The Questions We Should Be Asking About North Korea

The Questions We Should Be Asking About North Korea

Sorry James Franco, no jokes here.

In 2014, James Franco and Seth Rogen released a comedy movie that changed American diplomacy with North Korea forever entitled "The Interview". The movie dictates the story of a popular TV-host named Dave Skylark, played by James Franco who travels to North Korea after receiving word that the infamous dictator is a "super-fan" of Skylark's night-show. There, Skylark and his team plan to film the most eventful interview in TV history with the most mysterious world leader.

Aside from the PG13 humor and the usual sexual innuendos, the movie continuously mocks and derides the North Korean government and Kim Jung Un's administration. This movie is downright funny. Any country so cut-off from the world led by a man with a striking hairstyle like that is bound to be subject matter for comedians around the world. Plus, who doesn't love Seth Rogen or James Franco?

However, my problem is not with the content of "The Interview" but rather its effect: that Americans view North Korea as nothing more than a idiotic buffoonery led by its ringleader Kim Jung Un. And Kim Jung Un, he's just borderline insane. I mean, that is the only logical conclusion to make after he brainwashed his entire country, forcing them to believe he is the next Messiah, that North Korean propaganda movies are way better than anything on Netflix, and that Americans are to be blamed for every atrocity North Korea has faced. Is it even possible to change an entire nation's perspective? Especially because that is what generations and generations of North Koreans have been bred to think, so isn't it just them practicing their freedom of speech? Why would Kim Jung Un even hate America?

What even are his motives? And, is it necessary for the United States, one of the world's greatest powers, to get involved? Or more importantly, is it worth it? Current events would say: yes, yes it is.

Because every couple days or so, we get a news notification on our iPhones reading: "North Korea tests ICBMs", and what do we do? We swipe up, half-annoyed that we were even troubled with this "meaningless information", and resume our life. We scoff at any headline with North Korea, saying to ourselves "I've seen this before. This is old news". Why? Are we actually unfazed by the potential threat to our very survival? The truth is, this man, however delusional he may be, holds the key to the most destructive weapons known to man, a weapon that could obliterate an entire country in an instant at the push of a button. And at that moment, do you really care about Beyonce's newborn twins more than your life?

The last time nuclear war was a visible threat, children were trained to hide under desks at school the same way a firefighter taught us "Stop, drop, and roll". So, shouldn't we react the same in 2017 as we did in 1963? The technological advances today could have possibly doubled or tripled the effect of the bomb, so why aren't we as scared as our parents or our grandparents were fifty years ago?

Should we even be scared? That is the question. Cause after all, "Kim Jung Un is just a crazy man who has no true recollection of what he's doing". Should we react as if this were war? Our own President has tweeted extensively about North Korea and "toughening up America", but how does he really feel? But more importantly, what will he do about it?

A few more questions come to mind. Like, what if North Korea's "Supreme Leader" is actually smarter than us all? Even worse, what if he isn't actually crazy? After all, this man does control the Internet in his own country, so there isn't even a dark web in North Korea to discuss such conspiracies. And any advisor who knows him on a personal level has sworn their allegiance on a rope so thin even the slightest negative information about the dictator himself would instantaneously result in that person's "removal", or maybe a fifteen-year sentence to a labor camp-like the former University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier. The truth is, we do not know anything about the North Korean leader. So, automatically assuming he's a laughingstock with a bad hairline isn't necessarily our smartest move.

But maybe this is all a part of his diabolical plan. Maybe Kim Jung Un knew we would be more concerned with meaningless tabloid gossip than his weekly missile tests. And if he did know that, then I guess he isn't an idiot after all..we are. Or are we?

Cover Image Credit: NBC News

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I'm A Christian And I Have A Tattoo

Stop judging me for it.

Like most people, I turned 18 years old during the course of my senior year of high school. I’ll never forget the months prior to my birthday, though, because I spent hours making a decision that would be with me forever, the decision of where I would go to get my first tattoo and where that tattoo would go, and of course I spent a lot of time deciding on the font, the colors, and all of the other aspects of the tattoo I wanted. Throughout this time, two things stood firm 1) the fact that I was going to get a tattoo, and 2) the six letter name that it would consist of.

Now, three years later, I’m 21 years old and I still get the occasional dirty look at church on Sunday or in line at Walmart, and more often than not this look is accompanied by the following words: “Why would you do that to your body when God says not to?” A few weeks ago at a new church, a woman came up to me and said, “How can you consider yourself a Christian when you have that blasphemous thing on your foot?”, I simply smiled at her and said: “God bless you, have a good week.” I let it roll off of my back, I’ve spent the past three years letting it “roll off of my back”… but I think it’s time that I speak up.

When I was 8 years old, I lost my sister. She passed away, after suffering from Childhood Cancer for a great deal of my childhood. Growing up, she had always been my best friend, and going through life after she passed was hard because I felt like even though I knew she was with me, I didn’t have something to visually tribute to her – a way to memorialize her. I, being a Christian and believing in Heaven, wanted to show my sister who was looking down on me that even though she was gone – she could still walk with me every day. I wanted it for me, for her. I wanted to have that connection, for her to always be a part of who I am on the outside – just as much as she is a part of who I am on the inside.

