Sunday, 12 August 2007

An outdated zewtpinion

Someone mentioned to me last week that AZAIG is lacking in zewtpinions lately. Also, recent entries do not really justify my 5 times thinking blogger awards. Wow… looks like people actually have expectations on me! The life of a blogger gets even tougher nowadays, particularly in this country, know what I mean?

Well, not that I don’t have any zewtpinion to render, just that I don’t swamp the whole week with zewtpinions. But since zewtpinion is in demand… might as well…

Since Christianity is in the news lately, plus there’re a couple of gay pastors and some churches making heaps by praying for bigger boobs, I thought maybe I should talk about something which I once said that
I dunwanna blog about. The topic has died a Malaysian death a.k.a. forgotten and I thought maybe I should give it a slight resurrection boost.

Initially, I was saddened by the judgement just like any Tom, Dick and Harry or Mary, Jean and Jane out there. But after reading an entry from
Kata Tak Nak, I was compelled to look at the whole issue from a different approach. KTN said that the court cannot but rule that apostasy is illegal; the court has to uphold its religion.

What does this mean? A very good analogy would be to look at the movie “300”.

When Sparta was in the brink of an invasion, the King has to prepare his country for war. But before he can bring his legion of army to battle, he has to consult the witchdoctors known as “Ephors”. No matter how great a king is, the words of the Ephors must be strictly adhered to. It’s a tradition that the king swore to protect. Unfortunately, the Ephors gave him a negative answer. Despite the fact that the King knew his army is strong enough to take on the invaders, despite knowing a victory is possible, he can't help but to comply with the words of the Ephors. He cannot do anything but to uphold the tradition of the country, one which he swore to protect.

Similarly, the court has to uphold its religion. The judgement, to me, was correct.

Taking a look on the other side, I have known of a particular cell-leader in a particular mega church who was denied of her
resignation from her post as a cell leader. The reason given: the church was afraid that it might open up the flood-gates and other cell leaders will follow suit. “afraid that it might open up the flood-gates”… does this sound familiar? How different is this from Lina Joy’s judgement?

We Christians always like to make fun of people who consider themselves Christian simply because they were born in a Christian family. To us, being born in a Christian family doesn’t make one a Christian. And of course, we always ask this breed of Christians an infamous question:

“Does being born in a garage make you a car?”

If that is the case…”Does having the word Islam in her MyKad make
Lina a Muslim?”

I encourage you to read the words of Kata Tak Nak
here.

49 comments:

tingtitlei said...

the lina thing is just utter bullshit... but ill leave that for my monday post. i think youre right about the being born in a christian family thing. just realized that the only reason that i call myself a christian is because i was born into a christian family

angel said...

Wooo... succumbed to pressure, huh?

I dunwanna tok abt this...

ehon said...

*dies*

i have no opinion for this post. :P

sooi2 said...

eh,i just wanna kaypoh which mega church u'r referring to? the one with HQ near Kenistry ah??

bongkersz said...

she's definitely not a muslim anymore since she doesn't practise the religion anymore. whether she's wrong or not in her faith, that's between her and GOD.

her real problem is more of the limitations that she has if she cannot change her religion on her card. (on paper). difficulties such as to legally register her marriage, her future childrens, her assets, burial.... since she's bound by the syariah rules as long as she's 'Muslim' on paper. That's the problem she is facing now. Make sense eh? :D

Jun said...

applying the same logic, flying the msian flag doesn't make u any more patriotic, while defacing a jalur gemilang cake doesn't make u any less patriotic either.

-=SiN=- said...

I'm no pious person in nature. As far as i know.

The basic "Faith is a substance of believe; evidence not seen", it is not something nor a materials that can be hold and evaluate.

Teachings, Relics, Books and other religious significants are all passes down from the earliest time religion existed.

The core belief of today are from hands, mouths and man penned text scipture thousands years ago; how much of the original 100% remain is not clear nor anyone dares to challenges the authenticity.

Man it seems love to bind themself with sets of ideas, values and forms of legal entitity.

A religion governed system will always overlapped secular philosophy concepts.

may said...

ermmmm... uhmmmm... hmmmmm...
*remains speechless*

Sunshine said...

wuah... sensitive topic...

better to keep mouth shut...

