|For Immediate Release
October 4, 2011
Manassas, VA – NRB is cautiously optimistic in the wake of yesterday’s Supreme Court announcement that the high court will not hear an appeal of Sylvia Spencer v. World Vision, Inc.
In August 2010, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that World Vision qualified as a religious organization under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and was therefore within its legal rights to fire employees who no longer subscribed to the organization’s statement of faith. “The heart and soul of religious freedom is the element of free exercise,” said Dr. Frank Wright, NRB President & CEO. “Nowhere is this freedom more essential than in the selection of ministry leaders and staff. In a series of confused decisions, some lower courts have argued that religious organizations can and should be forced to hire employees not subscribing to the core values of those faith-based organizations. Striking a blow for both reason and freedom, the Supreme Court has wisely refused to hear an appeal that would have chall enged this essential freedom.”
“The decision of the Supreme Court to let stand the 9th Circuit decision means at least one thing: we have a positive court interpretation that respects the autonomy of faith-based groups to make their own hiring decisions. This must be balanced though against all the many bad court decisions that have gone the other way,” cautioned NRB Sr. Vice President & General Counsel Craig Parshall. “Vigilance still needs to be the watchword for Christian ministries.”
The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a non-partisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. Our mission is to advance biblical truth; to promote media excellence; and to defend free speech. In addition to promoting standards of excellence, integrity, and accountability, NRB provides networking, educational, ministry, and fellowship opportunities for its members. Learn more at www.nrb.org.
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The annual Convention & Exposition is the largest nationally and internationally recognized event dedicated solely to assist those in the field of Christian communications. The dynamic Exposition consists of nearly 300 companies and is an active marketplace for those seeking tools and services to expand their ministries. NRB 2012 is being held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN, February 18-21, 2012. For registration and other Convention information go to: www.nrbconvention.org
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