|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2017
|NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson speaks at a rally on April 19, 2017, outside the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., as the high court hears oral arguments in the case of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer.|
WASHINGTON (NRB) – National Religious Broadcasters welcomed the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today honoring religious liberty and the equality of religious citizens in the case of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer.
Praising the ruling, Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, NRB President & CEO, said:
This ruling is yet another breath of fresh air for those who value faith and freedom. For too long, government officials have been headed down a path of more and more intolerant demands that citizens must bow to liberal secularism to participate in public life. This was illustrated recently by the anti-evangelical bigotry of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) in their grilling of a Trump nominee over his religious views. I hope today’s decision will bolster the message to such agents that they must respect, not bully, people of faith.
Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer featured a Missouri church-run preschool that was discriminated against in a public playground re-surfacing program by the state of Missouri solely because it is a religious entity. Even though the preschool ranked as a highly-qualified candidate for a grant under the program’s rules, the state cited a provision in its constitution – known as a Blaine Amendment – that prohibited it from supplying aid to a religion.
NRB joined in an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief last year pushing back on this example of government discrimination against people of faith. Moreover, at an April 19 rally on the Supreme Court steps during the oral arguments on this case, Johnson said religious people “are not second-class citizens.” He urged the Supreme Court to do its job to stop the State of Missouri from being a “bully on the playground.”
“Stop them; make this right,” Johnson said.
Regarding today’s decision, Johnson added, “I am so grateful to President Trump and Senate Majority Leader McConnell for ensuring that Justice Neil Gorsuch was able to participate in the hearing of this critical case. He is a man with a track record of honoring the Bill of Rights, and I have no doubt of his significant role in partnership with his colleagues in arriving at this decision.”
The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a nonpartisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. Our mission is to advance biblical truth, promote media excellence, and 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.
About the NRB Convention
The annual NRB International Christian Media Convention is the largest nationally and internationally recognized event dedicated solely to assist those in the field of Christian communications. The dynamic Exposition consists of around 200 companies and is an active marketplace for those seeking tools and services to expand their organizations. The next Convention, Proclaim 18, will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, February 27-March 2, 2018. For more information, go to www.nrbconvention.org.
National Religious Broadcasters
1 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 333
Washington, DC 20001