Soulblade said...

er.. as much as i want to give my piece of mind, i think i better not.

with so many name callings and interrogations.. God knows what's next in line for us bloggers.

yeap, this is damn unfair.

J.T. said...

"To us, being born in a Christian family doesn’t make one a Christian."

A baby cannot proclaim that he/she is Christian but the child belongs to Christian parents. Try telling Christian parents (or any other religion for that matter) that their child is not of their faith. The child is growing up according to the Christian faith. Is he/she any less a Christian?

And this ... "We Christians always like to make fun of people who consider themselves Christian simply because they were born in a Christian family."
Allow me to ask you this ... isn't it un-Christian to make fun of other Christians? How about respecting each other's beliefs regardless how they accept God and the method they do it?

Being a good human being is first and foremost important. No religion is better than another. It is how one lives one's life. :)

Re Lina Joy's case, regardless of how they ruled, they cannot own her heart and soul.

ethel said...

I agree with jun. i don't fly malaysian flag on my car every month of august, but that doesn't make me unpatriotic.

the same thing goes to lina.

eh, i dunwannasayanymore. :P

Winn said...

i think religion is a form of education !
i still duno why we have to have state our religion in mykad.

Cirnelle said...

This whole matter would not have even been an issue had the MyKads just omitted the category that says "religion". Saves legal costs, saves newspaper printing, saves picketing papers and sticks and more than one blogger will run out of topic on a Monday. Hmmmm.... things happen for a reason?

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

too deep on a monday morning..what kind of readers you have out there???

wednesday tak boleh boss..tues or thurs?

Helen said...

I went to the site you wrote about and no, I cannot agree with the author.

The author wanted to rule the act of apostasy is illegal.I am sure the Syariah court which is the assigned judgment place for Islamic matters had already ruled that. But, the fact is, the author is not satisfied.

This is what the author wrote: "I will only listen to the words of another Muslim who has read the Quran cover to cover and understood the Quran. I will not listen to non-Muslims who have read the Quran and gives his version"

That says it all isn't it? His mentality and all. The author is not interested in the truth. The author tried to sound neutral but this statement said it all. The author is only willing to listen to his side.... people of other faiths can go fly kite... nevermind in a meaningful discussion the facts should be the focus. Not the faith of your critics. Another thing, isn't the author contradicting himself? If he subsribed only to the laws of the Quran, then he'll have to accept Lina should be stoned to death. He can't have it both ways..;-(

Malaysia is a multi racial country. The law of a country, is not assigned to serve one faith alone. It is upheld to serve people of all races and creed. That is how justice and prevail. Though it is not perfect, but then it is the best way we can obtain justice for all. Regardless you're Muslim, Buddhists, CHristians or others.

The analogy you used about the cell leaders? The mega church decision to deny the cell leader her resignation is not biblical. It was never meant to be biblical... just out of selfish interest. It was wrong... and no, it's no different from Lina Joy's case and that is why it should not be condoned.

As a citizen of a country, why the heck should the faith of the individual be entered into MYkad? The word in LIna's MyKad is not the issue... the issue is her right to have it changed.

Hor ny Ang Moh said...

As usual for me since I practise openess & freedom in most of my 'pokeing' issues, its also apply to what I believe which happen to be many, from temple to church! But to me what u believed is not important! What is important is that u must be a good humen being. Help ur fellow humen when possible! Have a nice day!

zewt said...

tingtitlei - so you're a car born in a garage eh? hehe... kidding.

angel - hehe...always in my mind, just dunno when to say it.

ehon - oh c'mon, how is that possible?

sooi2 - hahahaha.... never thought someone will ask that. nope, not that mega church. another one, one which i used to attend.

bongkersz - that's why. that's the reason why i think some ppl should stop crying... no freedom of religion. i always believe religion is in the heart, not on a piece of paper. oh, i am going to get shot for saying this.

Jason said...

"To us, being born in a Christian family doesn’t make one a Christian." I totally agree with that statement but as a Christian i beg to differ that we always like to make fun of people who consider themselves Christians simply coz they were being born into a Christian family.

Speaking from personal experience, being in such a family certainly has got me thinking i was a Christian all the while right from birth . Furthermore, my IC and birth cert stated that my religion is Christianity. That is till i really understood what it meant to be a Christian. By making fun of them, we are directly being a stumbling block if you know what i mean. What say you?

