I wouldn’t be surprised to see my twitter/blogger following decrease after I post this, but I do hope that you will please thoroughly read it before either commenting or “unfollowing” me.
I watched the Kony 2012 video yesterday and was heartbroken by the reality of our world, but I also became very concerned about the viral reaction.
You see, I’ve known about Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army for a very long time.
Yesterday, I was disgusted by number of people who watched that video and suddenly considered themselves knowledgeable and passionate about the subject.
If yesterday was the first time that you had ever heard about Kony and the LRA, then frankly, you’ve had your head in the sand. And you’ve had it there for almost 30 years.
I think it’s a wonderful thing that Invisible Children is trying to broadcast this message, and I think it’s a wonderful thing that people were moved by that message. But my question is, what effect is it really going to have?
Americans often believe that by simply becoming “passionate or excited” about an issue, that we can change the world.
Lemme tell ya something: it doesn’t work that way.
Americans also believe that opening their checkbooks can change the world.
Lemme tell ya something else: it doesn’t work that way.
My biggest concern is that people will watch this video, feel pricked in their hearts, donate to Invisible Children, and then feel like they’ve done something great.
My second concern is the call for military support by the United States.
Do you realize that you are calling for war?
Do you realize the magnitude of that statement?
War may in fact be the only way to capture Joseph Kony, but I challenge you to take the time to really put yourself in their (innocent Africans) shoes before you begin writing letters to your congressmen.
If our government sends more military support (they have already sent drones), there will be increased bloodshed. In the meantime, you and I will still sit comfortably at home, never understanding the reality of our call for war.
So my challenge to you….
1. Support Invisible Children’s ad campaign in the US. Share the video.
2. Research ways to help fund the rehabilitation of child-soldiers in Uganda.
There are several well-established programs in Uganda who have been working with the
people longer than Invisible Children. Workers on the ground say that these programs actually
have a better hands-on record than Invisible Children. This is not to say that Invisible Children is
not doing a wonderful job, but that their reach may not be as wide.
3. Arm yourself with more information about the LRA and Joseph Kony before calling for military aid.
Uganda successfully destroyed the LRA network within the country in 2006. The LRA fled into neighboring countries. The misconception is that the LRA “grew” into these countries. In reality, the LRA is weaker than
it has been in 30 years.
4. Understand that there are men like Joseph Kony all over the world.
Don’t end your feel-good mission with Kony. There are people across the world who are struggling with fear and oppression under evil people.
As a Christian, I believe that prayer is the most powerful tool in our arsenal.