Koreans Criticize Park For Proselytizing

We reprint without comment an editorial from a nonexistent newspaper, East Asian Daily Times:

Dismay and indignation were registered in the capital today when it was learned that on his recent visit to Washington, D.C., President Park explained the roots of his religious convictions to Jimmy Carter.

Kuo Hsi, a monk in Seoul’s Monastery of the Golden Lotus, told reporters, “If he were a priest, he could say anything he wants. But he’s a president, and what is he doing trying to convert somebody? It’s none of his business what Jimmy Carter thinks.”

Chua Hwi, religion editor for one of our country’s more outspoken papers, agrees: “It has been rumored that our President would enjoy being a Buddhist missionary. But for now surely he would be well-advised to stay within the boundaries of his present job description. It is hardly appropriate for him to mix personal piety with public policy. However well-intentioned, the President’s act was bad diplomacy, bad politics, and bad religion.”

We at the Daily Times feel the conversation should never have taken place at all. Granted the bomb-dropping Americans could use the tranquility of Eastern religion. Still, might it not seem to those on whose aid we depend so heavily that we regard their religion as morally inferior?

Let our presidents confine their more casual conversations to the latest joke making the rounds at the U.N. Or their estimate of top contenders for the world soccer championship. Or even the bedroom peccadilloes of various political figures.

At any rate, it is surely the best policy to keep religion out of national and international affairs, especially when the world’s trouble spots bear names like Teheran, Riyadh, and Jerusalem.

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