Tom Basham

The Armor of Light

In This Just OUT on April 9, 2015 at 9:08 pm

armor-of-light-poster“The Armor of Light” does not sound like it would be bulletproof, but the movie is very illuminating. I decided to review this movie since I am a straight shooter.

Reverend Rob Schenck put his faith into action decades ago, taking to the street to protest abortion and build a following of pro-life Christians across the country. He has also spent the last 20 years placing 400 plaques of the Ten Commandments with the leaders of this great nation to display in their offices.

The documentary follows the pastor’s path through his “crisis of conscience” with his divergence from many of his Christian contemporaries ensconced on the political right wing. In the wake of the 2013 shootings at the Navy Yard, Reverend Schenck started to question those who think the Second Amendment trumps the Ten Commandments. On his journey, Pastor Schenck also meets up with Lucy McBath, a Florida mother who lost her son to senseless gun violence, and the chorus of Christians against guns gets a little stronger.

This directorial debut of Abigail Disney is distinctly different than her granddaddy’s dynasty. She is more interested in making a difference than making a dollar. She admits she has strayed from her progressive proclivities for this collaboration with Reverend Schenck, a poster boy for the other side of the aisle. They both found common ground in the faces of the humans who suffered the inhumanity of senseless gun violence.

The film does not propose legislation or advance a specific agenda. I saw it more as an intervention; “America we love you, but you have a problem with guns. We need to talk about this. You are great, and you may not be dying, but you are killing everyone around you.”

This message, this plea, coming from someone the political right feels they can always count on, does not appear to be well received. Reverend Schenck is not coming from a political place or meant to weaken a plank in the platform. This comes from the heart and soul of a Christian who has spent his life protecting life, all life, and come to see how guns take life. You can quote all the statistics you want, but why is it that we as people can’t solve our disputes without guns? Judge not, lest ye be judged, but a guy with a gun in today’s America feels like he can be judge, jury and executioner – and sometimes the law backs him up.

As a proud gun owner and Second Amendment supporter, I was prepared to be offended and defensive. However, the film was not aimed at my rights or regulations. The film asks for a conversation about a culture of fear that creates the hunger to pack a gun and be ready to put somebody down. Reverend Schenck seems to be saying that being a Christian and being okay with the level of gun violence in this country is not logical or theological.

Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” If you are not yet blind, you might want to holster your weapon and see this movie. I still have my gun, but this movie opened my eyes, and for that reason I must give it 4 1/2 stars out of 5. If your fear of your fellow man keeps you from this conversation, then you may not be a Christian and you may not see the light.

Tom Basham is an indie filmmaker. Here is a link to his movie review site:

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