Having said all that, i believe that having the word Islam in her MyKad certainly does not make Lina Joy a Muslim. It is the same concept used when i was referring to myself having the word Christian in my MyKad. In the end, how people in general view this issue is all very subjective, based on their own personal beliefs and ways they use to provide some justification on their stand.

zewt said...

Jun - i couldnt agree more. brilliantly put.

-=Sin=- - that's the whole beauty of religion, we will never know how much of the original remains, but we will have to believe, that's why it's called faith.

may - i am sure u have something to say wan.

Sunshine - oh c'mon... pluck some courage somewhere :)

JT - yeah, Christians should never make fun of others, no matter how light the faith appears. but unfortunately, it does happen, once in a while, sometimes even from the pulpit. but i am sure it's all for a good intention. as for lina's case, well, substance over form, dont u think?

zewt said...

soulblade - hahaha... denial is everything eh? it's really ironic that everyone wanna say something but no one dares say anything. but yeah, i am one of them... not going to say much i mean.

ethel - ok ok... i also dunwannasayanythingaboutitalready.

winn - that one is for stats purposes la.

Cirnelle - hahahaha... maybe they want bloggers to have a topic... that's why.

constant craver joe - let me think think... susah la other days.

Helen - yup... maybe i should blog more about such mega churches... i do have one thing or 2 to say about them. as for Lina's case... well, i think i have said enough.

hor ny - very well said hor ny... and remember. throw the starfish ya...

Jason - indeed, but we Christians do use that analogy a lot when we try to tell such Christians that they need to say the sinners prayers and so on and so forth. was just using the same analogy in this lina's case. as for her, well, i've always said that religion is in the heart... just like many other things. what is on paper is not so relevant... sometimes la.

Huei said...

hahahhahahhhah

ahhh..our "lovely" country

me said...

hmmm.....you know, i never noticed what my ic wrote. *fishing out ic from the wallet*...errrrr....where's the religion thingy?? i don't have anything here....ewwwwww, so blur looking ic photo! who is this aunty?!?!

Manal said...

I think those people preferred that lina revokes her citizenship to allow her such freedom. Heck, i used to know someone who's a fren of my brother who did the same thing by changing the kewarganegaraan. And that person also left this country for safety reason, liberation and all.

narrowband said...

I wish I could offer a good point, or even a constructive comment. Much - way too much - has been said about the issue and we all know very well nothing is going to change.

Let us not spoil the Merdeka spirit :p Several of my neighbours have put up gigantic Jalur Gemilangs in their hosue compound.

rinnah said...

A deep topic for a Monday morning leh, zewt. But great to see a zewtpinion again!

I was born into a Christian family and for the early years of my life, I considered myself a Christian just by that fact alone. But now, my opinion of this has changed, and I believe that it is your individual belief in your religion that makes you who you are - Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, even atheist. Many can call themselves by any religion, but are they really of that religion? I wouldn't make fun of those cars in garages, but I wouldn't consider them to be really cars... just something else pretending to be a car.

Not sure if you get what I'm trying to say... my meaning seems a little muddled up even to me. *grin*

Angie Tan said...

yep.. i agree, just because someone labels you as such, doesn't neccessary mean that you are that. :P

some people who profess to be of a certain religion who dish out "holier-than-thou" stuff are not even showing signs of being what that religion teaches. and i'm not just talking about muslim, or christians but people who profess to a religion in general.

that's why the church these days come up with the new term, "practising christian". seems funny, huh?

Jonny said...

I intend to say a lot, but one word will say it all. I'm in the 'weak agnostic' category.

The author is right, in many ways. Some things are fixed and it's too painful for others to accept any changes to it.

Is there really a reason to make so many people suffer, for a title in your MyKad?

That MyKad is not your admission pass to heaven/hell.

H.C. Tan said...

no comments..but I agree with katataknak..

anyw..y ar MU can't win Reading even when Reading had only 10 ppl on the field? hee hee hee

Liv won le~

Clare said...

I like the quote "Does being born in a garage make you a car?"

People always shake their head if I told them I haven't been to church for ages because yadda yadda yadda...

But one thing I'll ask them :"Not going to church does not make me less faithful than you, does it? It does not make me less Christian than you. How do you measure?"

