And lo and behold, Daniel the Christian has replied, posting a pretty long rebuttal to my post. I shall do my utmost to debunk him as much as I can without boring my readers to death, so here goes.
1. Why is Section 377A a "Dinosaur"?
One of my first rebuttals on my original post refers to Section 377A as a "dinosaur", a relic of our own British colonial heritage. Understand that when I use the word "dinosaur", I was using it in the metaphorical sense of the word; there isn't quite a dinosaur defined as 377A, the last time I did check up on paleontology literature! But, Daniel seems to take me a little too literally:
"... to support this dinosaur [S377a] from the colonial age."
Where in the article did BFCD proved that is it a dinosaur? He didn't, just asserted it was without any argumentation to show why this was the case.
Maybe Daniel just doesn't get it.
Since Daniel has highlighted 377A, I thought it will be a good opportunity for me to elaborate more on this pathetic "penal" code: It was introduced to both British India and Singapore in the late 1850s under the Indian Penal Code, although it took a couple more years, in1872 to be exact, before the law was brought into operation in Singapore, Penang and Malacca.
Because 377A is an old remnant of old British law, I find it only appropriate to classify it as a "dinosaur", which, for all intents and purposes, does not indicate 377A as a man-eating T-rex.
2. No Proper Research by American Psychological Association?
In his rebuttal, Daniel claims that APA capitulated under fierce political pressure and caved in to the demands of the gay community, that there was little research done to validate the fact that homosexuals are not sick, demented social animals. He makes the assertion with reinforced material from conservative literature:
"Who determines who or what is enlightened? As with regards to the American Psychological Association, first of all, why are they correct? Secondly, the facts of the case for why this is so speak for themselves:
Here, Daniel makes two assertions, one of which is, again, "persecution mode" (You will see the same arguments being reiterated all over his rebuttal post):
'On December 15, 1973 the board of trustees of the American Psychiatric Association capitulated to the demands of the radicals. The homosexuals had begun to speak of unyielding psychiatrists as “war criminals” (ibid.:88), with obvious implications. Possibly in fear for their safety, and certainly wearied by constant harassment, they declared that homosexuality was no longer an illness.
The resulting referendum, demanded by outraged members of the association, was conducted by mail and was partially controlled by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (Rueda:1982). The homosexualists won the vote and the new official definition of homosexuality as a disorder was changed to include only those who were “unhappy with their sexual orientation” (Adam:88). Historian Enrique Rueda writes,[Scott Lively and Kevin Abrams, The Pink Swastika (Sacramento, CA, USA: Veritas Aeterna Press, 2002), p. 313]"
This vote was not the result of scientific analysis after years of painstaking research. Neither was it a purely objective choice following the accumulation of incontrovertible data. The very fact that the vote was taken reveals the nature of the process involved, since the existence of an orthodoxy in itself contradicts the essence of science (Rueda:106).'
1. Psychologists who hold a "gays are sick fags" stance had their lives threatened.
2. There is little research done in the area of gay psychology to prove that gays aren't really mentally sick.
Research Material on Gays and Lesbians from APA
Interestingly, a cursory check on the APA website reveals quite a bit of gay research, starting all the way back to 1975!!! Here are some materials available:
1. Armesto, J. C. (2002). Developmental and contextual factors that influence gay fathers' parental competence: A review of the literature. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 3, 67 - 78.
2. Conger, J.J. (1975). Proceedings of the American Psychological Association,
Incorporated, for the year 1974: Minutes of the Annual meeting of the Council of Representatives. American Psychologist, 30, 620-651.
3. Conger, J. J. (1977). Proceedings of the American Psychological Association, Incorporated, for the legislative year 1976: Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Council of Representatives. American Psychologist, 32, 408-438.
4. Fox, R.E. (1991). Proceedings of the American Psychological Association, Incorporated, for the year 1990: Minutes of the annual meeting of the Council of Representatives August 9 and 12, 1990, Boston, MA, and February 8-9, 1991, Washington, DC. American Psychologist, 45, 845.
