Make Kony Famous! {Video}

Via Roger Wolsey
on Mar 7, 2012
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“Kony 2012.”

One of the college students I work with at the campus ministry I serve sent me this superbly made video clip. She—and millions of other young adults around the world—are helping to stop a despicable warlord from abducting over 30,000 children. He is forcing the boys to kill their parents and fight as child soldiers, and forcing the girls to serve as sex slaves.

These passionate young adults will only succeed if they can convince U.S. leaders to keep our military advisers in Uganda.

It’s up to us.

Watch this.


(it’s the most important 30 minutes you’ll spend online this year)

Then, like  Invisible Children on Facebook.

Then, contact your elected officials and tell them to keep our military advisers in Uganda to help them arrest Joseph Kony by the end of this year.

Jacob, Gavin, and my son Andrew thank you.

We can do this—and we must.

Rev. Roger Wolsey


Editor: Kate Bartolotta



About Roger Wolsey

Roger Wolsey is a free-spirited GenX-er who thinks and feels a lot about God and Jesus. He’s a progressive Christian who identifies with people who consider themselves as being “spiritual but not religious.” He came of age during the “Minneapolis sound” era and enjoyed seeing The Replacements, The Jayhawks, Husker Du, The Wallets, Trip Shakespeare, Prince, and Soul Asylum in concert—leading to strong musical influences to his theology. He earned his Masters of Divinity degree at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO. Roger is an ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church and he currently serves as the director of the Wesley Foundation campus ministry at C.U. in Boulder, CO. He was married for ten years, divorced in 2005 and now co-parents a delightful 10-year old son. Roger loves live music, hosting house concerts, rock-climbing, yoga, centering prayer, trail-running with his dog Kingdom, dancing, camping, riding his motorcycle, blogging, and playing his trumpet in ska bands and music projects. He's recently written a book Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don't like christianity


33 Responses to “Make Kony Famous! {Video}”

  1. Jill Barth says:

    Thanks for drawing our attention to this.

  2. Tracy Owens says:

    I’m saddened and motivated all at the same time. I will begin the process in my local area and blanket everywhere I can to get the word out. Thank you for posting this video- it has changed my plans for the future.

  3. Thank you thank you thank you so much for sharing this! I am going to spread this far and wide.

  4. Mark Ledbetter says:

    Thanks for bringing Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army to our attention. The horror here goes beyond words.

    But… “Then, contact your elected officials and tell them to keep our military advisers in Uganda” ???

    Contacting elected officials is appropriate if you support the American military machine and its mission in the world. But if you do not, asking them to keep “advisors” in Uganda is not the right response.

  5. Tamilyn says:

    The Invisible Children Facebook page link in this article is the wrong one..

    This is the real one

  6. Thanks Tamilyn! I'll add in the correct link.

  7. jojolalala says:

    Before you donate your cash do some background research into the organisation that created this video. After spending 8 million dollars a year on film making and admin costs only 32% of the Invisible Children's annual profit ($4 million+) goes to their "charity work" in the form of support and weapons for the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Figure out if that is where you want your money to go, if it isn't find another more peaceful charity that works in Sudan.

  8. anya says:

    i really really dislike supporting anything that invisible children does, i feel that while the kony situation is horrific i really urge people to educate themselves on the cause and what Invisible Children inc.

    if you want to support them after that, thats great.. just make sure you know WHAT your supporting first

  9. a. says:

    The organization behind Kony 2012 — Invisible Children Inc. — is an extremely shady nonprofit that has been called ”misleading,” “naive,” and “dangerous” by a Yale political science professor, and has been accused by Foreign Affairs of “manipulat[ing] facts for strategic purposes.” They have also been criticized by the Better Business Bureau for refusing to provide information necessary to determine if IC meets the Bureau’s standards.

    Additionally, IC has a low two-star rating in accountability from Charity Navigator because they won’t let their financials be independently audited. That’s not a good thing. In fact, it’s a very bad thing, and should make you immediately pause and reflect on where the money you’re sending them is going.

    By IC’s own admission, only 31% of all the funds they receive go toward actually helping anyone [pdf]. The rest go to line the pockets of the three people in charge of the organization, to pay for their travel expenses (over $1 million in the last year alone) and to fund their filmmaking business (also over a million) — which is quite an effective way to make more money, as clearly illustrated by the fact that so many can’t seem to stop forwarding their well-engineered emotional blackmail to everyone they’ve ever known.

    And as far as what they do with that money:

    The group is in favour of direct military intervention, and their money supports the Ugandan government’s army and various other military forces. Here’s a photo of the founders of Invisible Children posing with weapons and personnel of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Both the Ugandan army and Sudan People’s Liberation Army are riddled with accusations of rape and looting, but Invisible Children defends them, arguing that the Ugandan army is “better equipped than that of any of the other affected countries”, although Kony is no longer active in Uganda and hasn’t been since 2006 by their own admission. These books each refer to the rape and sexual assault that are perennial issues with the UPDF, the military group Invisible Children is defending.

