Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Facebook exchange: Homophobic hate speech

Homophobia is well and alive in Singapore. Just these few days, I had another Facebook sparring with my right-wing Christian friend, LKM (again). LKM is from Westside Anglican Church.
[Aside: Normally I would hold the individual to account for his/her actions, and not name his/her religious association. However, in this case, I understand that LKM's homophobic views are reinforced by his church's teachings, and thus I would argue that the church is vicariously liable. For more background about homophobia in Singapore Anglican churches, read this article on "Asian Anglicans starts a crusade against the West and gays" by Rainbow Harvest.]
Perhaps the Workers Party is playing it smart by holding its stance on the homophobic Section 377A of the Penal Code (Singapore) close to their hearts. 377A affects political votes as there is a significant vocal and growing segment of right-wing Christians in Singapore. IMHO, this group is brainwashed with homophobic rhetoric that they cannot hold up to when challenged, but instead often hide behind the excuse that "it is not socially nice" to criticize others' views (see below for example).

At the moment, for the Punggol East By-Election, these right-wing Christian folks are campaigning for PAP so as to retain 377A. Based on my friend's Facebook postings, the reason for supporting PAP is because of Christopher de Souza's speech against the repeal of 377A back in October 2007. I think it is naive of these right-wing Christians to believe that PAP's current stance to retain 377A will remain forever. After all, PAP being the "pragmatic" political party of "hard rules" of life, had previously sold out the Christian lobby on the casino issue when it suited its political leaders' wish to grow the GDP.

Normally, I ignore LKM's rants when he gets all worked up about his Christian objectives. However, I stepped in when I saw that his rants degraded into homophobic hate speech.


[Our Facebook Exchange, edited to remove the real names of the individuals involved. The number of Facebook "Likes" are shown here when there is 1 or more likes.]

LKM: If homosexual intercourse is legally permissible, I fear for our Army !!!!
Like - 3 

LKM:  Snglish phrases like "kanna screw" takes on new meanings ...

AKCY: That would only be worrying if homosexual *rape* was permissible.
Like - 2

WD:  Heterosexual intercourse is legally permissible and there are women in the Army, so are there lots of "ungodly" action taking place in the army?
Don't jump the gun lah.

LKM:  Yah the SGT rape already then claim to be lover, how to bring to court since legalized ?

WD:  *Rape* is rape. Man rape man case should be brought to court the same way as man rape woman case. Why the gender discrimination?
Like · 1

LKM:  We're not even talking about godly or ungodly, a man poking another's backside is downright repulsive, we talking about endorsing SICKNESS by removing 377A ...

WD:  Also, may I add, woman rape man case should be brought to court the same way as man rape woman case or man rape man case.
Like · 1

LKM:  Imagine an army where soldier fight fellow soldier over a male lover .... *puke* Such an army really in for big trouble ...

WD:  > "man poking another's backside is downright repulsive, we talking about endorsing SICKNESS"
Quoting you, LKM, above. Is that a FACT or just your own narrow-minded OPINION?

LKM:  Google homosexual intercourse and advise me how else it's technically possible ...

LKM:  ... maybe there are other possible permutations but they all fall under pornographic domains ...

LKM:  ... now bring these into perspective of why anyone would want it legalized ...

KKP: "Disapproval of homosexuality cannot justify invading the houses, hearts and minds of citizens who choose to live their lives differently." -Harry A. Blackmun
"I'm a supporter of gay rights. And not a closet supporter either. From the time I was a kid, I have never been able to understand attacks upon the gay community. There are so many qualities that make up a human being... by the time I get through with all the things that I really admire about people, what they do with their private parts is probably so low on the list that it is irrelevant." -Paul Newman
Like - 4
WD:  So you find "man poking another's backside is downright repulsive" because you're heterosexual. You can always decline if a homosexual guy asks you for sex.
My point about distinguishing between FACT and OPINION is your judgement that the act itself is "downright repulsive" -- that's your opinion, not a fact.

LKM:  Agree about it being a fact that I find it repulsive. Just wondering who are those capable of accepting such a repulsive act *yucks*

LKM:  As far as I learn from Biology, backside is meant for shitting, that's a fact !
Like · 1

AL: Hi LKM, it sounds like you are grossed out by the act of anal sex, and that's not your only objection. Would that be right?

