Bashing Buddhism in Singapore ~ Evangelicals in Asia

Bows to the Temasek Review

I have no experience with Evangelical Christians in Asia but what little I do know falls well in line with those that I am familiar with in the Midwest – Largely criticizing other religions (or non-religions) while being extremely defensive of their own beliefs.

Here are two video clips of the Evangelical Lighthouse mega-church preacher Rony Ta’s intelligent commentary on Buddhist practice and thought and interview of a “saved” Buddhist.  Tallying souls for Satan! 

Hi my name is John and my silly superstition is Buddhism.  What’s yours?

Update!

The good Pastor Rony Tan actually apologized for his comments.  I do believe that the Singapore Evangelical community is far better than the home-grow ones we have here in thte states.  You can’t pull an apology from an American Evangelical with three mules and a crowbar.

“I have received a number of emails from people who have been saddened and hurt by the testimonies of an ex-monk and an ex-nun. I realized that my presentation and comments were wrong and offensive. So I sincerely apologize for my insensitivity towards the Buddhists and Taoists, and solemnly promise that it will never happen again.

When we have received those emails, we immediately removed the video clips from our website. I urge those who have posted those clips on the YouTube to remove them as well.

After reading the frank views from those emails, I was also prompted to tell my members not only to continue to love souls, but also to respect other belief and not to ridicule them in any way, shape or fashion.

Let’s put our goal to build a harmonious Singapore a top priority.”

A few more posts on the topic:

My Buddha is Pink had a great post on this topic and included this…

What I want to bring to everyone’s attention is a brilliant response written by the National University of Singapore Buddhist Society that was published in the Kent Ridge Common, the student publication at the NUS. It’s an excellent point-by-point retort to what was asserted by the Rev. Rony Tan; brilliant because it was made in the spirit of the Buddha’s teaching found in the Brahmajala Sutta. I strongly urge anyone to read the response, but I particularly suggest those who are new to Buddhism, or who are curious, to read it.

Cheers,

John

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14 thoughts on “Bashing Buddhism in Singapore ~ Evangelicals in Asia

  1. It’s important to note that the offcial Buddhist patriarch of Singapore chastised him for his behavior but Ra didn’t disclose that in his apology. So he backed down from his stance becasue of the governemnt not because of any change of heart.

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  3. “When we have received those emails, we immediately removed the video clips from our website. I urge those who have posted those clips on the YouTube to remove them as well.”

    Hi John,

    Are you going to leave these video clips up on your blog?

    The man apologised, removed the material, and asked others to do the same.

    Generally, it’s good form to accept someone’s apology and not continue to berate a person with evidence of their wrong-doing after he has apologised.

    All the best,

    Marcus

    PS – please remove me from your blogroll as I deleted my blog!

    • Oh, I am most certainly keeping them up (well at least as long as the YouTube account that has them posted keeps them live).

      I think the videos were slightly insulting. Really didn’t care that much and do appreciate the man’s apology. I wish similar care was taken in the States.

      But by having a reminder of past misdeeds, I am berating him? Hardly. The whole story should be there for people to reference and that includes the clips and the apology and my appreciation of that apology.

      To remove the clips removes the context of the apology.

      I appreciate and saw the urging you quoted but I’m rolling with keeping them live.

      Thanks,

      John

      ps. miss your blog brother! Send an email if you care to keep in touch.

  4. Hi,

    Yes, I just watched and to be honest didn’t find it at all insulting. This was a Christian meeting discussing an ex-monk’s conversion to Christianity and to be honest they made some good points, from their perspective. I mean, I’ve heard much much worse from western Buddhists when discussing Christianity!

    But yes, the man apologised and that is good.

    So, although I don’t really understand why this is important to you and why you want these videos on your blog, I also don’t understand why, if you are looking for peace rather than discord in the world, your title is ‘Bashing Buddhism’ rather than ‘A Christian apologises”.

    I there is a spark of discord we ought not to feed the fire with inflamatory language. But, hey, I also have no right to criticise your blog.

    I’m so glad I deleted my own!

    I found I was living the blog instead of living my own life. Everything I did and thought was becoming framed in terms of how it would look on the blog.

    As such it was becoming not an expression of practice, but an ego-boost. Just like all these Internet debates really, ungrounded in daily life or my own day-to-day experience.

    Blogging was, for me, ultimately, a distraction from life. All that time! All that energy! There are so many better things I could be doing! In fact, I could get on and do them right now!

