Otto Warmbier went to North Korea with a tour group as an adventure-seeking 21-year-old. He was taken by security at the airport waiting to board his flight back to Beijing and never seen again by his family until he was released last week, in a coma. He died Monday. afternoon.
Josh Rogin, of the Washington Post, interviewed Danny Gratton, Warmbier’s roommate on the North Korea tour.Gratton was the last westerner to see Warmbier as he was taken away.
“Otto was just a really great lad who fell into the most horrendous situation that no one could ever believe,” Gratton told me in an interview Thursday. “It’s just something I think in the Western world we just can’t understand, we just can’t grasp, the evilness behind that dictatorship.”
Gratton didn’t think Warmbier took the propaganda poster he was accused of stealing. Certainly, stealing a poster isn’t worth 15 years at hard labor. That sentence would fail the test by concept of the punishment fitting the crime.
Yet some liberal publications have made hay for a year over Warmbier’s “crime.” They’ve portrayed him as a white “frat boy” type who thought he could get away with something in a foreign culture and now got his comeuppance.
They thought he deserved what he got.
How ghoulish and disgusting can they be? Are they sociopaths or just evil?
Affinity Magazine is a teen publication covering “social justice + politics + culture.” They tweeted “Watch whiteness work. He wasn’t a ‘kid’ or ‘innocent'” and “respect their laws” in reply to Rogin’s tweet linking the WaPo piece.
Is this really the opinion of the teens who write Affinity? Are they really such awful people that they’re okay with another young adult dying in a foreign country because he allegedly (there was no fair trial or evidence presented) stole a piece of paper from a wall in a hotel?
Affinity wasn’t the only group mocking Warmbier. Salon cruelly called him “America’s biggest idiot frat boy.” They convicted him of an alleged crime he may not have even committed–a prank really.
Comedy Central’s “Nightly Show” host Larry Wilmore joked “It’s just tough for me to have much sympathy for this guy and his crocodile tears.” Maybe that was a joke, and maybe Wilmore meant it. I’m not sure which is worse: joking about a kid’s languishing in a dungeon at the hands of a despotic cruel regime, or actually believing he deserved it.
Warmbier got a death sentence, and they joked about it.
Meanwhile, last March, HuffPo published a truly hateful piece on white privilege. Self-described revolutionary La Sha described an 18-year-old who was caned in Singapore for vandalizing cars, quoting her mother “He earned that.” She went on in a shameful tirade…
As shocked as I am by the sentence handed down to Warmbier, I am even more shocked that a grown man, an American citizen, would not only voluntarily enter North Korea but also commit what’s been described a “college-style prank.” That kind of reckless gall is an unfortunate side effect of being socialized first as a white boy, and then as a white man in this country.
I suppose Dennis Rodman has nothing on Warmbier. He pals around with Kim Jong Un and gets whatever he wants. Black privilege? Rodman voluntarily enters North Korea and who knows what gifts he brings out? But Warmbier was judged guilty by La Sha because he’s white, and that’s okay with her. (Because he’s white, he must have done it.)
No thought was given by any of these hay-makers to the fact that other U.S. citizens have been taken by North Korea as hostages. They simply wanted to make their points and leave it.
Where’s the compassion? Where’s the concern for other people’s lives?
If Black/Muslim/Palestinian/Hispanic lives matter, why mock the millions of North Koreans who live until a repressive regime, on the edge of starvation, while their political bosses live like royalty? Why give a pass to a man so evil he had his own step-brother assassinated by deadly poison?
What is wrong with people that they can live with themselves after aligning themselves with Kim Jong Un?
Let me address the reader directly here.
If you react like most people, with shame and disgust over these remarks, and with horror at what Warmbier and his family went through and are continuing to experience, I’m not talking to you.
But if you really think North Korea played by some cosmic moral code and delivered justice to Otto Warmbier, I might suggest you have a psychological problem. You might even be a sociopath. Or you might be evil–take your pick.
There is no excuse, no cause, no higher purpose, that justifies the mental and physical torture of a young man whose biggest potential crime is best described as a prank. The North Korean government is brutal and efficiently so. They’d have put a bullet in Warmbier’s head right at the airport if they were ordered to. They’d have massacred the entire tour group if Kim gave the command.
No shades of grey, or moral equivalence can be found here. Either you agree with the barbaric dictator or you care about people’s lives. There is no middle ground.
Warmbier is dead. If you laughed, mocked, joked, or celebrated his arrest, you need to walk that back, hard. If you don’t, you’ve made yourself into something truly horrible and cruel. You need to go back and rethink your life.
Video: What is a Classical Liberal?
A short video making the point that the Left is no longer Liberal, having traded individualism for collectivism.
