Insensitive NUS Campus Crusade for Christ

According to NUS Campus Crusade for Christ, Thailand is “a place of little true joy” because “Buddhism is so much of the Thai national identity and permeates into every level of society and culture that only one hundred Thais accept Christ each year”:

On Thailand
On Thailand

In Turkey, “much of the population is M, much prayer and work is needed in this place” (what is “M” may I ask?):

On Turkey
On Turkey

Very insensitive and very tactless.

Why do NUS Campus Crusade for Christ have to dis other religion when promoting their own?

They may have deleted their website and facebook page, but there are still screen shots and other traces of evidence left online. 

UPDATE (2.30pm, 16 Feb 2012):

NUS Campus Crusade for Christ had apologised:

I am a NUS CCC representative from NUS. With reference to the closed thread:

[GPGT] NUS group “Campus Crusade for Christ” insults Thai Buddhists and Turkey – www.hardwarezone.com.sg

We would like to post an online apology as follows:

Dear Netizens,

We humbly apologize for the distress we have caused you through the poster of ours that has gone viral online. We recognize that our choice of words used should have been more sensitive and tactful. We acknowledge that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and it is definitely not our intention to force anyone to believe in what we do.

We have since removed our posters and websites, and will be watchful of future actions. Thank you for your understanding and our deepest apologies again for the distress that this incident has caused you.

With sincere apologies,
On behalf of NUS Campus Crusade

NUS school Provost had given his comments as well:

RELIGIOUS HARMONY ON CAMPUS

The University was alerted yesterday to disrespectful and insensitive remarks about other religions and communities contained in posters and website comments put up by a student group, the NUS Campus Crusade for Christ. We contacted the student group last night. The posters that were put up on campus have been removed, and the student group has also removed all related postings at their website and Facebook page. The students concerned have also apologized.

NUS is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious community. We expect every member of our community to be respectful towards the religious customs, beliefs and sensitivities of others. The University does not endorse any comment or action by members of our community that disrupt religious harmony or disparage the diverse communities that live in Singapore and overseas.
Thank you.

Professor Tan Eng Chye
Deputy President (Academic Affairs) & Provost

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34 thoughts on “Insensitive NUS Campus Crusade for Christ”

  1. Campus Crusade for Christ is only apologising because they were caught. What about other instances of insensitive and unneeded evangelising efforts? Or would this be their very first attempt at proselytizing? .

  2. Christianity in Singapore is pretty insidious and it has spawned a community of mainly Chinese Singaporeans who have put the idea in their heads that their religion is exclusively relevant, and every other religion deserves to be casually mocked.

    I was raised a Christian, and I used to kick over Buddhist altars and mock my Muslim peers in school for being misled by Satan, and this behavior was encouraged by my fellows in church.

    Then I reached the age of reason at 17. I’ve been an atheist since then, and I’m so glad that I’m overseas – I no longer need to endure the guilt-tripping by the church’s task force of my childhood friends who still attempt to coax me to “go back to Christ”.

  3. Alvinology (like most overly-sensitive people) have gotten it wrong. Read the poster carefully.

    The poster reads: “Thailand is a place of little true joy”. “Buddhism is so much of the Thai national identity…”.

    There was no “because” in between the 2 sentences. The effect of adding “because” changes the meaning radically because it makes the 2nd sentence appear to be the result of the first, (ie Thais have little joy because they are Buddhists).

    Campus Crusade is NOT saying that Thais are joyless because they are Buddhists. They are saying that Christianity brings true joy. What is wrong with saying that? Isn’t is part and parcel of promoting one’s religion.

    I fail to see how that can be construed as a negative portrayal of Buddhism. Unless people take it so sensitively that you cannot even mention 2 different religions in a single poster.

  4. No religion teaches us to do bad (maybe except Al Qaeda and gang), it is always some followers who distort. It gets very uncomfortable when some folks insist their GOD is the one and only. The World and Universe is bigger than we can fathom, live and let live 🙂
    Peace.

  5. Gee Markus, it is really sad. Not only you have been caught red handed but to make matter worst you keep on denying it by trying to raise a very dubious point of semantic.

    It is you who should read the poster carefully, not Alvin. And wake up to your insincerity.