    With palms together,

    Marcus

    • John

      Pls keep these videos at least for another year! Now, we all know the authorities demanded that the pastor apologise and though we should move on, regardless if the pastor was sincere with his apology (since it is actually extracted by the authorities, u go figure!), these videos serve as a reminder, an educational tool on how words can be minced and misrepresented when they serve as a religious propaganda. These videos reminds us what the Buddha always said, that we shouldnt believe any religious leaders, not even the buddha himself until such times we have checked the facts and are satisfied with our observations.

    • if its indeed bashing Buddhism then why is there a need to change it to “a Christian apologizes” as what Marcus suggested? If its the truth then we shouldnt try to mask it

      • My thought is that taking the videos down ruin the context of the apology as well as the story altogether. I agree with you, Francis, that the videos can serve as an educational tool.

        I included the apology as well as my small commentary. I agree with Marcus that the comments didn’t dismay me as much as other comments but really, why bash any religion as a part of your religion? For the most part, it seems that a prime tenent in the evangelical belief is that they bash other viewpoints.

        Thanks for your comments!

        Cheers,

        John

        ps. check the last link that I provided on the post. It links to a (seemingly) Evangelical Christian site that is discussing the comments and produing some thoughtful dialog. Without the videos, it seems that the point is lost.

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  6. Comment by yao siew Lian — March 9, 2010 @ 8:03 PM | Reply

    2.Ven. Phra Piya Thammo,
    Rumah Pangsa
    Blk A-7-9- Jln Padang Tembak,
    11400 Pulau Pinang,
    Malaysia

    Dear Devotees,

    Before I commence of my letter-writing toward. All of you, I would like to inform all of you that I am not satisfy with the lawyer, Dato YIP KUM FOOK due to his bad inspirit impressions because he sent an inspector to come to our Buddhist Temple to arrest me without any good reason, moreover, the lawyer, YIP KUM FOOK is not satisfy with Chief monk.

    When the Chief monk had me to go to his Temple already and he went away and left me alone to take care until Chief monk come back to the Temple first and he also told me not to leave the Temple if any committees or the chairman want to chase me out, you don’t leave the Temple at all understand? Then I said, alright? To the chief monk! On the second Day, YIP KUM FOOK came to our Temple and talk to me. He tired to make some inquiry from me and he asked me, where I come from? I told him that I came from Penang.

    Then, I told to the lawyer (YIP KUM FOOK) that the chief monk came to Penang and fetch me and invited me to accompany him to go to his temple in K.L. I am not aware that YIP KUM FOOK is not in a good terms with the chief monk, chief monk already in this way, YIP KUM FOOK try to create trouble with me unnecessary. That is why, the lawyer want to chase me out of the Temple. Then I asked the lawyer, why you want to chase me out of the temple? Moreover, the Temple is not belonging to you, UNDERSATAND? Then, I asked him, who are you? I don’t know you at all, you have no right to chase me or control me at all, UNDERSTAND? You are just like a layman only. Do you know the regulations that any the chairman or committee cannot control the monks and the Nuns at all, also UNDERSTAND?

    I scolded him like that. Then the lawyer (YIP KUM FOOK) is not satisfy with me and he told me that he will called the police to come to the Temple and arrest me. I told him to go ahead and called the police to come and arrest me. I won’t run away, I said to him like that. I have done nothing wrong toward you, why you want to arrest me? He said, he doesn’t like me to stay here. I asked him, why? Again. After this he got very angry with me, then he phoned up to the police and the police came to the Temple and told me to leave the Temple.

    I told to the inspector of the again, 1 am sorry, I won’t leave the Temple because the chief monk had instructed me not to leave the Temple without his consent, UNDERSTAND? Then the inspector told me to leave, again. I told him I cannot leave the Temple because the Chief Monk hasn’t come back yet. This time, the inspector got very angry with me and he took out his handcuff and try to threaten me, then I immediately show off my hands for him to lock me up but he scare, then again, the inspector told me leave the Temple again but I still don’t want to leave the Temple.

    Then I phoned up to the chief monk again and I told him that the inspector insisted want to arrest me, you better come back to settle the case for me. After this incident, Chief Monk came back to the Temple and take me to go to another temple and stay their. That’s all about this incidents! Last of all, I would like to inform all of you, that no committees or the chairman can control all the monks and Nuns at all also UNDERSTAND? “They are higher than the King,” also! So how can the laymen, the committees and the chairman to control them: – EVEN THE KING ALSO RESPECTED THE MONKS AND NUNS. Why the chairman doesn’t respect the monks and nuns? They will carry the sins later on, UNDERSTAND?

