Friday, November 02, 2007

Response to Soo Kiat on homosexuality

The comm box in my post on homosexuals and homosexual bigots has churned out something interesting. In this post, therefore, I will understake to reply to Soo Kiat's comment regarding homosexuality and discrimination. It is my contention that there by and large there is little discrimination against homosexuals in Singapore and other Western nations as compared to the outright discrimination against Christians in these countries.

Here is what Soo Kiat posted in his last comment on the topic of homosexuality and discrimination, which I will respond to:

- I know of nowhere where homosexuals have more rights than heterosexuals, and very few where they have equal rights. The sad truth is that in most parts of the world, including most western democracies, they have significantly fewer rights, and can suffer discrimination in a host of areas, from outright criminalisation, tax policy, housing policy, inheritance laws, employment rights, family law and others. The gay lobby is, in essence, a single issue lobby - to end discrimination before the law. I know of no gay organisations that aim to legally silence critics, only to strip them of legal justification for discriminating against them. The only way I would wish to silence my critics is by the force of superior argument. The anti-Christian rhetoric you have encountered is, alas, a reflection of the fact that religious people have too often set themselves as obstacles to equal treatment for gays, and as such have presented themselves as enemies of fair treatment for gay people. Even in the liberal west, this is very much the case. The forces of illiberalism sadly too often come cloaked in church vestments or resting on their religious books.

- I agree with you, of course, that a state must have laws, as few among us would choose to live in a Hobbesian state of nature, with the weak preyed upon by the strong. But the limits to state power must be drawn somewhere, else we have no individual liberty. One obvious line that can be drawn is in matters of private morality. Issues of public morality - such as offences against the person and property - are obviously within the state's domain, but I can see no justification for a state, which is after all an incorporeal institution to concern itself with intensely private matters such as the consensual sexual practices of its adult citizens. When the state intrudes on personal morality, it presents the intractable problem of whose morality it chooses to uphold. It must inevitably pick one code over another, typically (but not always) the majority's, and by so doing, it discriminates against the minority cultures or religions. Look at Saudi Arabia, where the practice of all religion but Islam is forbidden. I think that is intolerable, and would defend the rights of any Christian or Jew against such bigotry. Even in Western countries there are vestiges of such prejudice. It is still illegal for the monarch of England to be anything but an Anglican. I think the state should be neutral between its citizens, be they Christian, muslim, atheist, gay or straight.

- You say Singapore doesn't enforce s377a, and that to repeal it would be to endorse homosexuality. I have 3 observations: i) Singapore does not typically enforce, but it reserves the right. And it uses the cover of such legislation to ban gay meeting groups and gay publications. Moreover, if a political opponent of the PAP was homosexual, I think the party would waste no time in prosecuting him to hound him out of public life. ii)by criminalising us, whether or not they prosecute, they are effectively telling us we are second-class citizens. They are telling us to be ashamed, for our acts of love are illegal. iii) By repealing s377a the state is not endorsing homosexuality. It is saying nothing at all. There is, for example, no law in Singapore against masturbation, but that doesn't mean the state is officially endorsing it. It is saying it is none of the state's business.

- You are right, repeal would not suddenly make those who hate homosexuals love us. What it does, however, is slowly allows the climate to change, as it has in those countries where homosexuality has been legalised overseas. In the UK, for example, which I know well as I went there to university, it is 40 years since it was decriminalised, but even now open signs of your sexuality can in some places or situations put you in danger of physical attack and verbal abuse. But that is in decline, and now people are more careful not to offend gratuitously, in the same way that racism has declined once the legal justification for prejudice is removed. This is part of a process that began with decriminalisation. It makes a society a kinder, gentler place to live for all its citizens.

1) First of all, Soo Kiat, with regards to homosexual discimination, it seems that we are talking past each other. You are parading the common homosexuals' views of how things are. The fact of the matter is that in places like UK, Christians are being severely persecuted for believing that homosexuality is wrong. My often antagonistic friend in UK Jenson can testify to it. What you term discrimination it seems turns out to be people who do not want homosexuality to be naturalized and celebrated. When that happens, homosexuals discriminate against other groups like Christians and offend them. If you want to talk about liberty, what liberty are you giving to Christians who see homosexuality as wrong?

