5/09/2009

The Aware Saga and homosexuality

I do not want to belabour this event to give it too much credit. But I just want to touch on one aspect that the media and the white shirts would not want the people to see. The issue that most people have come to remember this episode is a Christian group gate crashing into a secular organisation, taking control of it and tried to impose its Christian values on the organisation. Is this what it was all about? Many unthinking people will believe so. And they rallied to this message to fight the 'Christian Talibans'. I didn't coined this phrase. And the church also dissociated itself from this group of Christians. The rest is history. Is this the real story or is this the whole story? One major aspect of this struggle that was swept under the carpet is the issue of homosexuality. This was scantily mentioned or ignored completely by the media and even the church and all the religious organisations. What is the stand of the media on this? What is the stand of all the religious organisations and civil organisations on this? Silence....No one bothers to talk about it either. The religious organisations, especially the church, has no stand, no view or opinion on homosexuality and imparting such values to our children in schools. This was not an issue at stake and not an issue for discussion. Now that the 'Christian Talibans' have been removed, would this homosexual fad be a topic worthy of discussion in our media?

30 comments:

gtuckerkellogg said...

I can't figure out what media you were reading. The topic of homosexuality was covered relentlessly by the Straits Times, CNA, Today, and TNP. I wasn't reading 联合早报, but I don't see why it would be any different.

Indeed, what most bothered me and many others was not that the majority of the New Guard were from the same church, but that they colluded in advance at the urging of Dr. Thio to the take over AWARE because of AWARE's allegedly pro-gay stance, while keeping their agenda a secret. The only people obsessed about homosexuality were, ironically, the New Guard.

Anonymous said...

Why would parents want ostrich kids?

Francis Chua

Anonymous said...

gtuckerkellogg wrote
"The topic of homosexuality was covered relentlessly"

It was all over SIN. I think it was a very bad way to cover an issue which can affect some people's lives badly. Parents may become alarmed. Certain kids may be targetted for bullying. Co-workers of gays may get over-sensitive. Gays themselves may feel uncomfortable. Family members and relatives may feel loss of words. Some gays may be targeted for free sex by other guys. Others may fear a rottening of society as according what their religious holy books was written. And so on so forth. And there will be outcry. And there will be protests.

Francis Chua

gtuckerkellogg said...

Francis Chua: Those are real risks, but I think on balance the discussion was positive, because the way to overcome homophobia is to recognize, through communication, the humanity of gays and lesbians.

At any rate, my comment was a response to redbean's bizarre and baseless assertion that homosexuality was avoided in the discussion of the AWARE events.

redbean said...

hi gtuckerkellogg,

welcome to the blog. my interpretation of what i read my be bizarre to you, but would you agree that there were two issues, the way aware was taken over by a christian group, and two, the issue of homosexuality? and the media did cover both, but the main issues that received all the attention was the take over and not homosexuality. actually it is about homosexuality in the CSE curriculum.

i don't think anyone is explicitly against homosexuals. i don't. and i am not the only one who sense the one sided reporting in the media and even in some blogs.

i may even attend the pink dot event next sat at honglim.

CatFightLover said...

The New Guard of aware may have lost the battle but to me, they have won the fight. Homosexuality was a subject previously not many wanted to talk about. There were resigned acceptance of this sexual misconduct or abberation as the inclusive right of individuals making a free choice. Now, it seems, the camps are split and you are either for or against such behaviour.

The sorry affair also attracted the attention of the type of material that were used in the sex education of our children in schools and rather belately, it was found not suitable and removed by the MOE. This is a good lesson for those charged with educating our young that all materials must be vetted by a central body rather than outsourced to partisan school principals sympathetic to the "inclusive" cause. In this regard, whatever agendas the New Guard hoped to achieve, they have achieved at least one.

Where previously I hadn't the faintest idea what this organisation stood for, I am now very aware of AWARE.

Anonymous said...

It is not too nice for me to say i have no belief in god or religion, however to be clear, i have to state so.

As a parent/grandparent, i strongly object to the CSE declaring that anal sex and same sex sex acts are okay, worse; even declared healthy. Many have given their reasons for opposing, showing disgusts and disturbed by some of the CSE Contents. If the write-ups in the Blogosphere, open discussions and reports in the Medias are unable to bring sensibility to the sexually intoxicated, no amount of further literatures are going to help.

