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NRB’s Johnson Stresses Free Speech Protections

Calls group “vanguard” of the First Amendment in Proclaim17 address

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson National Religious Broadcasters President and CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson issued a strong defense of religious broadcasters and their First Amendment rights in his opening address to attendees of the NRB’s Proclaim 17 meeting in Orlando, Fla., on Monday.

“If you’re in the government and you’re trying to take away the freedom of speech or religion or the press, NRB is a fight club and you better get used to it,” Johnson said.

Referring to prospective speech or broadcast restrictions emanating from government overseers, “[D]on’t be fooled if you think it could never happen in America … The quickest way to lose the freedom of speech is not to use the freedom of speech. Use it or lose it.”

He alluded to challenges to Christian broadcasters on two fronts — sexuality and Islam. He noted that in select other countries broadcasters and other religious communicators can face penalties for addressing issues such as same-sex marriage and Islamic intolerances in ways that upset authorities or certain segments of society.

“We can and we must make and we will make NRB to the First Amendment what the NRA is to the Second Amendment,” he added.

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