Friday, July 24, 2009

Excuse me, are you a heathen?

(Unpublished - July 22, 2009)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Quite a short letter, but unpublished.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.

I have nothing else to say but VOTE FOR ME!!! (go here)

Cast your votes for me in the "Most Insightful Blog" category (one vote per day). I have been joking that if I did't win it, I would probably quit blogging and activism (and can probably finish my thesis much earlier, find a decent job, have more time for exercise, cooking and self-learning... not too bad after all).


Mr Neutral said...

Your letters to the ST forum are certainly more insightful and more intelligent (by my standards at least) than that self-righteous fundamentalist puritan of a heterosexual man who possesses one heterosexual wife and four heterosexual children, but alas, the ST thrives on readership, and readership depends on entertainment value. Obviously Mr Lim's letters are more entertaining than yours. In fact, we should consider compiling a collection of all his essays and name it "Singapore's most funniest jokes". Sure will be a best-seller.

Agagooga said...

I've archived his FAIL letters here:

Tell me if I missed anything!

-ben said...

Of course, Mr. George Lim conveniently overlooks the part where he is considered a heretic in the eyes of the largest church on Earth.


superduper said...

I empathise with you on the fact that your letters are not as sought after as Mr George Lim's by ST.

I would like to say though, my life would have been so much less complete had I not been given the great fortune of reading Mr Lim's homoerotic descriptions of the gymnasts at Bishan stadium.

I really must make my way down one day and see whether, even as a gay man myself, I would be able to see them in the same light as he does.

Sam Ho said...

george lim's articles always make our day.

actually, i believe the straits times celebrate diversity of opinion, even though they might ultimately be pro-government and unashamed of it.

conservative, or puritanical, or bigoted views are still views.

please tell me more about the bishan gymnasts when you see them. i'll like to know how similar your pov is to george's.

compared to george lim, i'm a one-trick pony - i.e. i react to news/opinion on a specific range of topics centering on morality.

george on the other hand, proactively raises issues about our society, and we have to give him credit for that.

-ben said...

Perhaps George Lim got his seminal (*chortle!*) inspiration from this book, Mind the Gap?

He might object to the undignified picture on the cover though :-P