02 November 2007

Ake Green and the freedom to monger hate

When preachers and like-minded religionists say gay people are out to muzzle religion, the case of Ake Green is one of the examples they have in mind. Full essay.


Anonymous said...

Since some fundamentalists believe the bible provides all the truth they need to know, they probably dont read reports from Sweden; in any case, this long and complex case has limited applicability to the repeal case; I doubt the PM, or even Dr Thio, were against repeal because of church influence.

There is nothing improper in a paster expressing views that homosexuality is incompatible with Christianity, or in gays expressing views that some fundamentalists are bigots. Because both sides have grounds to believe in their own rightness, extended discussions would probably be futile. In the same way, discussions about multi-culturalism are unlikely to be productive since so many "correct" viewpoints are possible.

Originally the central issue was the original issue of whether a unenforced law should remain on the books, but later discussion centred on whether changing the law amounts to a minority "imposing" its view on an unready majority. This seems to have started as a rhetorical tool but taken on a life of its own, overshadowing the original issue.

To use an analogy: we drive on the left, so we are "imposing" right hand drive cars on Americans and Europeans that come here, and they might demand a change of traffic law, which would "impose" on the others in a very serious way. Decriminalizing homosexuality obviously does not "impose" it on non-gays; whereas gays have some ground to argue that the law "imposes" criminality on them, it is an existing law and not a new "imposition". On the other hand, the anti-gays feel repeal would "impose" a legal change and an implied change of social attitude. It should be clear that whatever "imposition" one might see is abstract.


Yawning Bread Sampler said...

Sgsociety said, "... this long and complex case has limited applicability to the repeal case".

But this essay wasn't meant to deal with Section 377A. It's an essay about the tension between controlling (any kind of) hate speech and the right to freedom of expression.

Teck Soon said...

Here is another interesting example of tension between free speech and hatemongering:

God is evidently "punishing America" for its tolerance of homosexuality, so the Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas is back to protesting at the funerals of US soldiers. Although ordered to pay damages and stop their activities by a court, the church's hatemongering may well be protected by the US Constitution. I suppose the big difference from Singapore is that in the US, people are quite free to express their disgust for that church and its activities. They are holding placards saying things like "Thank God for fallen soldiers" implying that America is losing the Iraq War because too many Americans are tolerant of gays.

Regardless of how one feels about America's involvement in Iraq, I highly doubt that America's "tolerance" of gays somehow made America's soldiers die in Iraq. If anything, the US may have done better had more gay Arabic translators not been kicked out of the military under don't-ask-don't-tell.

Ex-Christian said...

Read the "truth" here:
China's Revelations of Religious Indecency Rock Judeo-Christian Belief

While it is ironic to hear religious leaders telling the faithful not to take the Bible literally and instead look at it within the context of a historical document, they do have a valid point. Moreover, allegations that consumers of any media function on a monkey-see, monkey-do cognitive scheme are spurious at best. However, there is something to be said for the historical use of Biblical and, indeed, all religious belief as a justification or at least a motive in a litany of crimes committed against humanity. As readers of this blog know, I would never advocate any form of censorship, but if the purpose of regulating content is the protection of the masses, then it certainly seems like the Bible would be a logical place to start.