Upbringings from the Society and parents ultimately influence greatly the mores and behaviours of our offsprings. Even a thief will teach his siblings and offsprings NOT TO STEAL though he may be doing it himself. Our teachings and imparting of values to our further generations cannot be according to fads, whims, fancies and fantasies. We are not talking about fashions, foods as they tastes(versus nutrition values), games that are contemporary. Even funs have to be good clean fun, this is the VALUE we are talking about; GOOD and CLEAN.

What happen between two consenting adults od whatever gender mix is their personal/private/confidential affairs. BUT to seek blessings, approvals, acceptances by others and the Laws is beyond personal/private and confidential. They, the sexually variants should just enjoy the bochap(can't be bothered) attitudes of the others and not demand more. Shall i say, no worry if one feels no guilt.

The comment i made here is just a simple one as i am unable to extol the teachings of philosophers of the past two three thousand years who were not or seldom failed to enlighten. Me like to conclude that values were established long long ago, the flaws lie in modern men wanting to challenge those values.

patriot

gtuckerkellogg said...

redbean, the main issue was the takeover, so the coverage was appropriate. That they were motivated by their anti-gay views was well covered, and would not have been news had the New Guard not attempted to conceal their views in the process.

As for the complaints *now* against the CSE, well, congratulations to the New Guard for getting people riled up regarding a very small part of the program that brought no complaints, from either parents or the New Guard members themselves, before the saga. If Dr. Thio had had the good sense and decency to to go to the MOE directly instead of conspiring to take over a civil organization in which she had no other interest, she, Josie, and the rest would not have made such fools of themselves.

fr0z said...

Thio Su Mien, Josie Lau and company have only themselves to blame if there is any "one-sided" reporting. They gave the press nothing until it was too late, and then messed up their own press conference.

Dr Thio killed any remaining shreds of credibility they had.

As for the CSE, I believe there is a generation gap here. But no matter what your stand is, it is foolish to think that if the CSEs were not implemented, the youngsters would not experiment with sex and that they would not be confused about their sexuality.

We can bury our heads in the sand, or we can prepare them so that they know what is at stake.

Everyone seems fixated on the homosexuality in the CSE, but no one praises the work on role-playing saying "no" to sex and relevant information of STDs. If anything, that is the one-sided reporting in the aftermath of this saga.

CatFightLover said...

According to the New Paper, this is what was taught in our schools to impressionable and naive teenage school children under the CSE programme of the Old Aware:


ANAL SEX: Can be healthy or neutral if practised with consent and with a condom.

VIRGINITY: A concept which is really difficult to fix, traditionally virginity is related to the hymen. But perhaps we can also think of virginity as a state of mind?

PRE-MARITAL SEX: People might place pre-marital sex as negative, but it is really neutral. The key is whether the couple is aware of the consequences and responsibilities and is ready for them.

By inference, these youngsters cannot be faulted if they think that:

1. Male homosexuality is acceptable to our still conservative asian society.

2. Loss of virginity is a non issue.

3 Pre-marital sex is acceptable with consent. Therefore, boys and girls, it's fine to have one night stands so long as you know what you're doing. Don't worry, Papa will take care of the abortionist's bills. Do the old aware really believe that these youngsters will know the consequences of a loose sexual lifestyle and thus proceed with caution?

What poison are we subjecting our school children to???

Anonymous said...

Catfight Lover,

I do not see any issues with teaching children:

1. Male homosexuality exists in our society and some studies have shown it to be genetic. The purpose is to teach young children not to discriminate against the homosexual group, who may have no control over their genetic make-up.

2. You are either naive or just plain ignorant to think that people nowadays keep their virginity until marriage. Safe sex is better information than abstinence. You can either teach the young, or they can ask the internet.

3 Pre-marital sex IS acceptable with consent. As long as both youths are above the legal age of 16, what's your issue? Your issue is that you avoid the TRUTH that young people out there are having sex. Since we know they are, why shouldn't we, as responsible adults, equip them with the proper knowledge of protecting themselves and having healthy sex?

And you seem to fail to recognise the fact that you don't OWN these children. Even if they are your flesh and blood, they are entitled to their own values and judgement without being poisoned with your religion!