Let us here look into your stated examples: tax policy, housing policy, inheritance laws, employment rights, family law. What do you mean discrimination by tax policy? Is it that homosexual 'couples' do not enjoy the same tax rebates as normal couples do? But then by insisting that they do aren't you already asking others to accept the rightness of homosexuality, otherwise what 'couples' can you talk about? Two people don't make a couple, otherwise a man and his sister can qualify too, nevermine other combinations of people (or how about a mand his dog?).

Ditto for housing policy, inheritance laws, family law etc. For non-discimination to apply, all of these must of neccessity presuppose the moral and societal rightness of homosexuality, which Christians and most religions categorically deny. By insisting on their rights, aren't homosexuals forcing their view on others as to the legitimacy of their view?

With regards to employment, perhaps in certain situations. discimination may be wrongly present. First of all, however, it must be stated that discimination in the workplace is always present. Christians are perpetually disciminated against because of our religions and ethics anyway. So since you say you love liberty, will you fight for our right? Will you fight for the right of Christians to believe in Creationism and remain a scientist, for example? If not, what kind of liberty are you advocating?

Secondly, depending on the job, some form of 'discimination' is needed. For example, nobody can say they are disciminated if they don't fulfil the requirement of a certain job. It may be the case for some jobs, not all, that the person must be a role model for those under his/her charge. Homosexuals thus may not be able to get such jobs, but these are not acts of discimination rather than a question of qualification. Of course, unless you want to maintain that homosexuality is good or at best neutral, but doesn't that already mean that homosexuals are imposing their values on others who think otherwise.

With regards to Christianity and homosexuality, let's be clear about this. Christianity describes homosexuality as an abomination; detestable unto the Lord God. As I have shown above, what you describe as 'discimination' is in fact people who refuse to let homosexuals force their values on them. If you want to talk about 'liberty', then here is one group (the homosexuals) who is removing the libery of another group (ie Christians) in the name of 'non-discrimination'. You see what is wrong here?

which brings us to the second main point...

2) All forms of laws exhbit some form of 'discrimination' of sorts. Your previous examples of areas where homosexuals are said to be disciminated ARE public issues. By allowing for example, homosexual marriage, is that a public issue, since there will definitely be other people involved other than the 'couple'? Given what you said that issues of public morality are the state's business, then how can you at the same time deny that the State has any right not to accept the homosexual agenda to force the imposition of homosexual views on the public? Does the State has the right to force non-homosexuals to yield to the demands of the homosexuals? But yet isn't that what the State needs to do in order to 'end all discimination' according to the homosexual agenda?

Let's face it, 'discimination' is inevitable. The question therefore is whether it is legitimate. And that brings us to the moral question. The homosexuals in general want to circumvent the question of morality and talk about discimination, as if that means anything. Look, if anyone affirms the evil of murder, they are by neccessity 'disciminating' against murderers. Conversely, if you affirm the virture of eugenics and euthanasia, you are by neccessity 'discriminating' against those who state that are against them. Similar, those who affirm abortion are by necessity 'disciminating' against the unborn fetus in favor of the mother. And vice versa. Discrimination itself cannot be a basis for change. The only mitigation factor is that such restriction and discrimination should restrict itself to the public sphere if you want to talk about personal liberty.

With regards to places like Saudi Arabia, the error is not that it favors Islam over others. The error is that it makes no allowance for the private expression of other faiths. As stated and agreed on, the State has no right to intrude into the private sphere of individuals. Just as a footnote, the monarchy in England is a public matter with historical reasons why this is so, so I disagree with your assessment of the situation.