    Let’s not get our lines crossed: The Lord’s Resistance Army is bad news. And Joseph Kony is a very bad man, and needs to be stopped. But propping up Uganda’s decades-old dictatorship and its military arm, which has been accused by the UN of committing unspeakable atrocities and itself facilitated the recruitment of child soldiers, is not the way to go about it.

    The United States is already plenty involved in helping rout Kony and his band of psycho sycophants. Kony is on the run, having been pushed out of Uganda, and it’s likely he will soon be caught, if he isn’t already dead. But killing Kony won’t fix anything, just as killing Osama bin Laden didn’t end terrorism. The LRA might collapse, but, as Foreign Affairs points out, it is “a relatively small player in all of this — as much a symptom as a cause of the endemic violence.”

    Myopically placing the blame for all of central Africa’s woes on Kony — even as a starting point — will only imperil many more people than are already in danger.

    Sending money to a nonprofit that wants to muck things up by dousing the flames with fuel is not helping. Want to help? Really want to help? Send your money to nonprofits that are putting more than 31% toward rebuilding the region’s medical and educational infrastructure, so that former child soldiers have something worth coming home to.

    The bottom line is, research your causes thoroughly. Don’t just forward a random video to a stranger because a mass murderer makes a five-year-old “sad.” Learn a little bit about the complexities of the region’s ongoing strife before advocating for direct military intervention.

    There is no black and white in the world. And going about solving important problems like there is just serves to make all those equally troubling shades of gray invisible.

  10. Copying a comment from one of your links for further dialogue:

    "Totally agree that people should read around more and not take the video at face value. BUT

  11. 1) This whole financial problem makes no sense to me, from what I can see all of their accounts are clearly visible on their website with a signed external auditor too. The only issue is that the auditing company wasn’t selected by a committee. The auditors are called Considine & Considine, you can google them yourself to see what you think.

  12. 2) People are criticising the fact that this is going to end in a proper war, which isn’t the case. It’s a campaign to continue the presence of military advisers in Uganda and training people to be able to LOCATE Kony. There may be bloodshed, so it’s a case of letting Kony continue his current campaign (admittedly not EXACTLY the same as the previous one) or attempting to stomp it out now.

  13. 3)31% of the profits have gone into actual charity work so far, whilst 69% has gone into the movies etc -> this has culminated in this WORLDWIDE movement. Maybe that was something to complain about before it happened, but now that it has, they’re not going to spend 69% of the millions that they make on MORE movies. Spending that much on promotion was with expansion in mind, which they’ve now achieved.The real decision people need to make in my opinion is this:

  14. a)Support this cause and utilise Uganda’s military – Obviously may have issues regarding some occurences of rape. However I’d argue that’s a rare situational factor and wouldn’t occur often. Also, it’s not an army of rapists.
    b) Start your own movement for peaceful location and arrest of Kony. Be my guest if you cam be bothered.
    c) Do nothing. Enough said."

  15. Please see my above comments that I have copied and pasted from another online commenter and share your thoughts on that if you will. Thanks.

  16. So is it better that the world NOT know about this man??? Please see the above comments that I have copied and pasted from another online commenter, and share your thoughts on that if you will. Thanks.

  17. elephantjournal says:

    The Problem with Invisible Children & the KONY 2012 video:

  18. Mark Ledbetter says:

    Clearly, there’s lots going on here that we in the well-fed West are unaware of.

    Well-fed and well-armed West.

    Well-fed, well-armed, and pious West.

    That’s a dangerous combination. When we see evil-doers we want to do what we can and that often means send in the army. Before you know it, we are in a quagmire of conflict, contradiction, and ancient history about which we are clueless.

    How many times has it happened before?

    “a.” above seems to have a pretty good understanding of the situation and a pretty good sense of what (little tho it is) we can do to help. And it doesn’t include sending in the army.

  19. […] Make KONY Famous? Yes. Riveting video? Yes. […]

  20. Roger Wolsey says:

    Mark, 1. No one is asking for the U.S. to send in it's Army, merely military advisers. Huge difference.
    2. It was military special ops, recon, intell, and tactics that led to the capture of Osama Bin Laden.
    3. Your pious rhetoric is vapid and moot unless you've got some better recommendation for how we should be responding. If not, please stop commenting on this thread. Doing nothing is not an option.

  21. Roger Wolsey says:

    For the record, I didn't ask folks to donate to that charity in my blog. I do urge people to write to their elected leaders however and provided a link to help people to do so. While the charity that made this film may be faulty, their message is not. And they made one heck of a fine video. It's had over 26million visits on the net. Not too shabby. I personally doubt if any of the folks involved in that charity are seeking to get rich from this venture. I do think they'd be delighted to see Kony arrested within the year… and that they'd be fine not making dime one in the process.

  22. Mark Ledbetter says:

    Hi Roger. I “ “-ed the word “advisor” in my first post because I had my doubts that ‘advisor’ is what they were. I especially doubted that ‘advisor’ is what they would remain, as tiny American interventions have a history of growing. We started Vietnam with “advisors,” as I recall.