  6. All different religions are good in nature and valid. But it is us who behaves like a little immature child arguing and fighting with other kids saying “My daddy is better than yours, he is most handsome, stronger than yours etc….” Childish indeed and narrow minded. If Jesus Christ did say ” I am the way the life..”, yet Christ DID NOT say that he is the ONLY way, the ONLY life. Over zealous religious people “put words” into their founder’s mouth or interpret words towards that of a supremacist views.

  7. @Markus –

    “There was no “because” in between the 2 sentences. The effect of adding “because” changes the meaning radically because it makes the 2nd sentence appear to be the result of the first, (ie Thais have little joy because they are Buddhists).”

    It is pretty much implied so even without the conjunction, “because”. If there is no relevance/correlation whatsoever between the sentence ‘Thailand is a little place of joy’ and the ‘Buddhism is so much of the Thai national identity and permeates into every level of society and culture that only one hundred Thais accept Christ each year” – then why have the former mention in the first place?

    “Campus Crusade is NOT saying that Thais are joyless because they are Buddhists. They are saying that Christianity brings true joy. What is wrong with saying that? Isn’t is part and parcel of promoting one’s religion. I fail to see how that can be construed as a negative portrayal of Buddhism. Unless people take it so sensitively that you cannot even mention 2 different religions in a single poster.”

    Nothing wrong with that. But if that’s the intention, why the need to bring in another religion and references?

    Stretching the argument one step, if you remove the former sentence and read it again, the question that begs the readers’ mind – is “So what?” Hence, it is quite implicit that the copywriter was attempting to insinuate the correlation between high prevalence of Buddhism and Thailand being a little place of joy.

    Logical POV,

    Premise – “Thailand is a little place of joy'”
    Inference – “Buddhism is so much of the Thai national identity and permeates into every level of society and culture that only one hundred Thais accept Christ each year”
    Conclusion – “Do you share the burden…”

    Not rocket science, I suppose?

  8. Wow ppl, take a chill pill and a kit kat too for good measure. If you guys have so much time on your hands to be so harshly critical of others’ religion why not take the time to examine your own beliefs and reaffirm them since it is obvious that you have little faith in them through your constant picking on others’ religion.

  9. @Markus: Logic Fail.

    Why not I drop the world because in “between” and put in “as” or quote the exact sentences from the flyer. What about the mysterious, condescending “M”?

    You are in primary school? Word play? Don’t be lame.

  10. you are not like secondary students. u r adults. university students for god’s sake! please use your narrow minded brain before coming out with such posters. buddhism= no happiness?!

  11. Firstly, I’m a Christian. Secondly, I think the poster was poor taste- it was insensitive and disrespectful. The ‘M’ codename was just horrible, too. As a Christian I’m embarrassed and apologetic for these breaches in basic human decency.

    Thirdly, I’m surprised no one’s said anything about NEWater’s post, even though there seems to be a thoroughgoing consensus here that it’s rude to dump on someone else’s religious beliefs. A few comments have (rightly) pointed out Markus’ questionable inductive abilities; but what about NEWater’s outrageous and downright offensive claims?

    To NEWater:
    “..exclusively relevant”? What does that even mean? If Christians really thought their religion was exclusively relevant to themselves, they wouldn’t even bother with prosletyzing others.

    “…every other religion deserves to be casually mocked.” On the contrary, Christians are taught to be respectful in their evangelism efforts. Of course there are feckless Christians around who mock other religions, but those few do so in violation of the principles of respect taught in the Christian scriptures (if you can be bothered, see 1 Peter 3:15 and Colossians 4:2-6).

    “…this behavior was encouraged by my fellows in church.” Really? That doesn’t happen in my church, at least. For the record, pouring scorn on others’ religious sensibilities- the way you did- would be strongly condemned in my church.

    Of course, I can only speak for the church I attend, since my experience is thus limited. But that’s the thing: so is yours. Even if your incredible account of kicking over altars and openly mocking Muslims is true (and I very much doubt that someone would be so upfront about having done something so repulsive), you would in all likelihood be representing only a vast minority of professing Christians in Singapore.

    You speak for yourself.

  12. @Bob Tan,

    “On the contrary, Christians are taught to be respectful in their evangelism efforts.”

    Which is just a round about way of saying, our religion is superior, just don’t make the target think we are saying that.

