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December 20th, 2011
12:17 PM ET

My Take: Kim Jong Il and the danger of deifying leaders

Editor's Note: R. Albert Mohler, Jr., is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

By R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Special to CNN

There are no atheists in dictatorships. The death of North Korea’s “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il underlies a basic fact of earthly politics: when a political regime denies any transcendent supernatural reality, it deifies itself.

The communist regime that has been in control of North Korea for over half a century is officially atheistic, following the example of its first protector state, the Soviet Union.

Like the Russian communists, the North Koreans sought to expunge any trace of Christianity or other religious faiths. But make no mistake, this does not mean that the Pyongyang regime did not believe in worship.

To the contrary, the North Korean regime mandated worship, the worship of its own supreme leader.

As Cold War historian John Lewis Gaddis explained, North Korea’s founding dictator Kim Il Sung “was allowed to build a Stalinist state, with its own cult of personality centered on himself, at just the time when Khrushchev was condemning such perversions of Marxism-Leninism elsewhere.”

The North Korean cult of personality goes far beyond anything Josef Stalin could have envisioned. Kim Il Sung became known as the Great Leader, the nation’s protector, gifted with supernatural powers.

The Great Leader was said to be able to control the weather with his moods. Kim was credited with saving the North Koreans from “flunkeyism,” or subservience to foreign powers.

All this was backed up with an ideology known as “Jucheism,” which demands total self-sufficiency and isolation for the Korean people. As journalist Jasper Becker observed, Jucheism “served a useful purpose by establishing a national church of Communism” in North Korea.

Indeed, Kim’s regime turned completely inward, eventually forbidding even the reading of works by Marx and Stalin. Kim Il Sung was recast at the center of cosmic history. In Becker’s words, “At this point the propaganda began to veer into the realms of madness by presenting Kim as the Christ-like savior of Korea.”

Kim Il Sung came to be considered a god. He was the “iron-willed brilliant commander,” the “Fatherly Leader” and “the leader who unfolded paradise.” The calendar was reset to start with his birth year. His birthday replaced Christmas. Children were taught to give thanks to the Fatherly Leader before eating meals.

North Koreans were subjected to coerced indoctrination, especially through the schools. They were told that Kim Il Sung was immortal and would never die. Thus, they were unprepared for his death in 1994.

As veteran reporter Barbara Demick recalled about the shock around the death that Kim Il Sung “wasn’t merely the father of their country, their George Washington, their Mao, he was their God.”

Next in line came Kim Jong Il, Kim Il Sung’s son and chosen successor. Once he had consolidated power, the cult of deification went into full swing. Kim Jong-Il was the deified “Dear Leader” whom North Koreans were commanded to adore and follow.

Like his father, Kim Jong Il constructed a cult of personality that defied imagination. His birth was claimed to have been accompanied by supernatural special effects, heralding his arrival as the infant of destiny.

What did North Koreans receive from the hands of their “Great” and “Dear” leader? Year after year of disastrous harvests followed by starvation. The North Korean regime is among the most paranoid on the planet, and human rights organizations consistently place North Korea’s regimes among the world’s most repressive.

The hermit kingdom of North Korea is largely dark at night, starved of electrical power, and yet the regime has been determined to develop nuclear weapons.

There are important lessons to observe here. A big one is that officially atheistic states are never so atheistic as they appear. Something or someone will be worshipped and acknowledged as ultimate.

If the worship of God is forbidden, the state may well turn its own dictator into a deity. This transforms the leader and the regime into objects of devotion and worship. The state is then beyond all rational critique and consideration.

In other words, citizenship is transformed into idolatry. History records the tragic legacy of idolatrous states, led by despots who range from ancient kings to warlike emperors and delusional Fuhrers.

The worship of the North Korean leaders is not all that different than what the philosopher George W. F. Hegel envisioned when he hoped for the emergence of an authoritarian state that would be “the march of God in the world.”

Friedrich Nietzsche would later reduce the vision for that state to a single individual, an iron-fisted strongman.

Now, Kim Jong Il has been revealed to be, like his father, mortal after all. Waiting in the wings is his own son and chosen successor, Kim Jong On. The North Korean regime has already started the process of deifying Kim Jong On as the third “Fatherly Leader” of the North Korean people.

