theonlinecitizen

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Outdoor demonstration planned outside St Andrew’s Cathedral

Posted by theonlinecitizen on October 20, 2007

By Andrew Loh

On the blog titled Enshrine 377A, the blogger, whose identity is unknown to us, calls for the public to participate in a “Walk For Jesus Action” in support of retaining section 377A of the Penal Code which criminalizes sex between two same-sex men.

On the blog, the writer says that, “It is time to claim on God’s promise to keep our country from the harm of having 377A repealed and from the pain of our children being corrupted. It is time to take action and witness for Jesus!”

He calls for the public to participate in a “prayer walk” which he terms “Walk For Jesus”. According to him, the walk would begin around “St Andrew’s Cathedral” and proceed along “Singapore River… SMU… and Parliament House and pray for the members of Parliament.”

Participants are also urged to “wear white” – “the colour of saints”- “so that we can identify each other” and to “synchronise” the start of their walk at “12.30pm” this Sunday, 21st October 2007, the blog post says.

Giving advice on what to do if approached by the police, he says, “If anyone tries to disband you, stay for a while, say a prayer and then move on peaceably. If the police asks for your cooperation, move into the Sanctuary of Saint Andrew’s Cathedral and continue praying.”

“Tell your friends about this prayer walk. Refer them to this site”, he urged.

TOC understands that the event is very unlikely to have been organized or sanctioned by the church leadership. The St Andrew’s Cathdral website makes no mention of any such event either.

TOC is also unsure if the writer or organizer/s (if indeed there are such organizers) have a police permit for the walk which is required for such outdoor public events.

 

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48 Responses to “Outdoor demonstration planned outside St Andrew’s Cathedral”

  1. Neutral said

    He is making the issue into a religious issue, which is not, and which is against our law. Simple as that.

  2. wakeup said

    Good question asked here:

    http://wakeupsingapore.wordpress.com/

  3. Andrew Loh said

    Wakeup,

    That is the question I asked myself and my answer is : No.

    So yes, I am somewhat puzzled by the arguments of the anti-repeal S377A camp. When we adopt the “slippery slope” argument, it inevitably leads us to apocalyptic, doomsday scenarios. In other words, schizophrenic, convoluted imagination – same as the one which one of our ministers made about liberalising bar top dancing.

    You are right. Ask the simplest question – and therein lies the truth.

    “Are gay people criminals?”

    I cannot, no matter how creative my imagination, say that they are – from my interactions and personal relationships with them. (I am not gay, by the way.. 🙂 )

  4. Doesn’t matter what the issues are, individual(s) who are so drunk on religion tend to leave their minds & senses behind. Sheesh

  5. Gerald said

    From the language used, it doesn’t seem like a sanctioned church activity. White the colour of saints? I thought white is the colour of the PAP?

  6. Looks like 2007 may well be a watershed year with regards to public assembly becoming more visible in the public eye.

  7. at82 said

    Although I disagree with their views, i respect their wishes to march.

    People should have the right to demonstrate in a peaceful manner.

  8. sarek_home said

    ““Are gay people criminals?””

    To answer this simple question, one need to realize that people are labeled criminals when they do harm to the society. So the real question is “Is homosexual lifestyle harmful to the society?” Can we really believe the issue will stop at repealing 377A and remain private between consenting adults? The development in Taiwan only show that it will not stop at repealing 377A. Now things become more complicated when we judge what is harmful to the society and that is exactly where we are now. The basic question behind the 377A issue is our views on when should have the right to extend our views and values to the public sphere and when we should stop for that extension intrude into others’ private sphere.

    Annual gay pride parade slated for Oct. 13

    http://www.taiwanheadlines.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=85489&CtNode=10

    08/23/2007 (CNA)
    Taipei, Aug. 23 (CNA) Taiwan’s fifth gay pride parade — Taiwan Pride 2007 — to be organized by the gay and transgender communities, is slated to take place Oct. 13 in Taipei City with the aim of urging politicians to make laws regarding equal rights for homosexuals, such as legalization of same-sex marriages, an organizer of the event said Thursday.

