Why do I call the North Korea government evil?
We all know that the president Bush called the North Korean government as one of the “axes of evil.” Some people agreed and some didn’t according to their ideological stances. So, I was curious what would the renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Scott Peck, say about evil? I read his book, The People of the Lie (NY: Simon & Schuster, Inc, 1983). According to his view, the North Korean government is evil.
- Can we judge others?
Jesus said, “Do not judge others.” Dr. Scott Peck also knows this teaching and says, “The sentence ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged’ is usually quoted out of context. Recognizing the potential for evil in moral judgments, Jesus instructed us not to always avoid making them but to purify ourselves before doing so.” (ibid, 256) We cannot avoid judging in our daily lives. So, we have to judge first ourselves and examine our hearts first. We need to open our hearts to the criticisms from others. Then we can judge others out of love.
Yes, we can judge others when we examine ourselves first and open our hearts to criticism from others.
- Characteristics of Evil.
Actually, one of the characteristics of evil is the inability or unwillingness of taking criticism from others seriously because of its narcissism and its tendency to blame others. Dr. Peck says, “A predominant characteristic of the behavior of those I call evil is scapegoating.” (ibid, 73) Evil keeps looking for someone else to blame for its own actions. Dr. Peck gives broader definition of evil in the following way (ibid, 129):
1) Consistent destructive, scapegoating behavior, which may often be quite subtle
2) Excessive, albeit usually covert, intolerance to criticism and other forms of narcissistic injury
3) Pronounced concern with a public image and self-image of respectability, contributing to a stability of life-style but also to pretentiousness and denial of hateful feelings or vengeful motives
4) Iintellectual deviousness, which an increased likelihood of a mind schizophreniclike disturbance of thinking at times of stress.
Dr. Peck also defines evil “as the exercise of political power-that is, the imposition of one’s will upon others by overt or covert coercion-in order to avoid… spiritual growth.” (op.cit. Road Less Traveled, 279)
As examples of scapegoating, the North Korean government blamed the USA for the Korean War. They keep saying that it was USA who lured them to invade the South Korea. They said that the SK and USA joint military exercise invoked their military attack which resulted the death of the civilians at the Yeonpyung island.
As examples of inability to take criticism and narcissism are (1) their propaganda that their country is the paradise on earth and (2) their leaders are the geniuses and (3) they have never violated any human rights, and (4) they can win in the battle with any country, including USA.
Examples of pronounced concern for the self-image are the insistence of 6 party talks, peace talks, and the demand of peace treaty. They have used peace talks to make division among the South Korean people and among the allies of the South Korea and USA without any genuine intention of peace.
Examples of intellectual deviousness are the so-called “Juche” philosophy and their understanding of the history and international relations. They call the “Juche” philosophy a culmination of communism and humanism. They think that the history has reached its almost final destination at the North Korea. They imagine that all the leaders of the world respect and honor their leaders, Kim IL Sung and Kim Jung IL. So, anybody who criticizes their leaders is committing sins of blasphemy!
If we apply Dr. Peck’s standard to identify “evil,” the North Korean government is in every sense “evil.”
- The root of evil
According to Dr. Peck, the evil live their lives in fear (ibid, 124). Why? Because evil does not like to submit to the rule of God, it rebels against the divine sovereignty. It knows then it will be punished. So, it lives in constant fear.
Listen to the rhetoric of the North Korea. They always argue that the USA and SK are trying to strangulate them through economic sanction and military exercise. They are in fear. To hide their fear they provoke terrorism. They rely on weapons of mass destruction. In their deep psyche, still they know that the end of their regime is near. So, they have become more violent.
On the one hand, the North Korean government maintains self-centered and narcissist life style, but on the other hand, they live in constant fear.
- Cure for evil
Then how to cure evil? Dr. Peck argues that only love can cure evil. Dr. Peck says that “the healing of evil-scientifically or otherwise-can be accomplished only by the love of individuals.” (ibid, 269)
Love that involves sacrifice would cure evil as Jesus has done on the Cross. We need bigger love for bigger evil.
It sounds like “Sunshine Policy” of the presidents Kim and Roh. However, it should not be a policy but genuine love.
The differences between the Sunshine policy and Love are clear. (1) You can have Sunshine policy out of fear not out of love. However, Love does not know fear and Love cast out fear. (2) Sunshine policy does not take sacrifice as its component but Love can make sacrifice if necessary. (3) Sunshine policy cannot call the North Korean government evil because it is afraid of making them angry but true Love can call it evil with compassion for its fate and take risk of surgical strike to cure it with all its sacrifices in mind.
The only way to cure evil of the North Korean government is love of individual Christians who would pray for their repentance and salvation out of compassion for the lost souls.
In the light of the discussion that proceeds, I would pray for the North Korean government.
“Jesus, Prince of Peace, You are full of love and You want to save every sinners, but forgive me, I have no love for the lost souls of the North Korean government. I am a sinner. I do not have compassion for the North Korean government who live in fear. I am a self righteous judge. Save me from this self righteousness and give me your unconditional love that would flow from me to them.
And please, show your mercy on the evil government of the North Korea. Bring your light upon them and help them to cut off the shackles that they have self imposed on them. Liberate them from the fear of extinction. Open their eyes to see the peaceful future when they can be a part of the international family. Liberate them from the fear of being destroyed! Help them to stop relying on weapons of mass destruction. Save their souls!
In the name of Jesus, I pray.”
Questions to ponder:
What are the other individuals and groups that you can apply these discussions and prayer to?