3)

i) Are gay publications and such meetings public? If so, then see above in my response number 2 where I showed that public discrimination is inevitable. Unless you can prove that homoseuxality is not immoral, then there is no basis upon which you can justify the charge od discrimination in the public sphere

ii) You haven't addressed the question of whether homosexuality is immoral. If it is immoral, then there is no problem. After all, do murderers complain that they are criminalized and made to feel ashamed as 'second-class citizens'? And what do you mean by 'acts of love'? Just because a sex act is committed doesn't necessitate that it is a loving act. What is the difference between that and an act between a man and his dog, which after all is 'loving'? Who defines what is loving and what is not? And lastly, why can't the same argument by utilized by incestous 'couples'?

iii) It is an endorsement because the law was there in the first place. If it wasn't there in the first place, its non-existence would not be an endorsement. As it is, decriminalizing it would state that such an action is not something which is wrong.

4) See my response point 1. We Christians do not share your rose-tinted glases. In fact, what we see is that society is growing more intolerant and bigoted towards Christians, especially in UK. Furthermore, unless you can prove that homosexuality is not immoral, then what you just said is inconsequential. Substitute the word 'homosexual' with 'murderer' to see why your reason is just plain wrong. Your argument here only makes sense if homosexuality is not immoral. As an aside, by stating that people hate homosexuals, I am mentioning those who hate because homosexuals are a minority group which they can bully, NOT those who reject homosexuality and refuse to celebrate it. For those people, any group will do, not just homosexuals.

In conclusion, I hoped that I have made my point clear. Unless the homosexual activists can prove that homosexuality is not immoral, all their charges of discimination etc have no merit. They are already allowed to conduct their immorality in private, but to allow their actions to be approved of in the public sphere is to force their views on others who refuse to compromise their moral standards, which includes most other people I may add. Maybe instead of using the emotional-loaded words of intolerance, discrimination, bigotry etc as bombs against the public, it would be good to try to justify homosexuality on moral grounds?

21 comments:

Jenson said...

Dear Daniel, Soo Kiat, and others,

Soo Kiat's comment
"I know of nowhere where homosexuals have more rights than heterosexuals, and very few where they have equal rights. The sad truth is that in most parts of the world, including most western democracies, they have significantly fewer rights, and can suffer discrimination in a host of areas, from outright criminalisation, tax policy, housing policy, inheritance laws, employment rights, family law and others."

Living in the UK, I can that this statement is TOTALLY wrong. I have worked with homosexuals, and lived in a hostel with one. They are employed on equal basis as I am, pay taxes, get 'married', buy properties, etc... like any heterosexual.

Personally, I will find it LESS trouble IF I was gay - less paperwork and greater public support these days.

But please allow me to introduce some Christians who have faced this issue and got themselves into hot water. Note that

1) this is very rarely reported in the "secular press";

2) the Christians involved put up very little resistance - I wished I could say the same about the homosexuals.

http://www.christian.org.uk/issues/2007/gay_rights/adoption_31oct07.htm

http://www.christian.org.uk/soregs/mathericks_24oct07.htm

http://www.christian.org.uk/rel_liberties/roberts_case/links_jan07.htm

From the often antagonistic friend,
Jenson

Chee Soo Kiat said...

Daniel, you seem to think that the state taking a neutral (i.e. non-discriminatory) stance against homosexuals is imposing my values on you, when in fact it requires you to do nothing. You may continue to hold your beliefs, and you may continue to refrain from gay sex. No one is forcing you to do anything. You do not have to engage in gay sex, you do not have to change your views on it. But it seems not to occur to you that state discrimination and criminalisation is imposing your values upon me in a very tangible way, even though my sex life does not affect you at all.
And of course I do not think homosexuality is immoral. You do. But why should the state prefer your opinion over mine? You can no more prove your opinion than I can, because moral opinions are precisely that - opinions, not facts. And remember we are only talking about consenting adults, here. How dare the Singapore state, or you, or anyone, tell me what I can and can't do with consenting adults. I wouldn't dream of dictating to you which of your sexual practices you could engage in. You would rightly regard it as impertinent, intrusive and offensive. But you have no qualms in doing so to me.
It is a complete red herring to equate homosexuality with murder. There is no victim, Daniel. There is no coercion. All that happens is that two willing individuals give each other pleasure. Why on earth should that be a crime?
On the matter of discrimination in tax, employment, etc - you are right, these are public matters, insofar as the government has decided to grant special favours to heterosexual married couples. Favours, incidentally, that homosexual taxpayers and unmarried taxpayers are paying for. Why on earth should they? I would prefer that government granted no such favours. If, however, states insist on granting favours to couples, I think they should not discriminate between couples.
Let's get the state's nose out of our personal choices.