I expect the consequences to be as disastrous as they were under his father and grandfather.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • North Korea • Opinion

soundoff (765 Responses)
  1. faith and reason

    So Kim would be a "former" atheist because he believed in no gods until he made himself a god after which time, he believed himself a deity albeit one with very limited powers since he knew he didn't create the universe? Or then did he really believe it or was this propaganda and control of the masses which he personally didn't believe was real in which case he is back to being an atheist? And since the "worship" was coerced it is questionable whether anybody actually believed it or just went through the motions? I'd also like to know why the first paragraph claims Kim believed in no supernatural reality but then believed he had supernatural powers. And then again does supernatural powers and people worshiping you make you a deity? I'm not sure what any of this proves – it becomes a semantic debate – if you want to call him an atheist I think you are justified since he believed in no higher power than himself and not even clear he believed his own propaganda. If you prefer to call him some kind of a limited deist who believes either he alone or some humans can become deities, it at least certainly is very limited if it's just your moods controlling the weather.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  2. jellylee2020

    What about Vatican? They deify their political leader too.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • jon brown

      right about that.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  3. Pithy

    According to Mohler, "There are important lessons to observe here. A big one is that officially atheistic states are never so atheistic as they appear. Something or someone will be worshipped and acknowledged as ultimate."

    Very true!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  4. 1 Corinthians 8:5,6

    For those wanting to be acceptable to our Creator:

    The Bible agrees that "there are those who are called 'gods', whether in heaven or on the earth, just as there are many 'gods' and many 'lords'" – 1 Cor 8:5

    The Bible shows that even a person's belly can be their god. People worship the "god of good luck" and in fact even render worship to the "god of this system of things."

    However as verse 6 points out to true Christians, "there is actually to us one God, The Father, out of whom all things are, and we for him; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are, and we through him."

    December 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • dt

      The bible is the early version of Hitchers Guide to the Galaxy. Both are equally valuable to their own followers.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Mindie from India

      Yea people don't really care that much about the bible anymore. It's an outdated book full of fantasy and inaccuracies written by men for men and written to influence power and position. In other words – it's full of lies.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • TMW

      In what you said about one God and that being Jesus Christ, who was a man and over time heto was lifted to a higher elevation. If Jesus was God why would he pray to God. So Kim Jung has did the same thing in his country but is called crazy, insane or whatever. When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called Religion.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  5. a1000lies

    I see a lot of people crying but I don't really see any tears... It looks as if they are afraid to not appear as though they are crying. Of all the video's I've seen like this, that one guy at the end is the only one I've seen that doesn't look the same way my nephew does when he pretends to cry when he wants a new toy.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Douglas

      One CNN contributor quoted on the air this morning said it best... "I've seen better acting from Paris Hilton".

      December 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Armando Chavarria

      That was the first and only thing I noticed...Why on earth would a news crew rush to a building and record adults standing in a class room setting crying. People are normally upset only right after hearing bad news, not after the news crews get there. I find it funny that in times of sorrow, people then to embrace each other.....All these people did was fake cry! No hugs, patting on the backs, or words of encouragement. Just fake crying.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  6. epicjourney

    It is true that atheism is historically tied to communism, paganism, nazism, dictatorships, and all other negative based political systems or tenets. As written in the scriptures if you are not with God you are against Him. To be against Him is to be against all positive and spiritually strengthening influences. Like Nimrod and Pharoah the North Koreans will destroy their people and offer them up as figurative (and sometimes real) sacrifices to the physical debauchery of their 'leaders'. All this due to atheism.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Douglas

      Chowderhead

      December 20, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Louisa Ferre

      Nazi Germany wanted to rebuild the Holy Roman Empire

      Pagans are not evil; nor is it a political system, it is a relationship with nature.
      Communism was good on paper however they failed to account for mans greed this lead to demigods leaders
      And have you ever heard of theological dictators, rewind back to the dark ages

      Oh and God is evil I gladly stand against him, if it means dying to fight against tyranny then so be it, God is an evil dictator

      December 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • dt

      I really wish all the religious jihadists would just keep their belief systems to themselves.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Gogogoch

      Don't be a halfwit. Communism and Nazism are ideologies that have nothing to do with Atheism. Hitler was a Roman Catholic and German troops had "God with us" on their belts. Paganism refers to indigenous religion, you imbecile.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • bnwabaxcv2

