CLEVELAND, Ohio — Torchbearer, a film about the need for Christians to engage in “spiritual warfare” and fight political battles in a time when America faces an existential crisis, debuted domestically at a special screening held here on Thursday, the fourth and final day of the Republican National Convention.
The film, starring Duck Commander reality television star Phil Robertson, takes the audience on a worldwide tour of the role God has played in the development of civilized society.
The film opens with narrator Robertson on the banks of a river in his native Louisana making the “argument from natural design” for the existence of God advanced two centuries ago by William Wilberforce, the Christian member of Parliament who dedicated a lifetime to the successful effort that ended slavery in the British Empire.
Scientists tell us the universe began with a Big Bang, Robertson notes.
God, he says, was the all powerful source that existed prior to that event.
From Louisiana, Robertson travels in the film to the Parthenon in Athens, the Colisseum in Rome, the Auschwitz concentration camp where over one million Jews were killed by the Nazi regime, and finally to the beaches of Normandy.
The purpose of the film is “to try to get people to consider it worthwhile to consider retaining the knowledge of God, instead of not retaining the knowledge of God,” Robertson told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview after the screening.
Without God, “people turn bad, and that produces bad government, in my opinion,” he added.
Robertson explained why he took the time needed to play the key role in the film.
“I thought it was a very worthy endeavor, once I read the script. I was shocked to find out my nephew [Zach Dasher] had written the thing,” the famous Duck Commander said.
“When you get God out of the equation, bad things always happen,” Robertson concluded.
David Bossie, president of Citizens United, which produced the film, also attended the screening.
“We want every American to be educated about . . . how Christianity is under assault every day. Christians are being murdered every day. Evangelicals need to make sure their voice is heard on Election Day,” Bossie told Breitbart News.
“We need everyone to be educated and highly motivated,” Bossie added.
“This movie will be in theaters in August, ” Bossie said.
On the date of the national launch of the movie, those in attendance will be able to participate in “a conversation with the Robertsons [Phil and his wife, Miss Kay] through “a link into all the theaters ” showing the film that night, Bossie told Breitbart News.
Breitbart executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon, who directed and co-wrote the film, says it will open in one hundred theaters around the country located in cities with high percentages of evangelical Christian residents, like Dallas, Atlanta, and Nashville.
“We want evangelical Christiana to understand they can’t disassociate from the political process,” Bannon said.
“When they watch this film, they’ll see they have a civic duty to be politically engaged. We’re not saying vote Democrat or Republican, but be engaged,” Bannon added.
At a national gathering populated by political and media stars of all magnitudes, Robertson was the most compelling presence for at least one fan.
Adam, a fourteen-year-old from Arkansas, stood slack jawed as Robertson passed by going in the opposite direction.
“Phil Robertson!” he exclaimed.
“That’s the one person here I admire the most. Do you think I could get a picture with him?” he asked.
Adam and his father, a delegate from the Razorback State, reversed direction, followed Robertson to a reception given in honor of the film, where the Duck Commander graciously posed for a photograph with the young Arkansan.