Chee Soo Kiat said...

Jenson, I did not say that homosexuals had significantly fewer rights in the UK. Thankfully, the government has since 1997 removed practically all legal discrimination. I said there were few places in the world where this was the case, and that is true, as most countries do still discriminate.
Your attempt to suggest that Christians are discriminated against, however, is nonsense. I looked at the links you provided.
The third of the links shows quite the opposite - the police admitted they were wrong and the Robertses were granted compensation.
The other two cases are not about Christians being discriminated against, but about public bodies applying a non-discrimination policy against gays, that the Christians refused to implement. If we refuse to implement a perfectly legitimate policy of our employers, we should seek employment elsewhere. If the adopting couple or the magistrate do not wish to work for an enlightened organisation or do not wish to apply the law of the land equally to all citizens, nobody is forcing them to work in that sphere. None of us has the right to any job we like. I personally wouldn't expect to be employed in a mosque or a church, for example, because I realise my views would not be compatible with my employers'.
Incidentally, churches can and do legally discriminate in the UK on grounds of sexual orientation. No homosexual can sue a church for not appointing them as a minister on grounds of sexuality.
One day perhaps the churches will be mature enough to change from within and accept that this discrimination is nothing but 2000-year old prejudice from a time when human beings were more violent, more cruel and credulously superstitious, but I won't hold my breath. After all, it took the churches many long centuries to decide that slavery was immoral. Indeed, they used the Bible (the treatment of Ham) to justify it.

ddd said...

Soo Kiat:

what do you mean by 'neutral'. Decriminalizing homosexuality is not a taking a neutral stand; it is taking a stand that homosexuality is morally neutral. A neutral stand is when the government says it will not actively prosecute homosexuals. Also, we do know that this move is just the first steop towards homosexuals imposing their morality on others, as has already happened in many Western countries.

Also, as I have stated before in an earlier reply in the previous post, the state MUST of neccessity impose some form of values as the normative one. All states do that, because the absence of doing so is actually the imposition of anarchy. And you have actually agreed, in saying that "I agree with you, of course, that a state must have laws, as few among us would choose to live in a Hobbesian state of nature". Yet, in this latest reply to me, you have again complained that "But why should the state prefer your opinion over mine?" and "How dare the Singapore state, you, or anyone, tell me what I can and can't do...". Why are you now denying something which you have already stated your agreement with previously?

And it is not a red herring to equate homosexuality with murder, because I am using this to prove that morality will involve some form of discrimination, not on whether there is a victim or anything like that. I have already stated that homosexuality is a moral issue. If homosexuality is a moral issue, then there must definitely be discrimination against homosexuals like upholding S377a for example, and not allowing homosexuals marriages etc., just as there is discrimination against murder (murderers do not have the human right to murder another person). So it is pointless to talk about discrimination. Unless you can prove that homosexuality is NOT a moral issue, then you should please stop whining about discimination. Ditto that of the State's benefit to (heterosexual) couples and families. They do not really "discriminate" against homosexuals because two homosexuals are not a legitimate couple, so there is no real discrimination as the homosexual "couple" fails the definition of what constitutes a couple and thus a family. Are you trying to force people to believe your redefinition of what is a married couple? If you do, then you are contradicting your alleged claim not to want to impose your opinions on others. If you don't, then there is no real discrimination against homosexual 'couples', because they are not considered geniune couples.

ddd said...

(Reply to Soo Kiat's reply to Jenson)

Soo Kiat:

you state that Christians are discriminated agiainst for "refusing to implement a non-discirmination policy against gays". However, isn't that what we are saying all along? Your definition of "non-discrimination" would of necessity impose your morality on us, and discriminate against us. Why are you homosexuals allowed to push through your 'non-discimination' policy but we Christians are not allowed to do so? Can we push through ours also, like:

If any Christian is discriminated against because they are forced to practice something contrary to their beliefs, the person or agent so doing should be punished.

