​Christ or a Glock? Evangelical Minister Schenck Determined to Make the Gun Question a Matter of Conscience

Rev. Robert Schenck with correspondent Mo Rocca. (CBS NEWS)
Rev. Robert Schenck with correspondent Mo Rocca. (CBS NEWS)

For the past few months we have been examining the role of guns in our society. Whether or not to own a gun is one of the life choices many people face, and as Mo Rocca tells us, it’s a choice one evangelical minister is determined to make a matter of conscience:

“I am here to make a statement about the integrity and the value of every human life regardless of its condition of dependency.”

For more than 20 years Reverend Robert Schenck has been a leading opponent of abortion, a fighter on the frontlines of the culture wars.

“Abortion results in a dead baby!” he said in 1992.

But recently the Reverend says he’s had a revelation, about God and guns: “How can evangelicals be pro-life AND pro-gun? Who will ultimately save us? Christ or a Glock?”

That’s put him on the other side of the aisle on one fundamental issue: guns.

Rocca asked: “A man or a woman who wants to defend his or her family legally owns a firearm in case someone comes into their home. How is that un-Christian?”

“Well, first of all you’re making an immediate decision that if someone invades your home, they are going to die,” Rev. Schenck replied. “So you are ready to kill another human being in your home. That brings about a big ethical question for the Christian. And we’re told in the Bible, we’re even to love our enemies.”

“Even a potential intruder? Someone who’s been coming into your home to hurt you?”

“Absolutely. Is it always God’s will that I survive a violent confrontation with another human being? I’m not sure that’s always God’s will.”

Schenck is not a pacifist, nor is he opposed to guns for hunting. The problem he says is civilians using guns for self-defense.

His conversion on the issue is the subject of the documentary “The Armor of Light,” airing May 10 on PBS.

In it we witness his disagreements with fellow evangelicals, like Troy Newman:

Newman: “Okay, Rob, you’re afraid of firearms? Don’t own one.”
Schenck: “Troy, listen. You know one of the reasons I don’t own one? Because I don’t trust myself in the moment of crisis.”
Newman: “An armed society is a polite society.”

It’s a Disney movie, though not from the Disney you know. Director Abigail Disney is Walt Disney’s grand-niece. She’s also a liberal supporter of abortion rights who struck up an unlikely friendship with Rob Schenck.

“I was expecting a fire-breathing dragon,” she laughed. “I was expecting somebody I really didn’t like.”

“And how soon did those feelings lift?” asked Rocca.

“Instantaneously! He was so warm.”

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