Sunday, 30 September 2018

Ford v. Kavanaugh - Who's telling the truth?

How do you deal with a 100% sure thing when it happened more than 30 years ago? Mind you, the 100% surety is on both sides of the divide.

As far as Dr Christine Blasey Ford (from Stanford) is concerned, she is sure about the following narrative. 

It happened one summer of 1982, after a day of diving at a country club. 

On a spur of the moment, she attended a gathering at a nearby house. She is sure Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge were drinking, intoxicated at that time. 

She is sure Kavanaugh pushed her into a bedroom and both of them locked the door behind them. 

She is also sure that one of them turned on the music to drown out the sound in the bedroom and Kavanaugh got on top of her and started “grinding into (her).”

After that, she is sure that Kavanaugh covered her mouth when she started to yell and he struggled to take off her clothes as she was wearing a swimsuit underneath. 

Then, Mark Judge hopped into the bed and “they all tumbled off the bed.”

It was at this time that she escaped by locking herself in the bathroom.

She recalled this: “I waited until I heard Brett and Mark leave the bedroom laughing and loudly walk down the narrow stairway. I waited and when I did not hear them come back up the stairs, I left the bathroom, went down the same stairwell through the living room and left the house.”

Dr Ford concluded by saying: “I remember being on the street and feeling an enormous sense of relief that I escaped that house and that Brett and Mark were not coming outside after me.”

All of that, she said she was 100% sure. 

Now, it’s Kavanaugh‘s turn. What then is he so sure about?

Well, as a Supreme Court nominee pending senate’s approval, he is sure that he was not at the party as described by Dr Ford. He even had a calendar (of that summer of 82!) just to prove he wasn’t there. 

In fact, he is so sure about it that he “angrily, tearfully and unequivocally denied sexually assaulting Dr Christine Blasey Ford when they were teenagers.” 

He even threw his chastity into the ring saying, “he had no sexual intercourse until well after high school.”

He then added: “This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fuelled with apparent pent-up anger about President (Donald) Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside, left-wing opposition groups. This is a circus. You may defeat me in the final vote, but you’ll never get me to quit. Never.”

Wow, that’s a lot of conspiratorial yarn to spin or political axe to grind targeted at a Supreme Court nominee and it paints a picture of how insidious and even juvenile a place of high politics can be.  

Indeed, Trump is a lightning rod for, well, lightning to strike not once or twice, but almost anytime when there is some political ”baby showers” nearby. 

So, where do the senate stand now? Both sides are 100% sure. Did it happen or not? 

I know you can’t prove a negative, but what if it is a positive that is beyond proof? 

Or, what if truth is not the holy grail here, but something more is at stake because everyone drinks from the same poison chalice in a political showdown to the detriment of the electorate writ large?

Alas, unless it is captured on video, and the identity of parties verified to a high standard of proof on an event that happened more than 30 years ago, none of us will ever be the wiser. 

I also know there is no smoke without fire, but what if this is a case of mistaken smoke from a fire elsewhere (not coming from Kavanaugh’s pit)?

Mind you, the fate of a man’s career and reputation (and possibly his life) is now hanging in the balance on the testimony of his accuser, who is hard pressed to prove what she alleges because it was some event in the distant past she’d chosen (with great reluctance and agony) to let dead dogs lie just as long as her attacker’s prominence in society doesn’t reach a level where she feels strongly (out of duty) that she has to kick the dogs back to life again. 

You see, Dr Ford had 30 years or more to make the complaint, make it public, pursue her attacker, but she kept it to herself, hoping that each day would become easier to move forward, and the pain would be further buried. 

But alas, to her, it seems almost bearable in the long shadow of silence and quietude until Kavanaugh‘s career culminated to the top judicial post of the land. 

This is when her levee of tolerance broke. This is when she came out of the buried heap of pain concerning a memory of that horrid day that never left her. This is when she felt viscerally that her attacker cannot and ought not to get away with what he did.  

