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18 May 2014

Lying for the Lord

Nigel Collett contemplates the role of Christian groups on the quest for LGBYT equality in Hong Kong. Article originally published in China Daily.

 

Why are some Christians who oppose human rights so sneaky? It never ceases to amaze me that those who seek to impose Christian morality on the rest of us think it is fine to lie for the Lord. Take, for instance, what local fundamentalist and Roman Catholic Christians are doing on the UN's International Day of Families (annually marked around May 15). They are going to hold a rally on Sunday called "I Love Parents, I Love Family". A quick look at the website of the Family Value Foundation of Hong Kong will show that they intend to campaign under the slogans "One Man, One Woman; One Husband, One Wife" and "Man and Woman Build a Family, Children Have Dad and Mom". All very apple pie, until you realize that this hijacking of a UN human rights event is aimed at discriminating against anyone who does not fit their "Christian" idea of a family. So if you are not a member of a family with one father, one mother and children, which is actually a hell of a lot of us, you don't even start.
So why don't they say so up front? Are they so embarrassed by the lack of any sense in their arguments that they have to operate in disguise? Every time any issue of diverse sexuality is raised in Hong Kong, out comes the hogwash, the reams of paper citing spurious scientific cases, the lurid details from incidents in far-off countries that on closer examination bear no approximation to the truth, all of it a desperate effort to base a case on the impossibly shaky ground of some form of biblical interdict.
All this from those who claim to have a unique insight into the "truth". All coupled, too, with an attempt to shut out the real world by preventing the dissemination of scientific and legal opinion in debate. Students in our schools are not taught about the reality of sex, sexuality and gender, but instead taught some form of "morality" based upon the beliefs of minority religious sects.
Lying in the name of the Lord
The suppression of debate is a tactic favored by the government. A year ago, the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) groups in the Sexual Minorities Forum (the SMF) walked out when they realized the government was using it as a fig leaf to prevent discussion and block change. The government was forced instead to set up an advisory group with the unwieldy acronym AGEDASM (the Advisory Group on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Sexual Minorities). They included in its membership some who wished to continue the discrimination.
So what was almost the first act of these upholders of "morality"? They persuaded the government that all discussions in the group will be confidential. So now, with no news coming out, the LGBT community is no longer represented, and the government and some Christians have corralled and stifled debate yet again.
There are signs that Hong Kong is no longer willing to be so easily taken for a ride. This weekend is the commemoration of IDAHOT (the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia), and local LGBT groups and their supporters and friends will hold a candlelight vigil at 6 pm today (Friday) in Chater Gardens. There is no hidden agenda here. The vigil will remember those who have died and suffered, mostly at the hands of, or at the instigation of those inspired by religion and bigotry, across the world and through the ages. Equal Opportunities Commission Chairman York Chow will speak.
Larger still will be the first Pink Dot event to be held in Hong Kong. This will be held on the afternoon of June 15 at Tamar Park, a non-political event to bring together the families and friends of lesbian, gay and transgendered people in Hong Kong, and those who honestly wish to make this a better place by acknowledging some people are just different and there is nothing wrong with that.
To deny sexual differences is to hide from reality, to pretend that part of the natural scheme of things is somehow unnatural. But this is what some Christians do. That is why they oppose the implementation of reforms pressed upon them by UN committees administering the conventions Hong Kong has signed, but failed to adopt. That is why they think it appropriate to hijack inclusive UN celebratory days. And that is why they have to lie in the name of the Lord.

Why are some Christians who oppose human rights so sneaky? It never ceases to amaze me that those who seek to impose Christian morality on the rest of us think it is fine to lie for the Lord. Take, for instance, what local fundamentalist and Roman Catholic Christians are doing on the UN's International Day of Families (annually marked around May 15). They are going to hold a rally on Sunday called "I Love Parents, I Love Family". A quick look at the website of the Family Value Foundation of Hong Kong will show that they intend to campaign under the slogans "One Man, One Woman; One Husband, One Wife" and "Man and Woman Build a Family, Children Have Dad and Mom". All very apple pie, until you realize that this hijacking of a UN human rights event is aimed at discriminating against anyone who does not fit their "Christian" idea of a family. So if you are not a member of a family with one father, one mother and children, which is actually a hell of a lot of us, you don't even start.

So why don't they say so up front? Are they so embarrassed by the lack of any sense in their arguments that they have to operate in disguise? Every time any issue of diverse sexuality is raised in Hong Kong, out comes the hogwash, the reams of paper citing spurious scientific cases, the lurid details from incidents in far-off countries that on closer examination bear no approximation to the truth, all of it a desperate effort to base a case on the impossibly shaky ground of some form of biblical interdict.

All this from those who claim to have a unique insight into the "truth". All coupled, too, with an attempt to shut out the real world by preventing the dissemination of scientific and legal opinion in debate. Students in our schools are not taught about the reality of sex, sexuality and gender, but instead taught some form of "morality" based upon the beliefs of minority religious sects.

Lying in the name of the Lord

The suppression of debate is a tactic favored by the government. A year ago, the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) groups in the Sexual Minorities Forum (the SMF) walked out when they realized the government was using it as a fig leaf to prevent discussion and block change. The government was forced instead to set up an advisory group with the unwieldy acronym AGEDASM (the Advisory Group on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Sexual Minorities). They included in its membership some who wished to continue the discrimination.

