Singapore’s controversial tongue-twisting Law Minister had to make a clarification again today (Feb 14) after the government’s state media misquoted him again. According to state media TodayOnline, Minister K Shanmugam said “there are passages in the Bible which invite Christians to kill non-believers.”
The Law Minister had to conduct a close-door dialogue with more than 200 pastors and church leaders to explain himself.
Speaking to state media Straits Times, the government’s National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) chipped in to help defend the foul mouthed Law Minister saying that one have to understand the context why he made the seditious statement:
“The points made by the minister were helpful and appreciated by the Christian community. If not contextualised, some who heard it could believe that it supported violence towards Christians and Jews. Mr Shanmugam’s response was that such statements had to be contextualised to Singapore’s situation and community. He said that there are passages in the religious texts of different religions which, on the face of it, could be seen as calling for violence and intolerance. However, religious leaders will usually contextualise them. It was in this context that Mr Shanmugam mentioned the “destroy” passages in the Bible as an example. The minister acknowledged that Christians had always understood that the “destroy” passages contained occasional commands that were specific to a historical context. These passages are treated contextually by pastors; that such commands are not a divine sanction or universal principle to justify violence by Christians against non-believers. The same principle should apply to all religions. Similar passages, verses, traditions can be found in other religions and they have to be dealt with in the same way.”
This is the second time in the week the Law Minister has been “misquoted”. Earlier last week on Saturday (Feb 10), state media ChannelNewsAsia and SuriaOnline were forced to apologise to the esteemed minister who made ambiguous comments on monitoring the preachings of local Muslim leaders.