And this is also the part where Dr Ford‘s accusation had bedeviled or split the senate panel in their bid to approve Judge Brett Kavanaugh as the next Supreme Court Justice to replace the outgoing Justice Anthony Kennedy. 

This position for the top judicial post is no small matter because in the event of a split at the highest judicial level on issues concerning abortion or euthanasia for example, someone like Kavanaugh (with his conservative leanings) might just tilt the scale to the delight of the republicans, the evangelicals and the other traditional sections of the country.

Such importance attached to the role as the deciding voter in a split bench seems to be the tipping point for Dr Ford to come forward after more than 30 years of hidden woundedness. 

But then, what if it is true - because Dr Ford’s recent testimony before the judiciary committee was reported to be authentic, believable and highly persuasive? She came off as sincere and devoid of any discernible motive - in fact, there was no reason for her to come forward (at all) at such a heavy social and emotional toll on herself and family. 

So, based on her testimony, what if Kavanaugh had a past he would rather not remember so that the same would not threaten a future he would rather not let go? 

And what if in his mindless youth he did things he regretted but not to the extent as Dr Ford had described it? Don’t we all have skeletons in our high school or teenage’s closets? 

But of course, if blow by blow, what Dr Ford accuses is true or close to the truth, then this is no teenage angst, truancy or prank. It is criminal, period. 

The truth is, we will never know. And when asked why he seems resistant to invite an FBI investigation, Kavanaugh said, “You know that’s a phoney question because the FBI doesn’t reach conclusions.” That only thickens the plot further for the republican side. 

So, in the words of the series ”X-Files”, the truth is out there, and it is still out there, whether Kavanaugh is eventually selected or not to represent truth, justice and freedom at the highest court of the land.  

But let me leave you with one thought from Kavanaugh, which has nothing to do with his judicial appointment but has everything to do with the divided nation and divided leadership that is the United States of America and the world. 

Kavanaugh said he intends “no ill will to Dr Ford and her family.” It reports that “he choked back tears while saying that his 10-year-old daughter, in saying her evening prayers recently, told his wife Ashley that “we should pray for the woman.””

Now, while I can’t say much about Kavanaugh’s purported magnanimity since he is personally embroiled in the whole senate drama which Senator Lindsey calls it an “ethical sham”, but on his daughter’s prayer, her heart is definitely in the right place.

It is a heart that the world ought to pay attention to. Her message ought to give the world reason to pause, stand back and think real hard amidst their busy running around to outbid, outdo and outrace one another. 

At such time, what is lacking is the courage to do the right thing, to stand up to be counted. We need this more than ever in a post-truth world where power, wealth and fame are often conveniently associated with truth, integrity and humility. 

Everywhere we go we see how they are being played out. When two powerful, rich and famous men come together for purported peace and denuclearisation in a summit in Singapore recently, and all of a sudden, one deserves the Nobel Peace Prize and the other whose sordid past consists of murder and oppression is exalted as the emblem of peace.

In a world where priests are supposed to be the shepherds of hearts, they turned into sexual predators of innocent children. In a world where democracy and equality are supposed to assure us of a better future, what we get is concentrated wealth in a handful with scraps for the rest. And in a world where many look to religion for refuge from the world, what we get is a glittering haven that differs little from the world. 

I can imagine the current state of things through the eyes of a little girl like Kavanaugh’s 10-year-old daughter. It must have been a very confusing and conflicted one. It must have been a world where we are no doubt young once, but we can be immature our whole life. 

So pray we must, not just for the world out there, for the people we have hurt, but also for ourselves, for the change in ourselves that we are so eager to see in others. Because anything short of that is nothing more than a kind of insidious hypocrisy that doesn’t escape the eye of our children. Cheerz.

Hadi's arrest and reform.

Let's start off with this lesson first: Never write off a life. 

Most are shocked by Hady's arrest. He had so much going for him. 

The 38-yr-old is currently being held in a drug rehabilitation centre. 

