After his insistence that he was right in sacking a pregnant staff and angering feminists and others but quietly winning the support of some employers who had to deal with difficult pregnant employees, Pastor Lawrence Khong is taking on the gay community.
The FCBC pastor, believing that God is on his side, said that the Aware saga years ago was a wake up call for MOE which pushed back the gay agenda which intended to teach kids that being gay is fine. Pastor Khong is trying to rally Christians, Muslims and the majority in his eyes who are against gay lifestyle encroachment, and he sees the signs of gay activism becoming more active. The protest at Russian embassy by Vincent Wijeysingha, Jolovan Wham, Zan Thang and Leow Yangfa is the first of many by the gay lobby.
At least he realised that the gay issue is divisive like in other countries. In historically Catholic majority France, anti-same sex marriage activists were portrayed as right-wing extremists. French Christians, right wing and the conservative public were on the same page challenging left wing gay activism. The situation is less clear cut here although the lines are being drawn slowly. PAP and WP are status quo on 377A and SDP is more anti-377A. However as Vincent Wijeysingha dumped SDP recently to pursue gay and other lobbies closely as SDP did not give him that space he wanted, maybe SDP is more nuanced about winning the gay vote now.
Let’s see whether Free Community Church, an openly LGBT Singapore church, is going to give Pastor Khong a hard time, or vice versa.
Lawrence Khong: ‘There are no ex-Chinese, but there are ex-homosexuals’
In part 2 of this Supper Club interview, pastor Lawrence Khong of Faith Community Baptist Church talks about why he opposes calls to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code, which bans homosexual sex, and how he became a pastor.
Posted on Sep 7, 2013 8:00 AM Updated: Sep 7, 2013 8:57 AM
By Elgin Toh
Q: I want to move on to Section 377A of the Penal Code. You are a very vocal opponent of calls to repeal the law, which bans homosexual sex. Why is this such an important issue for you?
First of all, I want to very clearly state that I don’t believe in discriminating against anybody in terms of the basic human rights. In fact, I just spent a whole day rehearsing with the dancers for my magic show, and more than half of them are living the homosexual lifestyle. It’s not a problem. They are good dancers, we use them. But I disagree with the lifestyle.
And there is a difference between loving people, including homosexuals, and allowing the homosexual lifestyle to become normalised in society. The reason I stand firm on asking that this law not be repealed is that Section 377A is a standard that is written down. The history of many countries tells us that if you remove it, the homosexual community is not going to stop there. They first ask for tolerance. Tolerance means: Don’t bully me, don’t make me a criminal. The minute you take that away, they will ask for acceptance, in the form of gay marriage. And then, before long, they will go for celebration of the lifestyle. I’m talking about the gay pride days all around the world. Then the next thing you know, they will persecute those who disagree with them, by labeling those disagreements as hate speech. We have seen that path. Singapore does not need to go that way. I do not believe this is good for any society. And I will stand firm because I love my nation very much.
This homosexual agenda is being pushed with great aggression. For example, inasmuch as they ask for tolerance, they are some of the most intolerant people that I have ever met. Anytime you disagree with them, you are said to be homophobic, you are said to have made hate speech. We do not say that they are heterophobic or Christophobic. We don’t engage in name-calling. But they do, all the time. Why can’t we argue on the merits of a case instead of slapping on labels?
Q: But you started out saying that you believe in basic human rights for homosexuals.
That human right is the right to employment, the right to education, the right to live as a normal citizens. But not the right to change the laws of society to normalise that agenda.
Q: But the law now says that a gay man may not have sex with another gay man in his bedroom. You don’t think that private consensual sex between two adults is a basic human right?
Behind that is a presupposition that says, anything that I do privately is none of anybody’s business. So what about consenting incestuous relationships? It’s against the law. What about taking drugs? It can be argued that it’s none of your business, since I take it in my home. I know people have different opinions. But in my view, there are certain things that are basically harmful to society. The homosexual lifestyle is not a normal lifestyle.
Q: But there are many other things that you would also believe are harmful to society that are currently not criminalised.
I believe prostitution is harmful to society.
Q: And you believe that adultery is harmful to society.
I believe it is. If I had been in a position to oppose the legalisation of prostitution or adultery when it was being done, I would have fought it with all my might. Adultery fractures the family.
Q: And you also believe that worshipping a God other than the Christian God is harmful to society?
No, no. Let’s draw the line between theology and code of conduct or ethics. I don’t think we should ever make a law that says: You’re not a Christian, you have committed a crime. That’s theology. And I do not go for that because I believe in a secular state.
Q: Do you agree that 377A should not be enforced?
I can live with that. But I feel like it should be there as a line, as a standard, as a benchmark that is drawn. The most basic thing is: This is not normal. The natural marriage between a man and a woman is normal.
Q: But a lot of homosexuals would tell you it is normal because they were born this way.
There is no proof at all. Zero proof, according to the researchers who have gone into this.
Q: I think they are divided about this, but I don’t think there is zero proof.
Well, I challenge the nation to do a study and lay out all the evidence. And I’m confident that the research as a whole will show you that that isn’t true. Every ex-homosexual is proof that people are not born this way. There are no ex-blacks, no ex-Chinese, but there are ex-homosexuals.
Q: There are such people in your church?
There are. I can have them come and tell you their stories.
Q: But there are a lot of homosexuals who have tried to get into heterosexual relationships and have been miserable.
There are many people who have tried not to lose their temper but they lose their tempers and they kill people. There are many people who have tried to get out of an immoral lifestyle because it gives them just no pleasure. We counsel them and they fail. So just because you fail to do it doesn’t mean you’re born this way.
Q: Do you think debates over gay rights are going to become very divisive in Singapore, like in America, where it’s part of what they call the Culture Wars?
I think so, but the answer lies with the government. Our government has kept a conservative stand so far. If they protect the conservatives, which surveys have shown are in the majority, then we will be fine. But if the conservatives find that the country is going in the wrong direction, then we will have to push back.
Q: There are some non-Christians who are concerned that Christians like yourself tend to bring religious values into the public sphere and impose them on non-religious people. What would you say to them?
I want to say that every Christian, every Hindu, every Buddhist, every atheist, every agnostic, is a theologian. We’re all religious. An atheist is very religious. He has a belief system. He believes there is no God. So every one of us brings into the public square his presuppositions. And Prime Minister (Lee Hsien Loong) has said (in his 2009 National Day rally) that it is natural for people to have views that are informed by religious beliefs. We are all integrated beings, after all.
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