(There’s a soccer match going on, the poor boy [Amos] is the ball, and the crowd watches in morbid fascination as the own-goals pile up on both sides. The new normal way to win, wrote a perceptive reader of this article https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/amos-parents-finally-got-it-walk-the-talk-amoss-groupies/#comments)
If it’s one thing I admired about the Pink Dot movement, it is its successful attempt to show that S’poreans that LGBTs (esp gays) are just ordinary S’poreans: their sexual tastes are juz different loh.
Well I think the Taliban Christians (like the polo playing pastor Khong who had a daughter who had a child out of wedlock) will rejoice because Pink Dot has shown that it has a darker, sinister side when it came out swinging against IKEA while pretending it was doing no such thing. (At the end of this piece is what it said on the Khong, IKEA issue*.)
It came out in support of more militant LBGTs who are upset with IKEA. Worse it does so in Orwellian double talk. While saying it respects diversity of opinion, it says that IKEA should not have hire the pastor for a magic show (the militants are demanding that he no longer be hired, and are threatening IKEA with a boycott if it doesn’t repent) and goes on to imply that the LGBTs have a major problem with IKEA because of this difference of opinion.
I’ll quote what someone in a Facebook group I belong to wrote because he sums up what I feel:
Very weird. If pink dot respects diversity of opinion, then why does it still think that ikea should not hire the pastor for a magic show?
I think that some people can’t get it in their head that ikea is only buying a magic show and that the seller’s religious, political and sexual views do not enter into the equation at all.
Just because I buy palm oil products does not mean I agree with companies burning forests in Indonesia to clear land. Nor am I obliged to stop purchase because you don’t like it.
Also note that ikea is Not sponsoring anything. I don’t sponsor Toyota when I buy a car from them. It’s purely a commercial transaction. I do not associate myself with Toyota’s beliefs, philosophies or principles just because I happen to buy a car from them.
Same for ikea and the pastor. Same for Muslim food. Just because I eat at a Muslim stall does not mean I agree with the religion. All it means is I think the food is good.
Gays will do well to remember this, especially if they want to sample Muslim food, because islam’s stand on homosexuality is quite clear.
Pink dot should remember that one not read too much into everything. It is not like what George Bush said– that you are either with us or you are against us– when he addressed the world after Sep 11. Just because your straight friends go to a magic show by the pastor does not mean they have turned against you.
I’d add three tots to the above: 377A is still the law of the land, yet Pink Dot and the LGBT community already think that they can dictate to us what we can think and do: they think they like PAP administration isit?
Imagine if 377A is abolished, would the gays then demand this: legal action against a Christian-run bakery firm over its refusal to bake a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan. Sounds far fetched? Well wanting IKEA to drop a magic show because the performer has some really rabid, nasty views about gays, I think reasonable people can assume that this too will come here.
(Actually, I was sympathetic to the abolition of 377A https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/male-gays-here-on-permanent-parole/ but I’m beginning to have my doubts, seeing the way the LGBT community is behaving.)
Whatever it is, those ang moh tua kees in the LGBT movement here that are demanding a special position for the gays have to realise that there are 12-15% of S’poreans whose religion says homosexuality is morally wrong. (Dozens of countries call themselves Islamic and derive their laws, in whole or part, from Islamic religious law, ban homosexuality.)
So abolish Islam isit here?
Like it or not, S’pore is not like the West, where its two major religions, Christianity and secularism, have made their peace with LGBT rights, and where the next fight is human rights for chimps.
Thirdly, Pink Dot has some regular corporate sponsors. Taliban Christians with serious money can decide not to use JP Morgan following the logic and thnking of Pink Dot and the militants.
I’ll end with a lawyer’s tots on Facebook that chime with my views too.
The campaign against Ikea’s support for Lawrence Khong’s magic show is problematic on a few levels, at least as I see it.
The protesters have asked IKEA to withdraw its support for the magic show so as to to maintain its secularity in choosing whom they should support in order to be sensitive to the LGBT communities, and the other Ikea patrons.
Going by this logic, the minorities for example, can ask there to be no Getai performances during the 7th month just because it could be insensitive to them.
I am not sure if the Pastor’s main source of income is from the magic shows, if so, is the protest aimed at adversely affecting his livelihood, just because he does not believe in diversity? [My comment: Nope magic shows are his hobby]
More importantly, where does this end? For example, will the protesters picket his favourite restaurant, asking it not to serve him just because he patronises it often?
When the other side starts boycotting LGBTs and their allies, LGBT community and friends don’t Cry Mother Cry Father. You want to boycott, other side can too.
I think IKEA came to the correct and principled conclusion.
The point ,,, is that the magic show offered good entertainment AND had nothing to do with the promoting an anti-gay issue at all.
I don’t share LK’s views on sexuality, e.g. I don’t support Section 377A but nor do I agree with the calls by the LGBT lobby to recognize gay marriage or to have IKEA Singapore withdraw the discount offered for LK’s show.
In the end, IKEA Singapore chose to respect the diversity of views of people in Singapore – and I support this approach …
*Important to respect variety in viewpoints and perceptions
PAERIN CHOA, SPOKESPERSON, PINK DOT SG
PUBLISHED: 4:17 AM, APRIL 28, 2015
IKEA’s ongoing support of controversial religious figure Lawrence Khong’s magic show has stirred deep-seated emotions among Singaporeans, in particular among the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community.
On the surface, this is understandable. Mr Khong is well known for his vehemently anti-LGBT stance; any organisation choosing to partner him, therefore, gets associated with this anti-LGBT viewpoint.
This is at odds with the fact that IKEA is well known worldwide for championing cultural diversity.
The brand enjoys strong support from LGBT communities the world over, so its decision to continue promoting the show is seen as a form of betrayal.
Drill deeper and the situation becomes significantly more complicated. Leading academics, commentators and activists — and not a small number of lay people — have weighed in with their own opinions.
Some called IKEA hypocritical, others laud the company for sticking to its guns.
Some call this issue an infringement of its diversity policies, others say the exact opposite.
Who is right?
As a movement that supports the freedom to love, regardless of race, language, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, Pink Dot is disappointed at IKEA’s decision to continue promoting Mr Khong’s show.
Mr Khong’s denunciations of same-sex relationships and LGBT people in general are well documented and not worth repeating. As customers — some very loyal ones at that — the displeasure is perhaps justified.
However, as a movement that also advocates inclusivity and celebrates diversity, Pink Dot also recognises the importance of respecting variety in viewpoints and perceptions, even those that run counter to our own.
It has never been in Pink Dot’s DNA to respond in tit-for-tat fashion because we recognise that a diversity of opinions is part and parcel of a truly pluralistic society.
Dr William Wan from the Singapore Kindness Movement raised an important point recently: “When emotions get the better of us, we lose the sensibility to know where to draw the line.”
It is all right to be angry. But let us channel our energies instead to better engage companies such as IKEA, instead of turning away from them. It is important to keep the conversation and dialogue going.
As customers, we have every right to voice our displeasure — respectfully — but let us not cut off the relationship altogether or risk becoming the mirror image of the very people denouncing other LGBT-affirmative firms with their brand of intolerance.
IKEA had made a business decision and, for better or worse, they will have to live with it, and justify it to its stakeholders.
Will that negate all the goodwill it has painstakingly built with the LGBT community? Only time will tell.
At the end of the day, what are we truly fighting for?
We do not think it is a Singapore in which every difference of opinion is met with heavy-handed belligerence and raised pitchforks.
Rather, we see it as one in which we face our challenges with stoic dignity and measured actions, always with an eye on the bigger picture — to build a Singapore that is emotionally strong, gracious, kind and loving.