Wednesday, April 16, 2008

ALERT! Singaporean Couple Charged For Distributing "Seditious" Evangelism Tract

I have just came to know about this piece of news from Isaiah at Joie de Vivre.

ST April 15, 2008
Couple charged under Sedition Act
By Elena Chong

A COUPLE were charged on Tuesday with distributing a seditious publication to two others.

Ong Kian Cheong, 49, and Dorothy Chan Hien Leng, 44, are alleged to have distributed The Little Bride, an evangelistic material, to Sembawang resident Irwan Ariffin last Oct 19.

They are also said to have distributed the same publication to one Madam Farharti Ahmad at her home in Woodlands on March 6 last year .

It is not clear why they face the Sedition Act and the Undesirable Publication Act when the publication is the same.

Ong, who works in a telecommunications company, and his wife, a bank employee, were represented by Mr Selva K. Naidu.

The police prosecutor sought an adjournment of the case pending a Health Sciences Authority on handwriting specimen.

The couple were freed on $10,000 bail each. Their passports were impounded.

The case will be mentioned on April 29.

Under the Sedition Act, the maximum penalty is a $5,000 fine and/or a jail term of up to three years.

The maximum penalty under the Undesirable Publication Act is a fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to 12 months.

Now, it may be true that the tract they are using is illegal (Chick tract) so the most they should be charged under the Undesirable Publication Act. Even obnoxious behavior is no legitimate grounds for being charged under the Sedition Act. So what exactly is going on here?

The only thing that may be 'objectionable' is that they are reaching out to Malays. However, this is a lame excuse. It must be remembered by all Singaporeans and the government that the Singaporean Constitution guarantees Freedom of Religion. Lex Rex! The government is NOT above the Constitution.

Anyway, time for action. Please pray for this couple, and the growing hostility towards biblical Christianity in Singapore (and around the world too). Pray that God will use the rising tide of persecution to purify His bride, and that God will use this case to slowly awaken the Church from her slumber.

Disclaimer: I am in no way suggesting that I condone their methods or even the tracts. What I am find very disturbing is that they are charged under the Sedition Act while they are in the process of evangelising others. This is not a good sign.

38 comments:

Agagooga said...

Have you read the tract? Even I, who critically analyse religion, find it offensive (purely from a legal point of view, it would likely qualify under the Act).

I don't see how this is hostility towards biblical Christianity (unless biblical Christianity means being free to condemn and insult people of other religions).

Christianity's influence in Singapore is great. Prosecuting a couple for this is nothing in comparison.

PuritanReformed said...

Gabriel,

my friend who HT'ed me about this info had. It may be offensive, but to charge under the Sedition Act indicates something much more than just 'offensive'; you don't just charge any offensive person under the Sedition Act. As it is, there are guilty of the Undesirable Publications Act already. Why not just focus on this one and not bring in religion into the equation altogether?

PuritanReformed said...

> Christianity's influence in Singapore is great.

Oh, and I will take exception to this statement of yours. Christianity's influence in Singapore is almost non-existent. What is evident is the influence of pseudo-Christianity in Singapore.

The hostility is seen in the insinuation of a linkage of evangelism to Sedition. If they are truly in the wrong, please amend the charge so that their behavior is wrong, not Evangelism.

Deja said...

I think there are several issues at hand here. First to be addressed would be the incredible lack of sense displayed by these two singaporeans who actually thought, that by handing out this material to Muslims would actually convince them to convert to Christianity. Hm.. part of the tract even asserts that Islam (with all seriousness) has something to do with the sun/moon god! Incredible!

It's as likely as converting Christians with a publication saying some equally ridiculous off the mark statement about Christianity and expecting them to be receptive about it.

To take this beyond the discussion of sedition and what-not, I'm amazed that their Church would have even approved of them using such material? Are they, hm, Not very smart?

Falungong followers are persecuted here, for no valid reason other than their persecution in China. Jehovah's witnesses are persecuted here, if only for their non-violent stance towards military activities. This 'world is against us' mentality really gets you people nowhere if you don't learn to refine your methods.

I think those two must be really dumb to think that something that offensive could be used to convert people.

PuritanReformed said...

Deja, it seems that you have read the tract before?