      That is NOT true. "True" atheism is greatly needed in this world of RELIGIOUS SUFFERING AND ATTROCITIES! There is no greater EVIL than religion (and no, atheism is NOT a religion; it is a philosophy based on scientific fact, and that fact is that we simply do not know at this time many things, origin of the universe included, though given enough time and experimentation, we will slowly unravel the mysteries of the universe; the true truth!) Those of "religious faith" are the problem for all the world's problems.
      Crusades
      Spanish Inquisition
      Witch Hunts
      WW2
      Iraq/middle-east debacle
      And many more…
      Hitler was NOT an atheist, but a devout catholic (proof with his pictures with the POPE OF ROME)
      Stalin may have realized the falsehoods of religions, but his horrible actions were NOT DONE IN THE NAME OF ATHEISM, BUT IN THE NAME OF COMMUNISM AND TYRANY!!!

      People who are "true atheists" have kindness in their hearts and compassion in their actions with hope in the future through SCIENCE AND VERAFIABLE FACT; not some simple minded NONSENSE that is a mash-together of other religions all in the name of CONTROL; fact.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Bill

      Atheism is tied to paganism? What? Do you even know what the groups you mentioned believe in? I doubt it.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • shootmyownfood

      I would assume by "paganism" you intend to mean a lack of religious awareness. Truth be told, "pagan" is a catch-all for any non-Abrahamic, polytheistic religion. It is not a lack of religion as you imply, and it certainly is not a form of government. Many people are quite happy being pagan, and the lack of a governmentally endorsed religion has not yet produced the same outcomes as communism, etc. Please correct your terminology.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Caleb

      I'll give you communism, but Nazism has very little to do with atheism. Hitler himself was Christian. Some people have argued that Hitler only pretended to be Christian for political purposes, but even if that is true there is no denying that Nazi Germany in general was a very religious country. German soldiers in the wehrmacht (army) even had 'Gott mit uns' (God with us) written on their belt buckles.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • epicjourney

      paganism is a tenet that denies God and places 'nature' as the replacement. As far as Naziism Hitler attempted to place himself over God as head of state (his armies had to swear loyalty to himself personally (not much different than the N Korean leadership). Point is all positive and spiritually strengthening attributes came originally from God, dictators and others attempt to place the source of that goodness as coming from somewhere else and attempt to paint God as the source of negativity. This is simply incorrect and those who believe otherwise are deluded.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  7. mike

    Deifying ANYTHING is dangerous. Praising a human being as a god is ridiculous. So is praising an invisible sky wizard and calling it "Christianity", "Judaism", or "Islam".

    December 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • k

      The world would be a better place without a lot of beliefs.

      We are human and it is up to us alone to make the world a heaven or hell.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • A_rizzle

      I believe your missing the point. The end result of Judaism, Islam, Christianity is a belief in one's equality with every man. As the belief in a divinity transcends any man's personal ideology. As far as I know this is the underlying principle of most religions. Religion can not be ignored for its role in creating the idea of the individual, as every man is an individual when confronted with god or transcendent. Individuality can not be ruled out when considering the creation of civil liberties and their defense against those who'd place themselves above others.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  8. Hypatia

    Deifying anything is always stupid.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  9. hippypoet

    "If there's bacon involved, I dread to imagine the depths of depravity"

    December 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  10. Louisa Ferre

    for the last time Christians stop calling these leaders atheist. They clearly demand worship of themselves there Ill-ist and Stalin-ist, Mao-ist. and Haruhi-is. They clearly have a god

    December 20, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • DefyTheGods

      Aaaah...chooo! Kim bless you.LOL

      December 20, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Floofy

      I see what you did there. 😀

      December 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  11. RightTurnClyde

    It is always heart breaking to lose a brutal dictator like Kim Jong or Castro .. but even they are mortal. But the son will probably be even MORE brutal and a few purges will eliminate anyone who is unhappy. Then there will be 100% happiness .. no dissenters at all. Peace in a graveyard. No need for elections (actually) .. so they ill not have them. No party politics there (decisions are made easily). Everyone starves equally (no favorites).

    December 20, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  12. Adroit

    Atheists have such poor writing skills that yet again an article 'bout themselves have to be written by believers!
    Atheists-0 🙁 Believers-1 🙂

    December 20, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      If you had better reading skills you would understand that the article is not actually about atheists – it's about believers creating their own gods, just like christians, jews, muslims, etc, etc.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Pithy

      Perhaps, you could interpret what Mohler means by
      "The communist regime that has been in control of North Korea for over half a century is officially atheistic"

      Mohler another well written, brilliant article by you!