5. DeLeon, P.H. (1993). Proceedings of the American Psychological Association, Incorporated, for the year 1992: Minutes of the annual meeting of the Council of Representatives August 13 and 16, 1992, and February 26-28, 1993, Washington, DC. American Psychologist, 48,782.
6. DeLeon, P.H. (1995). Proceedings of the American Psychological Association, Incorporated, for the year 1994: Minutes of the annual meeting of the Council of Representatives August 11 and 14, 1994, Los Angeles, CA, and February 17-19, 1995, Washington, DC. American Psychologist, 49, 627-628.
7. Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. (2002). American Psychologist, 57, 1060-1073.
8. Lofton v. Secretary of Department of Children & Family Services, 358 F.3d 804 (11th Cir. 2004).
9. Mays, V. M., & Cochran, S. D. (2001). Mental health correlates of perceived discrimination among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults in the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 91, 1869-1876.
10. Meyer, I. H. (2003). Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: Conceptual issues and research evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 674-697.
Patterson, C.J. (2000). Family relationships of lesbians and gay men. Journal of Marriage and Family, 62, 1052- 1069.
11. Patterson, C.J. (2004a). Lesbian and gay parents and their children: Summary of research findings. In Lesbian and gay parenting: A resource for psychologists. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
12. Patterson, C. J. (2004b). Gay fathers. In M. E. Lamb (Ed.), The role of the father in child development (4th Ed.). New York: John Wiley.
13. Patterson, C. J., Fulcher, M., & Wainright, J. (2002). Children of lesbian and gay parents: Research, law, and policy. In B. L. Bottoms, M. B. Kovera, and B. D. McAuliff (Eds.), Children, Social Science and the Law (pp, 176 - 199). New York: Cambridge University Press.
14. Perrin, E. C., and the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health (2002). Technical Report: Coparent or second-parent adoption by same-sex parents. Pediatrics, 109, 341 - 344.
15. Stacey, J. & Biblarz, T.J. (2001). (How) Does sexual orientation of parents matter? American Sociological Review, 65, 159-183.
16.Tasker, F. (1999). Children in lesbian-led families - A review. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 4, 153 - 166.
17. Tasker, F., & Golombok, S. (1997). Growing up in a lesbian family. New York: Guilford Press.
Who on Earth is Being Persecuted (Hint: It ain't the Christians)?
The "Pink Swastika" claims that the gay movement had effectively staged a political movement to ensure that psychologists comply with their "pro-homosexual" stance, and cited possible death threats as a "possible" reason why all psychologists have to comply. Sounds familiar?
Yes, it does. Ben Stein made similar claims about "persecution" amongst members of the scientific community who ostracized fellow scientists for not talking evolution seriously, choosing to instead believe in Creationism and its inherent, Intelligent Design. Of course, we learned much later that most of the assertions made by Ben Stein was demonstrably false (Most of the scientists interviewed weren't sacked by the relevant institutions at all!) but that is beside the point: Christians love to and will always claim to be persecuted in almost every circumstance when they are being lampooned for their loony claims and downright bigotry.
The truth is, we all know that gays are already persecuted and in some cases, murdered by unctuous, brash Christians who cannot even tolerate the mere sight of gays: Besides Alan Turing, there is also the tragic case of Matthew Shepherd, a young man who was left to die on a fence by Christian homophobs who thought of him as nothing more than a slab of meat.
But....but......what do we know? Christians were, are, and will always be the persecuted ones!
3. Juxtaposing Homosexuality with Incest, Pedophilia and Bestiality
Ah, the hilarity of juxtaposition.
Daniel employs a little bit of a flimflam here: Using my exact words, he attempts to justify his homophobic stance with my words so as to attempt to prove a point. How very chic, and how very stupid.
