I have written my views on Rony Tan saga as a Christian. Now, I want to look at it from an engineering perspective. For those who don’t know me, I have a degree in civil engineering from the National University of Singapore. I am qualified to do this analysis.
(Some people find fault in the above sentence. If I have written this article last month, I would have said I am an engineer. I can’t said the same now because I am not an engineer at this moment.)
Let us begin from the status quo. Pastor Tan had removed the offending videos and apologized to his victims. His apology was accepted by the leaders of Buddhists and Taoists. Yet, there is still widespread anger on him. Why?
The most obvious part is, there is a perception on double standards in the enforcement of law. There were 3 teenagers been arrested by the police for posting racist remarks. Pastor Tan’s offence was definitely more serious. Yet, he was never arrested. This has created the impression that pastors are above the law.
However, I believe there is an underlying reason behind this widespread anger. The people are not angry with Pastor Tan as an individual but on what he represents. He is now seen as an icon the represents all the aggressive evangelistic moves done by Religious Christians.
I have read many postings on over-enthusiastic Religious Christians trying to convert people at all cost, including insulting their religions. Such phenomena is not new in Singapore. Religious Christians can sink to any level, even to the point of humiliate others in order to get them to convert, What Pastor Tan has done is he has presented himself as a focal point for people to direct their anger from their humiliation.
Therefore, punishing Pastor Tan represents punishing those Religious Christians.
There is also an issue of perverse logic. I have watched the video on the interview with the ex-nun. The pastor’s logic was totally sick. When miracles happen to Buddhists, the demons are behind it. When the same miracles happen to Christians, then it must be God. If I don’t know better, I will avoid Christianity like a plague. No wonder, people are angry and want to see justice done.
Finally, many churches are still very hostile toward religions other than theirs. Pastor Tan would never have stepped into a temple if the ISD did not call him. I can relate a personal experience here. When I was in my first church, I attended one of their overnight prayer. One of the prayer item was to pray against a coming Buddhist event.
The was an event that would take place a few days after where there was an exhibition on Buddhist arts. Somehow, we saw that as an offence to us and we have to pray against it. On hindsight, I find that very sick. Even prayer was used to propagate hatred.
So, my advice to all religious churches is, if you want to be accepted by the public, you have to stop all your hostilities.
This is all I have for now.