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Singapore

Open letter to the National Library Board: To be consistent, ban the Bible too

07.13.14 | Comment?

To:
Ms Yeo Chee Yan, Chairman of the National Library Board
Ms Elaine Ng Poh Choo, CEO of the National Library Board

CC:
Mr Niam Chiam Meng, Chairman of the Media Development Authority
Ms Koh Lin-Net, CEO of the Media Development Authority
Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information
Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister

Dear Sir / Madam,

I read with interest the news that the National Library Board has withdrawn — and destroyed — three books from its collection, on complaints from several members of the public that the books were not “pro-family” enough.

I too would like to propose another book for withdrawal from the library for its not so “pro-family” content – the Holy Bible.

Here is a selection of the decidedly anti-family content I have found in the Bible:

Polygamy (Genesis 4:19, 16:1-4, 25:6, 31:17, Judges 8:30, 1 Samuel 1:1-2, 1 Kings 11:2-3, 1 Chronicles 4:5, 2 Chronicles 11:21, 2 Chronicles 13:21, 2 Chronicles 24:3)

Incest (Genesis 19:32-36)

Incestuous marriages (Genesis 20:12; Genesis 17:16; Exodus 6:20)

Human sacrifice (Genesis 22:2,10; Judges 11:29-39)

Execution of disobedient children (Deuteronomy 21:18-21; Exodus 21:15; Exodus 21:17)

Eating of one’s own children (Leviticus 26:29; Deuteronomy 28:53; Deuteronomy 28:57; Jeremiah 19:9; 2 Kings 6:28-29; Lamentations 4:10)

Murdering of children (Psalm 137:9)

Burning of family members to death (Leviticus 20:14; Leviticus 21:9;  Genesis 38:24; Joshua 7:15, 24-25)

Divorce (Deuteronomy 22:13; Deuteronomy 24:1-2)

Disposal of wives (Deuteronomy 22:13)

Beating of children (Proverbs 13:24; Proverbs 22:15; Proverbs 23:13-14)

Selling of daughters as slaves (Exodus 21:7)

Killing of infants (Numbers 31:15-17; Hosea 9:14; Hosea 9:16; Hosea 13:16)

Rape (Numbers 31:15-18)

I note that most of the above activities are crimes according to the laws of the Republic of Singapore. Yet, some of the characters who engaged in the above lifestyles are given glowingly positive portrayals and emerge as heroes in the overall narrative of the book.

As a Bible-believing Christian at peace with my faith, I must concede that the above passages of the book can be traumatising for children to read (I know, because I’ve been there before). Therefore, for the National Library Board to be thoroughly consistent with its “cautious” and “pro-family” approach, there is no choice for it but to withdraw the Holy Bible from its shelves.

If the National Library Board cannot withdraw the book, then perhaps the Media Development Authority can step in to censor the above passages. We have a duty to protect the children of Singapore from the less savoury parts of the book and help them read the right thing.

I am not familiar with other religious texts, but I would urge both the NLB and the MDA to scrutinise all of them with equal zeal to ensure that we, as a society, uphold the right values and walk down the right path.

Yours Sincerely,
Kenneth Tan

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