My exact words:
"Like the anti-slavery campaigners that has [sic] preceded gay campaigners, gay advocates are not looking at enforcing a gay lifestyle on the general community. All they are asking for is to be treated equally, not to be treated like some slum-ghetto jerk or a lower caste of human beings destined to be trampled upon when it comes to living a normal, citizen's life. Homosexuals ask for the right to be treated fairly, the right to civil practices such as marriages, and the end of bigotry and intolerance towards gays. How is that for shoving "gayness" down the throats of every other boy, girl or child???"
"Now if we substitute homosexuality and its cognate words with beastiality and its cognate words, this is what we will get.
'Like the anti-slavery campaigners that have preceded beastiality campaigners, beastiality advocates are not looking at enforcing a lifestyle of beastiality on the general community. All they are asking for is to be treated equally, not to be treated like some slum-ghetto jerk or a lower caste of human beings destined to be trampled upon when it comes to living a normal, citizen's life. Beastialists ask for the right to be treated fairly, the right to civil practices such as marriages, and the end of bigotry and intolerance towards beastialists. How is that for shoving "beastiality" down the throats of every other boy, girl or child???'
One could always do the same for incest and pedophilia. Why limit oneself to homosexuality? If one objects to one and not the other (homosexuality), upon what basis can you say so?"
This is a pretty cheap shot, considering that this is an argument about the legitimacy of gays in normal, secular life. Since he has deployed such a non-sequitor form of argument, I will try to explain the rationality behind the additional three sexual practices.Pedophilia
Pedophiles are, in essence, sexual criminals who prey on the gullibility of minors in order to derive physical and/or sexual pleasure from them. Like drinking bans for minors, sex between adults and minors are banned because minors are not considered full-fledged adults under most secular laws, with a view of protecting minors. Hence, pedophilia is and cannot be legal under secular law.
Pedophilia is a crime because it exploits the sexual vulnerability of children; this isn't hard to comprehend, unless, of course, you are a Christian who only reads the bible as a sole source for moral codes (Interestingly, the bible has nothing to say about crimes such as pedophilia........no wonder the Catholic priests can have all the fun in the world with altar boys.......)
Incest is considered pretty much a sexual taboo in a sense that sex between the inner sanctum of close relatives is generally prohibited and discouraged. There is some logic in this: In the animal kingdom as well as homo sapiens, inbreeding amongst close relatives or even siblings can lead to high occurrences of genetic diseases amongst off-spring caused by a lack of genetic variation. This is also the primary reason why zookeepers and naturalists try to separate siblings as much as possible to avoid inbreeding.
In the case of humans, incest is primarily more of a social taboo, and in a number of countries it is generally banned, although consensual adult sex between siblings and close relatives is not prohibited in some countries.
Bestiality generally refers to the act of humans having sex with animals: It is a rare sexual fetish, and short of being a PETA representative I see no criminal offense being committed, unless if you include animal abuse in the picture.
While my original statements were created with homosexuality in mind, Daniel chooses to juxtapose it with incest, pedophilia and bestiality, hoping to find a deviant link between them all. The truth is, only pedophilia and incest have criminal connotations, and homosexuality does not, and all four sexual acts cannot be mentioned in the same breath.
Nonetheless, I have no problems with substituting homosexuals with "bestiality" and "incest", although pedophilia is a no-no because it violates laws protecting minors.
By juxtaposing homosexuals with bestiality, incest and pedophilia, Daniel shows an amazingly poor grasp in sexual orientation (maybe because he is a virgin? I can only speculate....).
Ethically speaking, I have no problems if people who decide to indulge in a bit of bestiality and incest decide to fight against oppression; Of course there will be PETA folks who claim that animals should be protected from sexual violation by humans, but then again we eat them anyway, so I don't see a problem here. As for incest, as long as it does involve two consenting adults and no minors, I don't see a problem here either. Pedophilia is of course not condonable given the ethical and legal aspects of it.
