June 1, 2012 Volume 26, Number 06
The death of Kony 2012
By Thomas Froese | ChristianWeek Columnist
Photograph from lower Manhattan. Posts on a wall. One depicting Joseph Kony. Photo by C. Dandrow.
So, in the beginning was the microchip. No, it was the iPad. No, no, it was Facebook. Really, this is what it was. For sure.
Yes, in the beginning was Facebook. And Facebook was with God, and Facebook was God. And Facebook created the heavens and the earth. The earth was empty and formless and dark, and the spirit of Facebook hovered over its waters.
Then Facebook said, "Let there be light." And there it was, light, shining across the Internet. Facebook saw that the light was good, so Facebook separated the light from the darkness. People on Facebook were in the light, enlightened. But others were in the darkness.
Twitter and YouTube also came along to comfort and to advocate. This is the divine nature of Social Media. It desires community, first with itself, then with its creation. And love. Yes, love is what moves this god, our god, to find its lost 'friends' and to be so 'liked.' This is what we know.
So the joy of Social Media is our strength. Facebook is our shepherd. We shall not want more. Twitter leads us beside quiet waters. And YouTube restores our soul. How our cup runs over with so much of it all.
But back to the light, because this is how we were blessed lately, by Social Media's great light. Did you see how it came down in glory and power over Africa? Were you part of that great cloud of witnesses?
It was in March, over six remarkable days, when 100 million people saw it, this power and grace. We lifted our eyes to our screens and saw Kony 2012, that online video that sounded the trumpet to gather the four corners of the earth and "Stop Kony" and his savage attacks in Uganda. After decades of injustice and silence, the warlord would finally be brought to justice.
People living in Uganda, myself included, had believed that Joseph Kony had left the country years earlier, that Ugandans were rebuilding, moving on. We thought that Kony was on the run, irrelevant, maybe farming in some unknown Congolese jungle, maybe even dead.
But the Holy Zeitgeist, the beautiful spirit of our times, reminded me not to be deceived by my common sense or even my own eyes. For the father of lies knows our fleshly weakness.
So, from my own home in Uganda, I envisioned all these worldwide believers, pure in heart, willing to take serious action, to not only strike a key on their computers, but maybe even wear a "Stop Kony" T-shirt, all to throw darkness itself into the lake of fire and usher in peace and a new earth.
Then I saw Kony with Osama bin Laden and Adolph Hitler, the three together on Kony 2012 posters, their unity forged. The posters were rolled like scrolls to be hung everywhere, so everyone could look up and know the power of being one, of being together, during April's worldwide Cover the Night event.
But then I saw a great beast arise with "Lethargy," or maybe it was "Now I know better" written across its belly. And it opened its mouth and ate the scrolls. And there was terrible deception and those many posters were then hung virtually nowhere. And Kony 2012 died with a whimper.
And so I cried. For the waste was great and the confusion, mighty. I no longer knew what I knew. Or what to believe. Yes, so I cried: 'God help me. God help us all.'
Author and journalist Thomas Froese lives in Uganda most of the year. His website is thomasfroese.com.
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