  9. xpy said

    Sarek_home has yet to discuss how is it harmful, simply stating taiwan is having gay pride marches and equal rights does not account for the harm that is being proposed.

    Also Sarek_home appears to be saying the equal rights is not something we want. It is always wise to look back into history and remember how women and people of color have to fight for equal rights when the exact same argument used against homosexuals were leveled against them.

  10. sarek_home said

    Hi Xpy,

    I am neutral on this. There are people who raised the “harm” arguments because of their views and values, and there are people who argued against them. There is no need and no intention for me to repeat those arguments.

    I only want to highlight the basic facts that:

    1. The basic question behind the 377A issue is our views on when should have the right to extend our views and values to the public sphere and when we should stop for that extension intrude into others’ private sphere.

    2. The development in Taiwan only show that it will not stop at repealing 377A.

    Regards.

  11. James Chia said

    I do not think the event has a police permit as the event is held in an open area and might stir public emotion.

  12. Ned Stark said

    It is undeniable that it would be sheer hypocrisy for those who have been calling for more rights for people to deny these fellas the opportunity to march for their deity; but it is sheer hypocrisy for their activity to be allowed by the powers that be while other activities like the pink run, demonstration for Myanmar etc is disallowed.

  13. a kentang said

    the website looks to me like a spoof. but then again, you never can tell with these people…

  14. Sooty said

    Indeed, the recent post looks even more suspicious. I won’t be surprised if no one appears to lead, leaving all those in white to look like complete… idiots. Sorry.

  15. Jeffrey said

    i am a Christian. and i don’t think anyone should underestimate the power of prayer.and the power of God Almighty. one only needs to study the Bible and realise this, especially in the Old Testament.

    our nation has been blessed richly thus far. yes, i understand this is a political blog and if anyone would, they can list 10 things bad about Singapore. However, even as a primary school kid, i remember this teaching, “count your blessings”.

    Let’s not forget when the government “asked” the nation for views about the ca-SIN-o, all the churches disagreed. This is for a good reason. The casino will lead to the slippery slope, there is no doubt aboutthis. This thing round, some are pushing 377A.

    don’t worry, this time round, PM Lee might be actually on our side.

  16. Mojo said

    Seems more like a satire to me, or even a troll. Are you sure somebody didn’t cook up the blog to fan flames and incite people?

  17. Jeffrey, we have to make a distinction and avoid falling into the assumption that the Christian worldview applies to everyone.

    I am a Christian myself and I do not believe that we should expect everyone to view the world through the same lens as ours.

  18. xpy said

    Sarek_home, i am sorry if i misunderstood you, I was, and still am just a little confused. =)

  19. sarek_home said

    Hi Xpy,

    I just want to lay out the facts as I see where the society is heading with this 377A issue for those who are pro and against it to factor in.

    I don’t see repealing the law as a sign of endorsing homosexual activity but the society taking a stronger respect of individual rights.

    I also think the issue will not stop at repealing 377A as some want to believe. So, be prepared for a push for more demand from the homosexual camp.

    Regards.

  20. gonococcus said

    to the fundies:

    it’s YOUR take on religion, not MY take on religion, neither is it THEIR take on religion

    what right do you have to take away our freedom of living our lives with our own beliefs?

  21. WeiHan said

    Sarek_Home,

    Certainly, it will not just stopped at repealing 377a.

    However, from what we know in other countries, those that support repealing 377a may not support gay marriage. And then, there are nuances, some prefer to support civil union and not calling it “marriage”. Whereas other may support civil union or gay marriage but not child adoption. One thing for sure is that each issues are different in nature and has to be debate on its own uniqueness. Injustice by keeping 377a is not justifiable as a “pre-emptive” from stopping gays from “progressing” to fight for other rights.