After getting my tattoo, I faced a lot of negativity. I would have Leviticus 19:28 thrown in my face more times than I cared to mention. I would be frowned on by various friends, and even some family. I was told a few times that markings on my body would send me to hell – that was my personal favorite.

You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks on you: I am the LORD.
Leviticus 19:28

The more I heard these things, the more I wanted to scream. I didn’t though. I didn’t let the harsh things said about me and my choice change the love I have for the Lord, for my sister, or for the new precious memento on my left foot. I began to study my Bible more, and when I came to the verse that had been thrown in my face many times before – I came to a realization. Reading the verses surrounding verse 28, I realized that God was speaking to the covenant people of Israel. He was warning them to stay away from the religious ways of the people surrounding them. Verse 28 wasn’t directed to what we, in today’s society, see as tattoos – it was meant in the context of the cultic practice of marking one’s self in the realm of cultic worship.

26 "You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying. 27 You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard. 28 ‘You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD. 29 ‘Do not profane your daughter by making her a harlot, so that the land will not fall to harlotry and the land become full of lewdness. 30 ‘You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am the LORD. 31 ‘Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God."
Leviticus 19:26–31

The more I have studied my Bible over the past few years, the more I pity those who rely on one verse in the Old Testament to judge and degrade those, like myself, who made the decision to get a tattoo for whatever reason they may have for doing so. This is because, you see, in the New Testament it is said that believers are not bound by the laws of the Old Testament – if we were, there would be no shellfish or pork on the menus of various Christian homes. While some see tattoos as a modification of God’s creation, it could also be argued that pierced ears, haircuts, braces, or even fixing a cleft lip are no different.

24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor."
Galatians 3:24-25

In Galatians, we read that the Old Testament law was created to lead people to Jesus. However, we know that Jesus has come and died on the cross for our sins. He has saved us, therefore we are no longer held to this law in order to have a relationship with the Lord. Our relationship with Him comes from believing that Jesus came to Earth to die on a cross for our sins, and repenting of our sins – accepting Jesus as our Savior.

I am a Christian, I have a relationship with the Lord that is stronger than it has ever been, and - I HAVE A TATTOO.

I have a beautiful memento on my left foot that reminds me that my sister walks with me through every day of my life. She walked with me down the red carpet at my senior prom, she walked with me across the stage the day I graduated from high school, and she continues to be with me throughout every important moment of my life.

My tattoo is beautiful. My tattoo reminds me that I am never alone. My tattoo is perfect.

Stop judging me for it.

Cover Image Credit: Courtney Johnson

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Sorry, SJWs, But 'It's My Truth' Is Not A Real Argument And Not Always The Real Truth

Just because you believe it doesn't mean everyone else does.


Last week, Steven Crowder, a conservative commentator with the podcast show Louder With Crowder, posted a new video to his viral web series Change My Mind. The topic of this video was "There Are Only 2 Genders: Change My Mind." Regardless of your belief on whether or not there are two genders or not, I wanted to call attention to a word phrase that was numerously said throughout the course of the dialogue in the video between Steven and the brave volunteers who disagreed with him.

Watch, and see if you can find the phrase I am talking about. Steven Crowder even points it out himself.

The phrase I'm referring to, incase you didn't catch it in the first 15 minutes is "My truth."

The first guest to sit down was Danielle Skidmore, a Transgender Woman running for Austin City Council this year. Consistently throughout her argument for the existence of more than two genders she keeps telling him that "her truth" tells her that there is more than two.

"My truth" is not a legitimate argument. Just because it is how you view yourself, the world around you, and what makes sense to you does not make it true for everyone else. That is called your experience. The better phrasing would be "in my experience, I have come to believe," not, "I'm living my truth. This is why I believe it and why you should too."

Steven Crowder points out that he wants "the truth" numerous times to combat her "truth." Danielle Skidmore tells him that the truth is her truth. This is not how problems get solved or how we advance society. If we all believe "our truth" and refuse to look at "the truth" with facts and statistics that back it up then nothing will get accomplished. Anything that does will not be concrete laws or rulings because everyone will have their own way of interpreting it.

It is time we start as a country to base our laws on facts.

There is so much calling for miscellaneous laws that we already have one for, the right to, or the need for a law has no foundation to it. If we actually began looking at the laws we have and the background of them, we would find that most, if not all, cover a lot of what Equal Rights Activists fight for.

The idea of "my truth" is tainting society's way of thought, and how we comprehend the world around us.

People's truth does not always contain all the facts because of their bias and their unwillingness to see the other side. I fall to this too sometimes, and I have moments where I say something should not be a way because I just think that. This is wrong, and it should not be how our country is run.

Laws and policies need to be thought out with all the facts, and with the complete truth. "My truth" is not going to get us anywhere because not everyone has the same experiences and thoughts as that one singular person. The truth is the only way America can be promised just and rightful laws and protections.

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