December 8, 2010


Tyranny, Revolution and NRB’s New John Milton Project for Religious Free Speech
By Craig L. Parshall, Sr. Vice President & General Counsel

Once again, history repeats itself. National Religious Broadcasters was originally birthed in 1944 to deal with two forces: first, to utilize the exploding revolution in broadcast media (then, limited to radio and television); second and even more to the point, to oppose the forces of subtle bureaucratic tyranny that had all but squeezed Christian, Gospel-oriented content off the broadcast airwaves in the preceding years. This de facto censorship had occurred because of the decisions of big network media and the federal government, with the blessings of some media academics. Now we see these two forces at work again. This time, it is the digital revolution in communication, plus the censorship of Christian ideas over these new media technologies. Once again, NRB is prepared to respond.

Tyranny: During the Thanksgiving holiday, Apple yanked the Manhattan Declaration from its iTunes store, censoring the Declaration from its iPhone apps after originally offering it. The Declaration movement describes itself as a “call of Christian conscience,” setting forth a statement of principles supporting traditional marriage, the sanctity of human life, and religious liberty. The censorship occurred because of the supposedly “offensive” viewpoints espoused in the Declaration’s defense of the Biblical concept of marriage. Apple apparently caved in to a well orchestrated Internet petition campaign by Change.org, a pro-gay rights group. This is no isolated problem. Recently, after being lobbied by gay rights advocates, Facebook agreed to closely monitor and ban “hateful” postings, which likely will mean the censorship of Christian-based criticisms of same-sex marriage or homosexuality, at a minimum. In the past, Google has been accused of blocking Christian content in its search engine advertisements and closing down a traditional values website. But the problem of an anti-Christian gag rule extends beyond the private business sector. Last week, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission placed the issue of Internet regulation (“net neutrality”) once again on the FCC’s docket. Far from insuring full First Amendment protections, this proposal could portend a complex web of federal rules that would stifle, rather than enhance, free speech on controversial topics like same-sex marriage or religion.

Revolution: In the current issue of Foreign Affairs, Eric Schmidt, Chair and CEO of Google, and Jared Cohen, Director of Google Ideas, write that the digital revolution in “new media” and communications is likely to cause governments around the world to face “mini-rebellions that challenge their authority.” Their prediction came true when, almost simultaneously, WikiLeaks digitally distributed thousands of classified documents of the U.S. government over the Internet, disrupting our foreign diplomacy and potentially impacting our wars abroad and our security at home. There is no question that we are witnessing a communications revolution unparalleled since the invention of the Guttenberg printing press. Yet, as NRB works with an exciting new breed of electronic and digital missionaries around the world, we also see the unparalleled opportunities to reach every tongue, tribe and nation with the eternity-changing message of Jesus Christ. In order to protect the access of Christians to these new media platforms, we have looked to a figure who fought to protect an earlier communications phenomenon: the printing press.

John Milton Project for Religious Free Speech: NRB, through its General Counsel’s Office, has commenced a project that will monitor the threats of anti-Christian censorship on new media platforms, as a result of decisions and practices in both the private sector, and those made in the public, governmental sector. We will be releasing periodic reports on what we see, and what we think should be done about it. The project is named after John Milton, the 17th century poet (Paradise Lost) and apologist for Christian ideals. Milton made history’s first and most notable moral argument against England’s tyrannical restriction in 1643 on the freedom of the printing press. The Gutenberg printing press changed the world, not merely because it ushered in a new method of distributing information, but because it made the printed Bible universally available and accessible.

Here at NRB, we intend to fight for the freedom of Christian communicators to communicate the Gospel of Christ on every media platform known to man. It is a battle no less momentous than the struggle over the freedom of the printing press. In his defense of freedom of access to the media technology of his day, Milton wrote that he “who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God’s image; but he who destroys a good book [through tyrannical, regulatory censorship], kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were in the eye.” Our prayer and our mission is that every eye, and every ear, through every form of electronic and digital media, will have access to the Word of God. As long as that happens, men and women, as well as boys and girls, will be able to fully and freely confront the revolutionary, life-changing claims of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Word made flesh.  

