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Singapore priest counters anti-gay ‘looming threat’ comment

Singapore priest counters anti-gay ‘looming threat’ comment

Rev Miak Siew from the inclusive Free Community Church in Singapore has responded to ‘megachurch’ pastor Lawrence Khong’s comments that attempts to repeal an anti-gay law is a ‘looming threat’.

Rev Siew wrote a piece for LGBT Asia website Fridae arguing that the bible doesn’t value the ‘traditional family’ above all else.

‘The idea that "the family unit comprises of a man as Father, a woman as Mother, and Children" is not biblical,’ wrote Rev Siew.

‘In the Gospels, when Jesus was told that his mother and his brothers wanted to see him, Jesus refused to identify with his traditional family and instead shared a new vision how what family means in the kin-dom of God. He said, "Whosoever does the will of God, that one is my brother and sister and mother."…

‘In our context, how we shout loudly "We Are Family," is actually closer to Jesus’ idea of family than Pastor Khong’s idea of a man, a woman and their children. How we proclaim our new families of choice – our LGBT brothers, sisters, siblings, mothers, fathers, parents – and reimagine relational and familial ties beyond the biological is more reflective of a new world where everyone is family.’

Rev Siew added that the ‘repeal of 377A [which criminalizes gay sex] poses no threat to families bound together by love. Instead, the idea of a "traditional family" is a threat to all families – because it has placed obstacles in how parents understand their children who are different and it has made people who do not fit in – whether they are single parents, divorcees, or children who are orphaned, whose parents are not around by circumstance – ashamed of who they are.’

Rev Siew also wrote an open letter to Pastor Khong inviting him to ‘a dialogue, so that we can listen to one another, in love, in respect, and learn to understand each other better, so we can work together to build a better Singapore’.  He posted the letter on Facebook in response to Pastor Khong’s original comments, but it was removed.

‘I find it utterly disappointing that my letter posted as a comment on FCBC’s [Pastor Khong’s Faith Community Baptist Church] statement has been removed,’ said Rev Siew on Facebook. ‘How do we engage in conversation when one side is silenced?’