THAT should keep them quiet. LOL!!! I'm so bad!

zewt said...

Huei - lovely indeed :)

me - that aunty is you lor. who else.... sigh... why do ppl wanna state the obvious?

Manal - hmmm... i have an ex colleague who is like this too... i think. she married a gwai lo and went to oregan.

narrowband - so are you going to fly the national colours too? :)

rinnah - i get what u mean :)... someone pretending to be cars... i guess you were once like that huh? so what are you now? did you continue to 'consider' yourself a christian?

Angie Tan - which church came up with that? i only heard of seasonal christians... those who goes to church during easter and christmas :) agreed with what you said.

Jonny - good insight. well, i guess we will always protect our religion. and i will say it again, religion is a matter of the heart... not what is written on a piece of paper.

HC Tan - aiyah... if always win... no fun la. let you all enjoy first, what is important is the end of the season.

Clare - hahaha... i used to be like u. while i do go to church now... i will still agree with you. someone's faith is not weighed based on church attendance... or anything for that matter. it's all between us and God.

zeroimpact said...

Then they must be a lot of doctor around, aren't most of us born in the hospital
Another thing, what good does it make if the heart is not in sync
I think in another 1000 years then they will get idea of the 21st century behaviour and attitude

Anonymous said...

Well, honestly, I think church leaders often use unreasonable expectations to expect their members to do things.

Just because someone wants to leave an office i.e. from being a cell leader, one cannot discount the fact that the cell leader by nature can still serve as a faithful follower & disciple of Christ. The office is only a position which can be a hindrance to one from performing one's calling. Which is why I renounced my position as I realised I am often restricted.

I disagree with some of the theology held by my pastors (Calvinism and non-Calvinism and it is too technical anyway for detailed explanation) hence I felt I don't want to be associated with a position which must uphold that sort of theology.

Cirnelle said...

You want more opinions? Okay. Here it is. I disagree with your one notion (and the other writer's views) that what the court upheld was correct, in law. The findings of a court that a technicality within one religious book should be upheld, is an admittance that our country is a theological state. If the laws of a country is supposed to uphold tolerance in the presence of so many religions co-existing within a shared space, it must never be held based on a technical part of the legislation that is based on one religion. It was said that since "apostacy" is "illegal in Islam" and hence, the findings of the nation's highest court is upholding that is to say that our country runs on the laws of its dominant religion, not secularism.

And this is such a small matter at that. For a removal of a piece of writing from a person's card (a piece of property required by the laws of a country and can never be brought with you to the next world when you die) should always be a secular consideration, never one that has anything to do with the substance of one's religion.

There.... time for me to go hide in a hole until elections time.

alan zed said...

if she converted, then the answer is no. simple as that. :)

zewt said...

zeroimpact - wow... you're too kind. u think 1000 years is sufficient?

anon @ 5.47pm - the church is evolving and i think some aspects need some sort of control... else the ways of the world may just take over. and it appears that it's already happening. would be a good blog topic, dont u think?

Cirnelle - so deep so deep.... well, i think it wil be an argument that will go on forever. the way i see it... not may wanna talk about this issue anymore. dont think hide too long... when the GE comes... better vote leh.

alan zed - precisely... precisely.

bensiu said...

As long as the religion teaches you all the good stuff(dont ask me to term what is good stuff, you know it...)and people actually practises it, then i will say hallelujah, the world will be a better place to live...yea baby!

bensiu said...

Sometimes I jst think there are too many bloody(and free) idiotic parties whom wish to just stir up all these rubbish hypocracy among religions. Religion in 'Mykad'? Aper tuh? For what? Pizzahut bills with 'C' have to pay service charge(*rumoured)? MPs of all races/religions mentioning bodoh remarks.

Again I say, No matter what religion you are in, as long they teach you to be righteous, truthworthy, and all the good stuff...by the end of the day, you are who you are, not the religion you believe.

Damn it! I took 10 minutes just to writer this comment. This is definetely a thinker blog!

me said...

sheesh! you think i don't know when i said it meh?? no sense of humour. call me aunty, aunty. you think we related meh? :-p *hammers zewt on the head*

conan_cat said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sunflower said...

I just registered to vote (yes, I know, finally) and even in the voter registration form you have to fill in "agama". My question: how on earth is that relevant to anything?