    Yours in Dhamma

    Ven. Phra Piya Thammo
    Penang, Malaysia
    Tel: 04-48272710

    00Rate This

    Comment by andy fong — March 1, 2010 @ 7:28 PM | Reply
    .-March 10th, 2010 at 8:54 am
    andy fong said:

    Comment by andy fong — March 1, 2010 @ 7:28 PM | Reply
    2.
    We always recieved news messages from Myanmar people, they are complainted about committees of temple and please see at below.
    Thanks
    Dear Sir and Madam,
    We are Myanmar group in Malaysia; we lived in Malaysia over decade and always went to one of temple in Taman Desa Jaya, Kepong, Kuala Lumpur and we were very sad and regreting with the committees of temple because they are using our monks in wrong conception of Buddhist teaching or Buddhist rules. We came to temple to help our monks and respected of our religion.
    That temple is president of name:Yip Kum Fook, that our monks said and he is invited our monks from Myanmar to in charge of that temple but without pay anything to our monks, added he and his not respecting of our monks and sometime he ordered of his people to collected item such as paper, mineral water etc. without inform any words to our monks. In our religious believed we can’t take anything of holy place, if we done we are sin.
    In pervious, our monk said the committees always asked money from him, when our monks gave RM20,000.00 in cash on 2001 to the committees, then committees keep silent, later committees make problem with our monk again and cancelled of our monk Visa permit to stayed in Malaysia, then our monks( Sadayaw Nandiya) go to Australia and our monk not come that temple at long time. “Yip Kom Fook gave our monk notebook computer for to cover of that amount of money our monk said”
    Many local people around temple said, now no more people come to this temple because committees is always make problem and we are heard from local people said: Yip Kum Fook ordered of his people to put fire of Hindu temple at Taman Daya, Kepong because he needed that place to make his business about many years ago. “Everybody known what he done for Hindu temple at Taman Daya, Kepong”
    Last time also he invited police to arrest the monks at holy place(temple) and locked the temple without afraid and shameful of people because he believed committee is big and has more authority, also his son always say to people: this temple is belonging of his father. “This temple donated from public, we are work hard for this temple”
    This temple the committees always changed the monks, now they change the new monk to in charge of temple, this new monk also complaint the bad things of committees because committees also wait for donation box only, they without help anything to our monks. And committees controlled of our monks not to talk more or complaint more, our monks lived there as slaver and afraid of committees members.
    In new building where remaining of Buddha statue marble; we have renovation of Buddha statue because that Buddha statue is put very low, we lift to highest the committees don’t like and unhappy. In our country, anyone be able to come temple to worship the Buddha but in Malaysia is different temple controlling by committees.
    We hope everyone preserve of Buddhist teachings, and please safety of our monks, not see only money as this of temple. When we asked some of our people ( Myanmar) and local people, the committees are very low of idea because is very narrow mind and without education of religions. And committees will not disturbing of our monks, monks are like our father to take care of Buddhism and temple is like our place of resolving of our problem.
    Recently, our monk(Sadayaw Ashin Indaka original from Madalay, Myanmar) has been staying in this temple also unhappy because the committees are not pay anythings to him, he is working in hardly to advise people and we also unhappy and very sad when heard the bad news from our monks. Sometime the committees people came and shouting in the temple without have any reason and done what they need to do, our monk said, the committees of this temple don’t have Buddhist teachings in their mind, may be next time Buddhist can destroy.
    From Myanmar Buddhist group in Malaysia but many word complaint by local Buddhist community in Malaysia. If anyone receive of this message(email), please forward or send to your friends to protection Buddhism in Malaysia.
    .-March 10th, 2010 at 8:55 am
    johnson yap said:

    This MCA Man strong(Yip Kum Fook)/strong is play dirty with Myanmar monks, he will receive bad karma in future, he disturbed Buddha student
    .-March 18th, 2010 at 7:51 pm
    liew said:

    May be he(Yip) don’t know what the Buddha, if he know may be he is do like that, the Buddhist monks are students from Buddha times until today but students of Buddha have done well and done bad and but when they created good or bad they will response