      December 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • sbp

      "An article...have to be written?"

      Poor writing skills, eh? "Has," Einstein.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • bam

      non believers = heretics = end their lives = peace and luv = spread the word or die

      December 20, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • adopted USA

      And you are more a gullible person than a 5 year’s old, the one not brain washed by their parents to believe in fairy tale.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  13. EnjaySea

    Ah, yet another take on the old atheism = communism = atheism argument, that is often the only thing christians can think of to persecute their latest victims, those that refuse to believe.

    It's a vacuous argument, and I've already wasted too many calories typing this response to such drivel.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Jayg

      @EnjaySea - It's a vacuous argument? Clearly from the vantage of your comfortable, western, post-enlightened view. Let me guess - you've never traveled outside North America, love to quote Hitch, and are ... (gasp) a privileged White American.
      Truth hurts, even to cretins.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • bam

      yes the truth hurts very much..... just like the spanish christian priests laid the hurt on the Incas and Mayans in the 1500's spreading the good word via blood shed

      December 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  14. MartinT

    Oh and by the way, at least the North Koreans, if they did have to worship their leader, had a REAL leader to worship, not a make believe deity, the GREAT SKY GOD!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • captain america

      You commie lovin son of a beach. There's your sign ! I only need one finger to make your sign martin t

      December 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Peter

      Captain America: You don't sound like a Christian to me!

      December 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • MartinT

      Hey Cap'n.... know what I think of your opinion? NOTHING... nothing at all...

      December 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • TellUs

      So MartinT please share with us who is your god. Or do you worship something? You seem very adamant that Jesus Christ is not your Lord and disregard Him greatly. I am not here to judge you because that will happen by Him eventually. You are commenting all over this forum denying what Christianity is all about yet in one post you say "Merry Christmas". Christmas recognized as the birth of Jesus Christ. So what is it? The good thing is in the beginning God's Will was to give man his own right to choose which you will find in Genesis. God gave Adam the choice between fruit or the the Spirit of God. Adam chose an apple. So clearly you have choosen not to believe in God, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit. I see a lot on this forum most have choosen the same. According to God that is ok for you to choose because He gave us that ability. You see we are not direct decendants of God but rather of Adam. God told Adam that if he ate the fruit he would surely die. What God meant was the Spirit of God would not reside in him anylonger therefore he would never have eternal life. With that because we are born through a decendant of Adam we are not born with the Spirit of God but yet a void. We are born sinners because of this. So they way we are choose is based on that void. Not having the Spirit of God in our hearts. The only way to get that back is to be born again and walk in the newness of life and put your faith in Jesus Christ. Once you do that the void will be filled by the Holy Spirit and you too will understand what Christians mean with this so called mumbo jumbo.

      I believe God created man and woman, decended down in a flesh form as Jesus Christ, He died on a cross for our sins (God's Grace), rose again on the 3rd day to proclaim the Word, then acended back to Heaven and He will come again for the final days. It is putting your faith in God's Grace, declaring you are a sinner and putting at your trust in Jesus Christ that void will be filled. You see that is what choice I made. The Word of God tells us that the only why to the Father is through the Son. I intend to follow that till the day I am also judged.

      So I respect you for you choice. All I ask is are you ready when He does return? And I will say to you with great appreciation: Merry CHRISTmas.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Zeke2112

      "All I ask is are you ready when He does return?"

      All I ask is: are you ready when Zeus, Mohammed, and Buddha return? For their return is just as likely.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • TellUs

      Sure. I will be ready to meet them. Because I know I am on the side of the King of Kings, Lord of Lords so I have nothing to fear and nothing against them. Are you ready for either one those you follow?

      December 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  15. hippypoet

    sry, i've been doing quotes all day so i can break the pattern now or my daughter would kill me – “How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand there is no going back. There are some things that time can not mend. Some hurts that go too deep... that have taken hold.”

    December 20, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • hippypoet

      sry, i CAN'T break the pattern now or...