Bee said...

I believe Islam will go through evolution and become more and more tolerance, just like in Christian.

To tell you the truth Christian in Malaysia scared me. The believers came knock your door trying to convert you. They are aggressive. Their acts drive me away more from this religion. While in France, Christians are very open minded. Nobody tries to convert me. Hubby has no problem praying my ancestors. The grandmother who is a deep believer, told me that nobody should convert nobody, Jesus said to love everybody, not only Christian. I believed Christians in France used to be conservative, but it evolves overtime. The same will apply to all religions, just some resist more and take longer to change.

Anonymous said...

Haha... I sense your strong persuasion. Must resist....:)

SLACKER said...

Imagine a world without religion.... wouldn't that make sense? Just you and God...

if only the world was so.... sigh....

zewt said...

bensiu - yeah baby! hahaha... what a way to close your first comment. i think the pizza hut bill rumour is not true. and yeah, religion does teaches us good... it is us who made it all ugly. no need to be so stressed la, just comment away.

me - yeah.... i shall not call u aunty... dont want to ying chan ying chik... call u old woman enough right?

conan_cat - wahh... i think i have to delete your comment la... how can u say xxxxx is stupid? u wanna die ah?

Sunflower - makes one wonder isnt it?

Bee - i think those who knock on your doors are called jehovah witnesses and in the understanding of christianity, they are cults... so i guess we have to leave them out. having said that, i do agree with you that the christianity evolution in malaysia can be worrying.

anon @ 8.01 - hahaha... persistence breaks resistence.

Slacker - if it is just us and God... isnt it religion already? :)

rinnah said...

*grin* I still continue to consider myself a Christian - not because I was born into a Christian family, but because I truly believe in and love my God. And I also went thru the same phase as Clare when I challenged those who said I was a "lesser" Christian for not going to church regularly. But I'm back in the church now, by choice. Not because someone said so. *double grin*

SLACKER said...

dear zewt... fair reply - but i'm sure u understand where i'm coming from...

i respect religion and the powers of faith... but isnt it sad to note that all great man caused tragedies has often spawned from clash of faith? If faith is so good, why does it cause evil?

Hence my theology of embracing God in His good graces.. why bother what the next person does? Its between him and God not you..

I'm agnostic... i spent 7 years in a catholic sunday school... i attend christians service ocassionally, when i was young, my neighbour's dad taught me the quran... and all my life i go to the Thai buddhist temple near my old house.. Since my Dad became quite religios and the fact that my brother in law is super hard-core Hindu... i go to the Hindu temple with them... so what does that make me? A hypocrite?

Hey... i believe in the power of prayer... to me.. there's no right way or wrong way.. there's just prayer... and if u pray... they'll be answered... so why waste time with other people's choice of religion / prayer... just do your own... and respect the rest....

i once had a hardcore christian gf... and we broke up coz she couldnt accept the fact that i do not 'accept Christ' the way she does... which is fine by me... the irony is, the reason why she liked me in the first place was cause i could provide her with free bible studies... everynite i would teach her something different from the bible... and her favourite topic was the difference between christians and catholics.. i think between she and I... she is the bigger hypocrite...

God is great.. God is All Mighty... but if u beg to disagree with my beliefs... then go ahead... just dont sell ur beliefs to me... let me sin and go to hell in your books.. ^_^ that's all poor Lina wants... for people to leave her alone...

Bee said...

zewt,

As far as I know they were not jehovah, they were University mates from the Christian association. We all had to hide up in the room when they passed by...

zewt said...

rinnah - that's good. i think going back to church becos u want to instead of being asked to is such a good feeling. makes sunday not a routine...

slacker - i hear you my friend. i think one who is open to all religion is definitely not a hypocrite. instead, i believe those hard core ppl who is devoted to a particular religion is a hypocrite. why? cos if they are so devoted, then all the aspects in their lives should be holy... but yet, it's not.

as for your ex... hahaha.. i have heard countless such stories... it's damn common. it's unfortunate to know that christians can be the biggest hypocrite around. not going to force anything into you mah... like your nick suggests... you're a slacker... and should stay that way! haha...

Bee - ahhh... i think i have encountered such thing before... when i was in UK... very scary. indeed that is what happened when you try to force religion into someone.