Thursday, March 08, 2012

Guess Who's Back

So, its been about two years since I've used this thing. I don't know if I'll actually pick this up regularly again, but I've seen a lot of reaction around the Kony 2012 video, and wanted to toss in my two cents as well.

1. We'll get to the larger humanitarian considerations later, when I saw the video, I was moved. Jason Russell tells a great story. What I took away from the 30 minute documentary was a reminder that evil is real, and unless we act it will continue to flourish. The videos thesis was that if people knew who Joseph Kony was, there would be a groundswell to bring him to justice. There is evil and injustice and need all around us. I was inspired to again begin to dream about how our youth ministry might meet the needs of our community. I started by contacting the principals of the two schools that are on the same street as my church.

2. I hope the video results in real action. I saw a post on facebook that said "Wearing a Kony bracelet actually does as much to stop him as wearing a pink one does to stop breast cancer." There's a clever term out there called "slactivism", the notion that changing your profile picture or wearing a bracelet (or typing a blog) changes the world. It doesn't. But neither does criticizing all the people you think are just slactivists!

3. If you're interested in thinking about justice more, I would encourage you to check out the following things:

My friend Natalie's blog. She is an International Justice Mission fellow, she is actually on the ground working through the legal system in Uganda working for justice.

When Helping Hurts. A lot of criticism has been aimed at Invisible Children as a charitable organization (who could argue with their cause?). Financial transparency, conflicts of interest in leadership, percentages of budgets and where they go. Perhaps some of this is deserved. I don't know. What I do know, is that confronting evil and advocating for the poor is not simple. "When helping hurts" is an eye-opening, thoughtful discussion of all of these issues.

The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good. A more academic (certainly less spiritual) discussion of the same problems I listed above.

4. This article in the New Yorker by Malcolm Gladwell