      December 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  16. MartinT

    The first problem I have with this "article" is the author. NOTHING coming from the Southern Baptists has any value for me other than the obituary of yet another pastor. Am I being harsh, you better believe I am and for good reason. Suffice it to say that the Catholic Church hasn't got much on the Southern Baptists. Having said that however, I do appreciate that there is a distinguishment between being an atheist and a communist.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • captain america

      No there isn't. Two peas in a pod . It walks like a duck it, it talks like a duck, it even flies like a duck, it is a duck and it should be open season on commie ducks year round. There's your sign

      December 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @cap
      As I said before, if you're going to plagiarize a stand-up comedian, at least pick a funny one.
      The "sign" thing merely betrays your red-neckery.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • captain america

      Butt out canadian,
      john candy is a good canadian now but he never was funny. There's your sign

      December 20, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Dave

      Captain America....your wife/sister is calling to bring the kid/nephews.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Peter

      Captain America: "Commie....commie....commie....commie". What is this? 1952?

      December 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Dave

      Captain America...you're a mental midget...There's your sign!!

      December 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • MartinT

      Hey I like the good Cap'n.. reminds me that I am the SANE one....

      December 20, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  17. Reality

    Sitting here laughing at the comment "deifying" leaders considering Christianity's deification of their leader, at most a peasant, preacher, delusional man named Jesus.

    Some added commentary:

    JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

    Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694

    Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers (e.g. Southern Baptists) of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • MartinT

      "Stands, applauds, and if I were a religious man, would say, AMEN!"

      December 20, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Tim

      So you are saying that one verse in the Bible is true? Just the one? I know you said authentic, but I want to make sure that authentic equals truth. And if it does, could not other verses be equally true? There are evidences by early Jewish historians that many things happened during Jesus' ministry on earth. I am sure you have done a lot of investigation, but if one verse is true, should we not look at the possibility of more being true? And thank you for calling me odd. I sincerely mean it. With all that takes place in the world and what is considered "normal", how could I want any part of that? I respect your views, but as a Christian, I wanted to make sure you had investigated everything fully. Because, if true (which I believe it is), then Christianity is of the up-most importance. If false, then it matters not, and why let an op-ed piece offend you? I pray you are open to more discussion, but if not, then that is your choice. Thank you.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Reality

      Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      earlychristianwritings.com/

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      December 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  18. David Johnson

    The Evangelicals have deified themselves. They do not follow the teachings of Jesus, but rather have embraced Paul as their Savior. Jesus is now just something they use like a product name: Prell, Tide, Crest, Jesus!

    Evangelicals are not Christians. They are fascists.

    Cheeers!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • MartinT

      You got it partly right, but you should have said all Christians are facists.. Just kidding, I happen to have a number of Christian friends that I love dearly in spite of their piety. Peace and just for you, Merry Christmas.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  19. TheRationale

    You know they're eventually going to run out of adjectives for the word "Leader."

    December 20, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  20. Chuckles

    First!

    Also hopefully some believers will read this article and finally learn the difference between atheism and communism!

    December 20, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      You have high hopes, sir.
      Thus far on this blog, atheism has been conflated with:
      Communism
      Nihilism
      Nazism
      Hom.ose.xuality
      Paganism
      Historical Revisionism
      Satanism
      Misanthropy
      Depression
      Terrorism
      etc. ad nauseum

      The thinking seems to be "All atheists are bad, ergo all bad things are atheistic"

      December 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • captain america

      You forgot ass hole canadians, I'd rather deal with a commie, then at least you know what you are up against. There's your sign

      December 20, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Indeed, well I prefer to try and live the life of an optimist maybe one or two people will read this article and go, "huh, he calls it an atheist state, but that sounds awfully relgiious and communist and not the least bit atheist itself", then again my hopes might be just alittle too high.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • J.W

      What you say is true. They are using atheism as a way of obtaining power. However the same can be said for many theocracies. They were using religion as a tool as well. I think getting rid of religion is just as oppressive as forcing everyone to follow one religion.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Captain

      I'm curious, a) how high do I rank on your scale of anger? I mean, I am an american living inside of the beltway, does that count for something? Then again I detest red necks and most relgious people so that probably counts against me? Yes?
      By the way, your shtick is getting a little old, try revamping it a little bit, maybe try, "you know you're a canadian when....."

      December 20, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • captain america

      Doing good does not require anger. Ain't you ever heard of speaking the truth in love? There's your sign

      December 20, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @JW

      I'm not sure about anyone elses goals, but I've never been an advocate for forcing someone to give up their views on religion, that's a recipe for disaster as seen in North Korea, I am an advocate however for disllusionment and organically doing away with religious practice because people realize they don't need to be zealously devoted to a particular man or god. That's part of the reason I think it's absolutely essential to keep religion out of education in public schools and relegate it to philosophy courses.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.