    Your suggestion that I should hold my peace unless I have a better idea for what to do has some merit, I think. But only if you accept basic modern American foreign policy.

    You already know that my perspective is libertarian. You may, therefore, know that that means I don’t accept modern US foreign policy. When libertarians hear liberals or neocons ask what “we” should do about so-n-so problem in so-n-so in so-n-so country (and we hear it daily), the answer is easy. We say…

  23. Mark Ledbetter says:

    The American president is… president of America. Period.

    He is not the “leader of the free world” unless the entire “free world” is given the right to vote for him/her.

    Nor does he have authority in Uganda until Ugandans can vote.

    The barbarity of what seems to be happening in central Africa turns my stomach. I can certainly sympathize with all who believe “we” should “do something” about it, like send in the troops.) In fact, I once believed myself, that we should “do something” when we have the power. However, a rather in depth study of both history and political philosophy, on top of a search for understanding the meaning of Buddha-Jesus have turned me around.

  24. Mark Ledbetter says:

    I don’t talk much here about the Peace (capital P) of Buddha-Jesus, as I don’t feel qualified. I feel very qualified, however, to advocate consistently and constantly for the more mundane version of peace, political peace. Peace between nations. Therefore, I advocate against foreign wars, foreign bases, foreign interventions, and in fact against the entire military-industrial complex that makes all that possible.

    But, hey, Roger! That’s just me. I’m not God. In fact, I’m incredibly far from God. I could easily be wrong on this, and you right.

    And thanks again for this heart-rending but important info.

  25. Roger Wolsey says:

    Mark, some responses:
    1. Granted, we did get sucked into the VietNam quagmire and it did start with with our sending in advisers. But it is a logical fallacy to say that x always leads to y (slippery slope).
    2. So I take it that you're saying we should do nothing about what's going on over there. Should I take it that you'd also have been on the side of the U.S. not intervening in WWII (i.e., seeking to curtail Hitler's pursuit for world domination and the annihilation of the Jews)? Should I take it that you don't feel the U.S. should have gotten involved in preventing the genocide in Rwanda? (If so, you were in the majority on that one as we didn't get involved in it and tens of thousands were slaughtered).
    3. The U.S. is 5% of the the world's population yet we consume over 1/3 of the world's natural resources. In part this is because or nation is so large (due to genocide of native peoples) that we have access to so many resources, and in part is because we are the world's dominant empire and we spend more on our military than nearly all of the other nations in the world do on theirs – combined. Should I take it you're okay with this unjust status quo?
    4. What do you make of the adage "To whom much is given, much is expected"?
    5. I can see how a study of Buddhism might turn one toward moral quietude, but how has your "in depth study of Jesus" turned you away from getting involved with the affairs of others? Didn't Jesus convey that we are in fact our brother's keepers? Jesus sure seemed to give a damn enough to get involved with addressing oppression to the point of causing quite a ruckus in the Temple courtyard.
    6. IMO, you aren't far from God… God is within you.


  26. a. says:

    unclear as to what you mean, bc i only see that you intend to spread this misleading video. yet, i know you want to see women succeed bc i know you've also written some fantastic, uplifting articles. yes, i copied the above bc i researched it, and found a source who knew facts. important.

  27. anyomus says:

    I want to stop kony but i cant he is so evil if i was there i just want to strangle him like a chicken when at the top of the page i saw that little boy holding that gun it made me want to cry and punch kony that rat so so hard with all my strength and i,am very strong we have to stop him somehow i don,t know how but we have to please help them.

  28. Mark Ledbetter says:

    Hi Roger,

    No. 2, I would like to discuss. But it’s a huge topic and I am handicapped by the requirement for short answers on Ele.

    No. 1, it’s a logical fallacy but a historical truth. (Hey, I kept THAT one short!)

    No. 3. Those are my words aren’t they? About genocide and dominant empire and military.

    No. 4. Agree. But I see that as an individual obligation freely chosen. .Govt action is raw power, not choice.

    No. 5. Ditto 4. Except the part about the courtyard. That seems the most human and therefore least likely episode in the story of Jesus. A furious Jesus doesn’t make sense to me.

    No. 6. Agreement, if I could only somehow make it seem more real!

  29. Mark Ledbetter says:

    PS and rewrite…

    You CAN "get involved in the affairs of others" without appealing to govt. Govt. is guns and jails. Govt is the voice of unopposable authority. This is not a tool we should be using.

  30. Mark Ledbetter says:

    I've just been reading through the OTHER Kony thread. As we learn more, I can't help thinking my somewhat flippant "well-fed, well-armed, and pious" comment is looking pretty accurate.

    The desire to do good is essential.

    But the desire to do good in far away places when you have lots of guns and little knowledge is a dangerous game. It is, even, the flip side of imperialism, the other side of the same coin. See Anna's comment on the other thread.

  31. cynthiabeard says:

    Here is something we can all do moving forward:

  32. […] you haven’t been under a rock lately, you’ve probably heard about the Kony 2012 campaign. The video sparked an amazing amount of social media attention, with over 87,000,000 views on […]