It reports that "he was hauled up at a land crossing in Singapore...(and) CNB officers are stationed at the land crossing and conduct specific checks when a suspected drug offence is involved."

This was a shock to many because Hady was not only our Singapore Idol, he was also Asian Idol. 

His singing career undoubtedly launched off after that with great fanfare. He went on to release two albums and won several awards at regional Malay music awards. 

Hady even became a youth mentor at a young age, forming FRHM Youth, "which organised religious classes and sports activities."

He had so much going for him at that time. 

He started an F&B business selling snacks and beverages in 2016 and was famous in social media. He even collaborated with Singapore first Idol, Taufik Batisah, to produce a joint album.

This is what Taufik Batisah said: "No matter what I pray for the best for him and his family and I do hope everyone will too."

Taufik's hope and prayer sum up what I mean by never write off a life. 

If the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice (MLK), then the arc of a man's life is long too, unfailingly lifelong, and it bends towards redemption. 

A man's life is three scores and ten (70) or more (if you are a woman, actuarially speaking), and such a trajectory comes with the expected rise and the fall, the smooth sailings and the hard knocks. 

While the world conveniently looks to a rise as success and a fall as failure, a redemptive mindset however sees both rise and fall in a life as a journey, with neither classified as success nor failure. 

The journey doesn't end with a fall, and it sure doesn't plateau after a rise (unless the heart stops beating). It goes on with whatever that a life has experienced and it moves forward from there with the growth and maturity the life has gained. 

We tend to forget that the most enduring rise comes after a serious fall, and there is always the risk that an easy rise is the prelude to an imminent fall. 

As such, how we rise matters much more than how we fall, because a careless or wanton rise may be the makings of heart-shattering fall. 

For this reason, we only undermine or sabotage our own growth and maturity when we treat success or failure as an end and terminate the journey prematurely and even unknowingly.

Ultimately we make our rise and fall meaningful because they are not polar ends of a stick. They are in fact the handle we hold on to in our journey of learning, growing, transforming and overcoming. 

There is therefore no greater collaboration than the collaboration of our many rises and falls to nudge us to growth. 

Alas, the issue with us is that we don't see it that way and are thus forever tormented by the convenient categories of success and failure that the world pigeonholes us into. 

Take poverty for example. It is said that poverty is an invention of civilisation. The rich are rich because they own so much, carry so much power and are adored by many. 

And the poor are poor because they own so little, struggling to make ends meet and shunned by many. 

But that's the script of this world, that is, the perception of the civilisation we have created. 

In truth, I believe there is no greater poverty than the poverty of character, of hope, of joy, of imagination and of love. As such, a rich man may have everything he desires around him but has nothing of substance within.

So, what is to be feared in this life's journey is not so much the poverty of possession, but the poverty that is a life that goes on living to enrich only himself, leaving a trail of broken lives behind. 

Likewise with a rise and a fall. The success and failure associated with it is also an invention of civilisation. The world tend to see a fall as a failure, but what if a fall is part of the journey of a determined rise, and a rise is however a future fall in disguise. 

When we see them as polar opposites, we tend to discriminate one against the other with extreme prejudice, and miss out on the full context of how they can collaborate together with flourishing results. 

In the end, I have learned to never write off a life. Even more than that, I have learned to always give space to a life to write his or her own story. That is, to start on a fresh page, to complete that page, to move on to the next chapter with the expected rises and falls, and to end with dignity, hope and character. If anything, that comes closest to being a successful life in my book. 

And most importantly, I have learned to always be the supplier of ink whenever I am called to provide so that I can be a small part of this unfolding and inspiring journey (or personal narrative) that takes a lifetime to fully bloom. 

So, I end with joining the heart of Taufik to pray and hope for the best in Hady's life, because his story is yet to be written in full. Cheerz.

A learning journey into religion with my son.

My son came home last week and told me a strange occurrence. 

He said he was invited to a shrine - a HDB flat - and a man in his early fifties started to talk to him about the way of Tao. 

