TODAY: Teach youth spirit of the law, not just its letter (Oct 17)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Teach youth spirit of the law, not just its letter

Wednesday • October 17, 2007


I READ Mr Ron Chong Ker Chuen's letter, "Leave gay law unchanged"
(Oct 16), with much disappointment.

Though I understand the importance of parents teaching their
children to tell right from wrong, I feel that it is key to
emphasise why we label certain acts as morally wrong (for example,
they cause harm to others).

This is better than telling them not to do something just because
the law says so or to perpetuate a conservative view.

At the same time, it is worrying that Mr Chong and parents like him
fail to recognise the fact that by supporting Section 377A of the
Penal Code, under which it is a crime for men to have sex with other
men, he is inadvertently sending a message to his children that it
is all right to discriminate against minority groups and impose laws
regarding their private issues, which do not directly concern us or
cause harm to other parties.

It would be rather unfortunate should our younger generation be
brought up to support such prejudices and infringements on personal

While parents and educators play vital roles in shaping the moral
compasses of our youth, it is ultimately more important — and
increasingly more relevant in our ever-changing society — to give
the youth the right tools and attitudes to make their own moral

We would be doing the younger generation a disservice if we were to
simply impose our views and biases on them.