christians are getting very worried with the political rise of the Muslim Brotherhood.

So too with sexual orientation. Not only does the gay minority come up against far larger numbers of heterosexual persons, just as serious a hurdle, if not more so, is the dominance of male superiority attitudes. These attitudes, which rely on postulating an essential immutable difference between male and female, feel strongly threatened by the blurring possibilities that gay people bring.

* * * * *

Which is sad really. Faith communities have so much potential to do good. But throughout history, it’s been a struggle, especially for those within faith communities who can see the bigger picture, to keep the faith from being seduced by power.

Churches (and mosques and temples) that speak in defence of heterosexism have been so seduced, ever ready to align with the strong to beat the weak.

Fortunately, contrarian voices are increasingly being heard. See this story in The Independent: Prominent evangelical pastor Reverend Steve Chalke declares support for monogamous same-sex relationships.

56 Responses to “Pastor ambushes Goh Chok Tong with demand to defend 377A”

  1. 1 Alan 20 January 2013 at 13:04

    So how can 2 Pastors of the same religion contradicts each other in their beliefs ? One that is based on some old ancient beliefs or the other more updated with the modern world, who is more correct ?

    Obviously both cannot be right at the same time, one of them must be spinning some kind of untruths?

    • 2 Erica 21 January 2013 at 00:00

      Nobody knows “the truth” in religion, or if it exists at all. It is all a matter of opinion/interpretation and belief, which is why there are now some 41,000 different Christian denominations in the world each with their own views. There are even ancient Christian sects that believe in reincarnation rather than resurrection, a controversy that lasted until the 6th century.

      Christians generally understand that the Bible was written by 40 authors over several centuries, men who were swathed in the customs and limited scientific knowledge of their times and wrote accordingly, and then it was compiled in the 4th century, some books being rejected as being heresy by then. Even so, it is often contradictory. People historically tend to go with the parts that support their particular prejudices, be it about slavery, women speaking or teaching in public, or homosexuality. Then again, some people go through a journey based more on the spirit of the religion, as with the conservative Evangelical referred to by Alex, who now sees monogamous longterm same sex relationships for gay people as within the spirit of the Bible.

      As for the biblical definition of “family”, most families written about in the Bible were polygamous. Abraham, Jacob, David and Solomon are notable examples of biblical figures who wedded more than one wife. Jewish polygamy was only banned around the 12th century, and then not for all Jewish sects. It continues for some sects in the middle east. Some people also point out that Jesus told people to leave their families to follow him, and I’m sure we’ve all heard about sects in America or Korea where that is taken to extremes, cutting of all contact with their loved ones.

      Most of us love our families dearly, whether we are religious or not, and whether we are gay or not. Gay people can never be a threat to the family, this is, I’m sorry to say, dark political propaganda that has its roots in the far Right in America, where the idea of “family” has become unnecessarily politicised and used as a rallying call by the unscrupulous.

      But to return to your point, no pastor knows “the truth”, they can only believe they do – that’s why it’s called Religious Belief.

    • 3 looes74 21 January 2013 at 13:26

      I hope that Alex should leave religion out of the equation. Else, the next thing you know the moslems would come in & dictating their terms

      Secularism must come first. For goodness sake, stay out of this mess before the shit hits the fan

      • 4 yawningbread 22 January 2013 at 10:44

        You comments tells us more about your knowledge of/attitude towards Islam than on the topic of the post.

      • 5 Fairoz 22 January 2013 at 22:46

        Yes, the difference being that muslims are not interested in dictating their terms or influencing public policy here in Singapore. We’re happy practicing our own beliefs without intruding on secular space, unlike Lawrence Khong, so don’t drag our faith into the mud please.