  22. Jonathan said

    The post has been deleted and replaced. Whilst I am all for freedom of speech, I take issue with what is written there. As a Christian, I feel terribly embarrassed as Jesus would never have done that.

  23. Joel Chng said

    It is interesting to see the debate here echoing what was said several decades ago in England. Go google the Wolfenden report to see what I mean. The debate was largely polarised into whether we should see criminalisation as based on harm alone, or the protection of what one perceived as a society’s basic morality.

    My point is, how can we expect to argue to keep s377A based on an assumption of a basic or common morality amongst us? This “morality” that proponents are advancing seem to me to be based on religious values, which certainly makes no sense to someone who’s non-religious, like me.

    Even if there was one, it is interesting to note that the English has rejected the argument many years ago. Say all we want about how we must preserve Asian values; but shouldn’t we also examine the English example in detail to see whether this assumed common morality was destroyed after they repealed their same-sex laws?

  24. shoestring said

    Is fear always bad and irrelevant?

  25. I went to check it out today and didn’t see anything – no police, no protesters, nothing. Of course, I arrived 10 min late and wasn’t sure where they were meeting, so maybe the whole thing slipped past me? Very, very odd.

  26. Jeffrey said

    i did not endorse doing this “demonstration” btw. i only said the power of prayer should not be underestimated.

    however, i take your point celluloidrealitys. very immature of me to say that.

    perhaps i would like to make it clear that the christian view as depicted by rev yap (gay-affirming) might not be representative of the christian church in singapore.

    he probably did not read genesis and learn about sodom and gomorrah. thats where the word sodomy and sodomites (people living in sodom) come from.

  27. Lawrence said

    Perhaps Rev Yap read the bible with his eyes and mind open but Jeffrey chose read with blinkers on and his mind already close.

    Read this An Examination Of Man’s Written Biblical Fallacies

    Genesis 7:12 And the rain was upon the Earth for forty days and nights. So God caused a great flood, to filter out the wicked and the unrighteous. And soon came Sodom and Gomorrah the wicked city of choice of preachers to compare us of today. Genesis 19: 34-36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their fathers. Incest is just fine no problem, not wicked.

    If the Bible is true, then these conditions are real and verifiable outside of the Bible:

    The world is only six thousand years old, dinosaurs never existed, the world is flat and the earth is the center of the universe, the Sun goes around the earth, demons, invisible spirits, ghosts, holy ghosts, demons, angels, snakes, bushes, and donkeys, can talk, virgin birth is possible, god and jesus live in the clouds above, prayer has secret powers over this god, miracles and blessing do occur, invisible souls can either be saved or unsaved, depending on what a person decides to believe in their heart, the heart is the center of all thought and emotion, people can talk to god and jesus with their heart, there is no such thing as a brain, people can be raised from the dead, people can walk on water, water can be turned into wine, 5000 people can easily be fed with two loaves and two fishes, only invisible jesus can save invisible souls, diseases are caused by demons, science is of the devil, a person can live in the belly of a whale for three days and nights, whales’stomach acid has no effect on humans.

  28. Andrew Loh said

    Yi Sheng,

    I was there too – at about 12. You didn’t miss anything cos nothing happened. The blogger has replaced his original post with a new one on his blog – saying that his original posting was “for the sole purpose of mocking gay people.”

    Regards,

  29. sarek_home said

    “those that support repealing 377a may not support gay marriage. That is why repealing 377A is seen as the thin edge of the wedge. The nuances like civil union are just minor technical issues. The basic arguments for and against 377A is the same as same sex marriage. People who support repealing 377A but not same sex marriage should think deeper to understand why they have such different decisions on the same set of arguments.

  30. Jeffrey,

    Yes, I can say that it doesn’t reflect the general sentiment of Christians in Singapore.

