Thursday, March 08, 2012

The KONY 2012 Campaign


The last few days I have begun to notice the name "Kony" appearing in various places. I have to admit that I didn't know what this "Kony" was all about. I thought it must either be some sort of fashion brand or fragrance or something of a political campaign. This morning I came across a video from the organization Invisible Children that explains the campaign. The video is about 30 minutes long but is worth taking time to watch.

Joseph Kony is a rebel warlord in Uganda that has been responsible for kidnapping and conscripting some 30,000 children to fight in his LRA (Lord's Resistance Army). This guy is about as bad as scumbags come. The Kony 2012 campaign is based on the idea of making Kony famous so that the international pressure to find him and bring him to justice won't let up. The video explains this idea more so I won't go into that much detail here. I will say that the campaign worked in raising my awareness. I watched the video this morning with my son Ezra.

My initial thoughts are that this is a good cause to back because it is not simply anti-war in an abstract way but rather focused on a specific situation with a specific plan. The strategy to make Kony famous is quite creative as well by turning the tables on this wicked leader.

What do you think?
Is this a worthy cause?
Is this a good strategy to take or does making him famous send the wrong message entirely?
If you disagree then what would you propose to do to deal with Kony?


greenturtle said...

I've seen stuff all over facebook about Kony in the past few days, as everyone else has.

Many people are claiming that this video is propaganda.

I don't personally have enough information about both sides to form a solid opinion, although we all can agree that kidnapping and conscripting children is wrong.

And in no way do I think this isn't really happening. But allegedly, the funds you donate to this "cause" aren't really going to the "cause".

Don't take my word for it though. Do a search on "truth about Kony", "kony scam" etc, and read for yourself.

LBerteau said...

Propaganda and scam allegations aside, I've been wrestling with the question "should Christians be involved in something like this?" ever since I saw the video last week. What a big question.

This organization (and others like it) have as a goal to achieve justice. I don't think any Christian would disagree that what Kony is doing is wrong and that justice would be served if he were no longer in a position of power. Moral wrongs and the outcries for justice that accompany them are heard by God and his church, but what is our role?

I keep thinking about Jesus healing the Roman soldier and warning Peter about taking up the sword. As I understand it, the lesson Jesus is teaching here is that the Kingdom of God is not present when evil is repaid with evil. Moreover, in the past few years, I’ve come to believe that our primary calling is changed hearts, not changed laws or changed behavior. Because of that, although I think we should vote (because having a say in how the government operates is a good thing), political involvement has become meaningless to me. We should never confuse a good or even righteous cause with the one whose nature defines righteousness. That is the center from which hearts and minds are transformed and ultimately what informs the behavioral choices people make. That is the business we’re in, so to speak.

When you talk about bringing a man down, using military strategy and tactics, you’d have to believe that people will be killed in the execution of such a plan. While this plan would prevent many deaths, should Christians be a party to repaying evil with evil? As I said, it’s a big question, and as of today I’m just not sure.

Crispin Schroeder said...

I think you have really raised a very valid point. Maybe the question ought to be whether Christians can ever pursue this kind of action. While I have heard many questioning the motives and methods of the organization who put the film together, I have not heard any Christians raising the question that you are raising. Thanks for bringing this one up.

greenturtle said...

I still don't know everything about it but I'm understanding that some are proposing military action to overthrow Kony.

Which opens a huge can of worms-- our society is very divisive on the war issue. As in, should we send our troops to meddle in affairs that don't affect us, or is it our duty to enforce justice around the world?

I'm not necessarily "anti war." Unfortunately there are some cases where it has to happen; The only way to have "world peace" is to have a "world dictatorship." I wonder if that's what Revelation is talking about, when it mentions 1000 years of peace.

But you just have to keep in mind that any time there is military action, innocent people are going to die too.

Which is why I roll my eyes when I see bumper stickers that say "Free Tibet."

Because those same people are almost certainly anti-war, and exactly HOW are you going to "Free Tibet" without some kind of military action, in which innocent people are going to be killed?

By using "talk therapy?" No, that doesn't seem to work, sorry. Otherwise we'd have used that with the Taliban.

So whether christians should be involved in war or not, unfortunately I don't have an answer.