SOURCE: Vision Media

October 18, 2007 03:00 ET

Messiahs, Rulers, Religion and Ethical Issues in Asia

In What Degree Are Moral Values the Cause of the Recent Unrest In Asia

PASADENA, CA--(Marketwire - October 18, 2007) - In a new article series about China, Vision.org focuses on religion and ethical issues as they relate to totalitarian rulers.

In "Messiahs! Rulers and the Role of Religion," the author delves into the moral values in society in the 20th century during the expansion of totalitarianism and communism. He offers insights into the currently growing unrest in China and Asia.

Dr. David Hulme's in depth article provides historical accounts of messianic political aspirations in oriental Asia. Millions died under their rule, yet each was immortalized as a God-like leader.

Mao emerged as leader of the newly declared Chinese Soviet Republic in the earlier part of the 20th century, being proclaimed the savior of the Chinese People. His glorification continued as he was attributed with mythical and messianic qualities. Hulme examines the ethics and morality of the "new messiah" as 27 million may have died as a result of being worked too hard or of being driven to suicide during Mao's rule. Mao was glorified as 'the Red Sun,' 'the Great Teacher,' 'the Great Leader,' 'the Great Commander,' 'the Great Steersman,' and significantly 'the Messiah of the Working People.'"

Hulme also explores the 46-year legacy of Kim Il-sung (1912-94) of North Korea, whose regime started out with a Marxist-Leninist rule, but eventually grew into his own post communist ideology of self-reliance. His savior dynasty, according to one defector, "was the object of a personality cult extravagant enough to rival that of Stalin or Mao Tse-tung, and indeed, even to outlive them."

Like other 20th-century communist leaders, Kim considered both capitalism and Christianity to be corrupting. More than a decade after his death, the moral values set up in society by his cult are still flourishing. He has become the everlasting father; while his son, Kim Jong-il is the Jesus figure; and the state's emphasis on self-reliance counterfeits the Holy Spirit.

This compelling series focusing on the desire of some men to become savior-gods showcases some of Hulme's best work. "Messiahs! Rulers and the Role of Religion" educates readers about religion and ethical issues even in far flung and unexpected places.

About Vision.org

Vision's mission is to give its readers a deeper understanding of the causes of problems faced by our culture and society, with a commitment to accuracy and an honest treatment of the facts of every issue. Vision.org is a web site that challenges readers to examine philosophical, moral and ethical issues in society today.

Image Courtesy of the IISH Stefan R. Landsberger Collection

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