LKM:  And farting sometimes too ...

LKM:  I can accept the emotional aspects of 2 person having deep feelings, but the sex part which is what 377A is about should be maintained to upkeep the proper order of nature, man and woman ...
Like · 2

LKM:   ... and we're not talking about religion here yet ...

WD:  > Agree about it being a fact that I find it repulsive. Just wondering who are those capable of accepting such a repulsive act *yucks*
Some of my friends are. As far as I am concerned, there are many more qualities (and admirable ones too) about my homosexual friends that what they do with their private parts in the privacy of their bedrooms is none of my concern. 
E.g. Some of them have to deal daily with people like you (LKM) who judge them based on your own value system of "proper order of nature, man and woman" when your bible told you that judgement is only to be done by your god. Tsk, tsk, hope you're not trying to play god.
LKM:  Nope, my opinion purely mine. Happy that Singapore still have a governance with soundness that will hold on to Penal Code 377A so that I don't have to worry over my daughters and sons ....
Like · 1

LKM:  ... of course everyone is entitled to the freedom of their own private activities, but Penal Code 377A is about setting a baseline for a society, what constitutes acceptable norm, what constitutes not acceptable criminal activity ...

LKM:  ... and to me, the fact is that legalizing homosexual sex goes against the sound establishment of our Asian society ...

WD:  > baseline for a society, what constitutes acceptable norm, what constitutes not acceptable criminal activity
And that is why the baseline is being challenged (and I am happy to say that). You have a right to your OPINIONS and VALUE SYSTEM, just not the right to expect others to conform to your opinions or value system. 
> sound establishment of our Asian society ... 
You obviously are clueless on the sexual history of Asian societies. Even in karma sutra, there are extracts talking about homosexual acts.
Like · 1
KKP: How would you like it if someone started 'Shut Up LKM & Concentrate on your inane diet diary' Campaign? Maybe you would know how it feels to be ranted on...

LKM:  You sure got me there with the karma sutra bullshit haha ... but I still Kee Chiu in support for keeping Penal Code 377A !!


LKM:  It's seasonal lah ... I mean my rantings ... I change topic very readily ... but as far as this season is concern, I want to voice my UTMOST support for Penal Code 377A. Keep 377A for Singapore ...
Like · 1

WD:  @ LKM: I suggest you find yourself a good translation of the actual historic "Karma Sutra", not those cheap "1001 sex positions" knock-off of Karma Sutra. Failing which, I recommend that you ask Professor Google about the "history of asian homosexuality".
Find the FACTS before you shoot your mouth off.

LKM:  Okokok, but it's still keep 377A for me !!!

Like · 1

WD:  On the other hand, I am glad that LKM shot his mouth off. Because only then, we have a chance to feed him with FACTS that would challenge his (IMHO mis-)perception about homosexuality, homosexual rape, and history of asian homosexuality.
Whether he changes his opinion is well within his right to decide. Freedom of belief, so long as he does not discriminate against any of his students on the basis of their sexual orientation.
LKM:  I am capable of loving even homosexuals, it's the sexual act that I have problems with, which is EXACTLY what 377A is all about.

WD:  Do you eat sharks' fin soup? Some people find it disgusting, "repulsive", and against "proper order of nature", and so they are petitioning for it to be banned.
If every activity that someone or anyone in this world finds disgusting, "repulsive", or against "proper order of nature" gets banned, I think we may well end up everything also cannot do. Learn to live and let live. Remember the adage: One man's meat is another man's poison.
Like · 1
WD:  @ LKM: Thanks for the "Like" for my previous comment, but I suggest that you think about it before you "Like". Why do you insist on banning (i.e. by supporting 377A) private homosexual acts between 2 consenting adults in the privacy of their bedrooms if you truly agree to "live and let live"?

LKM:  377A affects the future of my children, I'm generally selfish about well being of my children and their children. Shark fin has less impact on my kids, hence my ability to better accommodate live and let live ...

WD:  Quote LKM: > "377A affects the future of my children, I'm generally selfish about well being of my children and their children."
Care to explain how/why 377A affects the future of your children? I presume you mean removing 377A affects their "well being" negatively, so I would appreciate if you would elaborate on how this may be so. 
Or is the above another of those "I will state my OPINION as a FACT, and then hope that I don't get outed for not distinguishing between FACTS and OPINIONS" statements from you?
JT: Allow me to defend LKM here. Everyone is entitled to his own opinion/beliefs/values n he's just simply stating tt on his FB wall. If do not agree, can always state own views on own wall. Y the need for all these aggressive comments? This is an issue that even if argue till cow comes home there also will be no end to it...