CatFightLover said...

For the record, I am not a christian or a member of any religious organisation. My views and opinions are just plain old vanilla family values that have stood the test of time.

There was a time not too long ago when youngsters were teachable, respectful of their elders and abhor all manners of sexual misconduct. I admit that for the vast majority of mediocre families, those days are gone. Is it for the better? Ask these youngsters 20, 30 years down the road.

Anonymous said...

CatFightLover,

You've just proven that people don't need to be religious to be misguided in self righteous values.

These values make YOU feel good but do NOTHING for the generation facing reality out there.

You sit down in your well and scream at everyone to jump in because it's safe down there.

For many others in the young generation, they'd rather be out there living for real than be trapped in your imaginery well.

redbean said...

hi fr0z, welcome to the blog.

the CSE curriculum and the controversy over what is normal and nor normal is not simply a generation gap. there are simply two groups who don't agree over what is normal and what is not. they will not agree for a long time to come. the conservatives need not agree with the liberals and vice versa.

what is normal to the liberals is not normal to the conservatives. what is normal to the conservatives may not be normal to the liberals.

just because the two do not agree does not meant that they hate each other. we have reach a point when the conservatives have accepted the liberals' way of life. only thing is that they do not want them and do not want the liberals to tell their children that these are normal and acceptable. they want to tell the children that these are not normal and not acceptable.

can we live with these differences and diversities? all inclusiveness means what? for the liberals to sneak this into the CSE curriculum is not acceptable.

to each his own choice. fair?

gtuckerkellogg said...

Nobody snuck anything into the curriculum. The curriculum was approved and used without any complaints. If the MOE didn't do an adequate job of reviewing external curricula, that's not AWARE's fault.

When anti-gay agitators like TSM advocate against homosexuals in the civil service, as she wrote to the Straits Times in 2003, they are advocating discrimination. When you write that you "think gays and lesbians should be banned from teaching sexual education" you are doing much the same, and perpetuating fears of homosexuals that have nothing to do with the curriculum.

CatFightLover said...

Live and let live. That's acceptable by me. In fact, I think that those with a homosexual bend are some of the most talented and gifted in our society. Don't understand and know why. Maybe it's the left hand thingy syndrome. But I draw the line when it comes to educating our young with materials which indirectly promote a promiscuous and homosexual lifestyle.

That the MoE were caught sleeping and not vetting the study materials before adoption by the schools when they should have, is another issue altogether.

I also support the notion that gays and lesbians should not be allowed to teach sex education in schools. Neither should religious fundies do so too for the same reason and that is, they have a bias towards their own cultural inclinations and passionate beliefs. People selected to teach sex education in schools should be of a certain age, of unquestionable behavioural integrity and comes from wholesome families. This is not discrimination per se but job matching. After all, you don't want a rock musician to teach classical music would you?

坡仔哥哥 said...

I would like to make 2 points, both which are not covered, add value to the discussions.

Firstly, I DISAGREE that Gay People cannot teach Sex Education in school. Your are simply discriminating against this minority group.

The teacher maybe be gay, but he / she needs to teach based on an approved cirriculum from MOE / School. He / She did not decide on the cirriculum and then come and teach it. Even if he / she tries to skew the approved text, such behaviours will be shortlived...compliants from the students or supervisory monitors will raise red flags.

I firmly believe that as long as he / she is qualified, they should be allowed to do thier job.

2ndly, we all know that MOE knows what was in the CSE from Aware and approved it. Given the content of the cirriculum (Anal Sex, Virginity, Premarital Sex...) - I suspect that MOE has an agenda, maybe even this agenda was briefed to Aware to customise a cirriculum to promote this agenda.

However, given the public outcry, MOE has decided to halt and remove this cirriculum - basically, a "oopphs" situation.

As far as I can see, MOE should shoulder the bulk of the responsibility (since they were the ones to commission this cirriculum to Aware).

By the way....food for thought, people in MOE must be thinking "what then should be the context and content of the sex education from now"....I am wondering that myself....

hhhmmmmm.

Jaunty Jabber said...

I see that Redbean, CatFightLover and some others who have doubt over the integrity of the sex education structure here are not trying to say that the children here should be like ostrich. They and myself inclusive are questioning the suitability, the delivery methods of such education and whether the trainer ought to be someone whom personal beliefs plus personal behavior does not contradict the curriculum.

