Sanctified = Sanitised?

I sympathize with the 5 students who got infected with the H1N1 virus after attending services at Riverlife Church, Singapore on June 13 and 14 [Read report here]. The thought crossed my mind that had they been less pious they could have avoided it.

Previously as a Catholic, I used to attend mass/service in a church. At certain services namely special events such as Easter and weddings, wine which Catholics believe turns into the blood of Jesus Christ during the service would be distributed in cups or chalices. A server would be holding the cup and the people from the congregation would stand in line to take turns to drink from it. The server could be the priest or someone who is authorised by the church to do so. Everyone would take a sip from the same cup. The server would wipe the cup with a cloth after each person has sipped from it. The cloth doesn't get changed, neither does the cup or the wine/blood so if you're the 100th in the queue, you're putting 99 people's saliva into you mouth! Eeeew!

(To Catholics: If you think it's improper of me to find it gross, please explain why everyone rushes to get ahead in the queue!

Note: Drinking the wine/blood is optional. Anyone who is not feeling well is expected to refrain from doing so.)

During the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak, I asked my mother, "Should they stop serving wine because we might contract SARS?" She replied with conviction," It is blessed so there will not be any germs in it."

So why did the 5 students contract H1N1? Was the church not holy or blessed enough to kill the virus?

Some people believe that all things happen for a reason as part of God's plan. Why babies get raped? What's God's plan for that? Or is it not God's fault but the devil's fault when something bad happens?

I'm an Atheist now [Catholic turned Atheist]. I believe that God does not exist. If he does, he's doing a terrible job and yet wants us to praise and thank Him for it.

It's true that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. But we, human beings, want to believe whatever serves our needs regardless of the presence or absence of evidence.

"All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them." - Galileo Galilei
"A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it." - David Stevens
Video from


Shi Hao said...

Well I do belive that what ever upper being up there cannot control free will of man. Therfore the rape and such happens. Miracles are like co-incidences like what that fella said.
Statiscally and sadly, co-incidences happen again to those who believed!

But I do have a good laugh at the answer. Seriously good stuff. At least from my POV. Asking people to think a little, but those who have strong faith and believes are gonna flame you.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Ai yah... This is very controversial leh. Should we be talking about it? Religion exists to help people. If people become better people because of religion then it is good bah. I am free thinker. And shivers whenever i step into a church. Haha

(We are diverting from the blog's theme again hai..)

S said...

Ahem, Riverlifers serve the Holy Communion in individual plastic cups, IN CASE you didn't know. No saliva was shared at all.

So are you implying that WE DESERVE to get contracted with H1N1 just because our God is incompetent?

Anonymous said...

There should be a limit as to what you should blog about. this is a very sensitive issue. and yes, riverlifers do not share a common cup and on that saturday, there was no holy communion served.

"So why did the 5 students contract H1N1? Was the church not holy or blessed enough to kill the virus?"

so does it mean if the church is holy or blessed, every single one will not contract H1N1? we're still human, use your brains.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if you know that you are bringing shame to yourself instead of shame to God.
Religious stuff are very sensitive and do you know it's not right for you to judge my God. Since you are older than me, you should have a clearer view on what is right and what is wrong.
The case of students contracting H1N1 was entirely not God's fault, no one deserves the blame.
Maybe you are just too arrogant to realise that.

Dawn said...

lol, what a wannabe. how does this whole bullcrap got to do with you? obviously you're just trying to kick a fuss up and attract attention from the crowd and go on babbling about your so-called "know all the christian shit" knowledge.

if you wanna be famous, just post nude photos of yourself or whatnot, think before you try and comment on any religion. if you think you can do a better job than God, then do it, don't be a judgemental yet brainless freak babbling non-stop on your blog just to gain.. popularity? lol. barf*

Anonymous said...

