Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Order of Rights is a beautiful pro-life film that presents the case that in order for us to have the Constitutional rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we must first have the right to life.

This sounds like an easy takeaway for all, but when Christian quarterback Ethan Carpenter gets his high school girlfriend, Emma, pregnant, they have differing opinions on what the right to life looks like.

Determined to fight for his unborn baby’s right to life, Ethan takes Emma and her mom to court, calling a nation of individuals to decide when life begins and which inalienable rights that life deserves.

Peyton Garland with Family Christian had the chance to talk with several cast and crew members from The Order of Rights: Ben Davies, who plays Ethan Carpenter, Cameron Arnett, who plays Coach Bradford, Ethan’s football coach, and Richard Cutting, who’s not only the director of the film, but also the character of Dolan Forsett, Ben’s lawyer.

Check out their passion for life here:

PEYTON: My first question is for Ben… Ethan seems to embrace the grace and forgiveness [that Jesus has already given for his sin], so could you explain how you think that shame and guilt from sleeping with Emma and getting her pregnant is a catalyst for you pursuing what’s right?

BEN: Yeah, it was really fascinating to dive in that scenario with this character because this is such an extreme and difficult situation that so many people go through. And I was glad I was able to play a part to show people how to walk through that.

My character was fortunately mentored by Cameron Arnett’s character, where he was like, “Look, I know this happened to you, but yes, there is forgiveness. But there is a cross you need to carry. There’s a price and a cost of doing the right thing. However, that is what’s rewarding. That’s why so many things that are the most difficult in the beginning have the most meaning, the most weight…

In our culture today, everything that is taught to you is “Take the easy way out.” “What is the easiest thing for you?” “What is going to make you the happiest?” “What is going to make me get that scholarship and go to that college?”, which is what my character was dealing with in the first place.

However, he knew that God had a greater plan for him in that scenario. Anything that Satan does, trying to get you to go down an evil or dark path to mess you up, God can use that [for you] for a great future.”

PEYTON: Now for your coach, Coach Bradford: I know in the beginning of the film you tell the boys on the football team, “Stay away from the parties. Stay away from the girls.” I think as a coach, you kind of know what these guys face, especially at their age. But could you speak into if you saw anything coming [between Ben and Emma]? And as his coach and his mentor, what do you think that means for male leadership in today’s culture?

CAMERON: As a coach, and as a man, you know, we’ve all been there…We weren’t born saved, so… we have an opportunity to look back and to come back to those who are younger than ourselves [and say], “Hey, you know what? Here are the mistakes that were made before you. Here are the mistakes that I made, or your parents made. So we’re now able to give you a perspective that will hopefully keep you from going down the wrong path we’ve taken.

So, at the same time, with that, we also understand not to condemn because we have come through our own things ourselves. As a character, as a coach, I… [am] trying to get him to know ahead of time, “Look, here’s what’s coming. Here’s what you need to think about, and here’s what I know all you guys are thinking about, so I’m looking to you as the leader of this team to keep everybody else in line. Hopefully, the goodness that you have can actually fall through and be poured out upon them.”

As leaders, we need to understand that we have the responsibility to raise up the young men, to raise up those who are younger than ourselves, and not only to look at them and keep them from going through the same path, but also to be at a point and place where they can come to you without the condemnation, without the browbeating and everything else.

And they can be talked to and talked through and they’ll process because [they’re] going through what we went through. And hopefully, they have us now as a standard and a measure to help them along.

PEYTON: Richard, I’m going to swap it over to you for a minute… Dependence and weakness do not take away our humanity. Could you speak into the pieces of [Dolan’s] argument that were the most powerful for you personally?

RICHARD: Sure, I play Dolan Forsett, Ben’s lawyer, whose job it is to press the case that this baby is a person, you know… and when you establish the predicate of personhood, which I think we do, how does that sweep into how people, persons, are protected under our Constitution and Bill of Rights? So, we thought that was unique, and so we took a kitchen table discussion… and we tried to take it up logically through establishing personhood…

I talked to many doctors and I said, “When do you begin treating a pregnant woman as two lives?” and they said, “Immediately, without question.” Every doctor, when I did my original writer’s research on this said, “from the moment of conception on.” So, that’s how the medical community views it…

When you build this argument in court, you really begin to see that the predicate is personhood and that if you’re a person, you are entitled to the rights enumerated in our Constitution, in our Bill of Rights, in a specific order: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It has to build that way because the founders intended it that way. It was not lateral; it was not random. You can’t have liberty without life. You can’t have the pursuit of happiness without life. Life is the predicate for the next rights.

So, we thought that was a good, dramatic spine for it, and then, of course, the spiritual dimension, which is just the super icing on the cake when Emma makes her dimensions and Ben goes through that with her.

For more information on how you can stream The Order of Rights, check out

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