Abigail Disney’s documentary, “The Armor of Light,” is a moving and infuriating exploration of how evangelical Christianity and the NRA have become so enmeshed with one another. It is a very well constructed film that made me cry several times.
The main characters are Rev. Rob Schenck, a prominent evangelical minister who spends the majority of his time ministering to conservative politicians on Capitol Hill, and Lucy McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, an unarmed African American teen who was murdered in Florida by a middle-aged white man “standing his ground.”
McBath, who is also a devout Christian, has become a tireless advocate for more moderate gun laws and revocation of “Stand Your Ground” laws. She is an inspiring woman who does not want her son’s death to be for nothing.
Schenck admits to having ignored the gun issue for most of his life, but after a mass shooting happens in his own neighborhood, his conscience brings him to a heartfelt exploration of the issue. He learns to shoot guns, attends an NRA conference, and begins a dialogue with his fellow evangelical ministers. The problem is that few of them agree with what he feels in his heart – that being pro-gun is inconsistent with being pro-life and that living in fear is inherently antithetical to the teachings of Christ.
To his credit, he listens to what his colleagues and long-term friends have to say, but he is disheartened by their lack of flexibility on the issue. As he says, “We must be very careful we don’t put the Second Amendment over the Second Commandment.”
After meeting Ms. McBath, Rev. Schenck feels he can no longer remain silent on the issue and publicly states his position, risking the loss of his career in the process.
Ultimately, the film is a beautiful portrait of two exceptionally courageous people who are following what they believe is right, even if it is often an unpopular stance. In Rev. Schenck’s case, he is decidedly in the minority among his peers.
Regardless of your opinion on this issue, I highly recommend “The Armor of Light” if you get the opportunity to see it.