Therefore, if a homosexual 'couple' insist that we give them a double bed, it is a violation of our beliefs, and therefore if the homosexual threaten us with litigation to force us to do so, then they are discriminating against us for practising our beliefs. Thus, that homosexual couple should be charged for "Christian-phobia". End of story.

And no, it is not a question of whether you are "working in that sphere". Since when did hotels and motels for example become homosexual organizations, that you can close down those who "do not implement non-discrimination policy"? Applying your arguments to your case, "I personally wouldn't expect to be employed in a pro-homosexual organization, for example, because I realise my views would not be compatible with my employers'." And that is perfectly legitimate. What is not moral is the imposition of the homosexual view on others in other fields of employment and calling it a "non-discrimination policy". As an analogy, think of a country implementing a policy that states that if you do not give refuge to terrorists in your hotel, then you are to be sued because you have violated a "non-discrimination policy". Yes, the analogy is flawed, but what I am pointing out is that unless homosexuality can answer the morality question (of which harboring terrorist is one), there is no basis whatsoever for making non-implementation of a "non-discrimination policy" into a crime. As it is, the British government is guilty of a heinious crime in calling good evil and evil good, for which they will pay someday in judgment in destruction.

And, you have again beg the question, calling the biblical view on sexuality "discrimination" and "2000-year old prejudice". Both are nonsense. And don't try to play the slavery carnard. Firstly, slavary was abolished by Bible-believing Christians, while homosexuality is promoted by apostates. Secondly, you can't change your race, but you can change your "sexual orientation" (another stupid word invented to make homosexuality legitimate). Thirdly, the Bible repeartedly condemns homosexuality, while it is silent about Slavery except to acknowledge that it exists (and how to behave in such a way so as undermine the system while working within it). And just to refresh your knowledge, homosexuality have already existed in Sodom and Gomorrah, which is a good 4000+ years ago.

ddd said...

Soo Kiat,

incidentally, if you want better examples of discrimination of Christians, check out the example of Swedish Pastor Ake Green (http://www.becketfund.org/index.php/case/93.html), who was jailed and almost found guilty because he preached against homosexuality (not homosexuals).

Jenson said...

Hi Soo Kiat,

"Your attempt to suggest that Christians are discriminated against, however, is nonsense."

Nonsense? My whole point of putting those 3 links (these are cases which an organisation like the Christian Institute has to step in - because most lawyers would not take such cases - it tarnishes their reputation) is to show that this is happening here in the West.

The issue is - homosexuals can use the system (SOR) to complain, sue or simply kick a fuss. But what do the Christians have? A Bible and their conscience to do what is right in the sight of God. Is there a law in the land to protect the Christians? NO...

The whole idea to compare homosexuality with that of slavery is often used in the Media - but it is a bad comparison. In the history of Christendom, there were Christians who love the Bible and rejected slavery, as there were those who advocated slavery. Those who advocated slavery treated their slaves very well and cared for their well-being.

Unfortunately for Christians today, Hollywood and the Press have a way of depicting slavery as "white men beat up black slaves", so that this idea has stuck with the general population today.

I do not advocate slavery but we need to study that in the context of the day and age which those Christians who advocated it, lived in.

Homosexuality, on the other hand, has been and will be, rejected by Bible-believing Christians everywhere.

BEAST FCD said...

This is an absolutely abhorrent article bothering on discrimination.

To illustrate my point, try substituting "homosexuals" with "niggers" and Africans.

I will do an entire post and refute all your points on my blog and send the link to you. Enjoy.

Beast FCD

BEAST FCD said...

http://atheisthaven.blogspot.com/2009/03/gay-bashing-inc-singapore-christian.html

I have written a post to debunk your anti gay arguments from your previous post.

Since you practice censorship, I don't want to put my comments here unless necessary. Either you write a post on your blog to refute my rebuttals, or you can simply ignore me.

