Mohler gives his take on Kim Jong Il at CNN’s Belief Blog

Communications Staff — December 21, 2011

In light of the recent death of longtime North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, R. Albert Mohler Jr., Southern Seminary president, offered some thoughts about the deification of political regimes.

“The death of North Korea’s ‘Dear Leader’ Kim Jong Il underlies a basic fact of earthly politics: when a political regime denies any transcendent supernatural reality, it deifies itself,” Mohler writes in his “My Take” column at’s Belief Blog.

According to Mohler, the reigns of Kim Jong Il and his father, Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s founding dictator, demonstrate that when a regime eliminates public religious expression, this does not rid a nation of all forms of worship. Like Kim Il Sung whom North Korean society came to perceive as a god, being addressed as the “Fatherly Leader,” Kim Jong Il too embraced a deified identity as the “Dear Leader.”

Mohler writes:

If the worship of God is forbidden, the state may well turn its own dictator into a deity. This transforms the leader and the regime into objects of devotion and worship. The state is then beyond all rational critique and consideration.

In other words, citizenship is transformed into idolatry. History records the tragic legacy of idolatrous states, led by despots who range from ancient kings to warlike emperors and delusional Fuhrers.

Mohler’s article, “My Take: Kim Jong Il and the danger of deifying leaders,” is available at

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