Truth and Consequences

I continue to be troubled by the death of Otto Warmbier.  Perhaps it is because I have a son who is equally adventurous, and perhaps he was as reckless at 22.  It may be because I am writing a book these days on the Communist treachery that destroyed millions of innocent people in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.   I don’t know why I am so troubled by the death of a child I never met, but I have wakened up in the night gripped by the horror of it.

Journalists of all stripes have wanted to explain the why without crossing the line of respect for the deep grief of a promising life snuffed out.  Some have dared to say he was foolish for going to North Korea…perhaps.  His parents should have had tighter rein…maybe…President Obama should have done more to get him out…yes.  These do not address the tragedy too late to resolve.

If some good could come out of a loss so great, it could be that a million parents would awaken to the fact that our institution of education failed Otto Warmbier.  And the lack of truth and understanding killed him.  Our children are being lied to.  Ask your high school senior, and they will quote this party line:  Godless, atheistic Communism is just another form of government morally equal to our own.  Government can provide community and a social order where there is no poverty.  Equality means that those who work and are extremely gifted to produce must be equal with those who are unwilling and incompetent.  Don’t keep score.  Keep the economic outcome for the masses equal.  America has oppressed the world because she became too prosperous.  Karl Marx declared that dictatorship was necessary to have a classless society.  Mass murder is justified for the greater good.  Religion must be wiped out to give government absolute authority.  Morality is completely situational, relative, and defined by government.

The evil of communism speaks for itself, but our children have been taught nothing about its dangers.  The Black Book of Communism should be required reading for every College freshman.  The grisly details of death and destruction leave the reader punched in the gut.  Communism in the 20th century is a story of deliberate starvation, forced labor camps, deportation to certain death, lethal medical experiments, and gas chambers, firing squads, and thousands buried alive in mass graves.

  • 65 million in the Peoples Republic of China
  • 20 million in the Soviet Union
  • 2 million in Cambodia
  • 2 million in North Korea
  • 7 million in Ethiopia
  • 5 million in Afghanistan
  • 1 million in the Eastern Bloc
  • 1 million in Vietnam
  • 150,000 in Latin America

One thing is certain.  Otto Warmbier did not expect a brutal communist government to act like a brutal communist government.  I have children and grandchildren for whom it is not too late.  Otto’s death has strengthened my resolve to proclaim the historic evidence that America’s foundation, based on the principles of the Old and New Testaments, has brought us prosperity, liberty, and justice.  Is there corruption, and abuse of power?  You betcha.  But you are blind to it without the truth of where we began, and you have no solutions if the siren song of Communism is ringing in the ears of our children in the murky halls of American education.


About thegriefexperience

I have recently published a book for grieving people called Comfort and Joy available at my website, I received my Doctor of Education degree from the University of Louisville, and also hold a Master of Science degree and a Physician Assistant degree. I lived as a short term missionary in Swaziland, South Africa, prior to my life as a grief coach and author. My story is about the fact that I am an expert in grief, learning through the goodness of God to navigate a life of sudden turns and repeated trauma that brought grief and loss. I have learned about grief as an unwilling student in a life shaken by sudden death, suicide, and devastating illness. I have been widowed three times, and have raised five children in the midst of earthquake life changes. I have counseled, written and taught classes on The Grief Experience because it is what I have learned well. No amount of education or theory prepares you for multiple experiences of death and loss. But I have found healing in Jesus Christ who is the only One who has conquered death. What He has done for me, He will do for you. Visit my blog at
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