01 May 2009

Church of Our Savior supports gay marriage

In a statement released to the media on 30 April 2009, the Church of Our Saviour (COOS) said "No homosexual should ever be deprived of any right enjoyed by every other Singaporean." It is splendid news indeed that this church believes that since heterosexuals have a right to marry someone they love, so should homosexual Singaporeans. As far as Yawning Bread can recall, no other local church has so publicly supported full equality for gay people across all rights.

COOS has been linked to the controversy surrounding the takeover of the women's organisation AWARE by its members. The self-declared "feminist mentor" behind the new executive committee (exco), Thio Su Mien - the one who told the media that homosexuality is a man's issue - is also a member of the church.

In the statement published on www.asiaone.com, COOS denied that they were behind the takeover: "Church of Our Saviour did not initiate or instigate any campaign to take over the leadership of AWARE."

To press home the point, it also said that it hoped people would not hold the "wrong assumption that the exco is a pawn of the church or that it has intentions to turn it into a religious organization as that is totally untrue." It is interesting how the church is so certain that the new exco, who are not its pawns, do not have such intentions. If the new exco is independent of the church, how does the church control its intentions? I guess I don't understand the nature of divine insight.

COOS loves homosexual people. "Church of Our Saviour does not have an agenda against homosexuals. We are not antihomosexual ... We believe homosexuals should be extended understanding, kindness and love like every other human being."

It doesn't love gay activists, however, for it "does have a stand against the agenda of activists promoting homosexuality as a normal alternative lifestyle. Just as much as the Bible commands us to love the homosexual person, it also states categorically that homosexual practice is wrong."

It sounds like a rather complicated position, but we shouldn't nitpick. So long as the church supports full equal rights for gay people, we should give them some leeway. It would have been better though if COOS explained how happily married gay couples could consummate their marriages which the church so bravely supports as an equal right.


Wai said...

Complicated? Sounds like a completely untenable position to me. They are just making platitudes to sound reasonable and appease the masses. Sneaky religious fundamentalist strategy at work. Do not be fooled.

Desmond said...

COOS do not support gay marriage. Singapore law do not allow gay marriage. Please check on this if you know the law.

Though COOS believe that homosexual and lebsians had the common rights protected under our constitution. This is all COOS mean that we are all equal under the current constitutional rights. Right to live, right to work, right to have our rights protected under the law.

DO not extrapolate or even thinking of twisting the COOS' statement on 30 April 2009.

Desmond Lim said...

Ummm... guys, this was said "tongue in cheek". Alex knows they don't.

*note: I'm not Desmond at 7:01. :)

Anonymous said...

I enjoy watching people
like Desmond showing their
reading comprehension skills.

Betcha he doesn't even know
why people are laughing.

But time to get him in on it:

Anonymous said...

Desmond, this is called satire, a sophisticated writing device that is all too rare in Singapore. If you haven't read a satirical piece of writing before, you can find lots of examples online. By the way, if gays' "right to live, right to work" is supported by COOS, then they should not be supporting S377A under which gays can be jailed for 2 years. How is jailing them consistent with providing equal rights?

Anonymous said...

i think some people just don't have a sense of humour.....

Anonymous said...

so all of sudden COOS does not see homosexual in a negative light but a NEUTRAL way?

Isn't that some crime enough for the "feminist mentor" to instigate a take over of the church? Someone should really ask her stance on this statement.

KiWeTO said...


Desmond@7.01 just proves the power of selective comprehension.

You hear/read/intepret what you want to interpret.

So is YB. ;-) but hey, truth is relative. Repeat a story often enough, and it might just become the truth. Shout louder than the rest, and you carry the day. C'est la vie.

And Desmond, we're a far far way from equality in Singapore.


fenix said...

Watch this to get some perspective on the church's Aware problem.


Yawning Bread Sampler said...


Very good indeed.

Anonymous said...

Now what this Darek Hong of COOS said reminds me of the first time I was in a certain US Airport and noticed all the Skycaps (Airport Porters) were Blacks...I asked my white friend "Why are all theSkycaps blacks"?
His answer took me by surprised; his reply: "You see the Blacks reserved all the openings for this job for the Blacks"

And another time I asked another White Friend has He anything agaist Blacks....His answwer: "Actually Ilove the Blacks but only as long as they remain in their place" "I do not want them taking jobs that belong to the Whites"

What Darek Hong of COOS now says is not unlike "White Man speaks with Fork Tongue"

I still thing this Christian Taliban should be investigated by the Home Affairs Ministry for sewing hatred against Minorities in his sermons.

Anonymous said...

Yes i would agree that a line needs to be drawn for this particular group of trouble-makers. Time after time, they create divisive propanganda to stir up hatred and tension amongst Singaporeans. If our government does not take action, what kind of message is the government sending to Singaporeans?

