What price conscience? Abigail Disney's directorial debut, THE ARMOR OF LIGHT, follows the journey of an Evangelical minister trying to find the courage to preach about the growing toll of ...
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What price conscience? Abigail Disney's directorial debut, THE ARMOR OF LIGHT, follows the journey of an Evangelical minister trying to find the courage to preach about the growing toll of gun violence in America. The film tracks Reverend Rob Schenck, anti-abortion activist and fixture on the political far right, who breaks with orthodoxy by questioning whether being pro-gun is consistent with being pro-life. Reverend Schenck is shocked and perplexed by the reactions of his long-time friends and colleagues who warn him away from this complex, politically explosive issue. Along the way, Rev. Schenck meets Lucy McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, an unarmed teenager who was murdered in Florida and whose story has cast a spotlight on "Stand Your Ground" laws. Along with McBath's lawyer, John M. Phillips, she is on a difficult journey of her own, trying to make sense of her devastating loss while using her grief to effect some kind of viable and effective political action-where so many ...
Being a Christian that moved to America from Europe I have often grappled struggled with right wing tea party politics and especially the polarizing debate surrounding the 2nd amendment and gun control. Compared to most evangelicals here in the USA I am often seen as a bleeding heart liberal, yet in Europe I'm viewed as having conservative values. Upon seeing this documentary, finally I see that there is a narrative that is a-political, one that really gets to the heart of how faith applies to gun control. If you are pro life then should being pro life apply to only the first nine months from conception or should that ethic continue from conception to the grave? That is the very question that Armor of Light tries to unpack. Ms Disney has done a great job in leaving her personal politics at the door and has opted to follow tea party republican and evangelical pastor Rob Schneck. We are introduced to Rob on his way to a pro-life rally. A passionate activist, who's convictions draw hatred from the liberal left. His politics are certainly very right of center.
When a mass shooting occurs at the Naval Command in Washington, Rob begins his search for meaning in the world of gun control issues. He is pro life, his peers are all for protecting the 2nd amendment at all costs, but how does that fit into his pro-life mindset. This is all set against the backdrop of some of the recent mass shootings and the controversies pertaining to the 'Stand you ground' law in some states of America. His journey brings him to meet with Lucy McBath, who lost her son Jordan who was unarmed to a 'Stand your ground' shooter, and the result is truly inspiring. Two people of faith from opposite sides of the political spectrum find a common cause, that something is very wrong with the way the 2nd Amendment is interpreted. The NRA rhetoric that the only way to stop a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun, and so the solution lies in having more guns flies in the face of real faith in God. A God that says love your neighbor, forgive your enemy, trust in the Lord with all your heart. By living in constant fear, taking a persistent defensive stance, closes down creative solutions to solving America's gun problems and is likely also a sign of weak faith and a lack of trust in God.
Lucy is inspirational throughout, she has suffered a great loss, and she is under no illusion that her new found colleague is going to have put everything he is on the line if they are going to work together, but she knows that Rob, a white male republican pastor's voice will carry further than that of a black mother who is mourning the loss of a child. Unlike Rob, she is pro choice. On the face of it they are so opposite, but it is the sharing of a common faith in God that is the glue that unites them on their cause. Instead of fighting over their differences they find common ground in that gun control is essentially a pro-life issue that concerns people long after they have exited the womb.
If you are person of faith such as I am, this is essential watching. You will be challenged to think differently. Instead of blindly following the Fox news line, maybe it's time to really seek God and discover what he has to say instead. If you are person on either side of the political fence, you will see that the big problems can be worked out by genuinely reaching across the aisle, because there are good people that span the entire political spectrum. We may not agree on everything, but that does not mean that we can't work together to make the world a better place.
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