Jason Russell, and Why We Need to Stop Judging

I didn’t write about it on here because I don’t like mixing Jesus with global movements represented by rich white men but, after jumping on the Good Ship Kony 2012 for all of twenty-four hours, I gladly stepped off it, back on to dry land and, to be quite frank, a bit of sanity. I wrote on my second blog about how “a rich white man” won’t do much for the economic and political situation in Uganda, how quickly the hype would “fizzle out”, and how Jason Russell is a damn good filmmaker.

And, as it turns out, Mr Russell ended up acting a little bit crazy and managed to find himself in the news; but for all the wrong reasons.

At first I found it pretty funny. I felt pretty clever for not having fallen for Russell’s tricks (for too long, anyway), and that he had had this crazy mental breakdown which proved me right. But, after a few hours, this didn’t really sit with me anymore. It’s all well and good for me to be happy that Kony 2012 will probably disappear from the Internet completely soon enough, but for me to be happy about the meltdown of a fellow human being? That’s not right.

Jason Russell represents to me how broken this world is. First of all, he uses good film making abilities, scandal and his cute five year old son to get people to care about the thousands of Ugandan children who suffered at the hands of Joseph Kony and the LRA, to which most of us give into instantly. Twenty-four hours later, we’ve changed our minds. Then, within the space of two weeks, Russell becomes so overwhelmed by this project that he ends up running around naked and masturbating in public. And then those of us who thought he was a bit of a shady character in the first place decide it’s our place to make a mockery of him. 

Jason Russell has a family. He is a husband, a father. Putting aside Invisible Children, he has a life. He has a big influence on his son. His son who is going to hear all about this and probably become ashamed of it when he grows up and realises what it all means. His wife will have to deal with questions, the sheer humiliating consequences of the way her husband acted.

It is not our job to mock Jason Russell when he is probably already hanging his head in shame.

Matthew 7:1-2
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

This is a scary concept. To think that the way I judged Jason Russell (instantly and harshly) is the way God could judge me. I judge people all the time, the world tells me it’s okay, that it’s normal; but it’s not. We happily gossip about others and make judgements but when we think about others judging us does it make us happy? Are we okay with it? I doubt it. I’m not saying that I don’t make judgements, but I want to try not to, I want to just love people and try my hardest to see the good in them.

It might not be the easiest thing to do, but Jesus never promised it would be easy.



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