Father of Two Girls said...

What the difference between
Thio Li Ann
Siew Kum Hong?

One of them knows how to put
himself in the shoes of another.

Siew Kum Hong for another term
as NMP.

No more Thio Li An - ever.

Anonymous said...

Derek Hong wasn't speaking in tongues, but we can decipher the meaning in them. Big icing on a solid base of HYPOCRISY!
COOS has lost its credibility except for the "blinded".

Anonymous said...

Dear Fenix,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvQqhkd--a0is indeed very relevant to DOCTOR Thio and DOCTOR Thio.
But the "blind" will CHOOSE NOT TO SEE those OTHER verses!
Indeed how many Christians really READ the Bible.

Rachel said...

COOS believes that homosexuals deserve equal rights just like everyone else, but at the same time , is against "promoting homosexuality" as an acceptable form of sexuality? If homosexuality cannot be demonstrated as an acceptable form of sexual expression, then how are equal rights to be obtained? This seems to be conflicting. The belief that homosexuality shouldn't be endorsed stems from an underlying fear of it becoming more prevalent. However, even if sexuality becomes widely recognized as varied, it is not as if hordes of straight people are suddenly going to abandon their opposite-sex partners for same-sex ones.

Ken said...

I think COOS' position is more nuanced, and also more sneaky. They can easily hide behind the rhetoric of 'we support equal rights for all people regardless of sexual orientation' by arguing that gay people are technically not disallowed from getting married. In that sense, gays are not denied this fundamental human right. A homosexual can get married, but only to someone of the opposite sex.

Rachel said...

I don't think that COOS is being deliberately sneaky or misleading. Seen from another point of view, COOS may be trying to express an objective opinion about gays deserving equal rights, while also suggesting that subjectively, their religion disagrees with homosexuality. I know of someone who is genuinely accepting of her gay friends even though she personally believes that her religion is against it. There are those who are able to see from multiple perspectives and hence, are more able to discriminate between the objective and subjective. In the case of COOS, things only get confusing when they state how homosexuals themselves should not be affirming and establishing homosexuality as valid.

muun said...

heresy! you can even put up something as great a lie as this about COOS.

such hypocrisy when you twist, in the name of a satire, the words of someone else for your own cause.

there is no such things called homophobia. just because we don't agree with your agenda doesn't mean we are scared of you, or you propagating your agenda.

you are probably 'Christopobic' or 'Muslimphobic' since you appear to hate people who defend their belief systems and faith.

and i know i would be flogged by your patrons who see this, afterall, birds of the same feathers flock together.. i can't imagine many who oppose you be reading the crap you can imagine on such issue.

yes, and you can disapprove what i just wrote, but it will further prove deep in your hearts that much as you embrace free speech, you exercise censorship measures on your blog.

hypocrisy, at it finest.

p.s: and anonymous et al, so was thio li ann when she described anal sex as drinking with a straw, she was 'tongue in cheek' too, but it didn't go too well with many of our petty gay friends.

Anonymous said...

Thio Li Ann has had anal sex with a drinking straw???!!!

I know some of these christians stone their cheating wives, have sex with their daughters, don't eat pork or crab (as commanded in the bible)... but I did not know they know so much about anal sex.

Woo wee where do I join this church?

YCK said...

Surely we could reconcile everything if we take seriously the admonition, "Hate the sin, but love the sinner."

But then this is difficult to put into practice. At times it sounds hypocritical when the utterer does not do what he preaches. But at least it is not something that is "understood" or "reconciled" with great diffuclty like some concepts in theology. So there is still hope that some people can really learn to live by the saying.

In all fairness, we should also recognize that the Christians are a varied group. Not all are like the COOS. So we should guard against making the same mistake that some Christians did in characterizing a group of people, in this case with a certain sexual orientation as, something of an uniform abomination. After all there are things more important in weighing ones' humanity than that one part of one's identity.

There are more open-minded Christians out there with whom we can expect to be able to hold resaonable discussions on numerous "controversisal" topics. In fact it is important to have such discourses as bridges to foster the mutual understanding needed to sideline (and not silence) the views held by the more extreme groups. We are a democracy after all, and all views should be heard if not respected.

Lastly, in case if I am alledged to be deliberately hypocrtical as muun has of YB, I would like to state that as far as I know the saying that I quoted is not from the Bible. I have chosen it because it makes good sense to me, and will probably make universal sense to all regardless of ones' religious affiliation.

Sinner said...

If any in COOS, or for that matter, any Christian, can say he is without sin, then let him step forth and tell us about the sin of homosexuality.

muun said...

hi Sinner,

then will you follow up on your statement by telling the sinner to sin no more?

thanks for bringing that up, but be careful when you quote things out of context.

Anonymous said...

Conservatives don't get satire...