This is bullshit, and i'm quite suprised you call yourself a catholic or even having a religion, fyi girl, you didn't even know how a christian church holds its holy communion, and here you are talking crap. This flu passes just by human contact, not by saliva. Please research before you even post such humiliating nonsense and piss the public reading your blog.
Rape is a human sin, and not a sin god can control, but it is up to us to. Tell me what is self control then. These moral values are even known to kids much younger than you are, shame on you. But anyway, congrats, you just got popular the wrong way. said...

Hi, I am one of the student that contracted H1N1 from Riverlife church.
& it's certainly God's blessing that I got discharge from CDC after 3 days.
So please stop talking bad about christianity. You're a catholic NOT christian. Yes you got NO IDEA how christian partake the holy communion. we don't go through this take turn on sipping the wine. we throw away the cup after used. AND WE USE ONE CUP EACH.

So pleaseeeeeeeeeee.
Mind what you say and please don't just bull shit around to get other ppl's attention.


Anonymous said...

I'm a Christian, and I admit that I'm quite upset by your post. I think you've received enough harsh comments, so I'm not going to add to it.
Anyway, I do have answers to every question in that video that I can provide straight away, and I do know what I'm talking about when I answer those questions. Even if in future there are questions thrown at me that I cannot answer, I still hold onto my faith like treasure (: Christians definitely do not have all the answers, 'cause we're not God. Like how a student definitely cannot have all the answers to the questions pertaining to a particular subject. But it doesn't mean the student is learning the wrong thing, isn't it?
So anyway, I'm just here to remind you that God loves you, as much as you don't believe it. I do hope that one day, you will see. (:

God bless!

Anonymous said...

Regarding the video, some Christians might have the answers, some might not.

I dare to admit that I do not have the answers. All I have is my faith. But that does not mean God does not exist or is not good.

The truth remains the truth even if you or others do not believe it.

blog reader said...

Only 3 days to leave CDC? well this swine flu is not so scary after all. If its SARS patients will need ten times the luck to leave, or to live...amitabha.


To blog reader : Yes, Praise the Lord! :D


We live by Faith and not by sight ^^

Anonymous said...

Hello! Please respect others and we are all humans and not God. Nvm if u dun believe in Him but please respect yourself and others,esp the victims. So does being a policeman mean u will not b killed by robbers? Fireman will not be burn by fire? Does being a millionaire means u will nva go bankrupt? Please keep ur opinions in ur heart. Maybe you are desperate in need of some attention but i just want to tell u that u r doing it the wrong way. Have 'fun' with ur blog

Anonymous said...

Hi, after reading your blog post, I must say that I am appalled at how uninformed you are about the situation, practices and the people/parties in question. I'm equally surprised at how a person as misinformed as yourself can actually be a finalist for the "most insightful blog". I suggest you educate yourself a bit regarding the people and situations you mention before making any "useful insights" which might lead to misunderstandings regarding both the subjects of discussion as well as yourself.

Additionally, just because couldn't find what you were looking for in catholicism shouldn't give you the right to publicly defame other people's beliefs, and places of worship. Especially when you don't even know what their practices are. I don't know if you bear some sort of grudge against catholicism, Christianity or God himself, due to your past experiences with the church, but what I do know is that your misinformed rant about the church in question is uncalled for.

If you wanna tell the world that you've renounced God, go ahead, no one's stopping you. But know this, while you sit at home in front of your keyboard telling the world how God doesn't exist, the church will continue to exist, give people hope and make much more of a difference to our world than you will ever make complaining about how the cups they use aren't hygienic.

Also, 2 questions to consider:

1) Would you have written the same thing if the organization in question was of a different religion?

2) If there is no God, or any kind of higher moral entity, then what is the point of human morality?

I apologize if I have offended you in any way, as it is not my intention to do so. I'm just being brutally honest about how I feel
about this particular post of yours. I truthfully bear no hard feeling against you and I am sure none of the people involved will either. I'm hope you'll enjoy the attention you've received, and I hope you'll be more sensitive with your posts in future.

