On Thursday, May 6, Focus on the Family’s “The Daily Citizen” released “Ronald Reagan: Man of Faith,” the first documentary in the division’s new documentary film series. This film tells Reagan’s story of faith, family, and God’s divine plan that ultimately led to the end of the Cold War.
“Many people associate President Reagan with the end of the Cold War—and rightfully so—but they’re less familiar with what drove him to bring an end to communism in Eastern Europe.” Michael McGonigle, Communications Director at Focus on the Family said. “It was his Christian faith.”
This documentary, “Ronald Reagan: Man of Faith,” celebrates the memory of a man who remained grounded in his faith as he led a nation.
“President Reagan believed that by keeping the Gospel message from its citizens, the Soviet Union was denying them access to eternal life,” McGonigle said. “As a man of deeply held religious convictions, he felt it was his duty to act and bring an end to what he saw as the focus of evil in the modern world.”
Through never-before-seen interviews with some of the people that knew Reagan best—including Edwin Meese II, former attorney general and counselor to former President Reagan and Michael Reagan, son of President Reagan—the film provides a unique look at President Reagan’s beliefs and the transatlantic friendship that brought down the Berlin Wall.
The film gives viewers a deep-dive into the history of John Hinkley’s assassination attempt on President Reagan forty years ago on March 30, 1981. Just a few months later, on May 31, 1981, there was an assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II’s life. These two assassination attempts brought President Reagan and Pope John Paul II together to end the Cold War, believing that their lives were spared for a purpose.
“If Ronald Reagan and John Paul II had died… history would have turned out completely different,” Paul Kengor, President Reagan’s biographer and a professor of political science at Grove City College said in the film. “And not as beautifully as it turned out by the end of the 1980s.”
The story of President Reagan’s life is the story of a man who believed that God had a divine plan for his life.
“I hope that people walk away from the film knowing that God has a divine plan for each of our lives,” McGonigle said. “All of us have struggles and difficulties. We are all broken in some way. Despite that, if we are willing to turn over our weaknesses to Christ, there is no limit to what we can each accomplish through Him. You don’t have to be the president of the United States to change the world.”
In this film, viewers learn about President Reagan’s faith and the intricate role in played in who he was as a man, father, and president of the United States.
“I think one of the things that inspired me the most, was something Michael Reagan said during our interview,” McGonigle said. “[Michael] said that no matter how intense the political battles in Washington, DC got, that his dad never made it personal. He always looked for the good in people and that’s what each of us should still do today. Can you imagine what our country would like if we all looked for the good in people instead of focusing on what divides us?”
As “The Daily Citizen” serves its audience by equipping them to navigate complicated news and cultural issues through a biblical worldview, McGonigle said that this film is a tool to educate the public about United States history and leaders.
“We enjoy lifting up and celebrating men and women of faith whose actions have helped change the world,” McGonigle said. “Mr. Reagan’s consequential career embodied many of the priorities we champion each and every day—including defending the most vulnerable and engaging a culture desperate for meaning and connection.”