Messianic Jewish Endtime Ministries in Taiwan: On Gays, Abortion and the Sabbath

I’m always interested to see religious pamphlets when they come through my door, especially given the recent protests held by Taiwan’s Christian minority against the gay marriage bill.

Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen has treated these religious groups on the same footing as pro-gay marriage groups, despite a lot of misinformation spread by the former on the actual content on the bill (lots of talk of men marrying Ferris wheels and dogs).

Anyway, I got this leaflet through the door this week, which appears to be associated with or enamoured with the “Aleph & Tav Prophetic Endtime Ministries“, a sect of Messianic Judaism, and have translated selections of it that I thought were interesting as they relate to gay rights and abortion.

The first page is slightly odd, in that it first suggests that there has been an uptick in “earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, heat waves, damage to crops from cold spells, epidemics and terrorist attacks” and then states that most of these are the result of how humanity has destroyed the earth’s environment. He then points out, that actually earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are not related to global warming, but are rather a sign of god’s anger. He goes on to state that effects of global warming are far beyond what many scientists predicted, so god’s probably making global warming worse for us too.

After this the author goes into a rant about the Sabbath being from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, not Sunday as some Christians would have it. One line of this rant stood out to me:

不要再讓外邦人嘲笑我們不遵守十誡。

Don’t allow the people of foreign countries to continue to mock us for not observing the 10 Commandments.

This is interesting because it conflicts with statements made later on in the text, in which he criticizes Taiwanese people for blindly following Western conventions on the issue of abortion.

The second page is a little more interesting, and I’ve translated it in two parts. The first excerpt is as follows:

WarningWarning

Warning! Warning!

The creator clearly tells humanity in the bible “Homosexuality is sin”, but nowadays, people with ulterior motives use “respect for human rights” as a shield to promote such evil behaviour among humanity. Their motive is to destroy and obliterate our next generation! Over recent years the number of homosexuals, drug users and even people infected with AIDS [sic.] on school campuses has clearly risen, which is closely related to the evil education policies (gender equality education, today in schools they no longer emphasize the idea of one man and one woman, but they advocate to allow for diverse genders)! There are even massive parades by homosexual groups in Taiwan every year, with singers launching concerts to support the cause and the media writing favourable reports about them, which has led to an intangible brainwashing and warping of the value systems of Taiwan’s young people so that they can no longer tell right from wrong!

The creator tells us in the bible that “homosexuals” are an object of his scorn, and are accursed! (The city of Sodom was destroyed because of the sin of homosexuality). What is most regrettable is that during the presidential election we chose a political party that supports diverse families and we chose a leader who supports homosexuals. This choice has led our country to be cursed! As all the people of Taiwan must take responsibility for their decision! Do you still remember? The day after the election (January 17, 2016) their were dark clouds in the skies all over Taiwan, and it rained everywhere! This is a sign that the heavens were weeping for this accursed piece of land, from that time onward there has been natural disaster after natural disaster, with frequent news of accidents, but this is just punishment and discipline, in the hope that our compatriots can wake up to this as soon as possible, and be cheated by this disingenuous rhetoric no longer, to prevent an even bigger disaster befalling us!

Dear compatriots, we hereby implore you to save our country’s next generation, to clearly express your opposition while we still have freedom of speech, otherwise when a disaster befalls us and we will be left with nothing but regret! We ask that Christians not remain silent, as silence is tacit agreement in the eyes of the lord!

