Deus Ex Machina

"This is the generation of the great LEVIATHAN, or rather, to speak more reverently of that mortal god, to which we own under the immortal God, our peace and defense." -Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan

As a Christian, I am Offended for Singaporean Buddhists

Recently there was posted in NUS by Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC) the following picture which insinuated that Thai buddhists have little joy.

I reaction to this, the NUS Buddhist Society (NBS) has lodged a complain to the Office of Student Affairs. I wish to register and state here my offense at the NUS Buddhist Society for demeaning Singaporean Buddhist by such a reactionary move.

I am offended that the NBS would insult Buddhists in NUS and Singapore by insinuating that they are so insecure about their faith and joy in Buddha that they would have to resort to censorship to answer this slanderous attack by the CCC.

I am offended that the NBS would make Buddhists out in Singapore to be the equivalent of paranoid Medieval Christians who had to resort to inquisitions and burning of books and opinions to stamp out false charges against them.

I am offended that the NBS would degrade the intellectual capacity of Buddhists to answer false arguments and charges with reasonable and civilised debate and discourse and made Buddhists out to be poor infantile morons who needs paternal coercive censorship to save their fragile sensibilities from what is a false charge anyway.

I am offended that NBS have represented Buddhists as people who are unable to demonstrate their joy in Buddha by their deeds and compassion, by their patience and long sufferings to slanderous charges, and have instead represented them as people who could not demonstrate the joy of Buddha by their own deeds but by censoring those who attack it instead.

I am offended that NBS have made Buddhism out to be lesser religion than Christianity, as if turning the other cheek to an enemy is purely a Christian virtue, as if tolerating insults and false charges from enemies is something which Buddhists are incapable of, but the capacity only of Christians who tolerates insults from militant atheists and secularists like Dawkins and Da Vinci Code without the need to resort to censorship.

I am offended at some Buddhists who have said that such an offensive claims by the CCC is seditious. For this implies that somehow Buddhists are such violent and petty people that they will resort to arms to defend their faith which would disrupt national and civil order, making such offensive claims to be “seditious”. This is an utter misrepresentation of the instrinsc non-violence of Buddhism and long suffering in the face of enmity and I am offended by these Buddhists who would insinuate otherwise.

Therefore,
I register once more my offense at the NBS and other Buddhists named above who have dragged the name of Buddhism into disrepute and shame, would like to state categorically that the Buddhist I know of are in no way the infantile and pathetic petty morons implied by this frankly junvenile and reactionary move by the NBS.

Thank you.

Feel free to repost this

Update:

I received the following comment below,

Hi, my name is Kwek Yan and I am a former President of NUS Buddhist Society (NUSBS). I am writing to clarify because you may not have had the full picture before writing this blog post and your facebook note.

I was among the first to see the photograph on facebook and immediately shared it with some current committee members. It was about 8pm then, and the facebook photo states that it was uploaded 3 hours ago, which would make it 5pm.

I went down immediately to LT15 to verify that there was indeed such a poster, but could not find it at all. This was about 8.15pm.

The current President acknowledged knowledge of the matter at 11.30pm. By 12MN, the original facebook photo and website has already been disabled.

Therefore, from this timeline,

(1) The photo and website was not taken down because of a complaint from NUSBS.

(2) From my knowledge of the meeting between OSA, CCC and various student groups, CCC stated that they took steps to remove the photo and website because the photo went viral.

(3) The photo was already going viral before NUSBS knew of it.

I am sure you are a person that values truth and fairness, so kindly update your post (above and on facebook) regarding your accusations against NUSBS.

And this is my reply,

Kwek Yan,

Thank you for your clarification. NBS has my unreserved apology for my groundless accusation. I will update this and my facebook according. I hope that NBS will not mind letting me continue to put this up as an rhetorical device and object lesson in mutual religious discourse, and I am very pleased and glad to be able to have it with you and that I have been vindicated in my confidence in the reasonableness of the Buddhist society and community in Singapore.

Yours,
Rubati

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70 comments on “As a Christian, I am Offended for Singaporean Buddhists

  1. Ven. Shi Chuan Guan
    February 17, 2012

    Rubati, you may wish to note that NUS Buddhist Society uses the acronym NUSBS and not NBS.

    Like

  2. Anonymous
    February 17, 2012

    Does that mean Apple has a right to sue for defamation each time someone says that their Android phone is way better than the iPhone? Because that would be scary and hilarious at the same time…-Dom C.

    Like

  3. Anonymous
    February 17, 2012

    Ha Anon, you have quite a lot of faith in your argumentative skills! I think you should know though, that 'those people in question' have encountered this objection for centuries already and have perfectly satisfactory answers. :)-Dom C.

    Like

  4. mrTBS
    February 17, 2012

    Thank you for this post and for keeping conversations civil. I have learnt much! *cheers for Rubati*

    Like

  5. Rubati
    February 17, 2012

    Your sense of proportion is very interesting, in addition to your leaps of inference. The call to refrain from invoking censorship is tantamount to war? And of course, religionists must be such horribly violent people to need censorship of offensive materials otherwise we might take up arms and start wars.Hitler, by the way, is known for being a totalitarian statist, and somehow, advocating that we use less of the state's power is to be "another hitler in the making". You interpretation of history is interesting, but it is not one which I share.

    Like

  6. Anonymous
    February 18, 2012

    Very funny, making a rant against actions NUSBS did not take (censorship), and framing it as being offended for the sake of the people (Buddhists) who could care less about your opinion on the matter and what *you think* it meant for Buddhism's reputation.When really you are just annoyed that a poster that spoke your mind was indeed deemed offensive and taken down. Sure, enjoy your momentary fame by leaving this now-irrelevant post up. You're simply contributing to perpetuating the already prevalent image of certain Christians.

    Like

  7. Rubati
    February 18, 2012

    I suppose then, on the say so of a person who hides behind the veil of anonymity, I shall have to accept that you are an authority on what *all* Buddhist people care about. :)I am fairly certain that the vast majority of Buddhist couldn't care less about *my* opinion on the matter as the number of Buddhist friends I have are negligible in comparison to the total Buddhist population. But I am fairly certain that they would care about the issue, whether it it raised by me or not, or whether it is my thoughts on the issue or other people's thoughts on the issue. You are right of course that it is not *my* opinion or what *I think* that matters, it is the opinion *itself*, the *points* itself raised which is important. The fact that it is *me* raising it is a matter of inconsequence.And it is very generous of you to share your hypothesis about what my mental state is and what I am "really" thinking about. Of course my valuation of the credibility of your hypothesis would be considerably raised if I knew who you were and how familiar you are with my person. But hey, you may speak about others as you please, especially when protected by anonymity. :)And I do fully plan on enjoying this momentary fame, as you put it, thanks for your advice, and as for it's relevance, well, that is for each person to judge and you've made *your* opinion quite clear, an opinion which you of course have a right too.And it would be interesting to ask what exactly is this "image of certain Christians" which I am perpetuating, but hey, in my opinion, image is superficial and irrelevance, but you are entitled to hold otherwise if you choose. 🙂

    Like

  8. Anonymous
    February 18, 2012

    What does seditious mean? can you expand on that?

    Like

  9. Rui
    February 18, 2012

    Please support with evidence, link (for those with limited sight) of any other religion in Singapore that have offended other religions by such claims.Because looking at the news archives it is always the same religion that crossed the line.

    Like

  10. Rubati
    February 18, 2012

    Gladly, the following is taken from "good question good answer" by Ven S. Dhammika. Books available at the Buddha Dhamma Mandala Society Balesteir Rd. On the God question, it says that "like many modern sociologists and psyhologists, the Buddha saw the god-idea has having the origin in anxiety and fear" and that "Buddha’s teaching that the god-idea is a response to fear and frustration."http://www.goodquestiongoodanswer.net/content.php?CID=3I've got no problem with them saying this. But i think they should note that by their standards, these remarks are potentially seditious and I find it offensive that he thinks that our "God idea" is based on fear and anxiety. But hey, he has the right to say it, and I'm not going to call ISA to censor him or have these books removed.

    Like

  11. Rubati
    February 18, 2012

    The fact is that if Christians wished to make a fuss about being "offended", we could easily find the materials, raise hell, and it would end up in the news archives. But as George Yeo himself once said when asked why were books against other religions except Christianity censored, he replied,"Christians are less likely to riot"I take it as a compliment that people feel safe criticising and offending Christians because we are not prone to violence. I am confident that I can, or should be able to, affirm the same for every other religion.

