The Jesus Mall

star 1It’s called The Star.  It’s an “integrated experience” near the Buona Vista MRT station in Singapore.  The Star is a combination church and mall.  Now, I know you’re probably laughing right now, but, remember, this is Singapore.  I went to the Star Vista (the mall arm of the “integrated experience”) without knowing exactly what it was.  I thought it was a regular mall, and it had regular stores and restaurants (although no Starbucks – that should have tipped me off that something was amiss).  It has a kind of awkward set up, but it’s a nice mall.

star 3As I was walking through the mall with some friends, I started to notice a commonality between all the shops; every shop carried some form of Christian religious article on its sales floor.  Whether is was a small section of the tchotchke store with cross-shaped key chains, or whole stores that didn’t try to hide their religious affiliation (like the shoe store Arch Angel), every store had some kind of religious section or product.  This was not true for the restaurants, mind you.  There weren’t any religious-themed dishes on the menus or holy water shakes.

star 5After the strange visit, I did a little research and found out that The Star is actually a joint venture by a company called CapitaMalls, which owns a lot of malls all over Asia and the New Creation Church.  CapitaMalls operates the lower levels (The Star Vista) and the NCC operates the higher levels with a 5000 person auditorium (which they use for their Sunday services) and the church offices.  I knew it was just a matter of time before some church opened a mall!  Now it’s been done!

star 4I don’t know if the stores are required to carry Christian products, or if they do so because they know their clientele, but every, single one had some kind of religious article on sale.  This really disturbs me when religious organizations masquerade as other things in an attempt to increase their numbers (perhaps this is why Christian rock music annoys me as well).  I am an atheist, I do not believe in anything but myself, and having Jesus and religion shoved down my throat IN A MALL not only annoys me, it actually infuriates me.  I have no problem with people who believe in god, or who worship every Sunday, but don’t try to make me do it as well.  Like I said, I’m not certain, however, if the stores are required to carry religious articles or if they do so because they know the people that will be walking through the mall are predominantly there for the church.  But it still disturbs me that stores, which are supposed to be secular, kowtow to religious organizations.  Don’t get me started on the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby and their religious views over the welfare of their employees (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burwell_v._Hobby_Lobby)!!

star 2The Star Vista is an abomination.  It’s an excuse for a church to further its cause and to make money.  I’m sure the proceeds from the rents and portions of the profits from each store are shared by the NCC and CapitaMalls.  It’s disgusting that a church will stoop so low as to pass itself off as a mall, with stores that subliminally push you towards religion with their sales of religious articles and religious displays!  Religious zealots are sometimes worse than drug dealers.  At least drug dealers know they’re promoting addiction and crazed behavior!

 

 

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16 Comments

  1. conundrum.. all that show of faith really do nothing to help with that terrible food at that Seafood Shack.

    However religious or not the ramen and the korean stuff still taste quite the same as the secular ramen and korean food outside that building. Maybe that soupbase just do not have enough holy water to make a difference.

    Haha. relax lah. at least capitalland is paying tax

  2. Maybe in the woods when it happened, but it was big news when the church garnered tons of money during service enough to develop the mall. My gripe with it is that they should be paying taxes as they are earning profits from the development. Other than that everybody knows that is mall is co-developed with a church. Despite that one must understand that the church either has lease or some arrange to use the auditorium there but the mall is operated just like any shopping centre. The hoohah when Adam Lambert was performing there with many church members opposing the performance shows the separation of the operations. that said I don’t recall hush puppies selling Christian stuff nor the Japanese store or Howard storage. What is wrong with Christian shops selling where the customers are? Also whatever evil building we call this, this is a good showcase of how we can have a greener shopping center with open air atriums and only air con in the stores.

    • I agree with you on the “greener” shopping center idea. I think it’s nice to have an open air plan. I know Howard has some religious items, I didn’t go in the Japanese store. Hush Puppies….shoes….can’t really be religious. But, once I noticed that some of the stores carried them, I began looking in all the stores for them…and you’d be surprised by the sheer number of stores that carry them. I know it’s just “knowing the customer,” but why not carry other religions as well? NCC people are no the only ones who frequent that mall!

  3. There is a lot of confusion going on in that religion. That misunderstood book( no reason you should believe what I said either) spawned over 30K denominations. New creation church is another product of a highly deluded man(pathetic interpretation of the scripture).

    The central teaching or the message of the bible is kingdom dominion and not collecting offerings and tithes to fund one man’s idea of a god housed in a building.

    The entertaining Prince, and his idea of god, built a religious house more outrageous than many other less entertaining religious leaders.

    The star is not the house of god – totally misled. Many other man led churches are not the house of god.

    These fakes won’t dare to preach the true house of God if they want a shot at building shopping malls or Disneyland in the name of god.

  4. Ummm. Surely if you don’t like it or find it offensive, you are free to shop elsewhere and avoid it. Why rant at people who DO want this sort of thing? When I was in California 30-odd years ago, I was amazed by the number of religious radio chat shows all of them carrying ads and calling on me to donate to some church or other. We also visited the Chrystal Cathedral. Wow! What a money-making machine! However, the bottom line is that no one FORCED us to listen to Radio Redneck Church or to go to the Chrystal Cathedral. There’s always public radio and Knott’s Berry Farm…

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