Friday, October 8, 2010

Oh, no! Not again!

It's happening again. Whenever the Board of ACS meets and it gets reported in the papers, the general feeling is there is trouble of the sexual kind. This is the third time in recent times that an accusation is made against principals (yes, it's in the plural) and a teacher for "inappropriate behaviour".  Although the two earlier cases ended in an acquittal (on appeal) in one case and a dismissal of the accusation by the Board of Governors in the other, one cannot help wondering why ACS is attracting such negative media attention.  It is shameful for all of us pious Methodists to hear the more unruly segments of our society calling this Methodist school "AC-DC S" or worse, "AC-DC ass" and the motto, "THE BEST IS - GET INTO ME".

What solution is there for us?  We who are heterosexual Christians should get off our high horses and recognise that there are some of us who are homosexuals and it's not a matter of choice.  We should stop demonizing gays.  Many gay Christians repress their sexuality because the church tells them homosexual acts are sinful. In later life, they seek sexual expression in a way that may appear anti-social and in some cases, downright criminal.

I'm assuming for the sake of argument that all 3 accusations are groundless and false. Why then are there these accusations?  Why do we not have such accusations in any of the other boys' schools in Singapore?

Here is my theory.  The accusers know that the church is dead opposed to homosexual activities.  They also know that as long as we continue to demonise homosexuality, there will be those who repress their sexual urges for a time.  They know that an accusation against some authority figure in such a school will carry more weight because there is a greater reason for such a person to conceal his sexuality because of the church.  It will be so much more believable. 

The solution: the church should immediately change its homophobic stand.  For those of us who find homosexual unions repulsive, we have to remind ourselves that we have to deal with our own inner demons - our bigotry and prejudices.  I remember standing in a queue and a lesbian couple behind me were making out openly. I remember having to tell myself to be tolerant of those who were different from me. The prejudices I had against the couple behind me are no different from the racist prejudices mankind had a long time ago.

Once our society can accept this minority group, there will be no more false accusations.  A gay principal can tell the school that he will reside in the boarding house with his male partner and all will be well.  A hundred years ago, the same principal would have been in trouble if he had walked into the school and introduced his wife who was of a different skin colour.  Our human race has finally got rid of racism.  Let's now get rid of homophobia.

PS. It has just occurred to me that the other boys' schools run by the Anglicans, Presbyterians and Roman Catholics do not seem to have this problem even though these churches presumably take a homophobic stand.  In any event, one can't go wrong if one gets rid of homophobia completely.

PPS.  I have just read my post again and I want to make one point clear.  I'm by no means saying that the accusations are in fact false.  I'm not interested in the actual cases.  I only want to explore the general problems that I see within the church.  Like I have said earlier, for the purpose of examining the issues affecting the church, I am ASSUMING that the accusations are false.  I am turning real events into hypothetical cases in order to look at the issues more clearly.


  1. Dear Teng Leong - I read your blog on this topic and it will not work for Mr. Pricipal to bring his male partner to live with him in the boarding house. Cannot, lah! So many people would find that objectionable, the first of whom would be Mrs. Principal, right?

  2. Dear Audrey, I'm not talking about Dr Ong's situation at all. I'm talking about a Principal who is gay, has no female wife and introduces his partner to the school. In an open, progressive society, this should be acceptable. There's no Mrs Principal in this scenario, just Mr Principal and his partner.