Anonymous said...

Yes Life may tough, Life may be hard. But God is still good.

God bless =)

KT said...

Shi Hao is totally right. You did get flamed for what you wrote, badly. I have to say I agree with you, Yu Kym, on your point of view. Like you, I am a Christian turned Athiest. There are so many gods in the world, who knows which one actually exist, or maybe they do not at all? I read a quote once, and found it quite true. It goes something like, "people are fighting about who has the better imaginary friend". I believe that religion gives people hope, and a guardian to turn to when they are doubtful or unsure.

To all the readers who flamed Yu Kym, asking her to respect your religion, God, etcetc, How about showing HER some respect as well? SHE IS ENTITLED TO VOICE HER OWN OPINIONS. If you have to comment, be NICE and less rude. I am sure God will ask his followers to patiently guide us 'lost sheep' back to his family, non?


(: said...

how about Yu Kym showing some respect to Christians first? (: Even though she is entitled to voice her own opinions, everyone has a limit to their speech before it becomes hurtful.

Anonymous said...

Oh goodness, you are such an idiot trying to compare religions and stuff. These are all sensitive issues but you kept on babbling like a shooting gun. Can you use your brain and think? Can't the virus spread by the surrounding air too? Why must it only be contracted through saliva? Besides, each church is different and majority of them don't serve holy communion through the same cup. This includes Riverlife.


To KT : Yu Kym should learn to get her facts right first before "slandering"...

Yu-Kym said...

Thanks to all who have posted, regardless of whether it was positive, neutral or negative. I understand that most of the comments posted here are by students. Like my other posts, the purpose of this one is to think and discuss. It is not my intention to bring an end to religious arguments that have gone on for centuries. There is no need to jump to conclusions without reading carefully. There is much less need to show the world how vicious you can be. The use of fear and anger is not Christ-like behaviour.

Fact #1
Definition of "analogy" (from a similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based. E.g. the analogy between the heart and a pump.
I was drawing an analogy when I mentioned SARS vs H1N1. For those of you who said I got my facts wrong, you did not understand what an analogy is.

Response #1
S said: "So are you implying that WE DESERVE to get contracted with H1N1 just because our God is incompetent?"
a) Your God? If you believe that there is only 1 God, there shouldn't be a need to say he is "your" God.
b) During the tsunami I heard Christian say that the Muslims deserved to die. It's no wonder you think that non-Christians think the same way about you.

Response #2
Anon said: "so does it mean if the church is holy or blessed, every single one will not contract H1N1? we're still human..."
Anon said: "The case of students contracting H1N1 was entirely not God's fault, no one deserves the blame. "
Anon said: "i'm quite suprised you call yourself a catholic... Rape is a human sin, and not a sin god can control... "
63roses (Joan) said: "You're a catholic NOT christian. "

Note the use of the word "entirely" in the 2nd comment.
I've stated that I'm Atheist in my post.
Catholics, Methodists, Jehova Witnesseses, Presbyterians, Riverlifers are all Christians.
2 people did not read carefully before posting and Joan didn't get her facts right.
If God has no control over human beings and viruses, how can he be almighty?
How can God claim the glory if he doesn't take responsibility for bad things that happen?

Yu-Kym said...

Response #3
Anon said: "Please respect others and we are all humans and not God... Please keep ur opinions in ur heart. "
(: said: "how about Yu Kym showing some respect to Christians first? "

Since we are all humans, we should seek to unite rather than cut people off. For centuries and even now, people have been fighting because of religious differences.

You are saying that non-Christians do not show you respect. We show you respect when we do not chase you away with a broom when you knock at our doors repeatedly.
We show you respect by not scolding you when you try to approach us on the streets.
We show you respect by having Bibles in most hotel rooms.

And writing a blog is not showing you respect? What I've written are my beliefs and thoughts. It's my blog. I didn't ask you to read it. But I allowed you to post things like "God is good", "Praise the Lord" on my blog which are, by the way, contrary to my beliefs! Belief in God is a belief; belief that God doesn't exist is also a belief. There should be no double-standards but non-Christians have been living with double-standards for a very long time.