In one of their first animated video shorts, the Rubin Report discusses the vitally important topic of just who is a Classical Liberal.
OUR FIRST ANIMATED VIDEO! What is a Classical Liberal?
Liberalism has been confused with Leftism or progressivism, which is actually has nothing to do with classical Liberalism. Sadly the Left is no longer Liberal at all for it has traded individualism for collectivism.
The Rubin Report
Published on Jul 10, 2018
$.02: When is it OK to quit church?
Chris Sonsken of South Hills Church and founder Church BOOM penned a piece on Fox News that caught my attention on Twitter. It was a good column. Read the article here. The article addressed a Pew Research finding as to why people change churches. There finding as shown by Sonsken are:
- Sermon quality
- Welcoming environment/people
- Style of worship
Sonsken does a great job in arguing that there are biblically sound reasons for leaving a church and finding a new one.
1. It’s OK to leave if God calls us to leave.
2. It’s OK to leave for family and marriage.
3. It’s OK to leave a church if you have moved too far away to conveniently drive to your church.
4. It’s OK to leave if you cannot follow the church’s leadership.
5. It’s OK to leave if heresy is being preached.
Sonsken even mentions that unethical practices like abuse are reasons to leave, though not the norm for the majority of church swapping.
The reasons Sonsken gave are no cause for disagreement, and I’m sure his book Quit Church probably better articulates them.
Where I want to add my two sense on the matter is that I disagree with his assessment sermon quality is not a biblical reason for changing churches. The supposition that sermon quality is inherently a result of the person treating church like an object of consumption, as Sonsken suggests is not true. I believe sermon quality is an umbrella term for several reasons for not liking a Sunday message.
Too often people leave a church because of disagreement, not getting their way, or because the sermons are no longer deep enough. Often when we dig into the reason the sermons are not deep enough, it ultimately goes back to the person being offended or not having their faulty theologies endorsed from the pulpit. The same pastor who was previously deep enough becomes shallow once there is an offense. It’s incredibly difficult to hear from God in a sermon when we are offended by the person delivering the sermon.
This is true in many cases. A sin that is personal gets preached on and the offended party leaves. I don’t deny this to be the case. But I believe we should look deeper into the current trends of worship and focus on the mission of the church.
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-21 ESV
The church is to preach the gospel, but people accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior is only part of the mission. The Church is tasked with making disciples. The church is meant to teach. Not every follower is at the same level in their spiritual maturity or theological depth. Some churches, larger churches in particular dumb down the bible. In public education, this would be seen as lowering the bar. In church this practice could hold back believers in their growth. Small groups are a way to supplement this, and every church should employ bible study as a means to grow discipleship.
Many churches now are focused on metrics. This can lead to theologically watered down sermons and worship. Why risk offending that person who may leave with a sermon? But if a church is more focused on using a Sunday message to give a motivational speech using an out of context passage, what does it matter if they are doctrinally sound (in their written beliefs)?
There are a lot of heretical churches in America. We have issues like gay marriage to separate the sheep from the goats. But what about the sheep that suck? If a church has the right doctrine but is more focused on metrics than the power of the Holy Spirit, their head is in the wrong place. So it is biblically sound to change churches so that your head to remains in the right place.
That is not treating church like a consumer product. That is treating church like one’s means to grow spiritually, better recognizing the mission of the Great Commission.
That is my $.02 on the matter. I hope I added some meaningful word to this topic.
This post was originally publishd on Startup Christ. Startup Christ is a website for business and theology articles and columns.
Video: So, You Think You’re Tolerant?
Leftists like to fancy themselves as being tolerant and Liberal, but they fall way short in both qualities.
Leftists will tell you that they are the most tolerant people who have ever lived, they will also scream at you for being a racist, xenophobic troglodyte if you happen to mention that you’re a conservative. They are supposedly ‘Liberal’, being in favour of Liberty while demanding it’s polar opposite – socialism.
Yes, if there is one constant in the universe, its that Leftists cannot be honest about who they truly are. This is what we love about our wonderful opponents on the nation’s socialist Left, for they are nothing like another group that went by the same nomenclature who also screamed at people in the streets with the motto: Common Good Before Individual Good. [Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz]
But let’s not talk about the epithets they project on their enemies, let’s talk about how they get along with everyone who just happens to agree with everything they say. A new PragerU video featuring Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report looked at who is really tolerant. He is a true Liberal that discovered that it is actually the Pro-Liberty Right that is more tolerant, go figure.
Jul 9, 2018
Are you tolerant? You probably think so. But who is tolerant in America today? Is it those on the left, or those on the right? In this video, Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report analyzes this question and shares his experience.