Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Brain Storm: Hamonious Singapore And Numbskulls

You must have seen it or heard about it by now. It was all over facebook, it was on youtube, there were thousands of views within a short time. Today's news brought light to the troubling video created by Senior Pastor Rony Tan of Lighthouse Evangelism, a self proclaimed mega church which is independent. In the video, he sort of interviewed a supposedly ex-monk and ex-nun about Buddhism and ridiculed both Buddhism and Taoism. That's in the gist. The papers said there were 3 short clips but I didn't watch any cause it sounded boring and damaging to Singapore's religious harmony.

Now, I think we've been through this a lot. Wasn't there an immature guy a couple of years ago who spouted rubbish which promoted religious disharmony and got busted? Yet here we are, facing a man of great status in his religion, one who is experienced both as a pastor, as well as a Singaporean. Truth be told, I don't think he should be just let off with just a warning. It is a grievous crime. Any Tom, Dick or Harry in Singapore, would know that the foundation of Singapore's peace lies in our racial and religious harmony. Without it, how can our economy or political scene be stable? As Ministry of Home Affairs, Internal Security Department mentioned, it only takes a little effort from few persons to disrupt the religious harmony that we took so much pain to build up. Then again, I suppose in this sensitive topic of religion, more people would be in favor of letting it go in the name of their whatever kind religion (hey don't blame me, I'm a free thinker, I just want to see the deserved being punished). The Taoist said they prefer to maintain harmony with others rather than to pick a fight while the Buddhist said they are taught to forgive. Oh well, whatever I guess, I just hope that his apologies were sincere and he doesn't go around preaching something else behind our backs. You can say all you want about how great your religion, just don't bring other religions into the picture.

While Singapore is multi racial and religion and we should all be sensitive and all, one interesting part of our culture (at least for the youths) is that we poke fun at each others' race and religion. (Russell Peters anyone?) If it is done in good fun, such jokes are fine if not overboard. I'm sure most Singaporeans will agree with this. However, it doesn't appear that Pastor Tan was "insulting and joking about Taoism and Buddhism for the sake of love and funnies". It is no fine line. As one of great stature, it was unwise of him to make such remarks. (and videoing it up, what the heck was he thinking!?) Just imagine Obama going up to the press and saying that Singaporeans are a bunch of kiasu and kiasi people. True that may be, but it will still portray badly of Obama as well as straining the ties between the 2 countries. It's about context.

I have met many people who are totally devoted to their religion. Oh god goodness I've been through it so rough that I'm banned from the word "god" cause I'm supposed to be a freethinker, says that someone. I think its quite understandable if someone totally puts his or her faith into the religion. FYI, when you think that dick in the other religion is a stupid fool and will go to hell, that dick also thinks that you're a penis in the other religion who is a idiotic lunatic and will never reach enlightenment. It's the same, alright? In our country, nobody's religion is wrong. But if you don't understand and appreciate how delicate and important our racial and religious harmony is, you are a complete insensitive lunatic, foolish dick who is stupid and idiotic. That's our Singapore's way of life.

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