Monday, May 24, 2010

As my blood boils...

I have given up on communicating with Christians who cannot understand the plight LGBTs all over the world are suffering especially those Christians trying to camouflage bigotry with academic research and scholarly lingo.

When I described how LGBTs are denied the basic human right of marriage, I was asked "is it really love you have, or just an extension of friends-with-benefits" and then I was smoke-bombed with "marriage is denied to people for a whole variety of reasons other than sexual orientation and sexual fitness... even heterosexuals don't have a right to marriage... even very trivially, there is the age limit... and when in human history before the 1970s was marriage regarded "a basic human right?".

Then the ultimate insult was hurled "I would like to ask, you asking for the right to "marriage", properly understood in the social sense, sans orientation, or asking for the right to state-supported lifelong sexual indulgence?".

"State-supported lifelong sexual indulgence"??!? WTF?? I have never heard something so idiotically-extreme before!

When I lamented how faith-guided people will continue to vote for the retention of Section 377A including some so-called friends who are willing to make their LGBT buddies criminals-without-rights for another 25 years all in the name of religion, I was asked "have you tried to understand the details of their stance... fundamentalists like Prof Tho Li Ann have been driven into their fundamentalism partially because of a frustration that they are not being heard out properly. There is a perception that this "dialogue" is a one-way street... so you want them to think about how you feel... why don't you also think about how they feel?".

That left me speechless. Somehow they (yes, even the scholars) fail to grasp the fact that LGBTs are the real victims here.

Then the scholar went on to sling mud onto others like Alex Au by saying "for instance, what do you think a Christian who has been taught the "inclusionary" nature of Christ's love, of a bliblically-centered love, feels when he reads Alex Au's article deriding Christianity as an "exclusionary" religion?".

Boo hoo.... as they carry on crying as victims in their multi-million dollar church premises.

More mud-slinging followed–this time round the pro-LGBT activists were on the receiving end. "The Pro-LGBT activists appear to be fighting for equal rights. Instead, what they are fighting for is opinion imperialism, no different from what they accuse religious groups of doing... the Pro-LGBT activists know their priorities, but their priorities are the wrong ones, and ones that are bringing more division to society than healing harm."

Scholarly lingo alert!!! "Opinion imperialism"–what does that even mean?! Pro-LGBT activists bringing division to society? Somehow to these people, this line of argument never gets old.

Then this "I am Roman Catholic, and I know that the Vatican has an official Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue; what does that say about the potential of Christianity for inter-religious dialogue? (As an aside, I think that the Vatican would be willing to form a Pontifical Council for Catholic-LGBT dialogue if it sensed that any LGBT groups did actually want a genuine dialogue, which they currently don't)."

Win already right? Yes, they most certainly want to engage in dialogue, that is if they still have energy after spending all day covering the tracks of paedophilic priests, demonising condoms and explaining how natural disasters are a direct result of sodomy.

Then something was said that showed how unscholarly the scholar was. "There are also many Christians around the world suffering from persecution on a daily basis. Remember, Christianity is a global religion... there are incidentally many more Christians than there are LGBT people. It is a ratio of 1.5 billion to six million. Quite majorly significant."

So what if Christians are in the majority compared to LGBTs?!

All of the above is still palatable (I have a high level of tolerance) but then my endurance was pushed over the brink with "because I really do want to understand and help you through your problems. But I can't help if you refuse to acknowledge that you have a problem in the first place."

*** Must fight the urge to scream my guts out
and smash the computer ***

I was then given some advice to "stop labelling people "fundamentalists and bigots" and for a change, ask and then sit down and listen to what their real opinions on the issue are. If you do that, I am sure they will stop calling you "sinner"... stop thinking about yourself and think about others for a change... if you are willing to give up your siege mentality, I think that you would suddenly find many Christians, even the "fundamentalists", becoming much warmer toward you."

Who cares about them calling me a sinner? I just want them to butt out of government policies in a secular country!!!

And then I stopped replying for I needed the madness to end.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

All this started from a discussion on whether the "Agree To Disagree" publication (meant to teach Buddhists how to tactfully turn down proselytising Christians–website here) is considered "polite bigotry". By the way, that scholar found the publication ultimately "disengaging" and does not promote inter-faith dialogue, if you are interested (duh). And if you are REALLY interested, here is the thread in context in gory detail.

If we cannot get through to scholars, how then can we get through to the hordes and hordes of fundies who know much less? Can you blame me for giving up on communicating with these people and only keeping within my gay and gay-friendly cliques so as not to elevate my blood pressure? Please tell me–am I doing the wrong thing? If so, what do you recommend I do?

(PS: Incidentally, the 'Hokkien pengs' of my platoon were much more embracing. When I showed them pictures of me and my partner during my last in-camp training, they asked me to invite them to my wedding! How sweet!)


Daniel said...

Oh well, in pure Dragon Age fashion, "people believe what they want to believe." No point talking.
You should read this book titled "God is not great" by Christopher Hitchens. It can be a little dry at times but I think it'll be an interesting read for you.
The "I turned fundamentalist because you are not listening to me" argument is simply too lame - so much for claiming good faith. It's almost like justifying Jihad... *shudders*

Kim said...

Daniel, how are you? I miss you!

Anyway yes. Now my blood is just simmering, not boiling. But still, I have cut off contact with ex-friends (many months ago) who fall into the category of Christians. They keep saying that they want to convert people and cure homosexuals out of love. What a big load!

They can never understand because thay have a singular view of the world, a world in which the Bible lays down all the rules, the rules which are absolutely true and correct. How can anyone reason and argue with that?

Kim said...

I received a very positive mail from a Christian friend whom I have known for years in response to a correpondence over this blogpost. The law mentioned was Section 377A of the Singapore Penal Code.

Time to revive my hopes perhaps? Thanks friend, you know who you are.


"...I had a long conversation with (xxx) when I was in London that included some discussion of the law you're referring to. He mentioned that this law actually has not been put into action in modern times, except for one case where it was one of the charges brought against the adult perpetrator in a statutory rape case. That many people (whether they're self-professed Christians or not) don't see gay men and women being arrested left, right and centre in public for what they do in private (insofar as consenting adults are involved) is one reason why they feel they would like to keep to their convictions and not make what would appear to be a public stand for homosexuality. I trust that the core issue here for you is not the right for everyone to have their own convictions. I told (xxx) that maybe his purpose here is to help educate those around him about the prejudices that he faces, so that those who come after him can have a better time of it. Maybe you can use your voice for that purpose too.

But anyway, let's come to the question that you asked. The two biggest things that anyone who follows Jesus is supposed to do is love God and love those around them as they love themselves. They're intricately linked -- you can't love God truly if you don't love your neighbour, and you can't love your neighbour unselfishly if you don't love God with everything you are. And since Jesus sacrificed his all for us not while we were perfect, and the extent of his sacrifice was to the very end of every human limitation, then I understand 'having your back' as committing myself to what's beneficial for you -- though that does not necessarily imply giving you everything you want -- and seeing where that takes me. In this particular case, if I am given the chance to vote, then I would vote for a repeal. It's not because I want to appear nice and friendly or whatever; it's because I see that this law represents hate for you, and that blinds you to so much else that can be good. By the same token, this law acts like a curtain for so many, closing them off from other things they have to consider in their treatment of other people.

By the way, I understand the government is probably considering the present preferences of the majority with regard to the law -- keeping public order is one of the government's most important responsibilities, especially in such a diverse place as Singapore. If public opinion can be swayed, I'm sure they're not about to pretend that they know better. So again, I would encourage not to step out of the public dialogue, and leave people in their own comfortable spheres."