Anyway, I am nowhere condoning their methods. I can concede to you that they are dumb, stupid and they have offended others. Nevertheless, there is no grounds for charging them for sedition. And we Christians have been insulted many times already. The showing of the Da Vinci Code was highly provocative and insulting, yet the Singapore authorities still went ahead with the move, so I find this whole case hypocritical. If they want to charge them for sedition, I dare them to charge the entire movie censor board with sedition for allowing the Da Vinci Code movie to be shown in Singapore.

Agagooga said...

If not for religious reasons why would the publication be undesirable?

God. I refuse to play the 'true believer' game. Basically everyone accuses each other of not being a true believer, and there's no way to tell who is what. I'm sure you agree those you term pseudo-Christians would probably label you the same. Ho hum.

Personally I think evangelism is not wrong. But if evangelism upsets certain races, legally it would qualify under the Sedition Act.

The Da Vinci code comparison is so out of place. Almost everyone agrees the Chick Tract is offensive, but most people (including many Christians) have no problem with the Da Vinci code. If we have a lowest common denominator for determining offensiveness, we should just go kill ourselves because everything will offend someone.

PuritanReformed said...

Gabriel:

The New Evangelicals do not label anyone as a matter of principal; only ostracize them, so no, they wouldn't (officially) label me anything.

With regards to the Da Vinci Code analogy, are you suggesting that whether something qualifies as seditious is determined by majority vote? And it is untrue that 'almost everyone agrees that the chick tract is offensive'. It certainly is not offensive to Jack Chick and many of his followers (which are a sizeable albeit small minority). As my friend Vincent has answered you in his post on this very topic, the Da Vinci Code is offensive to many Christians here in Singapore, and that is a fact, not just applicable to 'only a few Christians'.

>If we have a lowest common denominator for determining offensiveness, we should just go kill ourselves because everything will offend someone.

Precisely, so offensiveness is not the only criteria for determining whether an act should be outlawed, right? Otherwise, I can think of many people to sue for sedition right now, starting with the government! The question therefore is this: since when is it acceptable to have one standard of 'sedition' for one race/religion and another standard for another race/religion?

Agagooga said...

With regards to the Da Vinci Code analogy, are you suggesting that whether something qualifies as seditious is determined by majority vote?

If you look at the law that seems to be the case. I am not defending the law, but I am pointing out its implications.

How sizeable are Chick and Friends? What threshold would you use for 'sizeable'?

What would you propose as an alternative definition for whether something is seditious? The Last Temptation of Christ was considered offensive by some Christians, but now people realise it made a very pertinent, important and moving theological point. Ironic, since Christ offended many Jews when he preached, but they accepted him after he was killed.

vincit omnia veritas said...

I see that Mr Aga has found your blog as well :)

PuritanReformed said...

Gabriel:

so if it seems to be the case that sedition is determined by majority vote, then is it seditious for

1) Corrie Ten Boom to hide Jewish refugees in her home during WWII?

2) Protest the abuse of women in the northwestern tribal regions of Pakistan?

or how about this

3) Promote homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle against the wishes of the majority of Singapore's citizens?

Please do tell me your answers to these questions.

>How sizeable are Chick and Friends?

Well, at least as sizeable as the pro-homosexual groups in Singapore?

>What would you propose as an alternative definition for whether something is seditious?

According to various dictionaries, sedition is tending towards the insurrection, disruption or overthrow of the established order. So for something to be seditious, it must be an action or speech which have as its intended aim the overthrow or destablization of the government, or formenting anarchy in society.

With regards to the Last Temptation, I am most definitely against it as it violates the Scriptures, so your point is moot.


>Ironic, since Christ offended many Jews when he preached, but they accepted him after he was killed.

Really? I don't see many Messianic Jews around today, nor have I read in Acts that the Jews as a people had ever accepted him.

PuritanReformed said...

Vincent:

yup. Mr. Aga aka Gabriel Seah is here too. =) Wondered why he didn't post over at Isaiah's blog too...

Agagooga said...

I already told you, I am explaining the law, not defending it. Personally I am also against the Sedition Act, and the thing about upsetting races/classes is, I agree, incompatible with common definitions of sedition.

If sedition is determined by offence, then everything is similarly seditious.

The difference between Chick and Friends and pro-homosexual groups is that the former seek to infringe upon other people, while the latter seek to protect themselves.

