Rev (Dr) Nina Khong, one of the senior pastors of Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC), has drawn sharp criticism online over her recent comments about how Lee Hsien Yang’s recent appearance at Pink Dot was “immoral.”
Rev Nina Khong is the wife of Apostle Lawrence Khong, the founder and senior pastor of FCBC. Apostle Khong is one of the more prominent faces of the ‘Wear White Campaign’, a movement that was set-up to counter the Pink Dot movement.
Last weekend, Rev Nina Khong lashed out at Lee Hsien Yang for making an appearance at Pink Dot 2019 with his family.
Mr Lee and his wife Lee Suet Fern accompanied their son and his husband to the 11th annual Pink Dot gathering, that was held last Saturday (29 June). Photos of the family’s appearance at the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride event quickly drew attention and went viral online.
Mr Lee’s presence at the event was notable for a number of reasons – first, because he is the son of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and younger brother of current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who recently said that Section 377A – a law that criminalises gay sex – will not be repealed in Singapore anytime soon.
Additionally, this was the first time Mr and Mrs Lee had attended such an event in Singapore.
As netizens widely shared photos of the Lees at Pink Dot on social media, Rev Nina Khong expressed her dissatisfaction with Mr Lee and wrote on Facebook: “What’s immoral remains immoral. Doesn’t matter who did it!”
She added: “Walter E. Williams rightly said, “How does something immoral, when done privately, become moral when it is done collectively?
“Furthermore, does legality establish morality? Slavery was legal; apartheid is legal; Stalinist, Nazi, and Maoist purges were legal. Clearly, the fact of legality does not justify these crimes. Legality, alone, cannot be the talisman of moral people.””
Rev Khong’s views swiftly drew widespread backlash. A Singaporean’s open letter to the senior pastor, criticising her for her remarks, is also going viral online.
In the letter, Facebook user Jerome Alexander Chan wrote that he feels convicted about the issue and felt he needed to speak out even though he typically does not like to speak his mind so openly. He asked Rev Khong:
“Recently, you had made a comment that ‘what is immoral remains immoral.’ Now, I would like to ask you, what is immoral about a parent attending an event to support their gay son? What is immoral about a person getting married with the love of his life?”
Asserting that Rev Khong should be influencing love and compassion, given that she is a prominent leader of her congregation, Mr Chan said that he is appalled that such an influential leader like Rev Khong would use her power “to influence hate onto others.”
Calling Rev Khong out for using “religion or social ethics as a mask” to express prejudice, Mr Chan wrote:
“From your perspective, you may claim that these are immoral. However, such thinking may only be effective to you when you have such a superficial reality of things. As one of the prominent leaders of your congregation, you should be influencing love and compassion, some of which are values that the bible teaches.
“The hypocrisy of you being an influential leader yet using that power to influence hate onto others appalls me. People really need to stop using religion or social ethics as a mask to voice their prejudice.”
Mr Chan also said that her quote from Walter E. Williams was taken out of context. Noting that Mr Williams was talking about “whether it’s right to take what belongs to one person to give to another to whom it does not belong,” Mr Chan asked Rev Khong:
“Why are you taking away this special and important moment from a loving family? It really baffles me because this love does not belong to you.”
He added: “Freedom to love is a fundamental human right and a personal choice. If a parent wants to support their child, then they get to do it because it is their right.”
Calling Rev Khong’s opinions “overly excessive” to the point that it could be taken as hate speech, Mr Chan concluded his letter by stating:
“Often our opinions of others are a true reflection of who we are and how we feel about ourselves. Discrimination and hate frays the human spirit! The capacity to love or hate is an innate choice that we can manage.
“Your opinions are overly excessive that it has become more of hate speech rather than free speech. I do hope that you and your family can find some peace and love within yourselves.”
Read Mr Chan’s letter in full here:
An open letter to Rev Nina Khong:Hi,I am never one who likes to speak his mind so openly, but unfortunately, I have…