It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…No, It’s an E-Book!

Over the last month, I edited an e-book about the critical response to the Kony 2012 campaign. I’m pleased to announce that Beyond #Kony2012: Atrocity, Awareness, and Activism in the Internet Age is out now! Download it here.

Check out the awesome list of contributors: Adam Branch, Daniel Kalinaki, Ayesha Nibbe, Alex Little, Patrick Wegner, Jina Moore, Glenna Gordon, Bec Hamilton, Laura Seay, Alanna Shaikh, TMS Ruge, Sam Menefee-Libey – and Kate and me.

What are you waiting for? Go download it!

Amanda Taub

4 Comments

  1. Another “armchair critic” here, one who will presently be buying this e-book.

    One of the perspectives that I suspect may not be covered in your book is one I’m developing — the nature of Invisible Children, as a “stealth” evangelical ministry. I haven’t yet published all of my findings but can say this; Invisible Children is a “ministry” (it identifies itself as such) which is backed by the hard evangelical right, at the highest levels (see: http://www.talk2action.org/story/2012/4/16/223727/559 ).

    To my mind, this helps explain why Invisible Children, as an effort, seems to neglect many human rights considerations; it is probably more concerned with saving souls than addressing pressing human needs.

    Thanks for producing this.

    Best,
    Bruce Wilson

  2. Hi Bruce,

    Your comment brought to mind the recent article in the Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/04/mission-from-god-the-upstart-christian-sect-driving-invisible-children-and-changing-africa/255626/
    (I thought the article lacked focus and was a bit scatter-shot in its reasoning.)

    Though I am no fan of IC, I do think its a bit unfair to characterize them as more concerned with winning souls than with human rights or “pressing human needs”. To my knowledge, they have clearly stated that their focus is not evangelism (even as quoted in linked article, I believe). As I’m sure you are aware, there are many faith-based and -inspired organizations that do very worthy work, often with great personal sacrifice, on poverty and human rights issues – as do many secular organizations. There are good reasons why people of faith care deeply about poverty and rights issues.

    That being said, if you, as you imply, have come across evidence that IC has been less than genuine in their communication on this matter, I would be very interested in reading it.

    Here’s hoping that we can all get on board with really listening to and effectively addressing the hurt and suffering in our world, no matter what our motivations or personal stories might be!

    • Hi Sam – Thanks for your response. If you follow my link above, which goes to an assortment of writing I’ve done on Invisible Children over the past several weeks, you’ll find my collected findings on the subject. Josh Kron, writing for the Atlantic, referenced some of it (such as my research on IC’s early funding from the hard evangelical right) but since then I’ve unearthed much more.

      I take issue with Kron’s suggestion that Invisible Children’s brand of evangelicalism is liberal – in my opinion it is anything but, though it does spring from a strong ethic within a certain sector of the evangelical right that emphasizes engagement with the world – that ethic, which has been an emergent characteristic of the modernist side of the fundamentalist/evangelical split since at least the late 1940s, with the formation of the National Association of Evangelicals, isn’t liberal at all.

      While Invisible Children’s representatives consistently state that IC is secular, with no official ties to evangelical organizations, both claims appear to be false.

      For example (one out of many), in 2007 Invisible Children applied to be one of the official dues-paying ministries in the Barnabas Group, a right-wing evangelical 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides technical and institutional support of various sorts and serves as a feeder system for what is probably the biggest right-wing evangelical funding entity in the country, even the world, the National Christian Foundation (which has heavily funded IC).

      One of the more interesting ties I found, which rather surprised me even though I’ve been researching the evangelical right for some years now, was Invisible Children’s extensive institutional and social connections to The Fellowship (see the two books, and various articles – http://harpers.org/archive/2003/03/0079525 – by Jeff Sharlet), which runs the annual National Prayer Breakfast. Ugandan MP David Bahati, who introduced the Anti Homosexuality Bill in Uganda’s parliament in late 2009, credits The Fellowship with helping inspire and provide “technical support” for the bill.

      Per Invisible Children’s own reports, by 2009 it’s Ugandan educational programs had become partially merged with those of the Ugandan branch of The Fellowship, so that the mentors in IC’s program were being overseen by the Ugandan who now heads The Fellowship’s schools in Uganda, Paul Lukwiya. I’ve detailed IC’s ties to The Fellowship in this 7,000 word report: http://www.talk2action.org/story/2012/4/4/8029/40080

      • Hi Bruce, Apologies for overlooking the link in your original post, not sure how I missed that. And thanks for the info. I’ll be interested to read up on this further.

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