The United States government must make a formal apology to secure the freedom of two Americans who remain imprisoned in North Korea, North Korean legal experts (try to say that without laughing) said Thursday, October 23rd. Earlier that week North Korea released erstwhile American prisoner Jeffrey Fowle. Fowle, who had not yet been tried in a court, was flown out of North Korea on a U.S. military jet on Tuesday, October 21st, after being detained for six months for leaving a Bible in a nightclub in the city of Chongjin, where he was visiting with a foreign tour group.
Getting Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae out of prison, however, will likely require an official statement of apology and formal request for their release from Washington, according to the two North Korean law experts. Though nothing is known for sure, there is speculation that Miller and Bae were also detained for carrying Bibles and engaging in activity potentially detrimental to the officially atheist state.
Two main points must be brought up here. One: consider what the reaction of former presidents might have been if Americans abroad were detained- let alone imprisoned for 6 months- for the “crime” of carrying a Bible/believing in Christianity? Teddy Roosevelt? Harry Truman? JFK? Ronald Reagan?
Point number two: truth be told, we may soon be imprisoning our own citizens for carrying a Bible or leaving one in a nightclub…and almost surely for “proselytizing.” Already any clergy member that dares cite a Biblical reference that isn’t pro homosexuality, for example, is risking censure…or worse. In Canada these “wayward” priests or pastors can be banned from their pulpits and actually face criminal charges.
Yes, Pyongyang is demanding Washington, D.C. apologize.
What would (our first president, the “Father of Our Country”) Washington, the man, have replied?