    Like

  12. Rui
    February 18, 2012

    The bible, in which content is also heretical when compared to other monotheistic religions, because it states that ANY other gods are false Gods. Are also available in Christian bookshops.There is a reason that the sale of these books takes place in their respective religious bookshops."I believe in the teachings of Buddha's teachings…."is about as offensive as"I believe in the teachings of Christ…."Both religion will obviously disagree with each other.You can try to call ISA but they will not and cannot censor him or have the books removed. The book discusses about the teachings of Buddhism , just like books of many other religions discuss about their teachings of their own religion. The idea of these books is to provide enlightenment for the people of their respective religions.You should not even bother spend time reading books of other religions if you decide to be offended the moment their views are not similar to yours, how can they be? You do not share the same religion as them.Do you believe that ALL of them, (except for the Christian versions)have to be censored and removed?I have no idea how can one equate those statements that to the kind of blatant disrespect seen in the poster that specifically mentions both a country and a religion, or to people who were overzealous and knowingly distribute their promotional materials to members of ANOTHER monotheistic religion, that is the kind of insensitivity, border-lining on stupidity that can get you into jail.Please provide an example that any other religions in Singapore have been this insensitive in their effort to promote their religion to the public, in my knowledge they have been very considerate not to involve/mention/make comparisons with any other religions no matter how zealous or pious they may be.

    Like

  13. Rubati
    February 18, 2012

    The bible, in which content is also heretical when compared to other monotheistic religions, because it states that ANY other gods are false Gods. Are also available in Christian bookshops."Yes. No one said otherwise."There is a reason that the sale of these books takes place in their respective religious bookshops."True, but a truism really. Obviously religion books are sold in religious bookshops.'"I believe in the teachings of Buddha's teachings…."is about as offensive as"I believe in the teachings of Christ…."Both religion will obviously disagree with each other.'That's what I said from earlier on with you when I said that all religions necessary contradict and offend each other to the extend that they're teaching contradicts each other. No disagreement here."You can try to call ISA but they will not and cannot censor him or have the books removed."Of course not. I've already given you the reason. The government thinks that we Christians are less likely to riot, therefore it is alright to have materials offensive to Christians to be sold."You should not even bother spend time reading books of other religions if you decide to be offended the moment their views are not similar to yours, how can they be? You do not share the same religion as them."How i decide to spend my time and what books i decide to read is really my business and not yours. But thanks for trying to tell me what i should or should not do with my time, i will take it under advisement, although it is highly unlikely that i would take your advice to avoid reading books which offends me, as i sometimes would like to find out the point of view of people who offend me."Do you believe that ALL of them, (except for the Christian versions)have to be censored and removed?"Nope, I did not say I did. In fact, I have been abundantly clear that I believe that offensive materials should not be censored. Therefore as offensive as these Buddhists text maybe, I would defend their right to say it, although I would strongly disagree with it."I have no idea how can one equate those statements that to the kind of blatant disrespect seen in the poster that specifically mentions both a country and a religion, or to people who were overzealous and knowingly distribute their promotional materials to members of ANOTHER monotheistic religion, that is the kind of insensitivity, border-lining on stupidity that can get you into jail."The fact that you have no idea merely says that, well, you have no idea, and does not say anything about the equality of the two situations, the fact that you have no idea how something can be true does not entail that therefore it is not. But the solution to ignorance, is learning and understanding that you might get an idea. :)"Please provide an example that any other religions in Singapore have been this insensitive in their effort to promote their religion to the public, in my knowledge they have been very considerate not to involve/mention/make comparisons with any other religions no matter how zealous or pious they may be."'In your knowledge' implies that what you say is true, which I would flatly contradict. Therefore it is merely in your opinion, which I disagree.

    Like

  14. Ah Heng
    February 19, 2012
  15. Ng Xin Zhao
    February 19, 2012

    Please use the acronym NUSBS for NUS Buddhist Society, not NBS, we call ourselves NUSBS too! Here's my take on the matter (not representing NUSBS, personal representation): http://ngxinzhaomonk.blogspot.com/2012/02/interfaith-dialogues.html

    Like

  16. Anonymous
    February 21, 2012

    @ Dom C – Really? Care to share how they would dispose of my logical argument?

    Like

  17. Anonymous
    February 24, 2012

    I think report abuse is the only way. Since no one can f**k his mum.

    Like

  18. Pingback: On the Government’s “Censorship” of the Internet | The Rationality of Faith

  19. Egor Ananyev
    December 11, 2015

    Please either take down the post, or mention that it is no longer valid due to subsequent correspondence *in the beginning* of the post. This is the second result on Google when looking for NUS Buddhist Society, and many people don’t bother reading all the way to the end, yet still get a negative impression of the Society, which is completely undeserved.

    Like

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This entry was posted on February 16, 2012 by in Singapore.
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