Religious Left Resents a Free South Korea

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Decades ago, liberal Protestants used to admire brave South Korea and its Methodist president, Syngman Rhee, for defying Stalinist North Korea and Maoist Red China.  But for much of the last 40 years, the international Religious Left, even in South Korea, has angrily denounced the U.S.-South Korea military alliance.  Meanwhile, global activist prelates are typically silent about gross human rights abuses in North Korea even when Christians are the victims.  Leftist prelates from the Left love visiting the Potemkin show churches that North Korea hosts in Pyongyang to entertain gullible overseas visitors.

Now the Religious Left is campaigning against South Korea’s constructing a naval base on a volcanic island called Jeju off its southern coast.  “Today, islanders, religious leaders, and peace activists are calling attention to dangers caused by joint U.S.-South Korean militarization,” announced one U.S.-based Korean activist on Jim Wallis’ Sojourners blog.  Apparently there are also spiritual and environmental considerations, since Jeju is the mythical “body of Korea’s creation goddess, Mago.”  And UNESCO, which is perhaps even more holy than an ancient goddess, has decreed that Jeju is a World Heritage Site and a World Biosphere Reserve.

The campaign against a South Korean naval presence on Jeju is a little reminiscent of the long-time and ultimately successful Religious Left crusade to close the U.S. Navy’s munitions testing base at Vieques off the coast of Puerto Rico.  United Methodist bishops from the U.S., having evidently decided there were few greater threats to peace and justice, even motor boated out to Vieques to show solidarity with its oppressed people.

Maybe they can make similar pilgrimages to Jeju before it is fully desecrated by the South Korean Navy, who inexcusably want to defend their nation from the now 60-year threat of North Korean aggression.  Already under construction, the base will despoil a “unique three-quarter-mile stretch of coastal wetland, threatening an ecological system that harbors several endangered species.”  Even worse, the naval base will fuel “increasing military tensions in Asia, raising the risk of a devastating war in the region.”  How will South Korea’s installing a base on its own island off its southern coast, far from North Korea, threaten peace? Evidently any self-defense by South Korea, backed by the U.S., is by definition a threat.

The South Korean military has reputedly announced that U.S. warships will dock at the new base only temporarily.  But even five minutes is too long for the international Religious Left.  Leftist South Korean clergy are staging ongoing protests on Jeju.  After all, as the Sojourners blogger intoned, the “protest is a struggle for peace and justice and a fight against military power, potential war, and a privileged few.”  The final reference is evidently to construction companies, which are sinning by making a profit from their labor.  She quotes a protesting Franciscan Friar:  “It’s the call of the gospel against human power destroying the kingdom of God.”

Other opponents of the naval base allege it will facilitate U.S. Pacific-based anti-missile defense systems, which evidently is sinister, even if protecting South Korea from North Korean missiles.  Still other critics complain the base will “play a strategic role in efforts by the U.S.-South Korea-Japan alliance to reign in Chinese naval expansion.”  Worrisomely, the naval presence will “serve as a strategic offensive outpost for South Korea and its allies.”

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  • Looking4Sanity

    This is completely understandable when you consider how Communism spreads. Just take a look at any South American country. The Communists infiltrate the churches and schools first. They come straight for your soul and your children. Once they have that? You'll do whatever they tell you to do.

  • Dead space

    It’s 60 years past due for SK to conquer NK.

    • jm323

      How can South Korea do a d*mn thing to North Korea without its own nuclear strike capability. Look at how America stands there and does nothing when one of South Korea's naval vessels is sunk by a Nork submarine or when they shell a South Korean island near the De-militarized Zone. American administrations (both Democrat and Republican) have ordered South Korea to desist whenever they conduct research on potentially weapons grade plutonium.

      In my opinion, the next U.S. president ought to INSIST that South Korea become a nuclear power; and if for any reason they refuse, we should scrap our mutual defense treaty with them and go home. Just the psychological blow of that fact (a nuclear-capable South Korea) might cause the North Korean military to seriously consider doing to Kim What's-his-name what the Romanian Army did to Ceausescu back in '89.

      (I served there as an 11-Bravo in 2nd I.D. at Camp Casey and Hovey in the mid-Eighties.)

  • Shmuel Malov

    There can be only one answer to all this. South Korea needs to deport every Leftist they have to North Korea so that these Leftists can better protect their beloved Communist friends.

  • Rifleman

    Hey maybe they'll be handy the next time a nork tunnel under the DMZ is found. They can go in first to check it out and make sure there's no "potential for war" or "military power" down there. If they were really in a "fight against" those, and "a privileged few," wouldn't they be protesting in North Korea? Posers…

  • Ghostwriter

    it's long past time that the Kim dynasty falls. It's a blight on both Koreas.

    • jm323

      The most plausible way this could come about is a revolt by the most powerful institution in that country: it's military. Considering all of the starvation and general collapse of its economy (along with the attendant deterioration of much the military's equipment –aircraft, tanks, etc.), why hasn't the military done this yet? Well, it enjoys prestige and the highest priority of resources under the Kim regime. But, it was necessary for Kim Jong-il to do something more to retain the support of the generals –hence the enormous investment in its nuclear weapons program. The prestige of the North having its own nuclear strike capability was something needed for Kim Jong-il to retain face in the eyes of his military.

      That's why it is essential that we get South Korea to immediately develop its own nuclear capabilty. It will cause the North Korean generals to ask the obvious question: What the heck has this Kim dynasty really done for us? Especially if our military is now outclassed by the South's?

  • ratonis

    The religious left is a disgusting counterfeit of Christianity.

  • pyeatte

    There is no such thing as the religious left. If anything it is the anti-religious left. Don't be fooled by these vermin.

    • jm323

      "anti-religious left"? I'm sure some highly educated friar of the Dominican, Franciscan or Jesuit orders, one adhering to "Liberation Theology", would be happy to explain to you that Jesus of Nazareth was a (little "c") communist.

      Ever see that hippy-inspired movie, "Brother Sun, Sister Moon"? Okay, it's on the life of St. Francis; but St. Francis modeled his life (and his philosophy) on that of Jesus. If Jesus were to come back today, wouldn't he just take his place among the OWSers?