WD:  @ JT: I am afraid you're the one who is confused between a FB wall and the wall of a person's home.
May I remind everyone of Facebook's Terms of Use. 
In particular, points 6 and 7 under Safety.
6. You will not bully, intimidate, or harass any user.
7. You will not post content that: is hate speech, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence. 
Homophobic statements, like what LKM posted above, e.g. "If homosexual intercourse is legally permissible, I fear for our Army !!!!" is a form of hate speech.
And to use social media to share his homophobic views (which LKM admitted are not fact-based but "my [his] opinion purely mine [his]") can be a form of cyber-bullying.
WD:  If you don't know what "hate speech" is, here's a definition from wikipedia:
Hate speech is, outside the law, communication that vilifies a person or a group on the basis of one or more characteristics. Examples include but are not limited to: color, disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, and sexual orientation.

WD:  Please note that I am not a thought police. I have no interest in censoring LKM's resounding support for 377A. [Note: I did not comment on his other FB post drumming support for 377A.] (sic)
However, when LKM posted homophobic declarations, passing his OPINIONS off as FACTS (until otherwise challenged), and posting MISINFORMATION that constitutes hate speech, then I'm afraid he has crossed the line (as per Facebook's Terms of Use).
WD:  Let me borrow from the story of "The Emperor's new clothes" by Hans Christian Andersen.'s_New_Clothes
Which kind of friend are you? Which kind of friend would you rather have?
(a) the ministers: who let the emperor exhibit his folly for the world to see; who cannot see the clothing themselves, but pretend that they can for fear of appearing unfit for their positions; or
(b) the child: who calls a spade a spade, and blurts out the fact that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all.
One's critic is not necessary one's foe, and conversely one's supporter is not necessary one's friend. LKM, as a parent, should be well aware of which kind of friend he would prefer for himself and/or his children.
WD:  In the same way that LKM recognizes that it is only the homosexual sex acts "that I [he] find it repulsive", that he is "capable of loving even homosexuals"; it is only LKM's posting of bigotry statements on social media that I find repulsive, and I recognize that he has other positive attributes which he expresses, even on the same FB social media account.
When a person posts controversial statements on his/her FB wall, he/she should be well aware that it is not the same as painting those controversial statements on one's own home walls. The "social" nature of FB means that the person posting those statements jolly well be prepared to defend his/her stance and/or face complaints about his/her posting.
Now, as I have said earlier, I recognize there is positive value in some of LKM's other inspirational FB postings. As such, I do not believe nor wish for him to lose his entire FB account over his temporary lapse in judgement by posting hate speech on his FB wall. That said, his homophobic remarks can be a form of cyber-bullying. When good men/women remain silent in witnessing bullying, they are implicitly condoning the act of bullying and empowering the bully to continue his/her wayward behaviour.
I hope that I have made my stance clear.
LKM:  Now I feel so guilty having to know that I have contravened the use of FB's design intent .... but I still wish to use the last post I am capable of making in support of Penal Code 377A DON'T REPEAL IT !!!!

WD:  > "last post I am capable of making"
Aiyoh, no need to be so drama king lah. I am not a thought police nor a backstabber. I warned you so that you can cease and desist from making further hate speech. Of course, if you fail to do so, I reserve the right to lodge a complaint with Facebook.
So, go ahead and drum all the support you want to create for 377A. Just do it by sticking to the facts. 
Do not post PREJUDICIAL OPINIONS that could be construed as HATE SPEECH, otherwise you'd have contravened Facebook's Terms of Usage. If you care for your friends who share your support of 377A, you may want to explain to them about the fine line between supporting 377A and sprouting hate speech. Just my 2 cents.

[On another of LKM's (slightly earlier) Facebook posting, indicating his intent to promote his pro-377A stance.]