Opening up to the children that the modern world has an increased number of homosexuals, increased rates of teen’s sex and increased number of pre-marital sex is not wrong, in fact it is necessary. The young should be informed of such phenomenon. Parents, MOE, AWARE and other curriculum providers could acknowledge that the world has become more liberal and at the same time remind the risks & negative effect that could occur with liberalism.

With generally a higher acceptance and tolerance over issues like homosexual and pre-marital sex in the current world, it does not mean that such behaviors shall be accepted as additional choice in life. We are hearing that some of the homosexual are biologically-homo, not by choice. We can tell the youngs that when this exists, how to deal with it, we cannot tell them that this is an additional choice and it is okay for those who are interested to apply.

Anal sex is not natural, we cannot tell the youngs that as long as a condom is use and with consent, it can be "made" normal. Just like a medical condition, we cannot say that with advanced medical technology, and with high performance drugs or even vaccines to protect you, you can care less about your health? No, right?

Teens sex & pre-marital sex, if you say that it is very common nowadays so we might as well continue with it, so long as protection is used and there is consent of both parties. Will this give rise to social problems? Didn't many people will frown whenever the news reported an increase in child abortion, sexual diseases and single parenting?

When you accepted that a certain act is common and thus allow it, the effect is,m the act will multiply. Compare to saying that certain acts is not correct, at least it curb the scale. To tell the youngs that certain things are prohibited while at the same time also keep them informed of possible protection and prevention, knowing that it is high tendency for the teens to want to try, isn't it much preferred? Emphasis is, have to stand firm that certain things are prohibited and there are ill effects if one were to challenge it.

No matter how informed a kid is, the number of years a kid has spend on earth is still lesser than a matured adult, kid lack resources and mental consistency to bear any negative consequent. To help them, we have to say a firm 'no' to certain actions and behavior.

Think the above could have sort of suggest how the MOE could organize the sex education structure for the children. A thing or two to add to the sex education here is, to teach the kids on how to deal with sexual abuses, what to do if one is molested or sexually threatened, how to lookout for potential danger, what to do when a family member or someone you know is doing something weird to you, how to get help, where to get help, how to help a friend, how to heal if you have unfortunately suffered a sex abuse, such things are much useful and practical for kids (or even older kids) to know.

Jimmy Mun said...

Gay advocates can be ostriches too, as seen by the comment above.

There is no scientific basis to suggest a "gay gene" exist. If it is part of our genetic code, one would thought it would have self selected itself out of the gene pool, unless the truth is, many of the gay people are really bisexual, which also contradicts their core tenets that gay people can only be attracted by their own gender.

That said, I never said gay people arent born that way. It has been observed that some gay men have been exposed to excessive amount of testosterone while still in the mother's womb. The testesterone is often linked to older male siblings, so that is one hypothesis.

But to say homosexuality is genetic is pure unscientific ignorance.

I dont believe anybody said MOE should pretend homosexuality or pre-marital sex does not exist. Awareness about such issues, as well birth control can be scientifically approached.

However, the AWARE CSE is hardly taking a neutral position in such matters.

Why doesnt the CSE include things like:

"Bestiality is perfectly normal."
"Incest is perfectly normal."
"Necrophilia is perfectly normal."

Should we be ostriches and let our children find out about these things on the internet? AWARE is okay if we discriminate against such people?

What kind of feminist organisation would open the door to allow women to get pressured into anal sex?

The real gay activists have clear objectives. Pity the tools that get dragged along thinking they are being "liberal".

redbean said...

hi jimmy mun, welcome to the blog.

i need to rush out now. will come back and chat later.

cheers everyone.

Anonymous said...

I see no one ask the kids for their views. It is their education, so their views should be sought, even on this topic of sexuality. I think the kids should be taught what is truthful that they will be able to verify for themselves when they grow up. The kids should also be shown that there are religious values, there
are traditional values and there are secular values and other values. Let them learn to make up their minds on these values.

Francis Chua

redbean said...

we are having quite a discussion here. my replies to a few points raised.

