Saturday, March 17, 2012

I can't not offer my response.

In the last few hours, Jason Russell made the news again, apparently having had a mental breakdown. Please educate yourselves on the situation and stay up to date. I've been seeing a lot of frustrating comments about it on Facebook, so I would like to offer my response for anyone interested:
I'd like you to think about all of this for a second. Let's assume the worst of Jason Russell. Let's assume that he wants to make Kony famous to make a bunch of money and encourage Kony's cause. Doing something like this would turn the American public against him, just like it seems to have done for you. How would that help these assumed intentions? It can't. These actions can only hurt his cause. Therefore, we can only logically assume that they were a non-lucid (or insane) act. 
That being said, this was the official statement offered by Invisible Children:"Jason Russell was unfortunately hospitalized yesterday suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition. He is now receiving medical care and is focused on getting better. The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday. Jason’s passion and his work have done so much to help so many, and we are devastated to see him dealing with this personal health issue. We will always love and support Jason, and we ask that you give his entire family privacy during this difficult time." 
Finally, I'd like to say that even if you feel that Jason Russell is disgusting or a pig, I don't think it's something you should be broadcasting. As followers of Christ, it's our responsibilities to be acting in a loving manner toward all people. We are all sinners, and we all have our short-comings. So, even if he was acting entirely lucidly, these comments aren't something that I think should be posted about him.
Although I will admit that I have had my own struggles with wether or not I will be buying Kony 2012 merchandise, I will not waiver on my decision to fight for the freedom of ALL people.  In this case, that means fighting for the rights of the African people whom Joseph Kony is threatening, enslaving, mutilating, and killing.

I want you to make the same choice too, but I don't want you to make it because I'm suggesting it.  I want you to educate yourselves.  Nothing is worse than a bunch of people doing something simply because they're told to.  If you do that, you're no better off than the children whom Kony has brainwashed, and then I'll need to be fighting for your freedom too.  No, go out and read the critiques and the supporting articles.  Watch the Kony 2012 film and, especially watch the original Invisible Children film.

As for me, I'll be busy praying for Russell, praying for the children in Africa (many of whom are, at this moment, waking up in houses stuffed to overflowing with young children in an attempt to protect them from Kony), and even praying for Kony himself.  I will of course, also be busily preparing for April 20.

I hope you will join me in doing all of these things, regardless of how you feel about Russell or Invisible Children, because, the fact remains that Joseph Kony is out there, terrorizing and destroying lives, and he's doing it relatively secretly.  This cannot be allowed to continue.  The world must be awakened to what is happening.  We CANNOT allow this to persist.

For a while, I thought, "There's nothing I can do.  Eventually, Kony will die, and, hopefully, the LRA will with him."  But, if we believe this, we have learned nothing from the deaths of men like Osama bin Laden and Kim Jong Il.  Kony's death will not end the LRA, nor will it protect Africa's children.  Violence cannot bring about peace, just like darkness cannot bring about light.  It can only be through the trial and jailing of Joseph Kony that we can BEGIN to restore these people to life.

I know that's quite a sentence to just leave dangling, but it's explanation is another story for another time, my friends.

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