Monday, July 20, 2009

Did you see Mike Kim on the Daily Show?

Here. Jon Stewart interviews Kim about his new book, Escaping North Korea. Just as I was filled with admiration that there are human beings out there with the heart (and cajones) to do this, I made the mistake of reading the associated comments. There were a couple predictable ones from North Korean online propaganda trolls (that's a full-time job for a lot of people, along with the CCP and Scientologists) along with a few clueless posts by people who probably think they're progressive.

Look: whatever Mike Kim's motivations, whether his NGO is faith-based or not, I fully support him and admire what he's doing. One suspects from these verbal knee-jerks that anything that appears to result from a) the free exercise of religion (especially Christian) or b) the rejection of collectivist tyranny is suspicious to this crowd. This is how people who call themselves tolerant and progressive end up looking the other way when confronted with constant, nightmarish human rights violations like those in North Korea, because it doesn't sit well with their "America and Christianity is the root of all evil" morally-superior-out-of-insecurity back-patting.

What makes my little rant different from others you may have read? Because I'm an ardent atheist, that's why, and my defense of Kim and his colleagues is based on a morality that any thinking human being has access to. I'm not impressed with any country that disallows free inquiry and whose official history claims their leader's birth was heralded by a special star. I'm really not impressed with people who live in free countries and are ready to jump to the defense of totalitarian states, and to attack people who are putting their lives on the line to make a difference and defending human life. Kim is supporting people's right to worship as they choose. So do I, along with (I hope) every other citizen of the world's democracies.

Check out the homepage for the book here, and Mike Kim's Facebook group here.

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