Atheism is the reason Kim Jong Un can’t be trusted (letter)
In response to Richard Carnes’ article “Careful calling North Korea a win” (Tuesday, April 24), I would like to borrow a page from his columnist playbook and insert a comment about religion in my response.
Carnes stated that, “Like certain Starbucks managers, North Korea simply cannot be trusted.” He supports his conclusion by illustrating their poor track record, and past actions should be a good indicator of what we can expect in the future. But times change, and that was then and this is now, right? Shouldn’t we at least give him the benefit of the doubt? Of course not.
There is, of course, that poor track record Carnes mentioned, but there’s a more important reason not to trust Kim Jung Un. He doesn’t think like we think. His worldview and concept of morality differ from ours. We can trust people only when we know they are not going to lie to us.
Even in post-Christian America, the majority of us believe that lying is wrong; Christians understand it is a violation of God’s Ninth Commandment: “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” We believe lying is immoral, and it will always be immoral because God’s moral law is absolute. But we shouldn’t assume Kim Jung Un believes the same; and indeed, he doesn’t.
According to Robert Douglass, a student of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Kim Jong Un is an atheist; atheists follow a different drummer. For them, morality is not based on God’s absolute moral law; it’s “derived from human need and interest as tested by experience” (from the “Humanist Manifesto III,” as quoted in “The Religions of Secular Humanism and Christianity” of “The Cabana Chronicles” series).
In other words, if Kim Jong Un believes he is justified in making a promise he has no intention of keeping, that’s OK for him because lying has been tested by experience (track record) and, in his opinion, it is based on his need to lead North Korea into becoming a world power to be reckoned with. He believes the means justify the ends.
But atheists do have their own moral code so why can’t they be trusted? In their own words, atheists admit that they follow a morality that is constantly changing, evolving with the times. They disavow any connection with any absolute moral law that claims to be based on God’s revelation.
But such relativism doesn’t work well because it cannot be trusted. It is based on the whim of man and not on the mandate of God. There is no moral governor, so there is no one to hold us accountable. No accountability, no trust. This is the real reason Kim Jong Un or any leader who follows the same beliefs cannot and should not be trusted.
John B. Bartholomew
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