I read about how NUS Campus Crusade for Christ (NCCC) has stirred some controversy over some promotional material they created. (full story here) I wasn’t going to say anything about it though because I think there are many others who have blogged about it already and I don’t think I’d be bringing anything new to the table.

Well, that was until I read a comment made by someone in the link above. Let me reproduce NCCC’s promotional material first:

The offending poster.

Now, Icouldn’t believer the sheer stupidity of one commentator (who obviously thought he was being clever) who said this:

“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.”

This apologist who goes by the moniker ‘Markus’ obvious didn’t read the poster very carefully either. I quote:

“But did you know? Thailand is of little true joy. Buddhism is so much a part of the Thai national identity and permeates into every level of society and culture that only about one hundred Thais accept Christ each year in the country of over 68 million people.”

Now go back and read the part of Markus’s comment in bold. What do you think is NCCC’s main argument for Thailand being a joyless country? Does Markus’s comments still hold true?

Also, since NCCC has apologised for their comments, I would say that they have recognised that their poster and its message have definitely been offensive to most people, as opposed to a certain minority being overly-sensitive.

So, dear Markus and other apologists, next time, before you go around being contrarian, please get off your high horse and stop assuming that others are overly-sensitive. Most people are clever enough to get the message without you interpreting it for them.

PS: I sure hope that Markus doesn’t have some vested interest (e.g. Markus is from the said organisation) in trying to deflect criticism. By the way, I have no vested interest in any religion. I just have an intense dislike for smart-alecs.