My son was with two of his classmates and he said the session lasted for about two hours. 

That night, he came home more keen than ever to know more about this Tao. He was seriously intrigued.

He asked many questions about Christianity and was told by the man that all religions are the same. That is, they say the same thing, teach the same virtues, establish the right morals, and inspire us to be and do good. 

At that time, I listened by nodding and asking sincere questions. 

Within me, I was a little jaded from work but I told my son that what was important to him is important to me (although the more he told me about the teaching of Tao - in particular - the part about Jesus and his teachings are the same with that of Buddha, with Confucius', with Mencius' and so on, the more I find it disturbing). 

Then, at this time, my son asked me to attend the next session to hear for myself. He seemed eager for me to attend. He wanted to know how I would feel about it. 

With great reluctance (although I did not show it outright), I said ok. Before I know it, the meeting was held last night. 

We met and after the initial pleasantries, the man started with this line: "Jesus is the only way". 

I smiled and said, "Only?" or "one of the ways".

He said something like well you believe it that way, so he is the only way. 

I then asked, "if he is the only way, I should then be the one telling you about him rather than you telling me about Tao, right?"

There was a short pause and he said, "But let me share with you the similarities between all religions. They are all the same, they teach the same things..."

I nodded and for about one hour or more, he shared and drew diagrams to tell me where the teachings of all religion including Islam, Judaism and Buddhism overlapped. 

He drew a Cross, he placed virtues like faith, righteousness, propriety and wisdom around the Cross, and below each virtues, he wrote water, fire and earth and said these elements from other religion corresponded with our Christian understanding of faith, righteousness and so on. 

He then shared with me about Jesus declaring that he is the way, the truth and the life, and related the Way with teachings of Tao's virtues, with Buddhism's and Hinduism's dharma. 

As for the truth, he corresponded it with the balance of yin and yang and reminded me that all other religions preached about truth. 

He said that the God we worship sent different messengers to different part of the world with different cultures to spread the truth. 

In Middle East, he sent Muhammad. In Jerusalem, he sent Jesus. In India, he sent Buddha. In China, he sent Confucius. 

And Singapore, LKY? (The last part is all mine - just jesting).

There were much more things that he shared and some of them were plain spooky to say the least. 

He said there are thousands of Tao masters everywhere in the world. They are real human beings loitering the globe to hold secret meetings and only students of Tao are invited. 

And my son (and I) have to be trained for a few months with him before we can be invited. Before that, he said he can't reveal much. 

But what he can say is that the meetings are held in nondescript locations (even in his house which he called it a "shrine"). 

In the meeting, the master will appear before a crowd of 20 to 30 devotees and he will conduct some ceremony, which he was not comfortable to share with me. 

After the ceremony, the master will carry out some baptism-like altar blessings where devotees are supposed to kneel before idols and three sources of light lit by candle fire. 

He told my son as a Christian that he need not worry about bowing down because for him, since he is a Christian, he can remove the idols and just kneel down before the three sources of light as it represents the trinitarian gods or some principles/virtues they represent (my recalling here is a little vague). 

To add to the suspense, he said the master will impart three things to the believer. 

For the life of me, I could only remember two of them; that is, some mystic cavity and a secret chanting code. 

He said the mystic cavity is wisdom to guide the individual and the code is a life-saver. Just chant it to avert misfortune. 

I asked him what misfortune. Is it like a car travelling at break-neck speed towards me or some financial disaster that is imminent? 

No, he said. And of all examples, he actually told me earthquakes. He said when it strikes, chant and the believer will be saved. 

But earthquake in Singapore is as rare as a Trump-like character being elected in our GE, right? I muttered beneath my breath. 

Now, I know I have said enough about his teachings, and this was where he turned to me and asked whether I have any questions. 

To be fair to him, he was willing to listen and was humble in many ways. We did not argue and at some points, we exchanged knowledge and he said he was willing to learn too.

