Kenneth Bae is being held by Kim Jung Un of North Korea because, apparently, he left a copy of the bible in his hotel room. In reporting on Bae, CNN, U.S. noted that North Korea is "officially an atheist state." We non-believers see the likelihood of the religious right finding in such a statement evidence that atheism leads to totalitarian rule or vice-versa. Actually, in totalitarian states the leader is the God, and he mimics the bible saying, "Thou shalt have no other God before me." These are cults of personality using the same techniques as other religions to get them while they are young and feed their heads with the wonderment that is you.
I wonder, does Dennis Rodman take his bible to Pyongyang? In any case, Bae has claimed he did not know it was illegal to have a bible in North Korea. After all, every time he checks into a motel in the U.S. he finds a copy left behind by some guy named Gideon.
A few years ago, I went to Cuba. Spent 8 days between Havana and the northern coast. I highly recommend it as the best vacation you can have. Anyway,the US government didn't give me permission. My attittude toward Washington D.C. was that of "FU." American officials have never checked in with me as to where they could go, and I've never felt the need to reciprocate.
However, before I went, I checked with the Cuban government regulations on what I could, and could not, bring to their country. No GPS, no cell phones, and no computers. Hey. It's their country, and I was a guest. I left that shit back in America.
When you go to a foreign country, it's a good idea to act as the guest you are. Don't piss off the officials by thinking that you're way of thinking and doing things is the monopoly on truth - piss on them. The outcome usually isn't pleasant for the guest.
You can fly into Cuba from Canada or take a plane out of Mexico City or Merida in the Yucatan. Either way, when you go through customs in Cuba, tell them please don't stamp the passport. I am told they will not and if they check it on exist, ask the same thing. Then you fly back to Canada or Mexico and who's to know? I am not telling you how to break the law, just telling you what I have read online.
I'll tell you how to do it. Cancun airport, terminal 1 is where the US flights land. From there, go to terminal 3, and catch the afternoon flight to Jose Marti airport on Cubana Airlines. When you get there, customs agents are prohibited from stamping a US passport. They issue a separate visa, which you carry with you at all times - along with a photocopy of your passport. And, contrary to popular opinion, let the gente know you are from Los Estados Unidos, and had to run borders just to visit them. A more friendly and gracious people you will be hard pressed to encounter.
Wait, are you saying you leave your passport with customs and carry a photocopy with you while there?
No. They give you your passport back at customs. Just lock it in a safe at the hotel, or carry it with you with the separate visa. I preferred to leave mine in the safe and carry a photocopy. The folks at the hotel, once they found out I was an Americano, took care of me better than their own children. The armed touristico guard at the hotel acted like my personal bodyguard. Gave me Cohiba Robusto cigars just to be able to practice his English with me.
I don't smoke tobacco anymore, and I hope their coffee is better than a robusta. After the U.S. left Vietnam, it developed a coffee exporting business that was gangbusters. Only one problem: it supplies almost no arabica beans. Some coffee companies add it to their product to cut costs. If they are importing from Mexico, it'll be fine with me.
Mexican coffee really sucks! I'm not sure what al is in there?
You can't have had some of the regional coffees such as pluma Hidalgo, from Oaxaca.
This case is totally ignorant. If you are in any other country for 2 weeks why would you take your bible? Are you afraid you might forget what it says? Are you afraid god will not like you if you "forgot his word?" Now you have forgotten it and left it in a hotel. Now he really won't like you! At what age do we stop carrying our bibles around with us? When does an old school kid stop carrying along his "Dick and Jane Reader?"
So, I went to Kenya for 2 weeks. Am I taking along my bible? Hell, no! I'm going there to visit, not to preach!
If you ever go to Singapore: prostitution is legal, but chewing gum is not. And a judge could sentence you to a severe caning.
Did I read somewhere that Kenneth Bae is a minister? Probably never occurred to him that the word of the One True God could be banned anywhere. I'll bet a lot of the stuff we all read is banned in North Korea, and I don't know many people who haven't left a book in an airport or at a hotel. Was he preaching? I wonder what would be happening right now if a Muslim had been arrested for carrying the Qur'an?
The KJV is about 750,000 words long; he may have forgotten a couple of verses. If you make a book long enough, readers are less likely to remember the contradictions.
The Christers are quick to point to Hitler and Stalin as "atheists." Perhaps, but they ruled by virtue of a cult of personality by which their minions were indoctrinated into seeing their leaders as Gods. If you have seen Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will, you may recall that the documentary opens with Hitler arriving by airplane in Nuremberg and it's shot in such a way that the plane seems to be coming out of the clouds, and Leni intercuts shots of the airplane's shadow crossing the city -- in the form of a cross: nose at the top, wings like the cross beam, and tail at the bottom, all to the accompaniment of Wagner. Stalin became what he beheld. Both of them had posters on every street (think of Big Brother in 1984, the movie at least). Kim Jung Un is just acting out the same scenario. To a totalitarian dictator, the leader is God. So their so-called atheism had and has nothing to do with it. Naturally, a bible is verboten in North Korea: it contradicts the propaganda.
The Christians are wrong about Adolf Hitler. Hitler was a fanatic Christian;
"My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to a man who once in loneliness surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passages which tell us how the Lord at last rose in his might and seized the scourge to drive out of the temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight for the world against the Jewish poison." Adolf Hitler (Norman H. Baynes, The speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19, Oxford University Press, 1942)
The biblical model of god is an example for a totalitarian dictator. Christianity teaches a dangerous message about respect. Respect is an emotion reserved for leaders who deserve it. It's earned. There aren't any gods. The highest intelligence on this planet is flawed. Flawed individuals are honest individuals. That would be the model for politics. There are some jobs in which honesty is essential.