    Personally, more friends of mine are moving towards “loving the sinner but condemning the sin”. That’s perfectly fine from a religious standpoint.

    The only issue I have, as a moderate libertarian Christian is that while we have our religious convictions we also have to respect the free will of others and ensure that this free will is protected.

    What marks a society is how it treats its minorities, and I must say that if people who want to retain Section 377A wish to lobby and protest, it will mark an improvement in the discourse of public participation and citizen advocacy in Singapore.

    Anything that widens the space for interaction and dialogue should be welcomed. If we continue to sweep things or differences under the carpet, it will be more detrimental in the long run.

    Cheers.

  31. […] Posted by The Singapore Daily on October 22nd, 2007 Section 377a – Popagandhi: Why I Don’t Usually Talk About Anything Else – All and Sundry Singapore: HomosexualityIssues: To repeal S377A of the Penal Code or not? – The Universe Within: Respect Differences: Some thoughts on the Keep “377A” movement – musings: Of Surveys, Conservatives and Foreigners – In the land of the blind, one eye man is king: Arguments to keep S377A: An analysis – Fresh Brainz: Section 377A Dickfight! – Yawning Bread: The loonies are marching – Cognitive Dissonance: My Key Takeaways from the Repeal 377A Petition – a small friend: small friend speaks about the repeal of 377a – Gay men have families too – mollymeek: Jokes of the Day – Quote the Emotion: An Appeal to Repeal – click; bang; whirl: Sexuality shouldn’t be governed – cacophony of breaking hearts: The insecurities of pussy cats – pro377a: Love Gays, Hate their Agenda – Enlarge our Territories: Walk for Jesus Action – Enlarge our Territories: Enlarge our Territories says ‘Revise 377A’ – living in his grace: On S377a – Daniel’s Place” Pro Veritas: Keep S377a! – The Online Citizen: Outdoordemonstration planned outside St Andrew’s Cathedral […]

  32. Alan Wong said

    The decision to repeal 377A will depend on the outcome of some probability calculation.

    Before the final decision whether to repeal 377A, Iour mathematics-major PM will probably do a probability calculation check whether the size of the Christian camp will be greater than that of the pro-gay camp.

    As of the last general election, almost 3.5 out of 10 Singaporean voters voted against the already-bad-boys-image PAP. Obviously the voters cannot be further alienated, remember the issues on Christian-casinos, NKF-scandal, Mrs-peanuts, Hougang-carrots, Gomez-bully, etc.

    LKY is just telling a white lie when he says that it will only be a matter of time.

    Therefore whatever the facts are, probably the forgone conclusion is 377A CANNOT be repealed for the very fundamental reason – VOTES.

  33. WeiHan said

    Alan Wong,

    This calculation is too simplistic. Firstly, not all christians are anti-gay. Even in Singapore where the fundamentalistic christianity represent the majority, still there is substantial christians who are fair minded. Secondly, in recent surveys, pro-gay statistics stand at somewhere above 30% of the population and still growing. Whereas christians only constitutes less than 20% of the population. Thirdly, people don’t simply vote base on one issue.

  34. Catch CNN’s God Warriors programme. You will understand the mobilisational capacity of a revivialist preacher and his flock.

  35. Jeffrey said

    yeap celluloid reality. agree with ur sentiments too.

    totally agree. i am close minded at times. pardon me. one reasons is perhaps because i am no gay friends.. if i had a personal straight friendship with one, my views will surely be starkly different.

    Matt 5:39
    lawrence i see no point in turning this comment thread into a religious one. hence this is as far as i will comment on your quoting.

    let see how this issue turns out in time to come. 🙂

  36. Jeffrey said

    yeap celluloid reality. agree with ur sentiments too.

    lawrence: “Perhaps Rev Yap read the bible with his eyes and mind open but Jeffrey chose read with blinkers on and his mind already close.”

    totally agree. i am close minded at times. pardon me. one reasons is perhaps because i have no gay friends.. if i had a personal straight friendship with one, my views will surely be starkly different.