LKM: I make NO APOLOGIES to my friends. If you're offended by my PRO-Penal Code 377A stand, please simply remove me from your FaceBook friends list :)
Being a father of 5 children through natural birth, I cannot visualize same sex marriage as anything near legitimate relationship, and moreso, cannot understand any sane human would ever want to champion such a SICK course ?!!!
Like · 39
[Snipped off - 3 other comments supporting and adding to LKM's stance]

WD:  It is not about offence but contravention of FB's Terms of Usage, which you violated through posting "hate speech" in your other FB post which I have challenged. For details, please see my comments on your other FB post.
[Edit: Note that url to LKM's other FB post "If homosexual intercourse is legally permissible, I fear for our Army !!!!" (see above) is removed from display on this blog for privacy reasons.]
As a friend, it is my duty to tell you when you've crossed the line, so that you will not lose your ENTIRE FB ACCOUNT on the basis of a momentary lapse of judgement in your postings. 
As your friend, I make NO APOLOGIES for doing the right thing in pointing out when you've overstepped the line. Unless of course, you'd prefer that I report you to FB directly, behind your back?
LKM: ... and even at the risk of loosing my entire FB account, I wish to do so championing the keeping of Penal Code 377A for Singapore ...
Like · 2

WD:  @ LKM: As I mentioned in your other post, I am not a thought police. You can champion for support to keep Penal Code 377A for Singapore. Just do it by sticking to the facts.
Do not post PREJUDICIAL OPINIONS that could be construed as HATE SPEECH, otherwise you'd have contravened Facebook's Terms of Usage. If you care for your friends who share your support of 377A, you may want to explain to them about the fine line between supporting 377A and sprouting hate speech. Just my 2 cents.

Has my challenge/feedback to LKM worked? Well, it depends on what you mean by "worked". For now, LKM has stopped passing-off his homophobic opinions as facts. He is still drumming support for 377A, but he is now quoting online sources such as wikipedia's entry on Singapore's 377A.

Actually, LKM is rather similar to another 2 pro-PAP Singaporean guys that I know. [Click here and here for more.] All 3 are born-and-bred Singapore citizens. All 3 are born-again Christians. All 3 graduated from polytechnic around late-1980's or early-1990's. All 3 went on to professional/executive careers, thanking their god for their career success. All 3 are homophobic.

Now, I know that a lot of online bloggers and commenters (presumably male Singaporeans) like to put the blame of PAP's majority votes on those "ignorant Singaporean women who do not go through NS". Perhaps, just perhaps, these online bloggers/commenters would do well go knocking on some Christian doors. After all, for those conservative right-wing Christian households, their church would often teach that the wife and children must obey the husband (who represents Christ as the head of the household); and thus, if you manage to convince these homophobic Christian men to vote for alternative parties, you may actually win over 2 or more votes per man swayed.

p.s. Please do not ostracize our fellow Singaporean, right-wing Christian, PAP supporters. Some of them are really nice people when you know them personally (e.g. my friends LKM and X). IMHO, "engage and educate" is the best approach to win them over. After all, each individual is a complex multi-faceted combination of qualities, not just a cardboard cut-out of their religious and/or political affiliations.

"Suddenly, Last Winter"
Listen to what Luka said at 1:40 to 2:15 (replace "pope/bishop" with "pastor", replace "Italians" with "Singaporeans"... does it ring a bell?)


  1. They should throw stones only when their priests stop doing little boys.

    1. Hi CK,

      Thanks for visiting and commenting.

      Priests caught "doing little boys" is pedophilia. IMHO, it is an individual's acts for which the individual pedophile should take responsibility, not the religious group.

      The only case where the religious (or other types of) group is rightfully tarnished as well is when the group systemically hides the truth and fails to report the pedophile. Most of such cases are associated with the Catholic church. Boy Scouts (a non-religious group) is also known to face such systemic failure.

      I don't know about Anglican churches having the systemic failure to report pedophilia in its ranks. In fact, in Australia, the Anglican Church had just defrocked a priest for alleged ongoing sex with a teenage boy. Since the church had taken action against the perpetrator, I don't think it is fair to accuse the church of wrong doing.

      My bone of contention with some Anglican churches in Singapore is the way they "brainwash" their church members. E.g. Encouragement of homophobia, as reflected in my (very active Anglican church member) friend's online behaviour. IMHO, churches should preach love and forgiveness, not fear of individuals whose behaviour they do not like. But then, what do I know? I am not a Christian, haha. :-D

      Cheers, WD.

