Saturday, April 25, 2009

De-legitimising Legality

Apologists of the new AWARE Exco cite the undisputable fact that they were voted in power legally and constitutionally. This "legality" justifies and legitimises their actions. This constitutionality of their new found status is the constant refrain used to blanket themselves from criticism. Indeed, this constitutionality of their actions gives them an aura of stoicism in the face of the massive critical storm blowing their way.

This constitutionality argument is bullshit. It is a little known fact that when Hitler enacted the Final Solution, he was actually legally empowered to do so. His brilliant legal thinkers had carefully and deliberately solved the legal-juridical problem of sending innocent people into concentration camps. It was not just a dictatorial whim of Hitler; it was a calibrated and constructed legal strategy to empower him to send innocents into concentration camps and from there, into the gas chambers. It was legal then as he saw it, as the German Reich saw it, but do we see it, many years down the road, as legal?

To rely on the constitutionality argument is basically a sign of weakness. It is short-sighted, it is escapism, it is a denial. Self silencing. It provides soothing comfort to justify looking away, stepping aside, denying a horror.

Eventually, it is their motivations which we have to look into. Which we have to examine, dissect, discourse, disagree. The first Government responses are typical. We should embrace tolerance, diversity of views and the usual rigmarole of non-committal opinions. If this is the case, than the new AWARE puppets have already failed because their motivations for assuming power are based on intolerance. Their motivations are based on their own warped, intolerant vision of their religion and what they perceive their God is telling them to do. Their motivations are based on an exclusive rather than inclusive agenda. Their motivations have no place in this space where we term civil society. Their motivations are a betrayal of their own religion.

It is their motivations that matter. Why they did what they did. Its not about whether it was legal or not. Look at NKF. Eventually, most of what Durai did was perfectly legal, perfectly constitutional. Why they did what they did will tell you what they will do in the future. When recipients of AWARE aid and services are excluded because they are different, because they do not believe, because they are sinners.

We should be shocked and we should be ashamed that a group such as this can sit in front of the cameras and tell us that what they did was legal and that what they did was right and what they did was self sacrificing. It was not. From shock, from shame, we should be morally outraged at their audacity, at their presumptiveness that we can stomach their actions and tolerate their galling motivations.

It is legal but it is wrong.

To say it is legal opens up a slippery slope.

Which is why, placing too much emphasis on the EOGM is not necessarily the strategy to adopt. To send this group back into their holes requires a concerted effort. Mr Wang suggests cancelling your DBS credit cards and telling DBS that you do not condone what their employee has done. Akikonomu has a whole list of email addresses which you can send to register your displeasure. Flood the newspapers with your anger. Spread the outrage far and wide and we can uncover new truths like this piece from DogEmperor. if you are in the Church Of Our Saviour or any other church and your wayward pastor stands behind the pulpit calling you to pray for the AWARE puppets, stand up and say no.

Disagree, resist, refuse.

Postscript -- A YouTube leak of the COOS anti gay sermon on their positioned statement.

Quote of the Day --

"Know that no one can have indulged in the Holy Writers sufficiently, unless he has governed churches for a hundred years with the prophets, such as Elijah and Elisha, John the Baptist, Christ and the apostles... We are beggars: this is true." -- Martin Luther


Anonymous Anonymous said...

well said.
i've cancelled my DBS credit card.

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Perez Hilton said...

An interesting take here.

I.e. if jeopardizing the livelihood of your opponents is legitimate tactic, then it means the other side gets to do it too. This could turn very ugly. For example, a certain church raised $19 million in 24 hours. If that sort of money went to a financial attack / business manoeuvre against an individual or a company...

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IMHO, this is not an issue about gay or lesbian rights or whether the takeover was legal. This is about the majority of Singaporeans who wish to maintain a secular public space, and about the survival of pluralism in AWARE. Can we condone the COOS-members-domination in this organization when it is supposed to be a secular organization for ALL women irregardless of their religion and sexual orientation. Every Singaporean woman who wishes to protect this original nature of AWARE and the wider secular nature of the Singapore society must support the Old Guards, and send a message to the new exco that they should keep their fundamentalist agenda to their own Church instead of forcing it onto others. Additionally, I think DBS should not pay the price by being involved in these bad publicity. If Josie Lau wants to be involved in such a coup, it would be fairer to DBS if she stepped down as its marketing head first. But meanwhile, no DBS cards, account or stocks for me until Josie Lau is out. I am a supporter of justice and equality. And I am on the Old Guards' side.

10:46 AM  

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