Rob Schenk is a minister and pro-life activist that works in Washington. He is a leader with the ministry Faith and Action, which shares the gospel with people at the top levels of American government. They seem to me to be very conservative and demonstrative in their ministry methods. Still, to me this is a really interesting demographic to share Jesus with, not for political gain and influence but for the real eternal life and death consequences for political leaders and their staffs. I do not know the motivations behind the ministry or what drives Rob Schenk. The reason I find Rob Schenk interesting is because he is known as a pro-life activist, but he has a controversial stance because he is also in favor of gun control. For those who do not know because they live outside of USAmerica, the political right has traditionally been pro-life and against gun control while the political left is pro-choice and promotes increasing gun controls.
I am not personally interested in his particular stand on these issues, but on his willingness to hold to some things but not others. He doesn’t fit into the right or into the left. The result of this is usually seen in a negative light because if you don’t choose to compromise and join one of the large parties your voice will have no impact. If any dissenter actually gains any measure of influence they are seen as hurting a particular party, which is even worse than having no voice at all.
Yet, in our culture more and more people are insisting on their own personal views, not the views the party wants them to have. The easy example of this is the political success of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, both have large deviations from their standard party line and have garnered large followers who also don’t want to fit into a standard mold.
So, tonight (May 10) on PBS, at 10pm in Oregon, Rob Schenk is the subject of a documentary on the show Independent Lens. The documentary is called Armor of Light and is going to be examining the controversy experienced as he takes a unique position and attempts to maintain relationships in the political and religious communities. I have it set on the DVR.
I don’t know if the show will be any good or not, if it is propaganda or entertainment, but I hope it is an interesting look at what seems to be a future trend in USAmerican politics, especially in relation to its moral, ethical and religious trends. More and more people seem to want a more personalized political experience, but getting there is going to get messy as people increasingly refuse to compromise on issues but will compromise on influence. Dealing with the mess, I think, will define this generation politically and either increase the difficulty of politics for future generations or create a space that will work for the way that politics seem to be working now and will work in the future. So, to that end, I hope this documentary is both revelatory to the tension we need to hold and informative to a healthy path forward.