On Kong Hee & Others

September 28, 2016

Q: Do you think the outcome was well decided and fair? How do you think it will go down with the general public?

A: I want you to understand one thing. I don’t ever want to come across as someone who is telling you how to do your job – but since I am a bit slow. I would appreciate it if you could do me the favor of structuring the question one at a time.

Q: Do you think the outcome was well decided and fair?

A: You’re in fact asking of me obliquely – whether I believe justice was done. I think this is one of the few rare cases where I have to say it is a very difficult question to answer as in this case it comes encrusted with so many elements involving faith.

Now please try to understand faith is a very big word here – well it has be at least to me – as it’s really like one of those immersive experience that alters one’s perception and even understanding of what is right, normal and perhaps even reasonable.

What I think most people fail to appreciate is anything predicated on faith has it’s own guiding logic that does not always sit very well with anything from the secular world.

I am not saying faith or the secular approach is either right or wrong – because it really depends on one’s vantage.

Remember I used the term earlier: immersive experience. By this I mean it’s a complete psycho and emotional ecology of experience and that is what it means to be part of a mega church. The moment one walks into such an institution – it’s really like visiting a country within a country with it’s unique set of beliefs, laws, conventions and social norms.

I am not only talking necessarily only about Christianity per se. But possibly every other religion as well along with any other belief that is able to garner a significant number of believers.

But in the case of a mega church it must really be a very profound 180 degree experience where not only does one have the idea of a community to plug and play directly into, but there’s also identity and shared beliefs which all converge on the grande ethos of the great architect – this is why I term it some what as a country within a country experience.

But having said all that one way of seeking resolution to all this confusion is to first distinguish faith from secularism.

Once we are able to do this. Everything becomes clear as a day.

But if we jumble these two diametrically opposing concepts into one pot and hope to make head or tail out of it – I think that can only lead ultimately to hubris.

This is how I see it. The delineation that separates secularism from faith has to be clear and unambiguous.

Q: You say it will ultimately lead to hubris can you elaborate further?

A: Beliefs in themselves do not necessarily absolve one of culpability – in perhaps the same way a terrorist may not necessarily see himself as a menace to society. Since he believes he’s a freedom fighter waging a just war where the means justifies a noble end.

The question at this point is how should society best judge him?

Now if you judge him by his standards. Then I say, not only is it going to be very confusing. But it’s likely you will probably agree with him as well. That’s hubris – when there are no recognizable terms of reference to reliably shed light on darkness.

Q: If what you say is true then you have already answered my supplementary question in the very beginning of this interview – how do you think it will go down with the general public?

A: Well you seem to be quite insistent on the prefix ‘general’ when using the term public. But remember what I mentioned earlier about the immersive experience of being part of a mega church – it’s really quite a transformational body, mind and spirit experience that most people including myself don’t really understand. But just because I’ve never been thru it doesn’t mean that I don’t understand how it works.

The way in which it works however nullifies the whole idea of the ‘general’ in the word public that you saw fit to prefix and that is exactly my point – there is no general public. Only perhaps the vantage of believers and non believers.

Adherents will believe rightly or wrongly, real or imagined either I might add – their leaders have done nothing wrong. While non believers will likely believe otherwise.

Q: Are you a Christian?

A: No.

Q: So you’re a free thinker?

A: What’s that?

Q: Someone who believes in nothing?

A: Why don’t you just refer to me as someone who believes in something far more significant to the idea of a creator?

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