  2. 6 FreenFair 20 January 2013 at 14:33

    In multi-ethnic, multi-cultural & multi-faith S’pore, Govt must be ever alert & weary of any one dominant group trying to force its beliefs and practices on other groups, esp the minority groups which belong to a different race or religion. If not handled well, one tiny spark can erupt into a racial/religious bonfire!
    This is the same magician church leader (Lawrence Khong) who came out strongly in support of a fellow powerful religious leader (Kong Hee of CHC), when the later was charged by CPIB for fraud & corruption in the tens of $millions. Both belong to similar exclusive groups.

  3. 7 maver!ck 20 January 2013 at 16:10

    rather not clumsy about Goh’s reply in my opinion, more like “MYOB and don’t drag me into your shithole”. Its nothing but embarrassing to Pastor Khong when Goh does not even reply a little bit of kind to Khong.

    unsurprising for a gay activist to write an impressive article about this topic.

    Khong needs to reiterate himself, of what attributes does he deem a “family unit”? What if me and my wife wants to lead a childless marriage together, does that mean our relationship does not qualify for a “family unit”? What about adopted kids with single parents?

    However the structure of a family is, is independent of a healthy family nucleus. How many unhappy families do you see out there screaming at each other, silent on one another, and go battle against each other in court for petty money and what not? The only guarantee that a family of “Father, Mother, Children” is that of a family tree, nothing else.

    About government’s policy of sect. 377, i don’t envision how a repeal of this act is perceived as a “looming threat” to society. Homos will be homos regardless of whether the act is in place. Maybe we have already seen the effect of homosexual in out stagnant population birth rate.

    Why not pull our Nation’s Father LKY into the scene and see how generous and secular he is to the homosexual demographic.

  4. 9 Paul Peters 20 January 2013 at 16:33

    Never want to pay much attention to evangelistic christians preahcing. If they are so forthcoming, give all the money from tithes and fund-raising to the less fortunate. DOnt talk action please!!! Whether homosexuality is here or should be allowed is small priority. There are other bigger things in life evangelistic chritsians can do instea dof ranting!!!!

  5. 10 mike 20 January 2013 at 16:47

    i’ve always say that religion and politics must never mixed! in politics, it is important to do what is right, not what is religious!

  6. 11 kampong boy 20 January 2013 at 18:21

    yes, i wondered about the same point too, about Goh passing by the church, and the church having a prepared statement. probably Goh’s ‘passing by’ thing has already been planned well in advance, with an audience lining the streets to welcome him.

  7. 12 Kai 20 January 2013 at 21:46


    I live in Marine Parade where Goh Chok Tong is the MP. The walkabout this past Sunday was a planned event, during which Goh Chok Tong visited residents and places in our neighborhood such as a food market and new carpark which were near by FCBC. So Lawrence Khong would have known about this event beforehand to have a prepared statement waiting, though Goh Chok Tong might not have expected such a reception when he was ‘invited’ into the church on his route.

    Incidentally, Rev Miak Siew was quick to post a rebuttal to Lawrence Khong’s statement on the FCBC facebook page, in the form of a very well-reasoned, eloquent and engaging letter inviting Lawrence Khong to a dialogue, while also using references from the Bible itself. I remember feeling pleasantly moved when I happened to read it despite not being a Christian myself. Later that evening, I went back to that FCBC facebook page wanting to copy the letter for my own reference, only to find that it’s gone — deleted along with probably about a hundred messages surrounding Rev Miak Siew’s post (which might be to remove hints to the presence of Rev Miak Siew’s message). Nonetheless, the censor still managed to miss two messages below pointing to the prior evidence of Rev Miak Siew’s presence:

    Charles Chia Rev Miak Siew has just demonstrated to all of us what it means to be a decent, caring human.
    January 16 at 6:41pm · 4

    Basil Lee oh well done FCBC, deleting comments that you don’t like hur?
    Thursday at 3:38am · 2

    (Just Ctrl-F to search and you will find them in the thread.)

