Columbine victim Rachel Scott's faith is still changing lives: 'Bringing light into a really dark situation'

Posted September 20

Rachel Joy Scott's story continues to captivate audiences nearly two decades after her tragic murder at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

Scott was the first person killed when fellow students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went on a deadly rampage on April 20, 1999, taking the lives of 12 students and one teacher before committing suicide in the school's library.

Seventeen years later, Scott's intense Christian faith and legacy continue to impact young people through her journals, books by her family, a national speaking tour that helps kids combat bullying — and now a feature film.

That movie, "I Am Not Ashamed," is slated for release Oct. 21 in theaters across America. It's a film that tells the story of Scott's real-life compassion for others as well as her devotion to God.

"If one person could go out of their way to show compassion, it could start a chain reaction," Scott once wrote in her journal.

"Duck Dynasty" star Sadie Robertson is among the film's cast members. She portray's Scott's cousin, Charity, with actress Masey McLain playing the role of Scott. Robertson has spoken about her role of late, praising the legacy that Scott left behind.

"Rachel Scott's story ... is not about her death, it's about her life," Robertson recently told "The Church Boys" podcast. "It's kind of bringing light into a really dark situation."

Listen to Robertson discuss Scott's life and her role in "I'm Not Ashamed" at the 33-minute mark here.

While Robertson said she wasn't even sure she could act when she signed on to star in the film, she said she was drawn to the message. Though she was practically a baby when the shooting unfolded in 1999, she was familiar with what happened at Columbine, as it was an event with a tragic yet "lasting impact."

Watch the trailer for "I Am Not Ashamed" here.

"I think what surprised me is how much light they had been able to bring from this situation," she said of Scott's family members, who went on to start the Rachel's Challenge school program, which has affected millions of kids.

Robertson said that, all too often, the press tends to focus on the negative without revisiting some of the more positive events that come from tragedy.

"A lot of times the big news only captures the darkness and the bad parts of the story, but they forget to go back and capture the good things that happen," she said.

Scott's story, Robertson said, has brought many people "to life as a Christian," even after her death. Robertson is hoping that the film sends a powerful message to teenagers and young adults about the importance of standing up for their faith.

"We worry about what people are going to say about us if we say we're a Christian or what people are going to think," Robertson said. "But Rachel literally gave her life for it."

She continued, "If you can't stand up for your faith, because somebody's going to say something bad, do you think that you could if somebody held a gun to your head?"

Learn more about the impact of Scott's story here.

As for her devotion to her Christian faith — one that has landed her and her family members in the headlines since "Duck Dynasty" exploded on the reality TV scene — Robertson said that it's all about finding confidence in God.

"When you're confident in what you believe ... then nothing can take you on that," she said.

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