|Jack Neo uses wife to ask for mercy|
In a dramatic press conference 11 Mar 2010, Singapore's premier movie director, and a member of City Harvest Church, Jack Neo, who promised to tell it all, instead put up his wife as his defence so that he can be spared and given a chance on account of his wife's suffering. In a dramatic press conference which was a one liner about Jack, and the rest talking about her wife who then fainted. The couple left quickly in their pastor's car after the press conference.
The dramatic press conference was far too short, did not live up to the promise "to tell it all", and had no apology either to the public for whom Jack has often chastise to live a good moral life through his movies, or to the dozen or so women who has come forward claiming that he had affairs with. It was the ultimate reality movie show, a drama unexpected of a lead movie star using his innocent wife's suffering and pain to asked for mercy. The theme was so much like one of his movies of what not to do, yet being much more real and dramatic.
In an interview with Foyce Lim (Le Xuan) the second women Jack had an affair with, it was revealed that she was also a member of the same City Harvest Church, but has not been going to church in the past few weeks as Jack's Neos family goes to the same church. She said that, some church members are on Jack's side, and have remarked that she shouldn't have gone to public about the affairs since Pastor Tan Ye Peng was working hard to salvage Jack's marriage. Many church members had apparently rebuked her instead saying that she was rubbing salt to the wound.
There was hardly any comment from the Christian churches in Singapore, despite it making news headlines for the last one week. If it had been a gay relationship, even of a famous unmarried man staying faithfull to the same man for the past 27 years and involved no adultery, they would have been up in their arms condeming it from the pulpit as an ungodly lifestyle and a very bad moral example. Alas, it was a straight affairs, and even a decadent heterosexual lifestyle was much better than a monogamous gay one.
In the past City Harvest and New Creation Church have asked members to leave or to stay in a closet solely on account of being gay, and to abstain from influencing other members to the "same lifestyle". If they were to be consistent, they should have asked Jack to leave the church along with all divorcees, adulterors, and families who had abortions. Alas, the church would be very empty. But this would not be human. More often or not, we take the bible out of context to condemn the gay community so harshly, and find ourselves loath to be consistent when we apply to ourselves even though our sins are far clearer and manifold times more evil.
The bible warns us not to have an attitude of seeing and amplifying the faults of others, when it is negligible and probably not a sin as compared to ours. The church is so quick to condemn the gay community when it was only a matter of sexual orientation, no more or less than straight people having opposite sex orientation. Looking at the "spec" in the poor gay lamb's eye, the Christian Right quickly exagerrate this as having underage sex, being sexual predators, having sex with animals and the dead. This gay aggenda exists, and is created by our self righteousness, and condeming spirit. No church came up to say Pastor Rony Tan was wrong when he equated gays to dogs, monkeys and donkeys.
The Jack Neo affairs also highligted the Patriachal nature of our society where women were badly treated and considered property. In the midst of all the admission of fault, there was no apology to the 11 women, Jack apparently had affairs with. They were probably not all young and innocent, but Jack had apparently no qualms of using his "Movie Director" position to exchange for sexual favors to groom them up to be the second Fan Wong.
It was in the context of a Patrichal society that we should read the bible when it explained why it was wrong to sodomise a man, because it was done not out of same sex love, but out to reduce the stature of a man to a lower stature to that of a women. That was why the men of the city was not satisfied with raping the women offered in lieu of visiting angels in Sodom and Gammorah.
Jack Neo was no saint even before these affairs. It was alleged that he had married to another woman in 1981, but soon left her when she got sick. The current wife was married in Oct 1988. However, his life will now be forever impacted by media scrutiny. In the night after the interview, it was so amazing that the chinese news papers reported that the distraught couple had met up with Pastor Tan Ye Peng of City Harvest from 11 pm to 1 am, and some aspects of the discussions revealed, reflecting how closely their movements were tracked. The "machine gun" sound of the camera flash lights in the press interviews were quite scarry when one has to face this wherever he goes. His life is forever tainted.
Let us give space to Jack Neo and his family, not because he deserved it, because all of us have sinned one time or the other. We are no different than Jack Neo. We are all the same, sinners, requiring God's redeeming grace in Christ Jesus. What is different was that he had the wealth and means to have the affairs which we would have been tempted to do likewise if we were in his position. Let us not be too quick to judge, and to give them a chance. If his wife had forgiven him, we should also forgive him irrespective of whether he was sincere in his apology. Jack had given us very good movies, and his contribution to Singapore should not be forgotten despite these affairs. May God bless them and give them peace and comfort during this time of desperate need. Jesus was a friend of sinners - ie you and me included.