    But not only this Datuk Yip come to advise them, all the monks have their teachers(Masters) and their monastry to resident, this Datuk Yip kum Fook unmindfulness or may be he proud in himself because he thought(think) he is Datuk

    Many people are very angry when go to read this article by Myanmar people and some said if my country(Myanmar) this Datuk Yip will people put fire on his house because so very dirty human
    .-March 20th, 2010 at 9:24 am
    heng said:

    I heard people and monks said, Datuk Yip Kum Fook(MCA Man) came to disturbed monks with his people as inspector(police) and one group of his people hand to rejected of Ven. Piya Thammo who is from Penang, Ven. Piya Thamma now in Penang but he spreaded about his incident so widely

    Datuk Yip Kum Fook destroyed of Buddhist monks, I heard also insulted of Buddhist monks, this kind of Datuk useless, also Ven. Piya Thammo said, he needed removed to stayed at his devotees house fro over night, this is very bad, the Temple for Stayed and learn of meditation, not for Datuk Yip Kum Fook

    Ven. Piya said, Datuk Yip kum Fook will recieve sin and he can not run from sin(Karma)

  7. We always recieved news messages from Myanmar people, they are complainted about committees of temple and please see at below.

    Thanks

    Dear Sir and Madam,

    We are Myanmar group in Malaysia; we lived in Malaysia over decade and always went to one of temple in Taman Desa Jaya, Kepong, Kuala Lumpur and we were very sad and regreting with the committees of temple because they are using our monks in wrong conception of Buddhist teaching or Buddhist rules. We came to temple to help our monks and respected of our religion.

    That temple is president of name:Yip Kum Fook, that our monks said and he is invited our monks from Myanmar to in charge of that temple but without pay anything to our monks, added he and his not respecting of our monks and sometime he ordered of his people to collected item such as paper, mineral water etc. without inform any words to our monks. In our religious believed we can’t take anything of holy place, if we done we are sin.

    In pervious, our monk said the committees always asked money from him, when our monks gave RM20,000.00 in cash on 2001 to the committees, then committees keep silent, later committees make problem with our monk again and cancelled of our monk Visa permit to stayed in Malaysia, then our monks( Sadayaw Nandiya) go to Australia and our monk not come that temple at long time. “Yip Kom Fook gave our monk notebook computer for to cover of that amount of money our monk said”

    Many local people around temple said, now no more people come to this temple because committees is always make problem and we are heard from local people said: Yip Kum Fook ordered of his people to put fire of Hindu temple at Taman Daya, Kepong because he needed that place to make his business about many years ago. “Everybody known what he done for Hindu temple at Taman Daya, Kepong”

    Last time also he invited police to arrest the monks at holy place(temple) and locked the temple without afraid and shameful of people because he believed committee is big and has more authority, also his son always say to people: this temple is belonging of his father. “This temple donated from public, we are work hard for this temple”

    This temple the committees always changed the monks, now they change the new monk to in charge of temple, this new monk also complaint the bad things of committees because committees also wait for donation box only, they without help anything to our monks. And committees controlled of our monks not to talk more or complaint more, our monks lived there as slaver and afraid of committees members.

    In new building where remaining of Buddha statue marble; we have renovation of Buddha statue because that Buddha statue is put very low, we lift to highest the committees don’t like and unhappy. In our country, anyone be able to come temple to worship the Buddha but in Malaysia is different temple controlling by committees.

    We hope everyone preserve of Buddhist teachings, and please safety of our monks, not see only money as this of temple. When we asked some of our people ( Myanmar) and local people, the committees are very low of idea because is very narrow mind and without education of religions. And committees will not disturbing of our monks, monks are like our father to take care of Buddhism and temple is like our place of resolving of our problem.

    Recently, our monk(Sadayaw Ashin Indaka original from Madalay, Myanmar) has been staying in this temple also unhappy because the committees are not pay anythings to him, he is working in hardly to advise people and we also unhappy and very sad when heard the bad news from our monks. Sometime the committees people came and shouting in the temple without have any reason and done what they need to do, our monk said, the committees of this temple don’t have Buddhist teachings in their mind, may be next time Buddhist can destroy.

    From Myanmar Buddhist group in Malaysia but many word complaint by local Buddhist community in Malaysia. If anyone receive of this message(email), please forward or send to your friends to protection Buddhism in Malaysia.

    .-March 10th, 2010 at 8:55 am

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