Sunday, February 21, 2010

Rony Tan and The State - 3 - "Valid criticism of religious or religion-adjacent practices"

This isn't the first time I've heard this anti-Buddhism, anti-Taoism spiel. I've heard it at least once before during a talk in school specifically aimed at how homosexuality is an abhorrence. It's probably a lot more common than we may realise for some churches to disparage other religions in their efforts to convince their flock that they have chosen the right path.

I think it was a good thing that he was asked to retract his statements. That was a massive amount of misinformation he was spreading to his flock. In a free world, there would be other ideas to counter this Rony Tan's hateful crap. But I'm not sure all members of his flock seek them out. In that context, it was probably right to make him say "I'm being irresponsible and I should have never said that. That was blatant misinformation on my part."

However, I feel uncomfortable about the "upsetting religious sensitivity" angle. Spreading falsehoods about a religion is one thing. I think valid criticism of religious or religion-adjacent practices must certainly be permitted, yes? I don't think religious beliefs should be considered sufficient in and of themselves to confer legitimacy on suspect practices.


  1. > I've heard it at least once before during a talk in school specifically aimed at how homosexuality is an abhorrence.

    Could you kindly share about that incident? Thanks.

  2. Hi Anon,

    I attended what one would consider either a parochial or a mission school for four years. We regularly had talks from outside speakers about Christianity and the Bible.

    This talk was done by one such external speaker. The nominal title was, I believe, something relating to teen sexuality.

    It was about ten years ago, though, so I'm afraid I cannot recall who the speaker was or what church she was affiliated to.

    To be fair to my alma mater (and I'm quite glad I can say this): my religious education there never strayed into the murky waters of criticising other religions. This incident is probably the lone exception.

    -Oh My Goat


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