There are obvious things to pick up about this, such as the incorrect use of “AIDS infections”, which should be HIV, and there is no direct quote in the bible that says “homosexuality is sin”, as the term homosexuality is anachronistic in this context (there is reference to man lying with man). There is also some confusion around the use of the word 「性別」 (literally gender) in reference to the education provided in schools aimed at teaching children tolerance, this reflects the conflation of gender issues and sexuality issues that The Alliance for the Union of the Family often make (although I’m not sure if this is strategy or ignorance). There is also an attempt to conflate the “diverse families” bill (allowing unions of more than two people), which was a previous bill proposed when Ma Ying-jeou was still in office, with the current bill which is just aimed at legalizing gay marriage. This is more definitively strategy, as they are keen to make the bill seem as extreme as possible to scaremonger (using rhetoric like the bill allowing people to marry their dogs, which neither bill allows). Although Tsai Ing-wen suggested that she was in favour of gay marriage during her campaign, she expressed dismay during a private meeting with anti-gay marriage groups that it was actually gaining momentum. Her party, the Democratic Progressive Party, is also seemingly divided on the issue, and the opposition party, the Kuomintang, are just saying anything they can, regardless of their previous stances on issues, to try and cause problems for the ruling party. I did check and the day after the election was rainy, but the day of the election had sunny spells, so God seems to have been a little confused around the time. I’ll also not get into the issue of what happened at Sodom, which involved non-consensual sex with angels (do angels have a gender?) and the good guy of the story offering up his daughters to be raped instead of the angels, although some people do say Sodom was punished for being non-hospitable rather than for the rape orgies. Additionally, the highest rate of HIV infections so far this year has been among the 25-34 age group, not normally school or university age, but feel free to peruse the statistics. I’m not sure how informing young people about how to have safe sex with a partner of any gender is likely to increase the rate of transmission, whether you agree with same-sex acts or not.

The section on abortion is as follows:

WarningWarning

Another issue we must concern ourselves with is abortion! Painfully, we must say here that as human civilization and technology has progressed, morality has not progressed alongside it, but conversely, it has become more depraved and backward! Medical progress should allow for the saving of more lives, but many doctors nowadays are compelled to commit murder! It is “respect for human rights” again, four words that have already become a shield for humanity to give license to their lust! All sorts of things, such as homosexuality [misspelled], abortion, diverse families, the decriminalization of adultery and the abolition of the death penalty are all rearing their heads under this banner. Is this respect for human rights or just moral bankruptcy? Many people follow the Western world out of ignorance, they do something and we just copy! Why should women have the right to decide whether or not to give birth? Why does a foetus in its mother’s womb not count as a life? Every life was created by the creator, so no one has the right to decide whether or not to keep a foetus! In the eyes of the creator, abortion is sin, abortion is “murder”! And, in the same way it will lead to us being cursed! Why did the deadly knife attack by Cheng Chieh on the MRT happen? Why did a little girl get her head cut off in the incident in Neihu? Don’t you think it was cruel? Don’t you feel pained by it? Do you feel enraged? I can tell you that this kind of thing happens every day in Taiwan, as 40% of Taiwanese children are aborted from the womb while still alive! So why doesn’t anyone say anything about it? The reason the creator allows these painful things to happen, is so that people can know  His rage!

Repent! Repent! Those who have done this should repent to the creator! Otherwise you will always hear the mournful cries of infants! Also please express to your local representative your opposition! Although the Genetic Health Act, passed in 1984, states on its surface that abortion is still illegal, it, actually relaxes the law. There are thousands upon thousands, or even more, foetuses aborted each year, but have you ever heard of anyone convicted of a crime for having an abortion? We implore our compatriots not to remain silent, otherwise there will be more tragic incidents to come!

Apart from the misspelling of 「同性戀」 as 「同心戀」, I also noticed the nationalistic rhetoric that runs through the text,  he uses the term “we”, “our country”, “our next generation” a lot, as well as two different words for “compatriot”. Other countries are “mocking” Taiwan for not obeying the commandments properly, but when it comes to abortion, we shouldn’t worry about criticism from the West on human rights grounds?

The author suggests that the murder of a child is the same as abortion, and at the same time suggests that god lets these evil things happen because he wants to show his anger. The rhetorical technique is used to manipulate the reader in a way, in that if the reader does not agree on the abortion issue, there is a suggestion they condone the random killings. He also fails to address the mental health issues involved in the killing of the little girl in Neihu.

I’ve uploaded the document in its entirety as follows in PDF format for anyone who is interested: 20170310151725567

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