Saturday, April 18, 2009

Political drama of AWARE

The recent power struggle within AWARE could be one of those old Hong Kong drama that have been shown on TV, where conspiracy and hidden agenda are involved. Initially, i was not really interested in the result of the election of the exco committee, but the recent developments have really made me more interested in the events.

For those who does not know what AWARE is, it is a women organization that seeks to promote equality and further the cause of women in Singapore society (i think and probably that is all i know). The drama started off with just an election that saw the exco committee being overtaken by new members who have joined the organization within the last few months. Why new members are allowed to even be nominated for position, i have no idea too. But the interesting development after the election to me was not necessarily the power struggle that happened, but rather the hidden agenda that this new committee possess. Two interesting facts that i have read from newspaper (although these days one may wonder what you can trust from reading from newspaper), that the new members were from the same church, and somehow on their agenda their anti-gay stance was mentioned, which differs from the previous management.

So what is so dramatic about this story is that it is more eventful that probably our general election which hardly see any political drama (thankfully). The scenario that a fundamental Christian group trying to seize power in a well-recognized civil organization to possibly further their agenda is kind of conflicting with the notion of Singapore as a secular state. Being a secular state, religion plays no part in influencing the politics of Singapore. However, being a civil organization AWARE plays a role in campaigning for reforms and changes, although whether the organization can be defined as truly civil is debatable. Although it is well known fact that a number of Christian organizations have anti-gay stance, but to staged a power coup in another organization just to use it as a medium to further their agenda is first of its kind in my limited knowledge of Singapore.

I can never truly understand the impact of religion because i am not a true believer myself. To me religion is a faith that one can have to preserve their mental well-being, but not so much of following a religion just because you are meant to follow. Religion is not the absolute truth, because if it is the absolute truth why there are so many religions, and within each religions there are different denominations? Religion is the interpretation by individuals, so to state that why Christians are against homosexual because the bible says so, it like saying that you are just blindly following a book. I believe that there are plenty of stuff that one should not do as mentioned in the bible, so why is homosexuality being emphasized so much? From my limited studies in history, i do know that historically the Catholic Church was responsible for many past "atrocities" carried out by mankind. The Papal issued a few bulls to "authorize" the European powers to enslave people, and the "Curse of Ham" story was often used in the past to justify racism and enslavery of African.

I always think that being religious, one must be humane first. However, imagine this scene from a movie i watched before based on a true story. This gay boy was beaten to death by some other guys for being gay. During the court trial of the murderer, when the parents were on the way to courthouse, many religious fundamentalists carry banner that their son deserved to die or will burn in hell for being gay stood outside the courthouse protesting. Seriously, what is the uproar over homosexuality such that so many people felt threatened and that being a homo has become one of the biggest sinners relatively to murders in religious context. I do not understand, but then, there are many things i do not understand anymore.

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