    Matt 5:39
    lawrence, i see no point in turning this comment thread into a religious one. hence this is as far as i will comment on your quoting.

    let see how this issue turns out in time to come. 🙂

  37. Jeffrey,

    Yes indeed. If you have close friends who are in the GLBT community, your views and philosophy will change, dramatically.

    I often look at my friends and I wonder if they can ever have a fair go at life in Singapore, not just in the economic sphere..

    Cheers.

  38. WeiHan said

    Sarek_Home said: ““those that support repealing 377a may not support gay marriage. That is why repealing 377A is seen as the thin edge of the wedge. The nuances like civil union are just minor technical issues. The basic arguments for and against 377A is the same as same sex marriage. People who support repealing 377A but not same sex marriage should think deeper to understand why they have such different decisions on the same set of arguments.”

    I agree that part of the arguments are basically the same. However, the argument for “family values”, even if it stands (it don’t) should not even figure into the argument for keeping 377a. The most basic argument for repealing 377a is that there is no victim and it is not a crime. Family values don’t even figure in here. However, if we are to legalise gay marriage, then I agree that “family values” will has a place in the argument even though I might not agree that the argument is strong. But that is a totally different debate, in my opinion.

  39. sarek_home said

    Hi WeiHan,

    Family values don’t even figure in here.

    Are you suggesting that homosexual relationship under the scope of repealing 377A is purely physical and does not involve love / passion that bond and lead couples into forming families? If the answer is NO, and you agree that such homosexual relattionship involve love / passion that bond the homosexual couples, then the clear outcome is the desire to form a family, and family values is involved in the picture.

    Regards.

  40. WeiHan said

    Hi Sarek,

    That is why I say part of the arguments are basically the same. However, as I said clearly, the most basic argument for repealing 377a is that consensual sex between two males does not has a victim and therefore it is not a crime and therefore family values should not even figure into the argument. Those that do so are assuming that repealing 377a is the same as legalising same-sex marriage. This is untrue unfortunately.

  41. jeff said

    perhaps the government shd publish some stats on how many have been convicted of this crime.

    wasn’t the same one as the one about oral?

  42. sarek_home said

    Hi WeiHan,

    While I can agree that “therefore it is not a crime” I think you failed to provide the logical reasoning of the conclusion of “therefore family values should not even figure into the argument.”

    Also, I have already stated:

    If the answer is NO, and you agree that such homosexual relationship involve love / passion that bond the homosexual couples, then the clear outcome is the desire to form a family, and family values is involved in the picture.

    in explaining why family values is part of the picture in this 377A consideration. I hope you will consider that.

    Regards.

  43. sarek_home said

    Hi Jeff,

    perhaps the government shd publish some stats on how many have been convicted of this crime.

    I hope the following links may interest you:

    http://www.yawningbread.org/guest_2007/guw-136.htm
    http://www.yawningbread.org/arch_2007/yax-749.htm

    Regards.

  44. WeiHan said

    Hi Sarek,

    Homosexual sex may or may not involved love or desire to ultimately form a family. To me, sex and desire to form family are two totally different concepts and need not conflate. Do not fall into the judeo-christian cultural influence trap that extra-marital sex must be sinful and therefore do not exist and therefore sexual attraction has to, and only lead to marriage and formation of family.

    The actual logic is actually much simpler than that. Briefly state again: Repealing 377a does not equate legalising gay marriage. For thousands of years, many countries and cultures do not criminalise gay sex yet we don’t see them gay marriage in these countries or cultures. That said, I do not deny it is the ultimate goal of gay activists and 377a is a step towards the goal. However, that doesn’t mean family values argument has not figured into the debate earlier than it deserved. The correct argument they should put forth should be instead that sex betweem two males against the will of god.

