Singapore—It may have sounded like an April Fool’s Day joke but it wasn’t. A handout was distributed in Parliament on April 1 with “Illustrations of Offensive Lyrics” from singers such as Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande as part of a larger discussion on hate speech.
One Member of Parliament, Workers’ Party Chen Show Mao, posted a photo of the handout on Facebook, which, understandably, netizens reacted to rather angrily.
The Lady Gaga song featured in the handout is “Judas,” and here are the ‘offensive’ lyrics cited: “I am just a Holy Fool, oh baby….I wanna love you/But something’s pulling me away from you/Jesus is my virtue and/Judas is the demon I cling to/I cling to”.
Ariana Grande’s song, “God is a woman” was also included in the handout, specifically these lyrics; You love it how I touch you/My own, when all is said and done/You’ll believe God is a woman”.
Even Hozier’s 2013 hit “Take Me to Church” was on the list, with the lyrics, “Take me to church/ I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies/ I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife.”
The handout is allegedly part of the Ministerial Statement that Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam made concerning hate speech, wherein he emphasised that it is important to address hate speech even in entertainment, citing the cancellation of the concert by Swedish black metal band Watain, which had been scheduled for March 7.
Unsurprisingly, netizens had a whole range of reactions to the issue, ranging from outrage to shock and mocking.
Some netizens joked that the only kind of songs that would be acceptable were nursery rhymes (i.e. inoffensive)
Others found the issue ridiculous
People of faith chimed in as well
Others seemed to worry about the increasing amount of control over our lives
Yet others wondered if there aren’t more pressing issues that the Government must deal with
Others pointed out that, after all, these are merely song lyrics
For some netizens, the issue felt like a step backward
One commenter pointed out that the standards of what is offensive is not the same for everyone.
Some commenters noted with alarm that the Government seemed to think very little of Singaporeans’ critical thinking abilities
Others brought up something they really found offensive
One point that was also brought up was that the lyrics seemed to be offensive to one religion in particular
Send in your scoop to email@example.com