Btw I find your comments on gay advocates outrageous. You claim you wish that they be punished? So what, you want to cane them, or kill them?

Then you might as well start with me. I am a gay advocate as well, even though I am straight. That's just me being a humanist, and a secular humanist.

Beast FCD

BEAST FCD said...

Jenson is a bloody joker alright.

Beast FCD

PuritanReformed said...

Beast FCD:

I will reply to your anti-Christian post later, which is as usual long on assertions, short on proof. Why do you think anyone must follow your baseless opinions on these issues is a mystery.

BEAST FCD said...

What proof do you need? We atheists have no bibles or religious books. You keep asking for proof, as if you, the Christian, has irrefutable proof. The bible contains many rules, including stoning disobedient children to death. Are you so damn sure that you want to throw your biblical codes at me?

If my opinions are "baseless", why do you think so many anti gay laws in European countries and even in many states in the US have been repealed? It is because theocracy has no place in democratic, secular countries. It is as simple as that.

Singapore is already outdated in many of its legislative laws. We execute drug traffickers, cane people, charge people with ridiculous "sedition" laws when no one knows what the hell sedition really defines, and so on and so forth.377A is simply just another dinosaur that has long outlived its purpose.

Beast FCD

BEAST FCD said...

"I will reply to your anti-Christian post later, which is as usual long on assertions, short on proof."

Pot calling the kettle black. Yours is full of bigotry, intolerance and short on practical usage and proof.

Beast FCD

BEAST FCD said...

Correction: This is not so much an anti Christian post; I wrote this with a view that bigotry shrouded in the name of religion is still bigotry that should be exposed for what it is.

Beast FCD

PuritanReformed said...

Beast FCD:

As I have said, I will reply to you as soon as I am able. I DO have a job btw to attend to.

>Correction: This is not so much an anti Christian post; I wrote this with a view that bigotry shrouded in the name of religion is still bigotry that should be exposed for what it is.

Bigotry shrouded in the view of tolerance is still bigotry that should be exposed for what it is. Selah!

BEAST FCD said...

"Bigotry shrouded in the view of tolerance is still bigotry that should be exposed for what it is."

What bloody nonsense. This is just an excuse sprouted by idiots who want to justify their homophobic bigotry. Even the Ku Klux Klan folks who hate niggers use the same stupid excuse.

Come up with something new, Daniel. I have seen and read all the tricks of Christian liars. This one doesn't sneak past my radar.

Beast FCD

PuritanReformed said...

Beast FCD:

thanks for proving my case in your comment. Wait for my reply. =)

BEAST FCD said...

Here's a few pieces of advice:

1. Try not to cry "wolf" in your rebuttal: Christianity is hardly being "persecuted" in most countries, except in muslim-dominated countries. China does not persecute Christian groups within their government sanctioned Christian groups, so refrain from that argument.

2. Try not to claim the "victim" status here: Christians are clearly the aggressors, not the victims. If you get your head wacked by someone after you wack someone in the head first, then you seriously deserve it. If you criticize gays, you cannot blame the gays from criticizing you back. Its called tit for tat. Got the picture?

That's my advice. Now go ahead and craft your rebuttal.

Beast FCD

PuritanReformed said...

Beast FCD:

1) that is merely YOUR assertion, which I will respond in my post.

2) Ditto. I reject your assertion, and will prove it.

I will try to write my rebuttal by tonight, but no guarantees since I have a backlog of stuff to do.

BEAST FCD said...

I haven't seen your response yet.

You seem to use the "it is merely your assertion" excuse when you run out of excuses. I read a bit of your blog and I can say likewise with most of your critiques against your fellow Christians. The question is, are my or your assertions valid? That should be the point of contention.

Of course you have every right to reject my "assertions", provided you can build a case for yours. I look forward to your rebuttal post.

Beast FCD
Friend of Charles Darwin

PuritanReformed said...

Beast FCD:

I have a huge backlog of stuff to do. I have three book reviews that have been delayed over and over again, plus one article to be written. Writing requires much more thinking than merely commenting. My response will not be just to you, but for all who believe the same as you, thus the need to think how to write it properly.