I recently came across an argument for harsh treatment of apostates that I can see some logic in it (stress on the word SOME). It follows thus: Certain religions are not JUST a religion, restricted to the spiritual. They can be a complete way of life, including laws and a political system. That is, it is a Government unto itself. So when someone abandons the faith, it is equivalent to treason. Even in modern Western nations, treason against one’s country is punishable by imprisonment, imprisonment until death, or the death penalty. When viewed from this point of view, apostasy as an act of treason justifies harsh penalties. The argument is not flawless, however. Treason as defined by the aforementioned countries is much more serious than simply preferring another country to your own. It requires decidedly violent, warlike actions to get you convicted of treason. People in civilized countries are allowed to change their nationality peacably. Freedom of speech lets American journalists and cartoonists ridicule the American Way, even as far as burning the US flag on US soil. Malaysians change their citizenship all the time, but we don’t hunt them down and hang them for converting to Singaporeanism. By comparison, the penalties for apostasy in certain belief systems are extremely harsh. You are not even allowed to DREAM of another way of life, let alone campaign in support of it. It doesn’t seem like the first world countries, but it is very reminiscent of North Korea. In North Korea, the common citizens are practically prisoners and slaves to the government. Self expression is not tolerated. Travel around or out of the country is strictly controlled to the point of nonexistence. The only acceptable religion is worship of Kim Jong-il’s Juche (you heard it right suicide bombers – not even Islam is allowed, so get cracking why doncha). Millions or North Koreans are forced to die of hunger and cold, when their South Korean brothers and sisters just across the border are longing to share their plenty with them. Look at the interesting pics below: A map of the two Koreas, and a satellite image of the area at night. Note the loction of South Korea’s capital, Seoul. Having now completed our tour of Nonfreedomia, I would implore you to consider this: How true is a person’s heart to the nation when you have to force him to recite the Rukunegara at gunpoint? Does a girl truly love you if you force her to marry you? Which counts for real, loyalty in name or loyalty in heart? If the latter holds true, if loyalty in heart is how a citizenship is truly judged, then Kayukayu Religious Police be warned… In actuality, you may be holding millions of another country’s citizens hostage!