'Let there be no criticism of any religion' Mon, Feb 15, 2010 - The Straits Times
IN HIS first public appearance since being rebuked for disparaging other religions, Pastor Rony Tan promised again to promote religious harmony and urged church members to do the same.
The leader of Lighthouse Evangelism, an independent church with 12,000 members, took to the stage and spoke to a crowded floor about 30 minutes into a weekly church service in Woodlands on Saturday evening."
When you made a mistake, it does haunt you for a while. Pastor Rony was a bit fortunate as he was only given a warning by the Internal Security Department (ISD) for his unfortunate mistake in trivializing other's beliefs to 'show the his church's beliefs are superior'. Some netizens actually felt that he should be jailed as inciting religious disharmony can have dire consequences if it was spin out of control!!
Lessons for me are:
1. be sensitive to certain 'out-of-bound' markers (OB Markers) in the society that you live in. Adapt yourself to the argument or mindset that: if your belief is good or great, the focused on the merits and the benefits without comparing to other's beliefs. It is that simple!;
2. when you are the one who made the mistake and were given a 2nd chance, seized it. Pastor Rony Tan has gone the 'extra miles' to show that he regret what he had done. He apologized in public, in his church's website, and in person to the leaders of the religious beliefs whom he had 'trivialized'. He is follow up again on apologizing. This is great though some netizens doubted his sincerity. Which is a normal thing to expect as there are skeptics which are harder to convince once you have fallen fault! This shows that how important it is not to have made the mistake in the 1st place;
3. there will be some within his church who felt that he might have given in too much. This is also natural as they believed that their belief is, indeed, superior to other's beliefs. The key is, they just have to keep it within themselves. No easy as it is naturally to make comparison too. At the same time, this is precisely what need to happen: focus on your own merits, let the merits speak for themselves. It is the ultimate persuasion if someone believed without needing to see evidence, if that is the case, there is no need for evidence. Just a simple: our beliefs are good will do. There is NO need to compare!! ;-)
May religious harmony continued in a multi-religious society like Singapore forever and ever!