    2. Wow, I hope CK is not trying to equate homosexuality with paedophilia!

      Thanks for the post, Winking Doll. Agree that some of these guys (e.g. your friend) are really being brain-washed.

    3. Hi October,

      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

      No worries, CK is just giving his usual tongue-in-cheek rebuttal, given the way the pro-377A folks like to protest along those lines. He did his nursing training in Singapore, so he knows very well that homosexuality is different from paedophilia.

      Cheers, WD.

  2. There are 101 true horror stories in almost every religion... Anyway, lets get back to the main topic.

    Your friend over there seems to imply that he can love a homo-sexual person, but cannot accept his sexual preferences. Which is the same as a person saying 'I love durian, but I hate the smell.' Kinda contradicts himself in a way.

    If he does insist on up-holding the 377A, then let him be. You cannot please everyone no matter what you do.

    1. Hi Seraphim,

      Thanks for visiting and your comments.

      Yes, I agree that there are horror stories in almost every religion. That said, while I was in Singapore, most of the horror stories from my personal experience comes from Christians, especially born-again Christians members of right-wing conservative churches.

      Yes, I am humoured that he (and his pro-377A friends) does not see his own contradiction. But it is there on his Facebook, for everyone else to see. And as you can see from the example above, there are those amongst his FB friends that disagree with him and challenge his ideas.

      I am ok with him holding up 377A, that's his prerogative. I have commented and explained on his FB wall to that effect. I challenged him only because of his hate speech. As his subsequent post indicated, his FB friends include some students (LKM teaches in a polytechnic), so I do not agree for him to impress his bigotry upon young minds.

      Cheers, WD.

  3. How I wish people can start thinking critically for themselves and see when certain propagated ideas are ridiculous.

    The whole idea of a law to regulate the sex life of two consenting adults is ridiculous.

    Those who use religion as a reason to oppose the repeal of S377A should have no say; the state should be secular.

    Those who use stupid reasons to oppose the repeal should also have no say. Stupid reasons include turning children gay, blah blah family unit, going against nature etc. These are silly arguments and there are plenty of information at a click of a button to educate themselves (if they cannot be bothered to or have not got the ability to think through these reasons).

    1. Hi Anonymous at Friday, January 25, 2013 12:14:00 AM,

      Thanks for visiting and your comment. I understand and appreciate where you're coming from. That said, in a democracy, everyone has a say.

      In addition, we cannot influence/sway people to our views by simply telling them that "they should have no say". They can jolly well turn the tables around and demand that we be censored/censured -- it can happen if they become the majority in a democracy.

      That is why I spent some time during the past week engaging these pro-377A folks, informing them (where there is misinformation) and challenging their line-of-thought (where there were logical flaws in their arguments).

      Many in the pro-377A camp present themselves as arguing not on religious grounds but because of "concern for their families and the future of the country" (blah, blah, blah). In fact, one specifically stated that he is neither a Christian nor a Catholic -- therefore I admit that not all the pro-377A noise is from the right-wing Christian camp. My observation is that the pro-377A noise suddenly erupted after 2 Christian pastors made public their pro-377A stand. Frankly, I know the background of my friend (and some of his FB commenters who self-identified as Christians), so I have to take their claim of "not coming from the religious angle" with a huge dose of salt.

      Well, since the Singapore AGC (Attorney General Chamber) stepped in to "advise" pastor Khong not to make public commentary on 377A, the pro-377A noise has died down.

      Thank goodness the AGC is not ambushed, unlike one highly paid person who subsequently claimed that his words were mis-undersood and/or taken out-of-context.

      Thanks again for your comment.

      Cheers, WD.

  4. Someone with the moniker "dylan terreri, i" with a link to "XYZhatespride" left a long rambling comment on Sunday, December 01, 2013 3:33:00 AM, starting with the words:

    dear sir or vagina

    I am not publishing your comment for IMHO any women in the world (including your mother, dear dylan) is more than just her "vagina".

    You ramble on-and-on about how the "pro-gay bigots" respond rudely to "gay bashing". Frankly, are your slogans any more respectful? 2 wrongs do not make a right. I have come across many gay individuals -- some nice, some nasty -- no different from straight individuals.

    On top of that, the entire comment is based on opinions of one person. For sure, everyone has opinions, please feel free to ramble on your own website. Trolls are not tolerated here.