So what was almost the first act of these upholders of "morality"? They persuaded the government that all discussions in the group will be confidential. So now, with no news coming out, the LGBT community is no longer represented, and the government and some Christians have corralled and stifled debate yet again.

There are signs that Hong Kong is no longer willing to be so easily taken for a ride. This weekend is the commemoration of IDAHOT (the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia), and local LGBT groups and their supporters and friends held a candlelight vigil at 6 pm on Friday in Chater Gardens. There is no hidden agenda here. The vigil remembered those who have died and suffered, mostly at the hands of, or at the instigation of those inspired by religion and bigotry, across the world and through the ages. Equal Opportunities Commission Chairman York Chow also spoke.

Larger still will be the first Pink Dot event to be held in Hong Kong. This will be held on the afternoon of June 15 at Tamar Park, a non-political event to bring together the families and friends of lesbian, gay and transgendered people in Hong Kong, and those who honestly wish to make this a better place by acknowledging some people are just different and there is nothing wrong with that.

To deny sexual differences is to hide from reality, to pretend that part of the natural scheme of things is somehow unnatural. But this is what some Christians do. That is why they oppose the implementation of reforms pressed upon them by UN committees administering the conventions Hong Kong has signed, but failed to adopt. That is why they think it appropriate to hijack inclusive UN celebratory days. And that is why they have to lie in the name of the Lord.

 

Reader's Comments

1. 2014-05-19 01:50  
It is very sad when (some) Christians use homophobia as a self-righteous way of "living the Lord's way", because they have totally forgotten that God is Love, for all.
Comment #2 was deleted by its author on 2014-05-19 01:52
Comment #3 was deleted by its author on 2014-05-19 01:52
4. 2014-05-19 07:35  
As a gay Christian, I can understand the debate happening. Sadly though, the debate from the Christian side is stuck in old biblical history and not in the 21st century. And, Christians seems to forget the basis for that history. The passages they quote from the bible are twisted and distorted for their argument.

Christians love to quote about how a man should not sleep with another man. The laws designed then were for a community that was trying to live in the harsh climate of a desert when Moses took his people there to escape the slavery and repression of their masters. As such, people would die in those 40 years. In order to maintain a strong, large community, new generations were having to be born. The one thing Christians will never admit, but it is obvious, is that homosexuality existed even then. And, apparently it was happening often. If it was not the case, then why have a law that governed the people in the desert? Within the same book of the Bible are many laws that we no longer keep. We found the punishments to go against human rights. So, we tend to ignore all the others, yet focus on this one law that supports the church leader's arguments. Silliness.

And, of course there is two cities that God apparently found were so evil that He cast down flames from the heavens and destroyed them. Again, Christians love to use this as part of their debate. One of the many things that offended God was sexual deviance. It does not say homosexuality. Basically, all LOVE was vacant from the cities. Yes, the story tells of a mob of men wanting to sexually rape the two male visitors (angels). But, the story goes on to say to save the two visitors, the owner of the household offered his virgin daughter to the men to be raped. Really? So, it is ok for men to rape a virgin woman and demean females? Your own daughter has less value in human rights than two strangers in your household? Surely, a loving God did not intend this message.

The problem with church is the leadership. They are mere men (and women), forging a debate on things that they misinterpret from the Bible to fit their needs. The forget what God is all about. He is LOVE. Love in a manner that no human person can understand. Any semblance of hate is not part of God's plan for man. Yet, the church leaders are spurring on hate seeded from Satan in their debate. "Love the sinner. Hate the sin" is just a farce to clear their conscience of such evilness developed in their hearts. It is not different than a racist bigot using the "N" word in America and then saying that there are good black people who are not "N" people. And, I always disliked my Christian brother and sisters saying that HIV/AIDS was a curse on homosexuals from God and God was punishing us with this disease. They need to learn about the disease, how it came into existence, and that it effect more people than just homosexuals. That is like saying cancer is a curse from God for people who smoke tobacco. Silliness.

As I said, I am a Christian. I am strong in my faith in my God. He has shown me nothing but love in my life. He has shown me that He does exist through the miracles he has placed in my life. But, I have given up on religion. Faith and religion are two separate things and I believe church religions have lost the faith of God. Thankfully, my God is about love and not hate. He accepts me and does not discriminate me. He accepts me without conditions. My Christian brothers and sisters, as well as all religious minded people, need to stop abusing the love of God for their own personal beliefs and agendas. God is love. And, God loves all of His creations. Why can't people love in the same manner. Afterall, they are called upon God to do just that.
5. 2014-05-19 14:52  
It is basically pathetic that any gay men would fall for chritianity and seeks reconciliation with such oxymoron beliefs.
Comment #6 was deleted by its author on 2014-05-19 18:30
7. 2014-05-19 18:29  
God loves us. He made us this way. I know and believe that. This is noise that should not distract people from Gods love- which comes from God and not people
8. 2014-05-19 18:55  




oh Hong Kong...now I understand the comment.
9. 2014-05-20 15:41  
It's impressive that this was published in China Daily!

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