And so, what exactly is the problem here? Not much, except that folks in all three sexual tendencies are not being condemned in homophobic proportions! How many times have you heard Christians condemn pedophilia? Close to none (Maybe its because of the priests.......) Or even bestiality? Hardly ever.
Conclusion? Daniel Chew's juxtaposition faux pas fails utterly and completely, while my comparison with gay rights movement and anti slavery movement dovetails nicely because both groups are being discriminated for their skin color and sexual creeds respectively.
4. No Such Thing as Homophobia!!!
Another fundamentally absurd claim from Daniel is that homophobia does not exist in the annals of his dictionary.
Interestingly, though, Homophobia is a legitimate word in the oxford's dictionary:
Some of his claims border on the ludicrous, as I will attempt to show you:i. Gays allowed to Marry (But not with gays of the same sex gender):
Now this statements beggars a question: Why would a gay man marry a woman, or for the matter, a lesbian marry a man, if they do not share a mutual sexual appreciation of the opposite sex?
Simply put: If you do not wish to eat potatoes, but the waiter serves you potatoes nonetheless, would the excuse "Look, I am still serving food to you nonetheless" suffice?
Telling the gay man that his rights to marriage is not infringed upon by saying that he is allowed to marry a woman is the worst kind of excuse, and that coming from Daniel, is not a surprise, considering his aversion towards gay marriage. Why won't Daniel try marrying a guy for a change? Of course, the idea will be repulsive to him, but no more so than telling a gay man to marry a woman!!!
Frankly, this argument is downright silly and moronic: I simply cannot even fathom how a man of Daniel's credentials can come up with anything as stupid as this.
ii. The Right to Bigotry?
Daniel rants on, demanding the right to be a bigoted fool:
"The fact of the matter is that homosexuals and their homosexualist allies want our approval for their sinful actions, and will not tolerate any dissent at all. That is why they invent such words as the misnomer of homophobia which is part of what I call WMEB (Weapons of Mass Emotional Blackmail). The double-standard of these homobigots are evident in that they demand that we must accept them, while they continually do not accept and attack us. If one wants to play the "phobia" game, why can't they be called "homophobe-phobes"? And those who oppose murderers are called "murderer-phobes", while those who support the killing of the unborn can be called "paedophobes" or 'embryo-phobes'?"
Ah, dissent. You know, there is a slight difference between bigots and dissenters: You can, within certain legal limits, oppose to something. For example, I hate to eat durians. I think they leave a nasty smell in your breath after you have consumed it, and it tastes like manure. I can, in essence, criticize durians, and people can laugh at me for my anti-durian stance, and so on and so forth.
But suppose I incite a campaign against people who eat durians, picket funerals of durian lovers, smash the shops of durian vendors, and clubbing durian eaters to death, and so on and so forth. That's hate crime, and my hatred for durians would have reached a brand new level of hate.
Like the durian analogy, Christians are not just "opposing" homosexuality: They want to execute a blanket hatred against gays and when they are being lampooned, they retreat into their "persecution" shells, claiming that they are being persecuted. And presto, the aggressor becomes a victim in a near instant!
And once more,Daniel uses the juxtaposition method to "explain away" homophobia: One does not call people who oppose murders "murderphobes" because such opposition is rational and entirely reasonable, given that murder involves annihilating a human life, a crime which is exacerbated by the fact that dead people cannot be reanimated back to life. On the other hand, homophobes do not have any real, rational reasons for their homophobia beyond a biblical scope. The real problem with Daniel is he cannot differentiate between real, criminal harm from imaginary infractions against an invisible deity.
