Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Kony 2012

Today was a rain day and I used the day for a lot of on-line study in addition to things that I actually needed to do. But trying to be aware is also of value. Isn’t it? Sometimes I do wonder whether it is worthwhile, but it seems to be of value.

Most of my afternoon was focused upon comments regarding the Kony 2012 video and movement. It seems that many people are becoming active in promoting the video and buying the propagandist paraphernalia.

Previous to today almost everything that I have read about this movement was of negative reactions. But I saw on some Facebook pages some excited and positive reactions from people dear to me, especially some very young ones.

As is the way with Facebook, very little actual information was available, but lots of emotional hyperbole.

So I went on-line to learn more. I watched some impressive and in-depth reporting. I also watched the reactions of at least a half dozen Ugandans. One video showed the reaction of people in Northern Uganda when they were exposed to the video. Their reaction was the most impressive as it was the most negative. The people actually living in Uganda had the strongest negative response. Most of the people in America with direct ties to Uganda also reacted negatively with one lady who was formerly a Kony sex slave reacting positively to the Invisible Children video. All of the rest were of a general negative sentiment, some very strongly so.

I really did not want to watch the Invisible Children video, but felt compelled to see it for myself to try to understand the reactions. I very much identified with the expressed negative sentiments. I sensed the reasons for which those who knew the Uganda story personally reacted negatively to this video.

But rather than to respond to these people’s expressed sentiments, perhaps I should encourage people to listen and watch them. Rather than speaking from the Ugandan perspective, I will speak from the perspective of a far removed American, far removed because I have no actual personal ties or experience with their plight.

But as an American I also have a negative reaction to the video. I do not perceive it as genuine.

There are many things about this propagandist material that trouble me.

First is the fact that it is not our place to meddle in the affairs of another country. What makes the USA imagine herself in a position to do for others what she does not do for herself?

What about our invisible children?

According to the video somewhere over thirty thousand children were kidnaped and enslaved during Kony’s 26 years of terror. Thirty thousand versus over a million children killed every year in America. More than fifty-six million babies have been treated as invisible in America. And what of the unending cycle of divorce that is promoted in America and the lifelong injuries that the children endure on account of watching their families torn to pieces? What of the millions of children subjected to the abuses of poverty and homelessness and parents who abuse drugs? What of the fact that our children are encouraged to be promiscuous and to lose themselves to casual sexual encounters? What of the many rapes and murders that occur everyday in our cities?

Do we not have plenty of our own issues to correct before we seek to transgress into other countries to fix their troubles with military intervention? Furthermore, how many times has the US intervened, beginning with the sending of military “advisors” and then thousands of troops, with the result of years of turmoil and bloodshed? Will we ever learn?

And of the celebrities who have been engaged by this program, who are they to speak of peace and caring relationships? Of the most well known and active among them, have they not acquired their fame and fortunes through movies that promote robbery and deception and subterfuge and murder and assassinations and espionage and violence and drug and alcohol abuse? And in their personal lives, where is the example of commitment and love and peace and harmony? Yet these people have the audacity to presume to tell the people of Uganda how to obtain what they do not exhibit in their own lives and careers!

And those who watch this Invisible Children video then imagine that they should feel good about their tweeting and twittering about in cyberspace and buying tee shirts and other paraphernalia from which the promoters make a handsome income as if these things make a true and genuine difference. How typical of us Americans! In the meantime our own politicians are burying our Constitution under the rubble of 9-11 and are pillaging our treasury and making paupers and homeless people out of hard working people and their families. Pension funds are being raided and bank accounts are being depleted while the banksters make their plans for invading Uganda and other countries in Africa and around the world.

Should this really be cause for pride? Our own country is being demolished all around us. Our Constitution is being ignored and undermined. NATO and the UN and other International usurpers are taking control of our laws and our money and are doing the same throughout the world. TSA is molesting innocent people and even children, harassing us to the point that we are afraid even to travel to visit family and to conduct business. More and more we act as helpless sheep in our own country, and then we pretend to be the saviors of people in far away lands, saviors who applaud the sending of even more guns and violence to these already troubled lands.

Should the Ugandans be thankful to us? Should they be glad to consider that we are urging our military to be sent to their country and perhaps to establish a new Department of Homeland Security and a new TSA in Uganda?

Or should they be saying, “Mind your own business and let us do the same! Clean up your own messes and don’t come to our country bringing your troubles with you!”?

I don’t know. But it seems clear to me that we really should deal with the monsters in our own country before we imagine that we should assume responsibility for the comparatively insignificant bullies in far away lands.

As I listen and watch the comments of the Ugandans I am left with the impression that perhaps that is what we really should be doing. After all, who has faced more and endured more? Perhaps we should be asking them how they have prevailed in the face of all of their troubles, troubles that often were imposed upon them by foreigners. They have endured war and torture and tyranny and poverty. Perhaps they have some valuable lessons to teach us and perhaps we should be learning from them.

For my part, I am very impressed with what I heard and observed today from their videos. Most of them exhibited considerable humility and patience even though they may well have cause for frustration and even anger. They expressed gratitude for people’s concern and good intentions even though they had cause for impatience and for feeling insulted. I heard them express gentleness and respect for others. I heard people who were very articulate and wise.

Yes, indeed, I believe that I learned some things and gained from watching and listening today. Moreover, as I watched and listened I felt my heart grow nearer to the people of Uganda and Africa and other parts of the world, too.

From the Invisible Children video I believe that the thing that struck me the most deeply and positively was Jacob’s expression of his confidence in heaven and his hope of the blessings that awaited him in heaven. I wondered where he learned of this and I marveled at what at least seemed to me to be a very confident profession of faith in the mercy of the Lord. While it seems unlikely that I will meet Jacob during this age of this earth, I do look hopefully to see him and his brother in the age to come. As I ponder this wonderful vision, I also realize the importance of continual prayer for men like Kony, that perhaps their hearts also will be converted to receive God’s forgiveness and peace and life forevermore. How wonderful it would be to see Joseph Kony converted so that he laid down his guns and the pretense of leading the Lord’s Resistance Army so that he could be embraced as a brother in the Lord’s kingdom of mercy and peace rather than seeing him hunted down and slaughtered as the vicious dog he now appears to be.

In closing, I realize that many will likely mock such thoughts and sentiments as I have expressed. But such is the way of the Christian faith. The Lord’s justice is found in the preaching of Christ crucified for us sinners so that we should be declared righteous with His righteousness and that forgiveness be received in the place of what we have deserved according to our own miserable choices and ways. The Gospel is the preaching of God’s love to us in Christ Jesus. God’s love changes men’s hearts. Saul of Tarsus is as splendid of an example as we can hope to see, Saul who was converted to be made to be Paul, the apostle to the gentiles. If Kony were to experience such a conversion, many more children would be rescued and freed than through any military action. Such shall continue to be my prayer.

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