Responses to the 2 questions posted by Anon:
1) Would you have written the same thing if the organization in question was of a different religion?
No, because I do not know enough about those religions. My thoughts and opinions are based on knowledge from being a Catholic for many years.
2) If there is no God, or any kind of higher moral entity, then what is the point of human morality?
Consider this: there may be no point at all!
How many people "get what they deserve", according to our human judgement?

In conclusion, I reiterate:
We, human beings, want to believe whatever serves our needs.

If you think God is good, try telling that to the mother whose baby girl got raped and sodomised repeated by her babysitter's sons.

I left you 2 quotes from Galileo Galilei and David Stevens. Here's 1 more which I used before:
"You won't masturbate with your mother watching you! How on earth could you masturbate with God watching you? Do you really believe God is watching you? Perhaps not." - Daniel C Dennett

simperblog said...

At one time many were clamouring for the ban on joss paper burning by Buddhists especially during the lunar 7th month, citing negative aspect of the practice. I am sure the call was made by people of various religious belief. And the response from the buddhists ? No hew. You critcise your problem, I burn whatever I want..

D said...

Yeah Yu Kym? Just because you're older, you needn't neccessarily be wiser...

I see that you've put the permalink of this post as one of your top 10 post. Congratulations for gaining "fame" for this?

simperblog said...

If there is no God, what is the point of human morality ? I wonder what the level of morality 3000 years ago when religions were unheard of?
Does the dude who ask this question think the world today has better morality then say, 500 years ago ?

Yu-Kym said...

D, I agree that that just because someone is older, doesn't mean he/she is wiser. There is a thin line between wisdom and foolishness, intelligence and stupidity.

Yu-Kym said...

simperblog, interesting comparison on both your comments! so true...

another anonymous said...

@simperblog, those that burn offerings during the 7th month are Taoists, not Buddhists. if they say they're Buddhists, they're ill-informed.

simperblog said...

anon ur right, but Chinese don't draw clear line between toaism and buddhism. When filling an application form, many would write Buddhist but yet burn like nobody biz when 7th moon come around. True Budddism practice do not need burning of anything.

Yu-Kym said...

CNN article: "Poisoned chalice? Swine flu hits church wine."

Riglin said...

Yu-Kym, you hit the right spot on the theists. When they say "God bless you" to atheists, it's sort of insulting the beliefs of atheists if they think it's insulting when atheists tell them God doesn't exist.

Another insensitivity of the theists is when having survived in an accident that involves others, claimed that God saves his/her life. What happened to those who died? They deserved to die a horrible death?

Yu-Kym said...

Riglin, I agree that it's insensitive for Christians to tell me "God bless you" and "I will pray for you".

On your 2nd point, God is fair and just so why does he favour one person over another? They come up with all kinds of reasons and explanations but all are contradictory so in the end they say we need to have "faith".

Anonymous said...

If one believes in God or adopt a religion, one is acknowledging his or her mental and emotional weakness and insecurity. The more staunch or devoted his/her belief in God or religion, the more weak and insecure he or she is.

I'm not saying it is wrong to believe what you believe. I am only saying you are weaker in your mental and emotional psyche as compared to a non-believer. You are made of less sterner stuff.

But if you are a believer and it helps you go through the obstacles in life much easier, by all means no one should denigrate you for your beliefs.

But the day religion or God is revealed to be not what it is supposed to be, the believers will crumble bigtime at the slightest difficulties in life.

It will be a crushing blow especially to the likes of ppl like Yu-Kym's mom who said "It is blessed so there will not be any germs in it." With due respect to her beliefs, I cant help but be utterly flabbergasted.

To the non-believers, God or no God, religion or no religion, it makes not much of a difference. We somehow are the abler to survive.

curious cat