With the mic in my hand (as he had been speaking for one hour with no interruption from me), I ask him how different is Jesus. 

He said he died on the Cross. That's the main difference. He even said Jesus was great for that act. No one ever did that. Not Buddha or Confucius. 

But he caveated that, and gave me two illustrations. 

He said look at Orchard Road. You can get there by bus, train, taxi or private car. From the east way, west way or south way. 

Then, he pointed at me and said his finger is Tao pointing to the sun. My finger is Jesus pointing to the sun. My son's finger is Jesus too and pointing to the sun. 

Different routes, different ways, and different fingers, so different religions but one truth.

I smiled and asked: "Can Jesus be Orchard Road or the Sun? One Truth?"

He said that if that is so, then it would be unfair to other religions. They all also seek the truth. 

Yes, I said, but there is a big difference between seeking the truth, however earnest, and being the Truth, embodying the Truth, walking with us as a historical person, leading us, guiding and dying for us." 

At this moment, my intention was not to evangelise but to state facts, at least facts recorded in Jesus' own words and chronicled thru the centuries by different scholars and experienced by billions in their own unique ways. 

For if the truth sets us free, maybe the facts, the historical facts, may just set us thinking. This was what I truly wished for my son that night. 
Now, it was his turn to smile and he said okay. 

So, I asked him whether any religion talks about a historical person, establishing a 3-year ministry here, impacting lives up till today, sacrificing on the Cross, claimed to have resurrected after three days, and announced that he had overcome, so can we?" 

He then admitted that there are similarities to that in other religion but what I had described is certainly unique to Christianity. 

"So, this uniqueness is why Jesus so boldly said that he is the way, the truth and the life, right?" I asked. (This was also where I turned to my son, and said to him, "He is unique. He is different"). 

At this time, he went on to talk about other things, still emphasising on the similarities, but everytime I brought him back to the Cross, a man hanging there, the promises he had made, the life he had led and the death he had overcome, he could not say that other religions or teachings share the same saviour in the likes, purpose and life of Jesus. 

At this moment, my son was nodding and I detected that he was quite content to leave the conversation or discussion at that. 

After we left the meeting that night, my son turned to me and said: "Thanks dad, I needed that. I needed to know that ours is different."

I asked him whether he will be going back to hear some more from the man. 

He said quite firmly: "No dad, I don't need to."

Well, that night, many things were said, many things that were from the teachings of great philosophers, religious teachers and sages of all time.

I respected them all and am keen to learn from them in the way they had taught and lived their lives.

But, I have to admit that the greatest satisfaction I had from last night was not so much what was shared and discussed. 

It was on the contrary how we were able as adults to present the facts to my son in our friendly discussion and how he was able to apply critical thinking to them and come to a decision he can now defend with even greater assurance, faith and hope. 

And the icing on the cake is that our bond is deepened even more because we had learned together as father and son that there is only one way to stand upright, that is, at right angle, just as there is only one Orchard Road and one sun that we travel or point to in faith, hope and love. Cheerz.

Ps: Son, daddy loves you enough to respect your choices; but loves you even more to never leave you alone with them.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Is homosexuality a sin or a crime?

Is homosexuality a sin or a crime?

If it is a sin and not a crime, should we decriminalise it? Is it that simple? Can we expect an agenda on both sides of the divide? Is our Christian faith defined by, hinged upon and centered at the staying power of Section 377A?

And if it is both a sin as well as a crime, shouldn’t we arrest, charge and put the offender on trial in the same way we arrest, charge and put a thief on trial? 

This is the big question for us to ponder after the Supreme Court of India decriminalised gay sex by abolishing Section 377. Chief Justice Dipak Mishra said the archaic law from the remnants of the colonial days is “irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary.” 

Is it? Is it really irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary? 

Well, if you enact it, put it in the Penal Code, and then assure its potential offenders that they can freely commit in the privacy of their own bedroom the very act that the Section seeks to prohibit, can that be considered “irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary”?Is it an overreach?