1. to disallow homosexuals to teach sex education to child may be discriminatory. as a broad rule i am for such a stand. but if the teacher's sexual preference is made know from the start, and if he/she will follow the syllabus, then it can be considered. an effiminate male is obvious. a gay man with homosexual tendency or a lesbian, is not obvious. if they are professional in their job, exceptions can be made.

MOE knew and approved of the CSE curriculum? quite possible as MOE is only an institution and there are many decision makers and at one point in time, a particular decision maker may go against MOE's official policy.

2. some are born biologically bisexual, with different sexual organs. but some are not. the moment homosexuality is a choice, a lifestyle choice, it means it is not biological. this is worrisome and troublesome.

3. francis taught about asking a child. there are things that parents may want to ask a child. there are things that parents should not ask a child when the child is mentally not mature and did not know enough to make a sensible decision.

should parents ask a child whether he should go to school, how much pocket money he needs, what religion he wants to believe in? or should the parents ask the teenage children if they want to have pre marital sex?

until the child has reached a certain maturity, well informed and able to make decisions on his own, the parents will still have to make the decision for them. there is no hard and fast rule as to what is a good age. but for a matter like sexuality, primary and lower secondary students are generally not ready for it.

Anonymous said...

I need to respond to these disagreeable arguments:

1. "What happen between two consenting adults od whatever gender mix is their personal/private/confidential affairs. BUT to seek blessings, approvals, acceptances by others and the Laws is beyond personal/private and confidential. They, the sexually variants should just enjoy the bochap(can't be bothered) attitudes of the others and not demand more. Shall i say, no worry if one feels no guilt."

- Please understand that gays are not seeking blessing or understanding for their PRIVATE sexual practices. They simply do not want to be criminalized for their sexual practices. With s377A in place, gay men can be persecuted for whatever they do in privacy.

2. Comprehensive Sex Ed: The reason why it is named "comprehensive" because it covers both abstinence and safe sex practices. It does not advocate pre-martial sex. Those who see it that way is missing the point. It is simply wrong to assume that as long as one element of the programme teaches about safe sex practices equates to a push for teens to experiment with sex. It is simply a precaution measure for those who will not take no for an answer. It is meant for those kids who, no matter how much you try to warn or punish them, they just will not "keep their hands out of the cookie jar". Ever heard about the internet? Are you so sure your kids are not getting to the wrong websites for information about sex. CSE is a reasoned and factual way to educate our kids about human sexuality before they get confused by all the "adult" stuff they see or read online.

3. Virginity: The case for enforcing the view that virginity must be protected at all cost is misogynistic. The value of virginity has always been a concept enforced more on women than men. Have you ever heard of men being persecuted for being a non-virgin before marriage. Thus said, again, I doubt the CSE advocates the loss of virginity. Rather, it takes away the unnecessary guilt associated from it because there might be kids in the classroom who are non-virgins due to various circumstances. Virginity is good but should not be a reason for devaluing those who are not.

4. "can we live with these differences and diversities? all inclusiveness means what? for the liberals to sneak this into the CSE curriculum is not acceptable."

- that is simply wrong because the CSE has both abstinence and safe sex components involved. Thus Liberals did not sneak anything in it. Rather sex ed was simply a conservative conversation in the past. It a natural evolution on how we educate our kids on sexual behaviours since we now have empirical data showing that some young people do engaged in sex whether we like it or not. Instead of letting them go about with misinformation about safe sex, the CSE gives them the tools to know what they should do if they do get sexually involved. Moreover, sex ed is to prepare our young on how to deal with sexual issue when they BECOME ADULTS.

5. "People selected to teach sex education in schools should be of a certain age, of unquestionable behavioural integrity and comes from wholesome families."

- what does that really mean? Who belongs to this category? Who defines and evaluates integrity? Don't we already assume our teachers possess these values since we sent our kids to be taught by them? The only way to ensure that your kids get the best instruction based on your perception of "integrity" is to home school them yourself. But we know that story... many of us can attest to the fact that our own parents were not the best gurus on human sexuality because they are (1) uncomfortable talking about it; (2) are not objective; (3) may not be the best role models (this applies to those who knows that not all marriages are equal... ever heard of adultery?).

6. "Anal sex is not natural, we cannot tell the youngs that as long as a condom is use and with consent, it can be "made" normal. Just like a medical condition, we cannot say that with advanced medical technology, and with high performance drugs or even vaccines to protect you, you can care less about your health? No, right?"

