The Armor of Light

The Armor of Light ★★★½

Yes, on some level, this is documentary catnip for me: A truly compelling character study of a guy wrestling with what his faith truly calls him to do. Rob Schenk is an evangelical Christian minister who would be a classic villain for the liberal left--someone who has protested against abortion rights for decades--but when confronted with the realities of American gun violence, he got down on his literal and/or metaphorical knees and tried to understand what it means to be fully "pro-life." And the conversations that are captured here, as Schenk tentatively broaches the subject to his friends and colleagues, are impossible to turn away from. I just wanted it to be entirely about him, and not split with Lucy McBath (the mother of Jordan Davis, who was killed in the infamous Florida "loud music"/Stand Your Ground case). Yes, Schenk's meeting with her helps galvanize his sense that he needs to think about this issue differently, and yes, it's valuable to show that devoted Christian faith can lead people in a different direction than 2nd Amendment absolutism. But her story just isn't the real story here. This is a tale of someone who has lived his life doing nothing but try to grasp what God compels him to do in the world, and watching that butt up against political orthodoxy is bracing.

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