By now, you have probably seen the Kony 2012 video released by Invisible Children. It currently has close to 72 million views. I’m not going to say anything about the content of the video right now, or delve into the inner workings of Invisible Children. As more information comes to light, perhaps I will touch on those subjects later.
I do want to call attention to one of Invisible Children’s large backers. I’m not going to say that one backer damns the whole organization. But this video is viral now, and the whole story needs to come out. Only with all the information can you rationally make decisions. From Alternet’s story Invisible Children Funded By Antigay, Creationist Christian Right:
Among the tens of millions of people who have watched Invisible Children’s KONY 2012 viral video, including Oprah Winfrey – a dedicated supporter of LGBT rights who also has given $2 million dollars to Invisible Children, how many were aware of IC’s extensive financial ties to far-right fundamentalism, including major funders of the mounting global war on gay rights ? IC doesn’t go out of its way to advertise these things.
But Invisible Children’s first yearly report, from 2006, gives “special thanks” to the “Caster Family Foundation” and IC’s 2007 report is more specific, thanking Terry and Barbara Caster. In the lead up to the 2008 election, the California-based Caster family was identified as one of the biggest financial backers of the push for California’s anti-same sex marriage Proposition 8.
Capping the pro-Prop 8 push was a November 1, 2008 San Diego stadium rally held by The Call, whose leader Lou Engle warned that same sex marriage could unleash a “sexual insanity” that would be “more demonic than Islam” and suggested believers should carry out acts of martyrdom to stop gay marriage and legal abortion, which Engle predicts will lead to a second American civil war.
One of The Call’s major donors in 2008 also gave, that same year, over 400,000 dollars to Invisible Children. These links weren’t anomalies. They were part of a pattern.
What does Invisible Children share in common with James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council (pegged by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “hate group”), or the Fellowship Foundation — one of the nonprofit entities of the Washington-based evangelical organization also known as “The Family” (covered in two books by journalist Jeff Sharlet) whose leader Doug Coe has been captured on video celebrating the dedication inspired by Hitler, Lenin, and Mao ?
What does IC have in common with the ministry of California evangelist Ed Silvoso, who works directly with leading Ugandan author and promoter of the Anti Homosexuality Bill (also called the “kill the gays bill”) Julius Oyet — who claims that “even animals are wiser than homosexuals”?
The answer? — all of these ministries – the Discovery Institute, Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, The Fellowship Foundation, The Call, Ed Silvoso’s Harvest Evangelism, and Invisible Children – received at least $100,000 in 2008 from what has emerged in the last decade as the biggest funder of the hard, antigay, creationist Christian right: the National Christian Foundation.
Go read the whole article. Something tells me more unflattering information is going to be coming out soon about Invisible Children. Just because the National Christian Foundation is one of their large backers does not damn the charity, but with the harm far right organizations are causing as we speak in Africa, I definitely want more information on Invisible Children before deciding whether or not to support their mission. Knowledge is power, and sometimes things aren’t as they seem at first glance.
I’ll spare you a third cliche.