- ermm... didn't we just repealled s377 for heterosexuals? If you think anal sex is wrong, would you might getting like-minded adults and pressure your MPs to reinstate s377? This is ridiculous. What are you saying to our kids, that adults are hypocrites? That the parliament approved a "unnatural" act just for kicks?

7. "Why doesnt the CSE include things like: "Bestiality is perfectly normal. Incest is perfectly normal. Necrophilia is perfectly normal."

- You are a using false logical arguments. Most credible medical evidence out there shows that homosexuality is NOT EQUIVALENT to those practices you mentioned. It is a right-wing method to argue out-of-point. If I use your same logic and apply it to some medical practices, it would imply that all cancer patients who consume morphine for pain relieve are drug addicts since morphine is an illicit drug.

8. "But to say homosexuality is genetic is pure unscientific ignorance."

- Genetic science is moving at an even faster pace than before. We shall see about that. Whatever the case is, it is now accepted fact that not all homosexuals are nurtured. Many are homosexuals simply because they are. Just like you know you are heterosexual from a very young age without anyone nurturing you.

Jaunty Jabber said...

A point I keep pushing is easily missed by readers. My big big question is: Can someone who indulge in casual relationship/casual sex be someone who teaches the youngs about emotional values involves in sexs, sexuality and sexual diseases? Can someone who believed that basic human moral & ethic is not a basis to prevent sexual diseases spread through multiple sex partners as compared to the capability of a condom be someone who teaches the youngs about sexual values?

Jimmy Mun said...

"7. "Why doesnt the CSE include things like: "Bestiality is perfectly normal. Incest is perfectly normal. Necrophilia is perfectly normal."

- You are a using false logical arguments. Most credible medical evidence out there shows that homosexuality is NOT EQUIVALENT to those practices you mentioned."

I didnt say they are equivalent. You are using a strawman argument.

I asked "Should we be ostriches and let our children find out about these things on the internet? AWARE is okay if we discriminate against such people?"

If we are not talking morals here, I like to hear what objections the Gay Lobby has against incest, paedophilia or necrophilia.

I personally think heterosexual anal sex is worse than homosexual anal sex, and it was a mistake to legalise the former, if we want to keep the latter illegal.

The fact that AWARE was peddling anal sex to girls is enough to convince me that feminism had been hijacked by the Gay Lobby amongst the old guard.

After all the talk about openness and transparency, AWARE is still taking down all copies of the CSE available online. If it is so scientific and neutral, why bother hiding?

I accept some gays were born gay and cannot change. But I also believe that majority of the gays made a lifestyle choice. For example, some heterosexual men when they are locked in prison, are fully capable of using other men as substitute for women.Lastly, I like to reiterate that personally, I dont hate homosexuals. You stay in your own space, I'll leave you alone. But promoting homosexuality to our children using the AWARE backdoor to MOE is crossing a line that cannot be tolerated.

Jaunty Jabber said...

Recently I observed that the website Pinkdot.sg has an increase in visibility on the net. Many people has joined the pinkdot on facebook. And on Orchard Road, there were young people taking photographs with posters of Pink Dot, shouting out "Freedom to Love".

So much more pinky nowadays after the AWARE saga.

redbean said...

who is responsible to teach values and rights and wrongs to our children? moe, aware, parents or the children themselves?

Anonymous said...

Redbean:

hate to give You my answer because it will cause more worries.

The ones most keen to teach others about sex are sex predators and perverts, people whose minds are only filled with sex matters.

So, got to talk less about sex !

Blog about happiness, my friend.

patriot

Jaunty Jabber said...

I agree with Redbean's opinion that teaching sex to children below 18 is too early.

Age 18 is a yardstick used by majority to agree that a child has reach a basic level of maturity. Take for an example the movie censorship, anyone below age of 18 is not allow to watch R(A) movie.

Eliminating other source of exposures to sexuality for children is to be observed by parents and the schools.

Jaunty Jabber said...

Yes Patriot you right to point out that: "The ones most keen to teach others about sex are sex predators and perverts, people whose minds are only filled with sex matters"

True True, you are right!

So to say, that AWARE teaches sex comprehensively, there must be huge bunches of sexual perverts there!!??