Kony 2012: A Christian's response and responsibility

While it’s true Joseph Kony is a vile and contemptuous man who’s illegal and inhumane activities must be stopped, it’s not wise for Christians to give anything beyond prayer to Invisible Children.

As Christians, we’re responsible for using the wisdom God gave us to appropriate our time, talents and finances only to that which promotes and aids the entire well-being of a person; offering tangible help (e.g. providing food, shelter, clothing, etc.) and spiritual restoration through the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Invisible Children is a secular organization that not only misleads the public, but also promotes physical aid without eternal benefit.

Invisible Children (IC) was founded in 2004 and officially became a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in 2006. IC is located in San Diego, California started by three young filmmakers who traveled to Africa in search of an interesting and compelling story to share. Why they chose Africa and not somewhere here in the United States is not clear, but nonetheless, they traveled, and to their joy, a story was found—the tyranny of Joseph Kony.

Joseph Kony is a self-proclaimed prophet and leader of a band of rebels known as the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) who kidnapped, molested, raped, disfigured and murdered in order to grow their army and retain power. The LRA was formed in 1987 supposedly to fight against the Ugandan government’s perceived injustices upon the Acholi people and to establish and maintain a theocratic society based on the Ten Commandments. Disturbingly, Kony’s tactics vehemently oppose the Ten Commandments rather than keep them.

In IC’s “Kony 2012”, they imply that no one was doing anything until their organization came along. This is simply not true. In 2005, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant of arrest for Joseph Kony, prior to IC’s first film and plea for his arrest. In 2008, President George W. Bush signed a directive providing the Ugandan government with finances and 17 military advisers and analysts in order to capture and disassemble the Lord’s Resistance Army. Unfortunately, this was not a successful mission. However, through this effort, the members of the LRA were dispersed, their terror decreased and Joseph Kony was forced into hiding.

Other questionable activities are Invisible Children’s finances and how they’re allocated. Most of the money is used for salaries, media marketing and travel expenses. Despite what’s portrayed in the video, IC has done very little to actually help the Ugandan people from the devastation that was left by the LRA’s reign of terror.

The Better Business Bureau reports that though they have repeatedly made Wise Giving Alliance requests, Invisible Children has failed to respond.