Taiwan looks desperate
I have a comment about a recent event that took place in Poland in regard to Taiwan support vis-a-vis China. The Taiwanese media and the office of the prime minister welcomed the very warm support from IPP TV, the Polish Christian TV channel.
Frankly, I am really surprised and perplexed as to why the Taiwanese media and its political leadership would welcome the support of an organization that on a daily basis advocates hate and intolerance toward minorities such as the LGBT, Arab, Muslim, Asian and other communities.
IPP TV frequently praises policies of General Pinochet of Chile or the fascist regime of Francisco Franco of Spain only because of their anti-communist stand regardless of millions of victims.
It also proclaimed the victory of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil as a victory for the “Christian world” regardless of the fact that Bolsonaro expressed utter contempt for the victims of the military regime there.
The type of “Christianity” proposed by IPP has nothing to do with mercy or love toward the other, but everything to do with the supremacy of the “white race” dressed up as religion with the lowest common denominators of chauvinism, racism and vulgar contempt for democracy as its flagship.
Because of this, IPP and the 11/11 Movement are an extremely marginal blip on the radar of Polish politics that does not have more than 1,000 members in a nation of 38 million.
In IPP’s view, the new Christian world order has Poland at the top due to the purity of its people and their “faith” after the defeat of the “pagan” Catholic religion and the coming of the messiah.
In many ways, these are classic characteristics of a cult and most Polish people who have heard of IPP treat it as such.
That someone in the Taiwanese media or government would embrace something like this shows not only poor judgment, but desperation.
Strategically, by lowering its own democratic standards, Taiwan only fuels China’s propaganda against it. So with friends like these, Taiwan really does not need enemies.
As a visitor to Taiwan and admirer of its rich culture and people, I think Taiwanese deserve better than this.
Round Lake, Illinois
Religion and gay rights
Sunday’s editorial focused on the legal aspects of and the church’s opposition to same-sex marriage (“The right to live free from bigotry,” Nov. 4, page 8). I wish to point out a few things about the latter, the opposition of church groups to gay marriage.
Many religious groups have a difficult time distinguishing in their sacred writings between what is of cultural origin and what is of religious origin.
When I was young, many churches taught that homosexuality itself was wrong, but now some of those very churches teach that homosexuality is not wrong, but that the practice of homosexuality by those who find themselves to be gay is wrong, as such practices are against the “natural law.”
The natural law is what all human beings find in their hearts, which enables them to know what is good or bad for them. It is therefore a matter of culture — how people function in their particular society — rather than a matter of religion.
The natural law is often mirrored in sacred writings, since these writings arise out of specific cultures at specific times.
However, what is discovered to be natural for the heterosexual majority is not natural for the LGBTQ minority.
Indeed, as the understanding of homosexuality that we now have, thanks to scientific advances in the knowledge of humans, was not known in ancient times, in which most sacred writings arose, we cannot rely today on the cultural views expressed in these writings.
In other words, homosexuality must be viewed in the same way — in a cultural context, not a religious one — as other basically cultural matters in sacred writings, such as food, rituals and gender relationship prescriptions, which are no longer practiced.
It is about time that the church made an effort to align itself with the reasonable distinction between culture and religion in its sacred writings. Such an alignment will end its “religious opposition” to same-sex marriage.
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