Saturday, February 9, 2008

SENSATIONAL! Ripped from the HEADLINES!!!!

Unfortunately, there isn't any sex, violence or celebrity news here. Just a short item tucked away in the inside pages of today's Star newspaper, about a Malaysian pastor on a ride to raise funds for a school for homeless children in Thailand.

Pastor Cheah (picture copyright,
The Star newspaper).

Pastor Cheah Chee Moon (no, guys, not related to the Moonies) has been involved in helping orphaned and destitude kids in Thailand for over 20 years, and is trying to raise awareness and funds for a permanent home by riding on his dinky little motorcycle from Thailand, through Malaysia, and onto Singapore, before heading back.

Pastor Cheah's story struck a chord in me, for he embodies faith in action. So many folks use religion as a tool, sometimes heavily laced with intolerance, to create "gated" social, cultural and political communities that look inward and that creates a moat between 'us' and 'them', rather than reaching out. It baffles the mind how seeking a spiritual dimension to one's life - seeking God - can lead to such hardening of the heart. When Jesus walked this earth, he didn't hang out with the equivalent of church leaders and religious elite of his day, carving out institutions with high walls that kept out unbelievers. Instead, he walked with the sick, the poor, the reviled - tax collectors, prostitutes, fishermen and the like - ministered to their needs, and was an activist for their physical, social and economic rights, in the face of authority.

A favourite phrase of the 'religious right' has been "What would Jesus do today?", used as a guiding principle to police morality and personal behaviour. Well, Jesus would have gotten onto his rickety motorbike to raise funds for a home the voiceless children.

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