5. A Moral Dimension?
Like most Christians, Daniel brings in a moral dimension to these kind of arguments, which is not wrong; what I find really disgusting is that behind the hidden facade of "morals", ancient, biblical laws are being invoked in 21st century modern Earth:
Daniel explains his moral objections here:
"That the comparison between homosexuality and slavery is a false analogy can therefore be seen through this reductio ad absurdum. Just because something is opposed and criminalized does not make it bigotry, in the same way as the criminalization of murder does not make one a "murderer-phobe"! The reason why slavery was wrong was because it was proven objectively to be morally wrong. Homosexualist advocates however generally refuse to touch on the morality argument at all."
Contrary to what Daniel claims, slavery wasn't proven to be "morally wrong": For centuries, slavery was a well-established moral and civil code, and while black slavery was not invented by Christians (Africans themselves were dealing with slave trade, as well as many other cultures, long before the Europeans came into the scene), most Christians saw nothing wrong with slavery.
The problem with "proving slavery is wrong" is that you can't seriously "prove" it; you can attempt to justify it in many ways. Thomas Jefferson, for example, owned slaves even when he sought to abolish the slave trade. Morality becomes a particularly thorny issue because it depends on whose lens are being used to view a moral issue.
Here is where secular humanism and ethics come into play: Slavery is wrong because it exploits the welfare of slaves for the purpose of labor. Slaves, unlike laborers, do not have the freedom to quit their jobs, and are awarded with little or no compensation for their sufferings. They do not have the rights as free men do, and are obliged to be whipped whenever a master feels fit to wield a leash. Such a system of abuse is wrong because it denies the man or woman who endures such suffers the basic human rights that ought to be accorded to every man, woman and children.
In short, human empathy comes first. But the Christians do not want that.
Using a system of valuation based on codified bible laws, Christians have only one mantra: The bible way or the highway. The bible says homosexuality is wrong, so it is wrong. Simple argument, sharp and precise, but ultimately useless because biblical laws are primarily written to satisfy whoever holds the key to power when the bible is written, and also the imaginary sky daddy for whom the bible specifically holds supreme, and all humans must prostrate and subjugate themselves to.
The question here then, is this: Is the bible even a good, exemplary example of rational, sane rules?
Here's some caveat for you:
"If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." (Leviticus 20:13 )
A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death. (Leviticus 20:27)
If a man commits adultery with another man's wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10)
A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death. (Leviticus 21:9 )
When folks tell you that the bible is more "humane" than Islam, they are, of course, lying in your face. Granted that most of the more "unsavory" portions of the bible lie in the Old Testament, and I have heard Christians explain away these laws as the "Old Covenant", but these Christians won't exactly tell me why God was so morose and vindictive back then, and why, if those OT laws ain't working, are they still lugging around the OT around and quoting them in churches all over the world.
Herein lies another dimension to the homophobic argument: Homosexuality should be banned as a criminal act.
Fortunately, the real ethical and legal issue really supports gay rights: An activity can only be classified as a crime if it directly inflicts harm on a victim. Hence, as long as two homosexuality does not inflict harm on external parties, as long as it is carried out between consensual adults, then, no, the state has no right to interfere with the rights of gays, and they should be accorded equal status when it comes to civil issues.
But no, Daniel again reiterates his stand:
"BFCD incidentally mentions how government has "no legal basis for enforcing a religiously-slanted ruling ". However, he has no problems with government passing laws to promote homosexuality, which IS a anti-religiously-slanted ruling. This shows that BFCD and all homosexualists are actually not against government legislature that enforce [anti-]religiously-slanted ruling, but against government legislature that is against homosexuality. The hypocrisy in this is astonishing, seeing how the homosexualists desire to pass so-called "hate crimes" laws which are anti-religiously-slanted rulings used to persecute Christians. As it has been said before, only one [deviant] group allows itself to have all the rights to do what it wants including indoctrinating children in their lifestyles, while the civil and religious rights of all others must acquiesce to them! If that is not discrimination and bigotry, what is?"
Here, Daniel's intentions are clear: If the law offends religion, the law has to give in to religion. Otherwise, the law will be deemed anti-religious. My way or the highway. Fair enough, but Singapore is not a theocratic Christian state.