    I tried to email Rev Miak Siew through the email on his innersanctum blog (as I’m not in facebook) to alert him about this and to express my outrage at such blatant censorship being carried out in a public forum where anybody has the right to express their views, but the email didn’t work. If you have the opportunity, please tell Rev Miak Siew about this, and that many like-minded people and I appreciate his timely and enlightened response to Lawrence Khong who is ironically, the “aggressive activist” inappropriately trying to push his incongruous, antiquated religious beliefs onto our secular state. Best.

  8. 13 Russell 20 January 2013 at 21:54

    The “family unit” that the Singapore government so desires is an illusion. I feel that the government should repeal 377A as a way of apologizing for the suppression that the homosexual community has felt since the country’s independence. Now that it is basically common knowledge that sexuality is not a choice, it makes no sense whatsoever to arrest and charge someone for something they cannot control. What makes this worse is the narrow-mindedness of conservative citizens thinking that we (homosexuals) are a threat to their lifestyle. Our goal is to love and be loved, a privilege that the heterosexual society consistently taunts us with and rubs in our faces. Repeal 377A or face a serious uprising in the near future.

  9. 14 yeohlc 20 January 2013 at 22:45

    I support the repeal of Section 377A but on the other hand, I would not agree with the points that :

    a. there may be no essential difference between male and female; and

    b. the anti-gay movement is at its root trying to defend all sorts of ideas and practices that support patriarchy and male privilege.

    These 2 points are, with great respect, unsound.

    • 15 yawningbread 22 January 2013 at 10:55

      Just asserting they are “unsound” and stopping there with no analysis?

      • 16 R 23 January 2013 at 22:44

        “Yet, the rhetoric never specifies — or if it tries to, does not provide any scientific support for its claims — what those essential characteristics are that cannot be found in the opposite sex.”

        The suggestion that a lack of scientific evidence to show that there are fundamental differences between a man and a woman means that there are no differences is Argumentum ad Ignorantiam. The lack of evidence to support an idea doesn’t automatically disprove it.

  10. 18 Larry 21 January 2013 at 07:27

    One of the questions we in the USA have for those organizations here that push for “traditional” families is, why isn’t banning divorce part of their agenda? Some of them respond that addressing divorce is part of their agenda, but not a high priority item at this time. With a reported divorce rate at around 50%, can anything else really be more disruptive to their idea of a family?

  11. 19 Anon H7cx 21 January 2013 at 09:02

    There are fundamental differences and patterns about maleness and femaleness that science and observation can bear out easily unless one wnats to be blind. The natural order of things is for the marriage to be between male and female in the nature of being complementary and reproductive. That being said, I believe the glbt community is entitled to freedom to practice its preferences without legal penalty for the government. However it would be impossible to ask the stright community to endorse glbt lifestyle except to ask it to be civil and politie.

    • 20 loopedlogic 22 January 2013 at 21:50

      Now why can’t we have more dissenters (to the LGBT lifestyle) that have sense and decency like Anon H7cx?

  12. 21 wong james 21 January 2013 at 10:23

    “it in effect says that there is something essential about a woman that can never be found in a man, and vice versa.”
    I dont agree with this statement.
    Men provide sperm and women provide womb..that’s how nature work.
    The instruments of a men(male) and womean(female) are different. Same can be said for the animal kingdom.
    Have you seen two ‘gay’ monkeys or two tigers adopting a baby and care for them ? Nature was created in a certain way, that includes humans and will be a disaster if we try to change the course of nature.

  13. 26 Ku Kucu 21 January 2013 at 10:31

    Let’s turn back the CLOCK .. Goh Chok Tong is the Singapore hero who said gay people are “born this way”. This was way back in 2003 — a full EIGHT years before Lady Gaga came up with the hit album of the same name.

    All that needs to be done now is for Goh Chok Tong to grow a pair and to repeat what he said back then: “We are born this way and they are born that way but they are like you and me.” – Roy Yi Ling Sexiespider

  14. 27 Hamster 21 January 2013 at 10:35

    Hello Sir,

    u mentioned abt this “clinging on to the prescription” that only a mother & father can form the bedrock of a family unit needs to be put under a microscope. Then you went on to allude to “rhetoric” against homosexuality as not providing any scientific proof to support the “rhetoric”.

    Then you went on to talk abt “love” in same sex relationships. And infer how same sex relationships are also LIKELY able to provide the same moral, ethical and loving background as a “proper” family unit.

    i have this to say:

    Can you scientifically prove what LOVE is? In the same way you accuse the “rhetoric” of not having any scientific basis in their supposed “bias”.

    How about scientifically proving the joy, laughter, the pride of seeing your own child grow through the years in a family? The natural self sacrificing and protective nature of parents for their children? Or is it just a matter of secreting the right amt of endorphins, chemicals or what have you to “induce” such feelings?

    From your argument it seems that we are nothing more than animals – with instinct to procreate and perpetuate the species…

    But then again we have to ask ourselves: even the natural order of animals are NOT like humans – who somehow know how to take “pleasure” in things like sex to the point of pursuing through “unatural” means like same sex liaisons.

    Do animals do that just for pleasure?

    Do not get me wrong, i am stating this only because i happened to read your arguments & i feel there are pointers to be raised. I do not go around hating others for simply being who they are.

    So back to the issue of “scientific proof” as you proudly laud it: i cannot scientifically proof why a person has homosexual tendencies NOR can you.. but there are such people around.

    But i can certainly proof to you that in the natural order of things, that scientifically a male & female fits perfectly physically in order to procreate. While the same sex (without any external interference) is not able to..

    This point abt “proving in science” – please do not lob it around as if everything in this Universe and cosmos can be explained by science my friend.. unless you can scientifically prove it to others? Do not take it lightly.

    You talk of the bigger picture, well, i urge you to step back and look. I have difficulty trying NOT to touch on the issue of social morality and norms when it comes to this topic.. But i know it is a mine field that one – precisely because i would likely be accused of being a “holier than thou” type or what have you just because we talk abt morals and my stance on it..

    But please.. even homosexuals need morals to live a happy and SAFE life; without which there is not talk abt “monogamous homosexuality” and the laws of the country (which very foundations are based on basic human morals) will not apply to them.

    e.g: Why would a homosexual seek to achieve a monogamous relationship? Can we scientifically prove why? Is it not based on morals? Cos it certainly is not a crime by law to cheat on your “loving partner”.

    e.g: if a homosexual was beaten up and raped… would the law apply to the attacker? Since supposedly homosexuals live outside morals?

    So do morals apply to homosexuals then? That is what i find irritating – cherry picking points for specific benefit when it makes no sense.

    You shld be arguing fr respect for one another – there can be no tolerance for it by law.. but the fundamental respect and love for another human being must always be present…


    • 28 S 22 January 2013 at 15:30

      I have no idea which part of Alex’s post you think rejected the existence or importance of morality. What is amoral [Yawning Bread: I think you mean ‘immoral’]about “love, understanding [and] nurturing support”? If the only morality you can imagine relies on people who love each other being kept apart based on the shape of their genitals, I would think that it is you who is suffering from a deficit of morality.

      • 29 S 23 January 2013 at 12:28

        Nitpicking I know, but I actually did mean ‘amoral’ (ie rejecting the existence of morality at all) as opposed to ‘immoral’ (acting contrary to a particular system of morality). I think the word choice is important because so many anti-gay types, such as our friend above, seem to imagine that the only alternative to their particular heterosexist ethical system is nihilistic chaos. In fact the alternative is simply a different system of morality, one which values love between people as opposed to the ‘complementarity’ of their genitals.

      • 30 Hamster 23 January 2013 at 20:23

        Sorry I’m not one to “imagine” abt morals. Im not the one who created it or imagined it… I just know they are there to protect us from each other – be it gay or non-gay or what have u. It still applies to some extent.. cos many gays championing for their causes also seek to have the same principles and morals of a monogamous relationship and acquire a “normal” family. If its simply no holds barred.. Then why bother?

        So in the same we shld not witch hunt others for being “different”, the “different” shld not condemn ALL people who live by certain principles or morals vice versa.

        And please do not narrow the context of love to simply sexual pleasure (as u inferred: people who love each other being kept apart based on the shape of their genitals). I can love my son and I can love my brother.. Tat is the importance of love. Even between gay couples I’m sure the love is beyond just a physical act.

        Don’t cheapen it or corrupt it and don’t draw the line so clearly only when it benefits u. We all need society’s acceptance whether u like it or not.

    • 31 Ian 23 January 2013 at 12:12

      You are committing the naturalistic fallacy by using nature to argue for the criminalisation of homosexuality. Animals can have sex with reasons other than reproduction, for example, bonobos.

      The capacity to sexually reproduce does not equate to the morality of the individual. If it does, kindly explain, because currently your argument looks like this :

      not able/wanting to reproduce = ? = immoral!

      Might i ask if you knew where the law comes from? From nature, carved in stone? Or from humans, people like us?

      My take is that it comes from humans, on agreement on what the laws should be in order to preserve public order for the welfare of the community as well as the individuals within the community.

      When it comes from humans, is it based arbitrarily? Or does come from the fulfillment of certain criteria/principles in order to be deemed unlawful?

      For this i believe that it comes from a fulfillment of a certain criteria to be deemed unlawful, so the question becomes, what criteria or principles did homosexuality fulfill/fail to be deemed unlawful.

      And in the examples you have given, you equate morality with law. I do not know why you did that, please explain yourself, do not assume that we know what you are thinking.

  15. 32 Anon 7sla 21 January 2013 at 12:57

    Reading about this pastor reminds me of Shakespear’s quote “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

  16. 33 Roy Chui 21 January 2013 at 13:01

    There are all kinds of family modes since the advent of civilization. In China, for example, it is not uncommon for one man to have many wives (Apparently a Chinese Emperor did have 1000 wives. Hell, you can’t even have a thousand wives even if you happen to own the entire Geylang district!). In some parts of Nepal, it is also not uncommon for one wife to have two husbands. I do know of a friend whose parents unfortunately died when he was young and he was raised by his grandparents. Does that mean all these folks are not suitable to raise kids? I think not.

    Studies have shown that, for all the paranoia about gay parents turning adopted kids into gays and parents, the number of children who were raised by gays and lesbians and became gays and lesbians are about the same as heterosexual families. Also, the rate of child abuse is about the same for gay family units as is the heterosexual ones. There isn’t any proof that gay and lesbian family units fair less in terms of child rearing. There are tons of studies to verify this.

  17. 34 Roy Chui 21 January 2013 at 13:04

    S377A is an oddity unto itself: The government says it needs to stay there, but it claims it doesn’t want to enforce it. What’s the use of a archaic law which everyone seems to be so embarassed about in terms of enforcement, but yet is being placed in the statutes for the sake of appearing in the statutes? I really do not understand.

  18. 35 maniknight 21 January 2013 at 14:17

    Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion…. Steven Weinberg

  19. 36 Jack 21 January 2013 at 14:46

    All these fundamentalist preachers never fail to bug me.
    As if spreading their evangelistic gospel to non believers is not enough, they also seek to impose their values and beliefs on others.
    The Govt should decide on the laws that the people want and not the church. And also laws on religious organisations from becoming too

    • 37 Bugspray 23 January 2013 at 06:27

      @”All these fundamentalist preachers never fail to bug me”

      Why let such people BUG you?

      Disconnect your button and let them push to their hearts’ content. They’ll be happy to be seen doing something, and you’ll get some entertainment. Win-win.

      Besides, proclamations of these types are for internal consumption.

      Conjure up a wolf, the flock panics and sticks together, and the “little boy who cries wolf” gets to stay relevant.

      There is strength in numbers, and he who controls the numbers, controls the power.

  20. 38 The 21 January 2013 at 14:50

    Never quite understand why otherwise intelligent people resort to quoting from a work of fiction that has screwed people’s mind for 2 thousand years.

  21. 39 Chow 21 January 2013 at 18:58

    Yes, I’m inclined to think that Goh’s walkabout wasn’t exactly random. I would think that these walks are meant to achieve something and, to that end, necessarily go by socially important places

  22. 40 Rabbit 22 January 2013 at 01:23

    The stubbornness of certain Christian groups is beyond my comprehension. They narrowly defined love as “proper” family unit comprising the father, mother and child. Any formulation outside their ideal family unit, is neither respectable nor deserving of love. In their blinded world, there is no other color except black and white, because their “bible” says so. If any other colors get into their way, they wanted war. Co-existence is not in their bible. The world is so broken by them they called it nation-building. How “noble”!

    Nation-building is not built by warsome church, and is certainly not built out of family unit alone. The world survived because of the existence of universal love from across all living things. The angry church where he stood, the gadget he used, the foods he ate, the design on his shirts, the bed he slept on and the security he received, may have come from gay people’s passionate contributions which cannot be ignored.
    Love has no boundary and is a colorful thing, without which the world will come to a standstill.

    Repeal of S377A, will not change Khong’s wife into a man, nobody will be hurt and our nations will prosper with one discrimination off the hook.

    I fear his toxic tongue, might be bought by some unthinking members, who may have gay members in their family. Instead of preaching love and family unity, his insensitive remarks may cause unnecessarily family quarrel, break-up and gay child being bullied, sidelined and deprived of family and friends loves.

    Is Kong’s preaching of hate, considered as nation-building? I see Khong’s self-centered belief, as more likely the cause to human sufferings in the world we see today, and it has nothing to do with non-existence of 377A, If our leader continue to subscribe to Khong’s belief, he is not fit to lead this diversified & globalised country.

    • 41 Russell 22 January 2013 at 18:07

      Eloquently said.

    • 42 R 24 January 2013 at 20:46

      “The stubbornness of certain Christian groups is beyond my comprehension.”

      Actually, there’s nothing mind-boggling about this because Christianity is a monotheistic religion. Adherents of monotheistic religions tend to be more extreme in their beliefs than their polytheistic counterparts. The belief in one God can be a dangerous thing. For it means that there’s only one way and no other way.

      “They narrowly defined love as “proper” family unit comprising the father, mother and child. Any formulation outside their ideal family unit, is neither respectable nor deserving of love.”

      I don’t think Khong and other Christians who share similar views see all types of non-traditional families as equally aberrant. At the heart of this talk about the traditional family unit, is nothing more than a censure of homosexuality.

    • 43 Fox 28 January 2013 at 00:50

      The sad fact is the bible itself is not particular supportive of ‘strong families’. There is no intrinsic value in having a strong family, from a Christian perspective. I’ve challenged the FCBC members on facebook to quote bible verses supporting this notion of ‘strong families are good for the nation’.

  23. 44 kala 22 January 2013 at 01:27

    These megachurches leaders are just being desperate to find a topic to rant on because their memberships have been stagnant. Don’t be surprise….scandals are what drive people away. In south korea, because of a few high profile scandals in the megachurch, the statistics of protestant has been declining eversince. It is the law of nature, when it reach a peak and when they have no more wedge topic to beat up their sheeps passion, decline is the only way. Megachurches will only reach a saturation point in Singapore and after that a definite decline follows.

  24. 45 Tan Tai Wei 22 January 2013 at 09:20

    Quite a mind stretch in order to connect criminalising homosexual relations to preserving “the family unit”. We may suspect that the pastor’s appeal to it is only for placating GCT’s and the government’s ears, and that his real objection to repealing the Act is based elsewhere. Some dishonesty here?

  25. 46 Finn 22 January 2013 at 12:24

    It’s the age-old formula – to rally your flock you need a bogeyman. The LGBT community has become the church’s bogeyman to get its followers to give more of their time and money. With such a common enemy, they would recruit more members to join their cause. Which, in turn translates to an increase in membership and, you guessed it, more money.

    It’s all about business, with a generous sprinkling of power.

    This industry is the least regulated in the country. A terribly good deal.

  26. 47 ff 22 January 2013 at 21:07

    Goh Chok Tong is trying to one-up his wife’s stupid comment about the $600K peanut.

  27. 48 Tan Tai Wei 23 January 2013 at 08:29

    Your ascribing homophobia motivation to fear of losing male dominance should distinctiveness between the sexes be blurred is unusual and interesting. But how would you then account for women also opposing homosexuality? Afraid of losing their sexual inferiority? Or is it that they believe in female superiority (like many wives!), and want to maintain that distinctiveness?

  28. 50 Marilyn 23 January 2013 at 11:28

    I looked and looked at the picture…his coiff, his overly made-up face, his mamasan-in-the-face wife… something’s not quite right. My gaydar is tingling all over…and that outfit…SM much?

  29. 51 nohope 23 January 2013 at 12:09

    Religion is a mind-shrinking falsehood – Richard Dawkins

  30. 52 Saycheese 23 January 2013 at 12:24

    Is Khong really worried that if homosexual activity between men is decriminalise, more men would abandon heterosexual relationship and opt for a gay lifestyle? Otherwise this is just anti-gay rhetoric and is nothing but hate speech masquerading as religion.

  31. 53 Practicing 23 January 2013 at 15:24

    Hi Alex,
    Actually, what Mr Goh C T said is very biblical. Had this church Pastor been reading his bible, he would not have pleaded with a ‘man’ to keep Section 377A of the Penal Code.

    A true ‘Born Again Christian’ is not supposed to meddle in the policy of the country when they are not in authority. A Christian’s belief is to trust in God for all things and to render to Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things which are God’s.

    This pastor should just go into ‘fasting and praying’ privately, instead of trapping a former Prime Minister with this sort of request, just to show off to the congregation.
    2000 years ago the Pharisee did that to Jesus, now this is happening in this country. (of course, GCT is not…)

  32. 54 walkie talkie 24 January 2013 at 17:54

    Khong and pastors with similar thinking as him should understand that in our multi-religious society, there are religions that hold views opposite to his. Khong’s attitude is so different from the three Buddhist monks featured in

  33. 55 WM 26 January 2013 at 16:31

    Have seen children suffered in so called real family unit, father , mother and children when fights and divorces arose.I have also seen children growing well-adjusted in families where one spouse ( be it father or mother )or grandparents took over the responsibilities .That is because the person looking after the child is able to provide love , support and nurturing to the child.What I am trying to say is we should not judge or impose our beliefs on others. There are always exceptions to what is so called one’s ” belief” of what constitutes a family unit .. What we should advocate is acceptance ,compassion and love for all, no matter how different they are from us as long as they are not doing harm to others. What if one day someone very close to Pastor Khong is gay. Will he discriminate or reject the person close to him?

  34. 56 FT 30 January 2013 at 12:38

    I am not sure if this guy is for real. He was a corporal at 22 SAB camp at Taman Jurong back in 1972 I think. Now suddenly I read about him being a pastor leading a Christian congregation and advocating morals and values. I normally think of a God fearing man as living humbly with a deep sense of humility, etc. But this pastor seems to lead a high life by ordinary standards. He plays polo…wow! As we all know, not many can even indulge in the idea, much less do so. Only the rich and famous can afford, such as the Sultan of Brunei. If being a pastor leading a Christian congregation can provide such means, we might as well call it a day and change our profession. By the way, I also hear he is a magician. Perhaps that explains it. But then magicians would not need to work their a…. out on stage if they can make magic like walla… and money pops out from thin air!!!

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