Do you know who Joseph Kony is? If you don’t, let me give you a brief resume.
Address: Northern Uganda
Education: Primary school drop out
Marital Status: Polygamous with 27 wives
Children: 42 (that are reported)
Self-styled mystic prophet who believes he is a spirit medium hearing and channeling the voices of dead Chinese generals and many others who tell him to rape, pillage, plunder, and abduct his own people for the sake of a revolution that stands for “righteousness and justice.”
Has successfully established a guerilla movement that has avoided detection, prosecution, or defeat for the past 20 years. Over this timeframe has utilized multiple strategies to abduct and enslave over 20,000 children to serve in his “Lord’s Resistance Army.” These children, i.e. “soldiers”, at 10 to 12 years of age will, upon command, carry out grizzly acts of butchery, murder, gang rape, and other unspeakable atrocities. Has employed witchcraft rituals to brainwash thousands of these innocent young kids to believe such absurdities as any bullet fired at them in the field of battle will turn to water. Has beaten his wives for not having his bath water ready. Has ordered the mutilation and murder of his spouses’ families. Has plundered and attacked hundreds of villages, destroyed thousands of crops and left field upon field fallow and barren. Has accomplished bringing the entire northern regions of his country to a virtual standstill as families cower in fear and thousands of orphans migrate covertly on a daily basis trying to avoid becoming the next front line of “soldiers” in his locust-like “army of God.”
Honors and Citations:
Has attained the noteworthy accomplishment of being indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity which specifically include murder, enslavement, sexual enslavement, rape, cruel treatment of civilians, pillaging, inducing rape, forced enlistment of children into rebel ranks, and “abducting girls to offer them as rewards to commanders.”
References (maybe not positive but they are references):
Tens of thousands of Ugandan youth now officially know as the “invisible children” who are hiding in their country’s wilderness and back alleys in an attempt to avoid Kony’s forced conscription. These elementary school age kids literally sleep in trees at night to avoid being attacked and eaten by hyenas and other wild animals. During the day they turn the tables and try to follow feral dogs so that they can steal their prey in order to have something to eat. These innocent faced beautiful young children are constantly moving from one shadow to another in their attempts to stay alive within some measure of freedom and sanity.
In the fashion of quintessential post-modern constructivism, Kony responds to the International Criminal Court and says “I have done nothing wrong.” He practices a syncretic, Druze-like religion, where he melds together the theology of his liking and thus, serves his megalomania and moral relativism by reciting the Rosary on Sunday, praying the Al-Jummah prayer on Friday, using Witchcraft Monday through Thursday and spending the 30 days of Ramadan fasting.
Okay, I have said it before and I will now say it again. Ideas matter. Ideas have consequences. The mantra of our day that proudly declares “It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as it works for you” just doesn’t work. When you juxtapose our contemporary cultures’ infatuation with cross-cultural “tolerance” against the predictable outcomes of such maniacal evil as that of Joseph Kony, you quickly cringe at the unavoidable conclusion: Non-judgmental tolerance is a ruse. Worldviews are indeed not morally equal. They can’t be. Because if so, we are logically forced to admit that the raping and brainwashing of 10 year olds is indeed fine as long “as it works for you.” If all values are personal, if all virtues are nothing but social constructs, if all morality is the result of an ongoing conversation, if everything we hold to be right and all that we believe to be wrong is nothing more than the result of political power plays and popular vote, if all of this is true (but then again how can you argue anything to be true if nothing is true?) then all you or I can do in response to the cries of the Invisible Children is shrug our shoulders and say “who am I to judge?”
So if you believe in justice, if you want mercy for yourself and seek to be an instrument of it in service to others, if you listen to stories such as that of Joseph Kony and you have any sense of indignation and feel that perhaps you have just looked into the very eyes of evil, then ask yourself this question: Why? In the words of Gatorade, what is “in you” that causes such a reaction? What measure and rule seems to rise up from within and say “No! This is wrong?” Is it simply “what works for you” or is it something a bit stronger and more permanent, something more enduring, immutable and real? Is it possible that what works for Joseph Kony is indeed irrefutably and absolutely wrong because it violates that very thing in your heart that you know to be beyond your opinion or mine or his? Is it possible that tolerance actually has some limits after all and those limits are found at the boundaries of Truth?
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About Dr. Everett Piper
Dr. Piper is the President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. Associated with Chuck Colson’s Breakpoint and Centurions programs, Dr. Piper is the author of "Why I am a 'Liberal' and Other Conservative Ideas" http://www.whyiamaliberal.com/. He has also authored "The Wrong Side of the Door: Why Ideas Matter. Piper is a frequent speaker on Christian education, Biblical worldview, and applied apologetics in both regional and national venues. For more information go to www.okwu.edu or go to www.everettpiper.com .
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