    I grew up Buddhist and went to Catholic and Christian school all my life while growing up. The worst of the bunch by far was the Christian schools. There is zero tolerance for any other belief system except what, by law, they are required to adhere to.

    Do you know what turned me off from Christianity? When I was 7, a teacher took me one side and told me how much of a sinner I was and how I will always be a sinner. Then I was made to pray with him. I was a good, respectful, polite and thoughtful kid and NEVER got into trouble. Ever. So here was this guy telling me somethign counter to everything I had known intrinsically all my life (at that point); that a measure of a person’s goodness is his actions and intentions towards his fellow man. Noone taught me that; I knew it – but this man tried to tell me differently. That we are all sinners and evil and the only way is to pray for forgiveness every day of our lives to God. Things like goodness to parents, friends, colleagues, fellow man are just secondary at best. The primary belief being you are tryign to buy and beg your way into heaven.

    Can you imagine how a little boy must have felt when an authority figure challenges his personal faith like that and does so right from the get-go from a place of fire and brimstone? Lucky for me, my stones are stronger than that even as a kid and I vowed from that day forward to never follow any person or group that does the same as that man.

    I believe in God. The same God the Christians do. I just don’t believe in the institution as raised by man; and Christianity is just as much an institution as Catholicism. Institutions are regularly corrupted and readily influenced by human ideology and beliefs that has nothing to do with God.

    I’ve got many Christian friends and acquaintances and their ratio of good to being screwed up individuals are just as bad as any other religion. Being a Christian did not “save” them any more than an authority figure “saved” me. We’re all just human beings with our own flaws. Your belief in any one religion doesn’t change that as bourne out by how screwed up people are in general, regardless of religion leanings.

    When I see messages like on that poster, it just takes me right back to that day with the teacher and to be brutally honest, messages like those are NOT uncommon among the Christian community. It’s even preached during private study groups – THAT is why these kids are writing it down. Because an authority TOLD them this is the way to think/believe.

    Let me just be clear that there is absolutely nothing wrong with Christianity. The belief system of superiority, however, is clearly a human construct.

  13. I’m Muslim, since 911 world has changed for our life. These students just make it worse. As Muslim teaching we never do such “crusading” or forcing our believe to others. However you would surprise that Islam now become largest religion in the world.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/vatican-islam-surpasses-roman-catholicism-as-world-s-largest-religion-1.242965

    Muslim population growing rapidly, new believers from any direction, especially in the west: politicians, celebs, ordinary peoples, and even inmates in jails. If democracy said majority rules, yes we are now. It is our destiny to rise in the glorious moment for 2nd times for the last one before end.

    So can’t keep spiting then took it back and swallow, if not the law you going to face then social sanction is harder for you. Number of such cases in the past done by who claim their believe are christian. Just dry my lips on Huda preschooler case. What happen to you guys, something wrong with your believe, with your preachers? (it should be)

    As Muslim I love Jesus and Mary more than christian it self. My Qur’an has chapters title of those two beloved persons. I want to read it everyday, I want to see Jesus face in his second coming.

    Peace

  14. @ Wansai Ounkeo:

    I’m sorry you feel that way, and have had bad experiences with Christians. I also agree that there are “bad eggs” from every religion because we are all human.

    When you say that Christianity has zero tolerance for other belief systems, do you mean 1) Christians show little respect for other belief systems (e.g. making light of them, openly mocking them, persecuting adherents of other religions, etc.) OR, 2) Christians believe their religion to be the one true belief system, to the exclusion of all other incompatible belief systems?

    If you mean 1), then I stand with you in censuring such behavior. However, if your complaint is 2) I do not think it is a fair one…

    It seems that one cannot (rationally speaking) believe a proposition without doubting its reverse. For instance, if I believe it is raining, I cannot at the same time believe that it is NOT raining! And different religions, for the most part, are conflicting systems of beliefs. Different religions make competing claims that are simply not compatible. For instance, the Christian claim that Jesus is the Son of God must be doubted if one is to be a sincere Muslim, since such a claim is precluded by Islam theology. So, let’s say I’m religion X, how can I also believe the truth of religion Y that makes claims that conflict with religion X? Doing so would not only be irrational, but also disingenuous.

