Friday, February 12, 2010

Pastor's Offensive Videos

Last week a pastor from the Lighhouse Evangelism Church in Singapore, Rony Tan was summoned by the the nation's Internal Security Department (ISD) for making offensive remarks on Buddhism during his presentation in front of his congregation ( i heard it was huge, numbering about 12,000 ). The offensive videos were posted on the church website and subsequently found their way to Facebook and Youtube. Had these videos were not posted on the website then probably not many ( especially non Christians ) would have even known about them. Fortunately and yes very fortunately in this internet era nothing could be secretive anymore. If you say something offensive / wrong, then you would have to be responsible for it.

Though no one knows what transpired during his meeting with officials from the ISD but not long after that this pastor went personally to a Buddhist temple and a Taoist temple to apologise to the leaders of the temples. Some people says since he has already made public apologies , the public should put this case to rest but some are not so forgiving, they want him to be prosecuted according to the law. I do not know much about Singaporean laws, so i am not going to go further on this.

Now exactly what is so offensive about Rony Tan's "show" ? Watch the following self explantory videos and judge them yourself. Throughout his interviews, he was putting down and riduculing Buddhism , perhaps thinking by doing so he would be able to promote Christianity and his church and more Buddhist will flock to him to convert themselves One part of the video which i find extremely offensive is the part where he mimic the dying Buddha supposedly saying " I am still looking for The Way " and then Jesus appeared to answer to the Buddha " I am The Way ". During his interviewed with a former Buddhist nun , he likened the Buddhists belief of past lives as nothing more than David Copperfield's tricks and calling the concept of reincarnation in Buddhism as "rubbish". Yes he used the word "RUBBISH". Wow, i can't believe a senior Church member and supposedly a pious Christian could say something like that.

When these videos were exposed, they attracted a lot of criticisms from commentators in forums, on Youtube etc. The following are the summarized comments to be shared with all of you.

Comment 1 : Many suggest that he should be jailed for creating disharmony in multi religous Singapore

Comment 2 : Some of the comments which i think are from non-Chrisitans are rather harsh but there are a number of Christians who also disagree with what the pastor but choose to express themselves in milder manners.

Comment 3 : Suggesting that the whole interviews were scripted. ( I doubt those were impromptu interviews )

Comment 4 : Citing the lack of knowledge on Buddhism on the part of the pastor and his guests especially the former monk. ( I couldn't have agreed more. You don't have right to pass remarks on something which you are not well verse in )

Comment 5 : Condemnming the audience for laughing when the pastor and his guest were making fun of Buddhism.

Comment 6 : Merely apologies are not enough. You can't just go around saying something that offends people and then apologise and then assuming everything would be fine after that.

Comment 7 : What we see in those videos are not uncommon in church congregations. Infact there are many pastors like that Rony Tan all over the place.

Comment 8 : It doesn't mean passing those offensive remarks indoor in front of mostly Chritians ( probably all of them ) is OK as long as outsiders can't here them.

Comment 9 : This one is very interesting. One commentator challenge the pastor to invite a former Muslim and interviewed him like what he did with the former monk and nun. ( LOL I can't imagine what would happened if it was Islam that he was making fun with instead of Buddhism )

I guess Rony Tan knew very well that most Buddhists are very forgiving and hence it was alright to say something like that.

Lastly, regardless of excuses given, it is not right to put down and make fun of the others just to make you look good.



Faid said...

the pastor must have taken osamu tezuka's buddha comic version too lightly. XD

Anonymous said...

38 Point-by-point Clarifications of Misconceptions in Pastor Rony Tan’s Vids can be seen @

Fhez said...

To Anon,
Thanks for putting up the link