  45. WeiHan said

    I just heard Ho Peng Kee that repealing 377a may risk sending a wrong signal that they are endorsing homosexual lifestyle. Before that, he said gays have their place in society and are having more space. On top of that, they emphasised that they do not actively prosecute under 377a. My question is wouldn’t that send a wrong signal to society that they are gradually endorsing gay “lifestyle”? I put an inverted coma because that is a term coined by the christian right. There is no such a thing called “gay lifestyle”.

  46. sarek_home said

    Hi Wei Han,

    If you form the view that someone has “fall into the judeo-christian cultural influence trap” based on pure speculation, I suggest you to drop such view. It will only make you look irrational.

    If you are referring to the “judeo-christian cultural” line of thinking, then I wonder why “that extra-marital sex must be sinful” lead to “and therefore do not exist” when sin is a well founded concept in that culture.

    “For thousands of years, many countries and cultures do not criminalise gay sex yet we don’t see them gay marriage in these countries or cultures.”

    Marriage is more a social and family matter in this context. The lack of gay marriage might as well reflect a strong social force tolerating it but rejecting the act as part of the social norm just like the pro-377A camp wanting to retain a non-enforcing 377A as a way to tolerating it but rejecting the act as part of the social norm?

    To me, sex and desire to form family are two totally different concepts and need not conflate.

    There is no denying we have the free will to just pursue pure sexual desire. But we also observe that sex enhance the passionate bonding of a couple and the passionate bonding of a couple enhance the sexual experience. While pure sexual pursue is one night event, the positive feedback loop of sex and passionate bonding lead to long term relationship call family. So it bring back to my point that we should factor in family values in considering repealing 377A.

  47. WeiHan said

    Hi Sarek,

    If you form the view that someone has “fall into the judeo-christian cultural influence trap” based on pure speculation, I suggest you to drop such view. It will only make you look irrational.

    I am in no way speculating or being irrational. Nowhere will you find extra-marital sex called a sin in two of the world greatest cultures: the Indian and the Chinese cultures. In contrast, it is self-evident that proscribing sexual behaviours mainly comes from voices of judeo-christian origin.

    You said:”Marriage is more a social and family matter in this context. The lack of gay marriage might as well reflect a strong social force tolerating it but rejecting the act as part of the social norm just like the pro-377A camp wanting to retain a non-enforcing 377A as a way to tolerating it but rejecting the act as part of the social norm?”

    By saying that, you are agreeing with me that there are cultures and countries that are able to maintain social norm without having to keep a law such as 377a to criminalis people unjustly. Didn’t I just prove that “family values” shouldn’t even figure into the argument at this stage and you agree? Moreover, you are switching to using “social norm” now but social norm does not equate family values.

    you said:”There is no denying we have the free will to just pursue pure sexual desire….”

    You are again agreeing with me that sex and the desire for family is two different thing and so how should family values fugure into the argument to criminalise a particular sexual act that has no victim?

  48. sarek_home said

    Since I don’t recall saying extra-marital sex called a sin, there is no ground for you to suggest I “fall into the judeo-christian cultural influence trap”, right?

    you said:”There is no denying we have the free will to just pursue pure sexual desire….”

    You are again agreeing with me that sex and the desire for family is two different thing and so how should family values fugure into the argument to criminalise a particular sexual act that has no victim?</i?

    Interesting to note that you chose to ignore the whole text of what I said in attempt to misrepresent my view.

    …you are agreeing with me that there are cultures and countries that are able to maintain social norm without having to keep a law such as 377a to criminalis people unjustly…

    Wonder why you fail to understand “….reflect a strong social force tolerating it but rejecting the act as part of the social norm just like the pro-377A camp wanting to retain a non-enforcing 377A as a way to tolerating it but rejecting the act as part of the social norm……” correctly.

    Moreover, you are switching to using “social norm” now but social norm does not equate family values.

    You may want to take note that social norm and family values are both involved in the issue of 377A.

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