Hate laws are designed to incriminate those who inflict harm on designated groups of people: Sure, it is largely viewed as redundant, unless of course there is real evidence that people are being pickled and beaten up because of their creed or race, and that is precisely what is happening to gays. People beat them up and sometimes murder them for no other reason other than the fact that they are gay.
Daniel claims that gays are quite inclined to impress upon children to be gay: He probably did not read my previous post, so I shall reiterate it again.
Gays in general are not keen in promoting a "gay" lifestyle. Just because there are gay pubs sprouting in parts of Singapore or in San Francisco doesn't equate to a deliberate campaign to promote homosexuality. And I feel the need to reiterate this again: It is next to impossible to influence a person to change his or her sexual orientation!!!! Encouraging gays to come out of the closet also doesn't equate to promoting homosexuality, but we won't expect Christians to understand any of this, will we?
When it comes to "promoting" campaigns, Christians sure have it all their way! Oh sure Christians love to promote their religion by the way: Why aren't people discriminating them for their outright proselytizing in schools and government institutions? Heck, I get to be evangelized even when I was removing stitches at Singapore General Hospital! Why isn't anyone complaining?
The answer is simple: There's no grandiose secret op to persecute Christians, and if Daniel Chew wishes to claim that Christians are being "persecuted" in Singapore, he might want to take a look at a pastor's paycheck at New Creation Church, tax-free, while the rest of us wallow in despair in bad economic times.
7. Final Conclusion from Daniel the Homophobic Christian
Finally, Daniel finalizes his argument: Same verbatim, and some advice for the good ole Beast:
"In conclusion, BFCD's argumentation has been shown to a house of straw without any substance whatsoever, and this has not even address his outrageous statement that there are no persecutions of Christians in all but Muslim countries! (Even by his own faulty reasoning, is North Korea a Muslim country then?). BFCD's argumentation is totally irrational without any basis in fact, which is after all what all secular humanist arguments all show up to be, just that some are more sophisticated than others. BFCD and all atheists are exhorted to repent of their hatred of God and their irrationality, and turn to God for forgiveness of their sins."
Ah yes, persecution mode again: Mr Daniel never fails to evoke the specter of communist rule: Communist governments seem to be able to pick only on Christians, churches and more Christians.
While I would not deny that Christians did have a hard time during communist rule due to their close associations with the bourgeois class, clearly the Christians weren't being singled out: During the Cultural Revolution when the Chinese Communist Party sought to cement its grip on China, many intellectuals were also imprisoned with the religious lot. Today, large numbers of Chinese Christians are legalized to carry out their activities under Communist-approved churches. Sure that's censorship, and no it is not an ideal state of affairs, but this is hardly persecution in the strictest sense. As for North Korea, more than half the population are staving off starvation; clearly they have more problems than simply "persecuting" Christians.
That leaves us with the equally homophobic Muslims, who specifically target Christians and other minority religions for perceived infractions such as apostasy and blasphemy.
And finally, me and my liberal kind are "exhorted" to behave like homophobic morons. How chic.
As far as I am concerned, I am not about to "persecute" anyone; gay, Christian or otherwise. I simply am infuriated when morons of Daniel's breed attempt to mask their hatred and bigotry as a perfectly legitimate past time.
Homophobia Has No Place In Modern Society
Daniel's arguments, while well-written, doesn't really have any emphasis on the human dimension: He stresses on direct obedience to an archaic book written by folks who can't even tell the difference between a crime, such as pedophilia and a non-crime, such as blasphemy.
We can't allow these lunatics of the religious right to dictate secular law and start bashing us with their silly prejudices and archaic nonsense, unless of course we want to turn secular nations into wholly crazy, theocratic states more enamored with virgins and ten foot dicks in heaven than human welfare and rights.
-"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration--courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth."