Six Reasons Why Jesus Cannot Feed The Five Thousand In Singapore
In Luke 9:10-17, there is the Biblical account of the miraculous feeding of five thousand people by Jesus Christ with just five loaves of bread and two fishes. If Jesus is physically present in modern Singapore today, I sincerely doubt that a similar incident could be repeated here. Here are some of the reasons:
- Jesus would have been in violation of the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act.
Under section 8 titled "Restraining orders against officials or members of religious group or institution," the Act clearly states: "The Minister may make a restraining order against any priest, monk, pastor, imam, elder, office-bearer or any other person who is in a position of authority in any religious group... causing feelings of enmity, hatred, ill-will or hostility between different religious groups."
As we can tell from the Bible, Jesus was not exactly popular with the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. For instance, Jesus said these words: "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to." (Matthew 23:13) Those publicly spoken words are not something that will be tolerated by the laws of Singapore.
- Jesus would have violated the Sedition Act
Under section 3 titled "Seditious tendency," the Act states: "A seditious tendency is a tendency... to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore." Jesus' words to the Pharisees and the teachers of the law in Matthew 23:13-36 would be illegal.
- Jesus would have violated the Penal Code.
Under section 297 titled "Trespassing on burial places, etc.," the Act states: "Whoever, with the intention of wounding the feelings of any person, or of insulting the religion of any person, or with the knowledge that the feelings of any person are likely to be wounded, or that the religion of any person is likely to be insulted thereby, commits any trespass in any place of worship or on any place of sepulture or any place set apart for the performance of funeral rites, or as a depository for the remains of the dead, or offers any indignity to any human corpse, or causes disturbance to any persons assembled for the performance of funeral ceremonies, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both."
As publicly respected Jewish religious teachers, the Pharisees would be extremely offended by the words of Jesus in Matthew 23:13-36.
- Jesus would have to apply for a license under the Public Entertainments and Meetings Act
Under section 19 titled "Penalties," the Act states: "Any person who provides or assists in providing any public entertainment... without a licence issued under this Act" Therefore, Jesus could not spontaneously hold a public meeting with five thousand people.
- Jesus' miracle would have been in violation of the Copyright Act
If Jesus performed the miracle in Singapore instead of heeding His disciples' suggestions to "send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging" (Luke 9:12) or "go and buy food for all this crowd" (Luke 9:14), Jesus would have deprive eateries, supermarkets, small grocery stores and bakeries of the chance to earn some revenue.
According to the "logic" provided by certain business lobby groups, by making copies of the loaves of bread, Jesus have illegally violated the copyrights of the bakeries. For instance, the RIAS (Recording Industry Association Singapore) equate every download of unauthorized online music as stealing or piracy. If this "logic" is applied to the miracle, then Jesus would have been guilty of "stealing" from the bakeries who are the "victims."
- Jesus would not have been allowed to preach at the Speakers' Corner
One of the ground rules laid out at the Speakers' Corner in Hong Lim Park is "the speech should not be religious in nature, and should not have the potential to cause feelings of enmity, hatred, ill-will or hostility between different racial or religious groups."
Another ground rule is "the speaker must be a Singapore citizen." I guess that immediately rules Jesus out unless he applies for Singapore citizenship.
And lastly, Jesus could not use a microphone to effectively address the five thousand people. The ground rule is "no sound amplification devices will be allowed. This is to reduce noise pollution, and ensure that no one speaker drowns out the other speakers."