Alas, there is no easy solution here. It is said that every complex problem has a solution that is simple, neat and wrong. I guess this happens to be one of them. It is what one may call the "crucible of unsolvedness".

Our society is clearly divided on this. The recent decision in India’s highest Court only deepens the wedge further. 

According to our law minister Mr Shanmugam, “the majority are opposed to any change to Section 377A, they are opposed to removing it.”

But veteran ambassador Tommy Koh is not letting dead dogs lie. Whether there is a majority opposing its repeal or not, he seems to have an injection of renewed faith in our judicial system to do the right thing after our Indian counterparts have done theirs.

He wrote: “I would encourage our gay community to bring a class action to challenge the constitutionality of Section 377A”. 

Though unintentional, he had even started the hashtag #tryagain movement very much like the #metoo movement but with a much tighter cultural Gordian knot to untie.

Even the chief of government communications, Janadas Devan stood on the ambassador’s side. He wrote: “Speaking personally, I support Tommy’s position. 377A is a bad law. Sooner or later, it will go. Pray sooner rather than later.”

Mm...I really don’t know who is going to pray to repeal 377A soon, but the last time I checked, the religious communities are united in prayer against it. 

Pastor Lawrence Khong is leading the charge here. 

Chairman of LoveSingapore, a network of more than 100 Churches, he said: “I am somewhat concerned, perhaps even disappointed that a public and some would consider a government figure is making a statement like that. It does not come across as being helpful to building cohesion in society.”

Here, I wonder are there other ways to build cohesion in society?

As for our Courts, we already have a precedent on it and it went in the opposite direction of India’s Supreme Court. 

In 2014, the constitutional challenge against Section 377A was dismissed because, based on the way our Courts see or interpret it, there was no infringement of our constitution. 

In their opinion, Section 377A was neither discriminatory nor a violation of a gay’s right to life and liberty. You can say that contrary to the opinion of the CJ of India, our Courts do not find Section 377A “irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary.”

But, as I have written above, the only issue about a readily defensible and seemingly rational section 377A is that it is not openly prosecuted in public or private. This is one criminality that will not see its offenders put behind bars anytime soon. 

Shanmugam said: “People openly express themselves as gay. I mean you have got gay parade. Police even approved the licensing for it, no one gets prosecuted for declaring themselves as gay. So, really, when was the last time someone was prosecuted?”

Apparently, our little red dot is highly tolerant of the little pink dot in our own backyard. 

For PM Lee, he is taking the wait-and-see approach. In politics, he’s sure not going to adopt a moralist stand because the government has always plied the middle road when it comes to such culturally sensitive, even inflammatory, issues.

He said: “Singapore is a society which is not that liberal on these matters. Attitudes have changed, but I believe if you have a referendum on the issue today, 377A would stand. My personal view is that if I do not have a problem, this is an uneasy compromise, I am prepared to live with it until social attitudes change.”

Lesson? actually goes back to the question I posed at the start of this post: -

Is homosexuality a sin or a crime? 

I trust that atheists in general are the least concerned about the issue. To them, it is mostly a case of live and let live. 

But I am afraid Christians in general (and the adherents of other faiths) are not going to take it lying down. To them, something bigger is at stake. It concerns the fate of humanity as a whole. It concerns what is sacred, what defines us, what cannot be compromised.

Mind you, we are supposed to be the custodians of society’s conscience, the moral gatekeepers, the watchtowers of what is right (the Catholic sexual scandals notwithstanding), and letting this one go free may just be inviting the 377A Trojan horse of licentiousness into our guarded city.

Recall that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but principalities and powers in high places. 

For this reason, for this sacred reason, we are call to take a stand to defend our land, every spiritual square inch of it. 

Yet, notwithstanding the above, Is homosexuality a sin or a crime?

If it is both, then Section 377A should stay and be duly enforced. But if it a sin and not a crime, shouldn’t it be decriminalised?