Some Christians found Last Temptation to be theologically moving:

"[They] paid Christ the compliment of taking him and his message seriously, and they have made a film that does not turn him into a garish, emasculated image from a religious postcard. Here he is flesh and blood, struggling, questioning, asking himself and his father which is the right way, and finally, after great suffering, earning the right to say, on the cross, 'It is accomplished.'"

And anyway Christ violated the Jewish scriptures.

I didn't say all Jews accepted Christ, but some of those who rejected him later accepted him.

PuritanReformed said...

Gabriel:

that the homosexuals are just about protecting themselves is not totally true. While there are certainly homosexuals who truly want to live a quiet life, a sizeable group does not. We can see this most visibly in the US, where death threats, riots, boycotts etc have all been the weapons of choice of these fascists against "homophobia".

And no, I do not accept your ipse dixit. Vincent has already refuted your bare assertion that Jesus did not violate the Scriptures. Christianity is just true biblical Judaism expanded, so unless you want to provide some good biblical proof, I do not accept your bare assertion.

Agagooga said...

We can see this most visibly in the US, where death threats, riots, boycotts etc have all been the weapons of choice of these fascists against "homophobia"

???

This is new to me. I would like to see riots and death threats organised


So if I came along and proclaimed a new version of Christianity, and I said that I was not violating the scriptures, would you accept that I was expanding true biblical Christianity?

Agagooga said...

*This is new to me. I would like to see examples of riots and death threats organised by gay activists

PuritanReformed said...

Disclaimer:

Although I believe that there is only a pseudo-Christian influence in Singapore, I do not therefore think that Christians in Singapore are not true believers. Most of them I believe are true believers, but they are misled by their leaders and basically what we have is a bunch of babes leading an entire congregation of babes.

vincit omnia veritas said...

Dear Gabriel,

"So if I came along and proclaimed a new version of Christianity, and I said that I was not violating the scriptures, would you accept that I was expanding true biblical Christianity?"

Of course, if you came along and proclaimed a "new version" of Christianity that does not "violate" the Scriptures (as you have claimed), both of us would accept that this is true biblical Christianity expanded.

So the question for you is: Does Christianity violate the Scriptures? If it doesn't, then Christianity is "true biblical Judaism expanded."

:)

Since you were a Christian (and now a professing Atheist), why don't you share with us your exegeses concerning how Christianity violates the Scriptures.

Agagooga said...

How do you think they're misled by their neighbors?

You're begging the question - you assume Jesus did not violate the Old Testament because he said he didn't. Even if you generously interpret him as being in the spirit of the OT (doubtful), he definitely violated its letter repeatedly.

Christianity violating the OT is not the reason why I deconverted.

PuritanReformed said...

Gabriel:

at the moment, I don't think the homosexuals are in any position to riot, because they know that doing so would mean they would all go to jail for sedition. They would only do so probably if they think they can get away with it, ie in USA (see this example of the behavior of the homofascists at http://www.qrd.org/qrd/religion/anti/fundies.press.release.on.church.riot).

>So if I came along and proclaimed a new version of Christianity, and I said that I was not violating the scriptures, would you accept that I was expanding true biblical Christianity?

If you can do so without violating the Scriptures, sure. I would like to see if that is even remotely possible. It is my opinion that it isn't, but let's see.

PuritanReformed said...

Gabriel:

it seems that you are assuming that modern-day Judaism is the Judaism of Jesus' times. Care to prove it?

PuritanReformed said...

Just to add:

Gabriel, above all, please prove that the Judaism of modern time or the Judaism of Jesus' time is the true Judaism instituted by Moses, Aaron, Joshua, believed by King David and proclaimed by the OT prophets.

Agagooga said...

Re: death threats, riots, boycotts etc

I find it significant that the Homosexuality category at Conservapedia lists no other examples of gay 'death threats, riots, boycotts etc'.

While it is regrettable that there was a gay riot, the fact that it is notable for its singularity indicates that this is an exception which proves the rule. Very different from "death threats, riots, boycotts etc" being "the weapons of choice... against "homophobia"".


If you can do so without violating the Scriptures, sure
What Jesus did plainly violated the Jewish Scriptures. It's only because he says he was fulfilling them that you claim he was not - you're begging the question.

