In the previous blog entry, someone wrote:
An atheist state? Jerry Coyne claims something different about N.Korea:
“The state is in many ways a theocracy, with its three last leaders seen as gods.”
Yes, buy Coyne is not a credible source on this. First, Coyne has previously opined about a “theocracy”:
Well, we thought we’d seen the last of the theocracy of George W. Bush, but it apparently ain’t so. The Scientist reports (and this has been the buzz for weeks), that born-again Christian and BioLogos Foundation director Francis Collins is likely to be named as head of the National Institutes of Health:
Let’s be charitable and just point out that anyone who a) thinks the USA is 2007 was a theocracy and b) nominating Collins as head of the NIH is evidence of a continued theocracy is someone who plays fast and loose with the definition of “theocracy.”
Second, Coyne is a leader in the New Atheist movement and, as such, has no objectivity on this issue. As an atheist activist/apologist, of course he is going to try to spin things to make it look North Korea is a “theocracy.” In his mind, Atheism = Good and Religion = Evil. Thus, since North Korea is evil, it must also be religious.
But look, I’m not the one who described North Korea as a “atheist state.”
I got that from Wiki. Of course, Wiki could be some kid in a basement. If so, the kid got it from a book as the Wiki article links to its source: World and Its Peoples: Eastern and Southern Asia. Marshall Cavendish.
It’s short one page article people can quickly read for themselves. And it provides some historical context that Gnu atheists would have us ignore, including:
- North Korea is a communist state (in other words, an atheist state). When it fell under the rule the communists, most of the Christian community fled to the South – a wise move given the history of atheist communists and their slaughter of religious people.
- Temples and churches were confiscated by the State and put to secular use.
- All religions are persecuted and there are no known Catholic priests in North Korea.
- Any religious person who attempts to proselytize is harshly penalized.
In other words, a standard Soviet-style, atheistic regime that seeks to stamp out religion because religion is viewed as both a competitor and threat to the secular State. It’s the “opium of the people.” Y’know, a mind virus.
But what of the views about the “Dear Leader?” Such personality cults/hero worship are common place in secular dictatorships that are reinforced daily with State run media and propaganda. In my opinion, very few people actually believe the demigod stories. After all, these are not myths/stories that spontaneously arise from the people and spread from the bottom-up. They are imposed on the people by a centralized government-run media and there is no freedom to disagree. I think it’s the atheists’s cynical way of controlling and monitoring the religious impulse of the population. They either a) provide the State itself as the Myth/Savior for the people (the official substitute) or b) provide something that is likely to force the truly devout to “out themselves,” as many Christians would have a problem publicly embracing the “Dear Leader” as a demigod.
Big picture, people. North Korea is an atheist state. It’s a Marxist–Leninist state with some exotic, Korean tweaks and a long history of anti-religious persecution. That’s why modern day communists in the West actually defend North Korea: