I’ve always been wondering about this: Singapore is a secular state. Meaning there’s no one religion that’s governing us. All religions are equal, and we respect religious harmony. Yet, it is impossible to run away from religion.
What is the law? Personally I believe that the law is a set of rules that are put together because the majority of the people in a particular region, in this case Singapore, decided that the rules are fair and important. In our case, we elect people to represent us to make those laws. As such, they are highly dependent on our own value system, and on how we interpret if a particular action is wrong.
Hence it is difficult to run away from religion. Religion plays a part in many people’s lives. Religion also affect one’s moral viewpoint. Because of religion, a person may feel that action A is immoral, yet those in other religion may think otherwise.
Because religion is of such a nature, when there is a sizeable number of people of the same religion who feel the same way towards a particular issue, a law comes up, and that law is affected by religion, although Singapore is a secular state. That is why the repeal of 377A previously didn’t go successfully.
So where should we draw the line between being secular and being affected by religion? I thought about it for quite some time, and I came up with a viewpoint. It is fine if religion affects a person individually because of his own belief, and hence affecting a law. But it is not good if religion is used as a tool to amass people of the same religion together, to decide that something is wrong, and gang people up together against people who don’t believe the same way. It is not right for a normal non-religious issue to turn into a religious one. This is what had happened in AWARE. Homosexuality should not be a religious issue, yet certain pastors decided to use religion as a rallying force.
I never believed entirely in religion, especially organized religion. I find that human is flawed, and hence how can organized religion be perfect? I was wondering, if we assume that God is perfect, and hence we believe in him, how can we trust those humans who wrote about God’s words? By the nature of flawed humans, anything that we humans wrote about God is prone to errors and flaws. Hence, how can we be so sure that such words are God’s words? How can we be so sure that God decided something is wrong based on the words of humans who lived a long time ago? The best thing is, how can present humans know that their interpretation of such human words is true? Hence I find that I do not need to believe in any religion. As long as one does good, and has a clear conscience, that is enough.
Anyway the conclusion is that Singapore must remain secular, and religion must never be used as a rallying point. Who knows if the leader of the rally has misinterpreted God?