(Unpublished - July 22, 2009)
I take issue with George Lim's letter "Let's reinforce unity of purpose in fighting terrorism" (July 22).
Specifically, the word "heathen" was used by him to describe how religious people have been wrongly criticised for being self-righteous.
The usage of "heathen" already speaks of self-righteousness, as Lim distinguishes the non-religious from the religious, with implications that the former are misguided.
Historically, "heathen" was used as a label to identify those who do not worship the god in the Judaeo-Christian monotheistic religion. It can be wrongfully used to describe a Hindu or a Buddhist for example, so does this not speak of self-righteousness?
It is a step back for modern society if there are people who continue to deride or condescend those of other faiths or those who do not subscribe to any specific religious ideology.
Labelling people "heathen" is indicative of the desire to not only create a unity, but also carve out a homogeneous society. This is obviously threatening to the diversity we enjoy in Singapore as each of us have our own values.
The upholding of diversity here is based on appreciating and respecting different cultures and identities.
Lim blatantly mocks all outside the Christian faith, and surely his letter all the more inspires us to appreciate diversity and tackle moral absolutism and its dangers.
Ho Chi Sam
Quite a short letter, but unpublished. I can't help but admire George Lim Heng Chye. If only my opinions are as well sought after as his, given the frequency at which the Straits Times publishes him. Most of us will sit on our butts and grumble, but the self-righteous fundamentalist puritan of a man who writes the most homoerotic material ever published in the ST Forum, actually spends time and effort writing regularly to the press to air his views and put his name to them. Salute.
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