There is however a third alternative, which is quite unthinkable (if not abominable) for the believer. And that is, it is neither a sin nor a crime, because some are born that way. It is thus a gene thing. 

If so, it is morally wrong for Section 377A to be in the penal code in the first place. 

But I would leave the third alternative out because the science on it is still out there, notwithstanding the clear biblical stand against it. 

Yet, if we go back to the argument that homosexuality is a crime, why is our government not prosecuting the offender? 

Well, like a rock and a hard place, it is for PM Lee between a referendum and an uneasy compromise. 

According to him, a referendum taken now would mean that 377A would stand. That’s the voice of the presumed majority. And as long as the society does not have a problem with it, it is still a livable, though uneasy, compromise.  

So, this unveils our fourth unique alternative. 

Homosexuality is a sin but not a crime in a way that its offenders will be prosecuted. Yet, this does not mean we decriminalised Section 377A because, as PM Lee puts it, “Singapore is a society which is not that liberal on these matters.” 

Is it then a security blanket some of us hold tightly on to just to remind its violators that not only God is watching them, our government is also watching them but without the handcuffs?  

Alas, that essentially explains why Section 377A remains in the books, not to curb certain behaviour once deemed unlawful, but to appease a large section of society that is not that liberal on these matters.

Now, are the Christians satisfied with this current state of affair? Would Lawrence Khong consider this a cultural victory? Have we drawn the line deep enough to keep the LGBT on their side of it? Will 377A be considered the hallmark or emblem of our collective moral and religious stand?

But, in case we think the government is on our side, we must be mindful of the fact that once attitude changes, our pragmatic government would do whatever it takes to keep the majority appeased. This may mean doing away with Section 377A altogether when the society as a whole becomes liberal enough - whatever that means.

Maybe pinkdot has to occupy every seat in National Stadium before the government takes notice and goes back to the legislature’s drawing board. 

But before that happens,it is indeed an uneasy compromise and Tommy Koh’s plea to try again will need to seek another avenue instead of trying to change the Court’s mind. 

No changes in one or two foreign jurisdictions would be sufficient to make 377A unconstitutional since our Courts have already ruled on that. 

At this moment, only Parliament can make the change and the impetus for such a change would depend on the voices of the majority because in politics, every vote that tilts the electoral balance in one’s favour counts. 

In the end, 377A has effectively divided our society. It has turned our society into a tug of war with the strongest pull of resistance coming from the side with the hypothetically largest number of people. Morality in this sense has gone to the loudest voice, most times, angry ones. But sadly, the fight is not over yet. 

Pinkdot has been growing in numbers over the years and it is a matter of time before they grow in assertion, affirmation and acceptance. Once they hit critical mass, the society will only be further polarised and the we-versus-uswill only worsen. By then, we risk turning our belief into a crusade, our faith into tribalism, and our hope into a political mission.

When that happens, we Christians may profess with the sincerest of voices and acts that we love the sinner and hate the sin. However, the only thing the sinner in our eyes will see is more of the hate and less of the love.

Let me be clear: I have nothing against 377A. But I have everything against making it the center or focus of our identity in Christ. There has to be a better way to love God and our neighbours because the last time I checked, before we ourselves were saved, Jesus did not go before the Romans senate, the Sanhedrin Council or Pontius Pilate to use the law to change human behaviour and launch a countercultural revolution. 

Instead, He went with untold anguish to the Cross to connect and transform hearts. Jesus touched one life at a time not by an act of Parliament, but by an act of sacrifice – that is, himself in order to draw all men unto him. That is what love does. It does not hold on stubbornly to a thing or a scroll of the past. It holds on stubbornly and patiently to a life until that life finally let go of himself to join hands and hearts with the Savior of his soul.

For in the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, the Word dwelt among us, sinners and all, none were excluded, for all have sinned and fallen short, and the Word was full of grace and truth. The Word fulfilled the law through his obedience and unfailing love, and with grace and truth, He sets us free. Grace for grace, we are indeed free. Amen. Cheerz.