26 July 2009

Religious persecution

A big part of my subject matter here has concerned the repressive Iranian theocracy and its violence against those who challenge its power -- as well as the incessant (though now waning) efforts of the Christian Right to enact Christian taboos into law here in the US so that state power can be used to enforce them on everyone. Here's another case to consider:

North Korea publicly executed a Christian woman last month for distributing the Bible, which is banned in the communist nation, South Korean activists said Friday. Ri Hyon Ok, 33, was also accused of spying for South Korea and the United States and organizing dissidents.....Ri's parents, husband and three children were sent to a political prison camp in the northeastern city of Hoeryong the following day.....

While some might claim that this is an opposite type of case from what I usually talk about -- persecution of a Christian by non-Christians -- I would argue that it's actually the same type of case. As the article implies, the Kim cult is essentially a state religion in North Korea, as Islam is in Iran and as the Christian Right wants to make Christianity in our country. Ri was not murdered for being a Christian; she was murdered for dissenting from a state-backed religion. Any person -- Christian, Buddhist, atheist, or whatever -- who did the same would likely have met a similar fate. The lesson here is that a state-backed religion, regardless of which religion it is, is a deadly menace to freedom.

Found via The Secular Outpost.


Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Interesting post, alot of the new religious movement's are confusing to me...there are so many...I cant even keep up with it. I had no idea of the bible execution thing actually. Folk's are just driving themselves to the nut house it seems like over all the religion's. I gave up long ago trying to figure it out.Kind of weird how they all say they worship a god...in most cases I guess the same god...yet they all say god is giving them different assignment's and messages...heh? I reckon either god is playing a cruel joke ...making them all kill off each other...or else, none of them know what the hell their talking about one? :)

Thanx Guy...........

26 July, 2009 07:21  
Blogger ZIRGAR said...

I have no problem with Christianity being the predominant religion of the citizenry (I'm no fan of religion, but there you have it), but it cannot, must not be the established state backed religion--there must be no state baced religion, period. We must be vigilant in our defense of the 1st Amendment in this regard.

26 July, 2009 13:34  
Anonymous rita said...

Great post!
I find it interesting that religious folk thrive on persecution. I say this from being religious myself for a time & I know how incidents like this are made over in the Christian community. These "saints" are held up as "martyrs" by Christian leaders & used to induce guilt, admiration, money, & obedience from the flock.
The lesson here is that a state-backed religion, regardless of which religion it is, is a deadly menace to freedom.
...is not a message you would likely hear from any pulpit.

27 July, 2009 07:51  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

not a message you would likely hear from any pulpit.

Unfortunately true.

I did once have a conversation with a Baha'i who was proud of the fact that Baha'is have never persecuted other religions. I pointed out that this is probably just because Baha'ism has never actually been in power anywhere, so it hasn't had the chance to persecute anyone yet. He was open-minded enough to accept that this might well be true. Most believers are not, though.

Thanks for the comments, all.

27 July, 2009 08:01  

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