Judaism in modern times, probably even the ultra-conservative version, is not the same as that of the OT or even Jesus' time.

I have no idea what "the true Judaism instituted by Moses, Aaron, Joshua, believed by King David and proclaimed by the OT prophets" is. That is a very problematic statement.

Presumably your point is that even the Judaism of Jesus' time was not the same as that of the OT? I think we can both agree that Jesus preached against the Judaism of Jesus' time because he felt that it was corrupt, but referring to the OT you can see many laws he transgressed. Though I'm not sure anyone could live a decent life without transgressing OT laws (given that you can't wear garments made of both linen and wool).

Agagooga said...

On the other hand, there are many examples of fundamentalist Christians organizing boycotts, making death threats to people working in abortion clinics and bombing abortion clinics.

PuritanReformed said...

Gabriel:

I only listed one case because that is the easiest to find. You want more examples? That was not just the exception but rather the rule.

>On the other hand, there are many examples of fundamentalist Christians organizing boycotts, making death threats to people working in abortion clinics and bombing abortion clinics.

Names? Evidences? How many compared to the number of death threats etc given by the homofascist agenda? Let's just ignore boycotts for now.

>What Jesus did plainly violated the Jewish Scriptures. It's only because he says he was fulfilling them that you claim he was not - you're begging the question.

No, you are the one begging the question. You have not given proof from the OT that Jesus violated it. You are committing the fallacy of historical anachronism; of thinking that a certain "literal" reading of the OT Scriptures is the real and normative reading of the OT as intended by Moses.

>but referring to the OT you can see many laws he transgressed

Like? You do know of the Law being divided into the moral, ceremonial and civil Law right? Why don't you give one law as an example, and we can work it out?

Btw, my friend Vincent has responded to your views in a new post, if you have not realized that.

Agagooga said...

Not the exception but the rule? You sound like China's claiming that Tibetan separatists are sending out death squads. I could only find that example in my research. Please send me details on the examples of gay riots and death threats which are so numerous that they are 'not just the exception but rather the rule'. You give me examples and a listing of gay death threats and riots and I'll give you a listing of abortion clinic bombings. I am positive that abortion clinic bombings outnumber gay riots.

So what is 'the real and normative reading of the OT as intended by Moses'? Leaving aside Moses' existence is in serious historical doubt, 'XXX shall be punished by death' does not leave one little room for interpretation.

Proof that Jesus violated the OT:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism%27s_view_of_Jesus#References

I have responded to your friend's post.

PuritanReformed said...

Gabriel:

here are some of the prooves:

Homosexual riot:
Stonewall riot (http://www.thebody.com/content/policy/art30668.html)
Christian ejected from Phillis game, with them rioting while police stood by and did nothing
(http://www.repentamerica.com/pr_christiansejected.html)
Homosexual assults Christian (http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=57710)
Homosexuals send hate mail to Christians (http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=42417)
Gays' "respect" and "tolerance"
(http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=59817)

Oh, and you can look at a couple of cases I have linked to in my previous blog post too (http://puritanreformed.blogspot.com/2007/11/homofascist-supremists.html)
Or how about this which collates some more hate crimes the homofascists engage in?
(http://www.leaderu.com/marco/special/spc12.html)
Or the indicents listed here (http://www.conservapedia.com/Homosexuality#Other_Incidents_Involving_Homosexuality_and_the_Suppression_of_Religious_Liberty)?

Furthermore, you have stated that you have checked Conservapedia. Don't tell me you have not read the case of First Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the pastor's home being firebombed, death threats issued etc?
(http://www.conservapedia.com/Homosexuality#First_Orthodox_Presbyterian_Church_and_Pastor.27s_Home_Firebombed). Is firebombing a home ever acceptable?

vincit omnia veritas said...

Daniel,

It seems that Gabriel has a link to your post from his recent blog.

Here are some interesting links:

http://www.familyresearchinst.org/FRI_EduPamphlet4.htML
Violence and Homosexuality
By Paul Cameron, Ph. D.

http://www.conservapedia.com/Homosexual_Couples_and_Domestic_Violence

http://www.conservapedia.com/Homosexual#Homosexuality_and_Murders

http://www.conservapedia.com/Homosexual#Other_Incidents_Involving_Homosexuality_and_the_Suppression_of_Religious_Liberty

http://www.conservapedia.com/Homosexual#Hamilton_Square_Baptist_Church_Riot

http://www.conservapedia.com/Homosexual#First_Orthodox_Presbyterian_Church_and_Pastor.27s_Home_Firebombed

Just some links for you to enjoy ... :)

PuritanReformed said...

Gabriel:

with regards to Jesus and the OT, you have linked to a Wikipedia page where all the "evidences" are written basically by contemporary Jews and all their rabbis and sources are all past the time of Jesus. This is typical historical anarchronism. The entire Talmud etc was written much later after the times of Jesus also.

So you still have not answered the question. Contemporary Judaism has corrupted the religion given to them by Moses, so what use is the citations of their Talmudic and contemporary Jewish thought have on the true interpretation of the OT? None whatsoever. As such, your claim that Jesus violated the OT laws is invalid, since you do not have any idea whatsoever what is the true interpretation of the OT laws in the first place. FWIW, even in biblical times, Jesus Himself rebuked the Sadducees for not knowing the Scriptures (Mt. 22:29). What more all these modern Judaist rabbis and their followers?

And you have still not provided any examples of laws Jesus broke. Please give me one example of any OT law which you think Jesus has broken and we can discuss this properly.

PuritanReformed said...

Vincent:

haha, yea, I saw that post. Hope all the numberous examples given as to homo-bigotry were enough, but of course... Only God can change his heart, let's pray for him.

Agagooga said...

I shall sacrifice a heifer to Athena.

socguy said...

As far as I know, that particular tract certainly quite seditious. so, it is undesirable because it is seditious? Probably that's why they had to face both charges.

Not a smart thing to do to visit Muslim households and persist on persuading them to renounce their religion, even though you are doing it through a comic (which asserts/spells the intended message loud and clear). For that matter, pple of other faiths don't like it either. I'm an agnostic who had to tell annoying evangelists about my exaggerated pagan practices, and drum up how hopeless I am in terms of getting salvation (Jesus need to die a few more times to save me etc) and how much I look forward to hedonist hell, before they would actually shut up and say they will just pray for me. Sheesh. Please do not confuse freedom of speech with good sense. And why is it always the Christian evangelists that get onto pple's nerves in Singapore? Maybe we need to confine all forms of evangelism to their respective religious quarters, away from all public and personal spaces!

vincit omnia veritas said...

Hi Socguy,

I guess you were the one who dropped the anonymous note on my blog.

I'm sorry, but I do not allow anonymous comments. Next time, if you want to appear anonymous, at least try to use some variations i.e. hedonist hell, hedonist campfire, incinerator for the uninitiated etc. :)

Well, I will understand if some would like to hide behind a moniker. Less culpability/responsibility?

PuritanReformed said...

Socguy:

so will you join in condemning our Media authority for 'being seditious' too, for allowing the blasphemous Da Vinci Code into the country and offend Christians? Or how about Dawkin's book The God Delusion? Hey, if it is wrong to offend and defame the religion of another, let us be consistent at the very least.

>And why is it always the Christian evangelists that get onto pple's nerves in Singapore?

As if other non-Christians don't get on our nerves too... A little less double-standardness is always desirable.

>Maybe we need to confine all forms of evangelism to their respective religious quarters, away from all public and personal spaces!

What is "religious space"? Please define. And if you want to do so, please be consistent and bring all the Secular Humanism and Gaia worship with you. I don't want to hear the preaching from the academy of the religion of science for one.

PuritanReformed said...

Vincent:

Haha, want change to my current commenting setup?

socguy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
PuritanReformed said...

socguy:

Your recent comment has violated one of my blog rules - specifically rule number 1. I find it enlightening that besides ad hominem and vulgarities, you did not refute the basic argument against the application of the Sedition Act in the first place. In fact, if you atheists want to use this line of irrational and inane reasoning for the application of the Sedition Act, you may want to consider seeking a lawyer soon in the event that any Christian will decide to use your line of reasoning against people like you who constantly insult our faith to our faces. Hypocrite!

socguy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
PuritanReformed said...

socguy:

you've violated the blog rules, so if you want to whine about it, go find some other place to do so.