    In other words, if thinking your religion to be the One True Religion is a crime, Christians are not the only culprits, and anyone who holds to the law of noncontradiction AND is a sincere adherent to some religion is also implicated. It’s politically convenient to say that all religions are correct, and that no one is wrong, but I don’t think that’s an honest view. Such a view gives rise to contradictions such as:

    “Islam is true (and therefore Jesus is NOT the Son of God) and Christianity is true (and therefore Jesus is the Son of God).”

    I’m just suggesting that it’s not necessarily a superiority complex that causes one to believe in his religion and doubt all others; it may be just an honest commitment to steer clear of contradictions.

    Additionally, I do not think that your issue with Christianity is just institutional. Its claim to be the exclusive truth is fundamental*, and no mere invention of its followers. Whether its followers are fools for committing to the Christian worldview is, of course, a completely separate issue.

    *That is, found in its essential doctrines.

  15. Come on guys, the world is only worth living and cherishing when there is diversity..and that they can co-exist.

    It does not matter what your beliefs are as long as you are respectful of those held by others. I’m a Muslim, but I am so happy to have friends from several religions and even free-thinkers. I take the time to know their beliefs because I am interested to know the driving forces that brings out the best in them, and I could learn a thing or two from the way others practice and renew their faith. I really cannot imagine living in a country where there is only one religion or race. I rather not let the irresponsible behaviour of a few colour my opinions of any particular group of people.

    I know not everyone would agree with me, but I do wish that we could move beyond divisive lines and embrace what unites us. Don’t we have bigger issues to tackle right now?

  16. Quote: “…and it is definitely not our intention to force anyone to believe in what we do.”

    If you’re gonna call yourselves “crusaders’, then please have the honesty and self-respect to admit to yourselves and everyone else that ‘forcing others to believe in what you do’ is precisely what you should intend. And if you truly have no such intention, then you are in the wrong organization. Get out now.

    i am all for believing in whatever faith one has been born into or converted to but please, keep it to yourselves. Praise and worship all you like in the privacy of your homes and places of worship. But do not, for any reason, no matter how noble your holy books tell you it is to do so, attempt to spread your faith to anyone else.

  17. ‎’I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one less god than you do. When you understand why you reject the other possible gods, you will understand why I reject yours’. Stephen Roberts

  18. I do not think I like religions glorifying the killer of the son (Abraham)
    – that old fart was a real bastard who even think of putting knife on
    his son’s throat for his virtual friend. Nor I like another religion which
    was founded by a charlatan who asked the baby daughter of a close
    mate, thigh that 6 years old girl (Aisha) and shagged her when she
    was 9. So I prefer to stay atheist and having no intangible friends,
    if I were forced to worship something, my religion will be Single Malt
    Whisky, Red Wine and Women, at least they are tangible. and they
    are hot, juicy (sometimes you prefer dry than fruity juicy ones) and
    they can comfort you more than virtual friends and con men who
    said they are messengers of that collective virtual friend or tyrant.

  19. There were Crusaders and Jihadis
    for millenniums, can there ever be
    a stop to them?

    The Greatest Sin of Religions is
    Superstition that makes man
    irrational and doing foolish things
    at times.

    patriot

  20. Guys…. Seriously…. CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG???

    Come on man! What the matter with all of you people? Cant we just live together as neighbours? Even the prophet Muhammad allowed the Christians to seek shelter and pray in his mosque! Protect the jews, christian and atheist who is living in his country. And the prophet Musa (Moses) parted the red sea with his staff and set the children of Israel free from the Pharoah.. And the prophet Isa (Jesus) was born without a father, cure the blind, the leper and brought a man back to life… And who will be back on his second coming…

    Come on man… We all share the same stories man… Pls… Lets all just live together in peace…

    Life is already hard.. Prices increase.. House price increase.. Wage stagnant.. Need to go upgrade skill… Then still want to fight about this??? Preeesss lar! I wong you first… Preessss… Lets us just get along…

  21. @ “Andrew”
    “As Muslim I love Jesus and Mary more than christian it self. ”

    I’m sorry but that is extremely condescending and insulting to all Christians. Who are you to pass judgment on how faithful Christians are?

    I’ve met many Christians who are devout and in which religion plays a central part in their lives. I’ve also met Muslims who are only Muslims in name and in which adherence to the dictates of Islam are merely out of cultural conformity. All individuals have differing levels of religiosity and it is not up to you to judge just because you perceive yourself to be holier-than-thou.

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