Out of Africa

The other week President Obama announced that he was sending 100 US Military Advisors into Africa to assist a few nations deal with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), and it didn’t take long for some of his opponents to jump at this.  However, it was probably radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh’s comment that probably got me to address this issue.  His comment that Obama had sent our troops in to “kill Christians in Africa.”  (I encourage you to read the Washington Post article HERE that includes a video response from a woman that was kidnapped by the LRA.  I warn you that the video is a bit strong, but the message is clear, and I encourage you to watch and listen.)

So let me deal with this first… what is the Lord Resistance Army (LRA)?  And where does it operate?  For most Americans, this is the first time they’ve ever heard of it.  The LRA is a militarnt group with Christian and traditional African religious ideology.  It operates in South Sudan (see post on this new nation), the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, and has its headquarters in northern Uganda.  It is led by a man by the name of Joseph Kony who sees himself as a “spokesman” for God and a spiritual medium of the Holy Spirit.  (You can read all about the LRA on Wikipedia, and I encourage you to do so.)

The reason why I’m letting you look into the LRA is because I’m focusing the post on Rush’s comment.  He’s acting like this is a Muslim vs. Christian conflict, and it’s not.  This is a situation where we have a militant group, the LRA, that is committing crimes against humanity which include murder, abduction, mutilation, sexual enslavement of women and children, and forcing children in hostilities.  We’re basically just a step off complete genocide taking place.  It just so happens, though, that this militant group (or terrorist group… as it is terrorizing the local populations) is based on Christianity instead of Islam.  It makes me wonder what Rush would have said if the group was Islamic-based rather than Christian-based.  It’s no surprise that Rush Limbaugh is anti-Obama… anti-Democrat… the left is always wrong and the right is always right.  Unfortunately, that kind of political thinking can usually get someone into more trouble than it’s worth, and it’s no surprise that even Rush, himself, hadn’t done any research on the LRA before foaming off at the mouth.

Rush still thinks that Obama is a Muslim and is pro-Muslim despite the fact its been proven time and time again that the President is a Christian.  So that would make us a Christian-nation with a Christian-President going off to help other countries (that may or may not be Christian-based) kill other Christians.  Make sense?  He acts as though this is the first time we’ve gone up against other Christians or something.  I would encourage Rush to take an American History class… or just let me teach him a few things.  In recent years, our wars have been against Muslim nations (Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, etc.), but in the majority of our history, we have fought wars against other Christians.  We have fought two world wars against countries in Europe that were Christian-based, though we might not have acknowledged it at the time (with the exception of the Ottoman Empire in WWI and Japan in WWII).  We have fought wars with Spain and Mexico that are both Christian-based nations.  We fought two wars against England, the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, and England is still a Christian nation.  And we even fought a civil war amongst ourselves… two different sides of the same Christian nation.  So this is not something new.  And just like those wars that I just mentioned, this new action of ours against the LRA has nothing to do with its religion but rather the actions this group is taking.

I know some of this can be difficult to fathom.  In the last decade, we’ve been led to believe that all Christians are good (which includes Christian-based nations) and that all Muslims (or Islamic-based nations) are bad.  And it’s hard to think outside of this realm that has been beaten into our subconscious by our politicians and the media.  But when we allow ourselves to go beyond what we are made to believe and look at history and look into each situation as it arises (and do your actual research), one can quickly discover that there are good and bad on every side.  Yes, that means there are good Christians and there are bad Christians.  In this case, the LRA would be an example of bad Christians… twisting the belief to fit them, and its leader making himself a false medium of the Holy Spirit.  Its leader, Joseph Kony, needs to captured (not killed) and hauled in front of the international court to answer for his crimes against humanity.

Stephen R. Covey once said, “We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.”  This issue of sending US military advisors to central Africa to help battle the LRA and bring Joseph Kony (amongst others) to justice has nothing to do with religious ideology.  It has to deal with morality and our sense of humanity.  If we sit here and speak out against others that attempt to bring terror upon us, then should we not hold others to the same account who are wishing to bring terror among other people?  Are we to wait until actual genocide is taking place before we act and then admit that we should have acted sooner?  Truth be told, we’ve waited too long as it is already.  International action should have already taken place.  We’ve made baby steps over the years toward some kind of involvement, but this is the first step that has actually put “American boots” on the ground.  This is an affair that the United Nations should also be involved with as it is pertaining to four sovereign countries.  Once again, because this is Africa, the world is dragging its feet and turning a blind eye.  The old motto “Out of sight, out of mind” continuously comes back into play in regards to anything happening on the African continent.

This is a moral issue for me… a human issue, and it is one that I believe cannot be ignored any longer.  The LRA and its leader, Joseph Kony, need to be stopped and brought to justice before the international community (and before the people in the nations they have continually terrorized) for their crimes against humanity.  And as for Rush Limbaugh and his comment on this matter, I would suggest that he do some research before he starts foaming off at the mouth on a particular subject.  It might help save some embarrassment later.

VIDEO LINK:

http://vimeo.com/30727317  Warning, the video is quite strong and for a mature audience.  This is the video response from a woman that was kidnapped by the LRA, and she recorded this in response to Rush Limbaugh’s comments.  (You can also see the video in the Washington Post article HERE.)

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2 Responses to Out of Africa

  1. Terry S. says:

    Nice job, son.

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