Revelations on Revolution
By David Hicks
I want to stop Kony, and I want to do it right. No child should be forced to kill, and the process of stopping such atrocities should be as honorable as the goal itself. I am inspired by people who are passionate, and I am inspired by those who channel their passions in a sophisticated way.
Accordingly, I had to spend some time wrestling with “KONY 2012,” the viral Youtube video sponsored by the organization Invisible Children.
With stunning visuals, touching personal narratives, and epinephrine-producing dubstep (each reinforcing my suspicion that the IC producers are cool in a way that is not of this world), the video labored to convince me that Joseph Kony is evil incarnate. Then, it argued that he could only be stopped if I, an American, a participant of democracy, issued from my fledgling voice a resolute “NO!” and proceeded to vandalize the streets of the nearest major city.
Initially onboard, I was stopped short by the criticisms that soon began circulating the media. I learned that the information in the video was misleading, that IC is a questionable steward of the money they receive, that the activism IC calls for doesn’t allow the Ugandan people to solve their own problems, and that the steps that IC is taking to stop Kony are morally ambiguous themselves.
Gordon students are understandably divided about IC’s program. While I am hesitant to show my support for the organization, I respect those who champion the KONY cause. However, regardless of how one feels about the film, “KONY 2012” provides a good starting point for discussion about how Christians should approach issues of social justice.
While Christians are not free to avoid doing justice, we are free to choose how. Choosing how we are going to get involved in serious moral issues, whether it’s fighting Kony or joining the Occupy campaign for the poor, is fraught with complexity. We live in an intricate world, with complex problems and complicated solutions.
Christians must do their research before aligning themselves with any organization. We must be intentional about understanding what an organization is doing and how they will go about doing it. Finding answers to these questions is not always easy, but it is always necessary.
“KONY 2012” also taught us the huge potential of Generation Z. Movements like KONY and Occupy are social oximeters of our generation’s energetic pulse; we live in an era that wants change, and has the tools to bring it about. Today’s Christians have the power of social media at their fingertips and the ready support of a zealous generation.
Eventually, Kony will be stopped and Occupy will fade. But the lessons we learn from these revolutions will remain important as we maintain and refine our efforts toward social sanctification.