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wThursday, September 14, 2006



The Making of Impian - 21

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Azlan and Sam

The Making of Impian - 22

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Rozie, baby and Kak Ungku. Drinking under the scorching sun

The Making of Impian - 23

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Isma as Ismail. A real estate agent from hell

The Making of Impian - 24

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He is suppose to be nasty

The Making of Impian - 25

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Isma with his fellow actors

The Making of Impian - 26

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I still can't figure out where Sekolah Kebangsaan Sri Anggerik, Cheras is. Impian will be shot at the primary school. The problem with me is that I'm not too familiar with Cheras.

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I would like to share the following article I found from a letter published at Malaysiakini.com

A reply to ‘Homosexuality is a sin’
Cheryl Leong

I write with reference to Stefan Hu's letter, Homosexuality is a sin. His letter hits the nail of the head when he said that homosexuals are not special and don't need special treatment. I wholeheartedly agree. Homosexuals are not special because they are normal people and because they're normal people, they don't need special, but equal rights, recognition from society and protection of the law which is accorded to heterosexuals.

Stefan Hu's assertion that homosexuals have a choice in choosing their sexuality is as ridiculous as saying people can choose whether they are left-handed or right-handed. It is a well-known fact that during medieval times and even in some pockets of society today, there are those who associate left-handedness with evil, because in the Bible, God's chosen ones sit on his right side and the damned are on his left.

Day-to-day life is already full of challenges and obstacles; why would anyone make it even harder by consciously choosing to be homosexual, which is a group that is so misunderstood, vilified, discriminated, marginalised and hated by self-righteous bigots? Who wants to choose to hide and lie about who they really are to their loved ones? The only choice which gay people have is whether they want to acknowledge their sexual orientation and to be honest with themselves, their family and friends.

If a person tells you he or she is married or has children, does that mean that they are boasting that they are straight or imposing their heterosexuality on others? Of course not. In that same vein, I fail to see how coming out as a homosexual constitutes "proactively making us (society) accept their deviant ways", "publicising", "boasting" and "imposing their sexual preference on others" as Stefan Hu suggests.

The coming-out process for gay people is an unimaginably difficult, lonely and harrowing one; in their journey towards self-acceptance and sharing an integral part of themselves with those who matter to them, gay people have to battle and overcome their fears of being rejected, ostracised, ridiculed or even assaulted by their families, friends, employers, friends and peers.

There is a fundamental flaw in Stefan Hu's "homosexuality is wrong because the Bible says so" argument. If homosexuality is wrong because it goes against the Bible, then why aren't the activities below, now considered as innocuous, but once regarded as Biblicly unacceptable and offenses against God's law? Here are some excerpts from the Bible to illustrate my point:

Leviticus 18:19

A married couple shall not have intercourse when a woman is menstruating. If they disobey, both man and wife shall be executed.

Deuteronomy 22:13-21

If a bride is found not to be a virgin, the Bible demands that she be executed on the spot by stoning.

The book of Leviticus also contains laws against wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (guess I'll have to throw out my Lycra /cotton pants now), and a prohibition against those who have defects in their eyesight from approaching the altar of God, a prohibition which if enforced today, would bar a substantial number of people from going to church, contact lenses notwithstanding.

How can one part of Bible be deemed to be carved in stone when other parts have been dismissed as archaic? Shakespeare may have given us a clue when he said, "Even the Devil can quote the Scriptures for his own purposes."

As mentioned in See Leong's letter Burning the proverbial closet, homosexuality is a natural permutation of the human condition and many respected institutions, including the American Psychological Association have said more than 20 years ago that it is not an mental illness. It is not a disease and you can't "become gay" if a gay person touches you or if you are exposed to other gay people or if the law recognises gay rights.

There is simply no credible empirical or scientific data to support the ludicrous assertion that more people are spurning heterosexuality by turning homosexual simply because legal rights are conferred on gay people or if gay people are more visible in society. The more logical reason for greater visibility of gay people in such cases, is probably because they feel safer to come out if there is legal recognition and protection against violence and discrimination against them.

The science of human sexuality is a relatively new area, and it was only in 1864 that the German social scientist Karl Heinrich Ulrichs first declared that homosexuals were a distinct group of individuals. History has also shown that the church has been painfully slow in acknowledging and accepting scientific truths.

Case in point - it was only in 1992 that the late Pope John Paul II finally admitted that the church was wrong to have ignored science by having persecuted Galileo in the 17th century for supporting Copernicus' theory that the planets revolved around the sun. Psalm 93 ("The earth is also established, it cannot be moved") was one of the Biblical excerpts used to attack Copernicus' theory. Galileo was put under house arrest for the rest of his life by the church

The point is, the Bible doesn't condemn nor approve of homosexual orientation as we know it today as much as it approves or condemn the Internet because it was simply not an area of knowledge at that time.

Stefan Hu said that countries which have granted rights to gay people have lost the plot. That cannot be further from the truth. People who claim to adhere to God's laws but instead turn a wilful blind eye to one of God's cornerstone commandment which is to "Love your neighbour as you love yourself" are the ones who have in fact lost the plot. It takes a staggering level of arrogance and misplaced self-righteousness for a sinner to judge fellow sinners with such hatred.

A reading of Stefan Hu's verbiage exposes a shallow, prejudiced and one dimensional understanding of homosexuality which solely focuses on sex. Does any rational person define themselves only by what they do in bed? Certainly not.

As I mentioned above, gay folks are normal people who face many of the same issues, challenges, joys, hopes and sadness which others do, and being in a loving relationship with another person of the same sex makes life all the richer, just as heterosexuals do when they find their life partners. But yet there are many differences which only gay people have to endure, including dealing with the venomous homophobia from religious zealots, the anti-gay mainstream media and the consequent societal prejudices.

The core teachings of Christianity, just like so many other of the world's major religions, are that of love, compassion, kindness, mercy and forgiveness. Not all religious people condemn others, but instead use it as a guideline for their own behaviour. Some even try to live by Jesus' own teachings which are to care for the poor, the sick and the outcast and to live humbly.

A good example would be Mother Teresa, who while so many other so-called Christians were gloating that AIDS was a test from God to weed out gay people, believed that AIDS was really a test of our humanity, by showing that we could care for some of the most despised members of our society. Rev Pat Bumgardner who supported Ouyong Wen Feng's public coming out is a shining example of the growing number of Christians who support, accept and include gay people as part of society.

While it is much easier to judge and impose our morals on others, we should get our priorities right by putting our efforts and energy into healing the sick, feeding the poor, standing up for the oppressed and helpless, regardless of race, creed, age, sexual orientation or any other characteristics which make us different because we are all God's creations nevertheless.

May God grant those who subscribe to Stefan Hu's views more open minds and more compassionate hearts.



posted by Nizam Zakaria at 11:39 AM |