Kony captured!

Sorry for the psych out.  I’ll be honest—I’m looking for people to read this and learn about this Kony/LRA/Invisible Children thing.

You’ve heard about this, right?  The LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army), that is led by Joseph Kony, has been traveling in Uganda, Sudan, and Congo for 26 years spreading misery, rape, disfigurement, and warfare wherever they go.  The LRA exists solely to provide power to Kony.  Sex slavery and child abduction to feed the LRA’s constant need for soldiers.

tumblr m0hw95Pl171qfl1uao1 500 UNATION Shares the Story of KONY 2012

{It kills me that the word “Lord” is in this, regardless that their actions smack absolutely nothing of Jesus of Nazareth.}

You’ve probably also heard about the charity/advocacy organization called Invisible Children (www.invisiblechildren.com) and all of the criticism their currently receiving for supporting Kony’s capture.

Tangent Time.

In sixth grade, I was the “new kid” at my junior high school.  Like most 12 and 13 year olds, I was desperate to fit in.  Even more so, I was frantic to be sure that I didn’t get picked on—like most 12 and 13 year olds.

Enter Preston.

Preston was a socially awkward kid—just like most of us—except we could smell a little bit more weakness on Preston.  People started giving Preston a hard time (I think because of his oversize glasses, which hipsters would love now).  I jumped all over that bandwagon because it meant I wasn’t the one getting picked on.  (That trend still continued, however.)

I was a bully to Preston.  (And some other folks.  Still needing to track them down and apologize…)

End of Tangent Time.

Joseph Kony is a bully on an international level.  This is important stuff we need to pay attention to because this is happening to human beings and we are, typically, human beings.

Invisible Children exists to raise awareness to stop Kony and the LRA.  On March 5, they released a 30 minute video on YouTube.  Since then, it’s gone viral with everyone from Rihanna to Oprah talking about this—and now has over 71 million views since Monday the 5th.  {This stat is now OLD.}  They have sent correspondence to Obama outlining their desire for Kony’s arrest.

And now Invisible Children is getting a lot of flack.  The criticism gets leveled at them for their spending habits and questionable use of facts portrayed in their media.  There are even super smart foreign political analysts proposing that Invisible Children’s efforts are misguided at best or negative to central Africa’s political climate at worst.

We need to be informed of both sides of the debate.  (It’s sad that this has turned into a debate when children are being mutilated, dehumanized, raped, and murdered.)  So if you’re still interested, read on.

 This critique raises some good points, but Invisible Children seems to do a good job of defending their budget.  I’m not in finances and don’t know how a global charity could work at cutting costs better.  However, a good question for everyone to answer might be, “What price can we put on human suffering?”  If IC’s spending habits pays off (and the moolah’s not getting squandered or is personal gain)….  Someday, will we look back and care how much was spent and a video went viral or be grateful that this Kony dude got stopped?

There is so much to wade through with everyone’s critiques of Invisible Children’s practices and strategies to help this crisis.

For me, I guess it boils down to this:

Kony is wanted on 33 separate criminal charges, including 12 counts of crimes against humanity, following a hearing at the International Criminal Court in 2005.

Other charges include murder, child enslavement, and rape.  The U.S. has named Kony as one of the world’s most wanted terrorists after being on the run for over 26 years.

The militant is believed to have overseen the guerrilla group’s abduction of an estimated 66,000 children, forcing them to become child soldiers.

Did you notice that he’s wanted by the International Criminal Court?!?

Back to my post’s headline.  I hope it becomes a reality for Kony to come to justice and for the children of Africa to have one less ruthless man to worry about.  When you get down to it, if the children of this region half a world away are God’s children, then they’re a part of our family, too.

Let’s stop the debating and get to the arresting.  Then our international community is going to have to start focusing on the reconciliation and restoration that all of those families need.

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About Brian Swanson

Christ follower. Screw up. Stained with grace. Ruined by Jesus.
This entry was posted in Invisible Children, politics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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