Guardian Group Update 
Mark your calendar for an upcoming Guardian Group teleconference. 
iNRB Offer 
Find out what iNRB wants to do for you - for free!
Member News
Strategic Fundraising announces new CEO.

Answers in Genesis  presents plans for the Ark Encounter.

Sign up your team to receive NRB Today.

Et Cetera
Spotlight on Movieguide® - encouraging redemptive, family-friendly entertainment.

Purchase Chuck Colson's thought-provoking book, The Faith, from the NRB Store.

Win an iPAD & Lodging! Details...


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Upcoming Guardian Group Teleconference
Guardian Group members please make a note to join us on December 16th at 4:00 p.m. EST. Craig Parshall, NRB Sr. Vice President and General Counsel, and attorney Joseph Chautin III (Hardy, Carey, Chautin & Balkin, LLP), will hold an exclusive teleconference on FCC Commissioner Copps' recent “public value” test for license renewal and new FCC license renewal rules. Details will be emailed to Guardian Group members.

iNRB Wants to Work for You...For FREE!

How many times have you wished for an innovative, succinct video or audio promotional spot that would communicate your vision to the world…especially to the next generation?

Can you believe that NRB would like to give you such a video or audio announcement – free of charge – and with no strings attached? You would be free to use the announcement on your website, in churches, and perhaps even as a Public Service Announcement, Video News Release or commercial on radio and television stations across the country, both Christian and secular.

Sound too good to be true?

Well, the iNRB (Intercollegiate National Religious Broadcasters) wants to help you and also help their students connect with you and produce real announcements that are going to benefit ministries and the kingdom of God.  Click here for more information and the entry form.  But don’t wait! 
NRB members will be selected for this complimentary production on a first come-first serve basis.


Feature: Broadcaster to Persecuted Christians
The NRB International Luncheon will take place during NRB 2011 on Monday, February 28th. For the speaker’s protection and to protect the work he is doing, NRB will refrain from disclosing specific details of the speaker’s identity in advance of the International Luncheon. “As persecution of Christians throughout the world is on the rise, we are thankful for the work of this speaker and those like him who serve tirelessly to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations, at their own peril,” remarked NRB President & CEO Dr. Frank Wright. The speaker for the NRB 2011 International Luncheon serves in a culture where Christians have long been persecuted, some losing their lives for their faith in Jesus Christ. Yet this man has not shied away from proclaiming God’s Truth using Christian radio. He has developed….Read More

Educational Session:  Managing a Global Organization to Make a Larger Impact on Those You Serve
Multi-faceted global organizations require professional skills that have not necessarily been common in ministry in the past. Leaders are now being challenged to raise the skill level of their staff, without losing the compassion and motivation that helped build their organization in the first place. In this educational session, Sam Smith (CEO of Mercy Ships) will discuss how Mercy Ships has answered the call to raise their level of professionalism, in order to optimize the gifts God has provided and impact more lives. This session will also include a look at the various challenges of conducting operations around the world.

Exhibitor: Sony Electronics – Booth #1015
Sony’s range of HD broadcast & production solutions helps a ministry reach its members in church or at home. Since Houses of Worship continue to increase their production quality for television, services, live events, and more, Sony studio cameras and camcorders, LCD monitors, switchers, audio equipment and LCD business projectors are just some of the technologies available for use.


New CEO for Strategic Fundraising
Strategic Fundraising, a telefundraising and membership management agency for political and nonprofit organizations, recently appointed Mike Kelly to the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Kelly was a partner at Minneapolis-based Faegre & Benson, where he worked with the Minnesota Vikings during a period of major transition for the organization. The Vikings eventually recruited him to serve as their Executive Vice President of Business Operations and General Counsel. Kelly has also served as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at St. Paul-based Gander Mountain, as well as serving as the COO and then CEO of the National Arbitration Forum.
“All of us at Strategic and, more importantly, our clients, are very fortunate to have Mike join the agency as our most senior executive,” said Dan Rice, Strategic’s founder and outgoing CEO. “He brings two decades of experience helping to lead and scale prominent for-profit and nonprofit organizations. He is skilled not only from an operational standpoint but also is visionary. He will take our business to the next level while changing how people think about incorporating calling into their overall fundraising programs.” Kelly will assume his new position on January 1, 2011. Click here to learn more about Mike Kelly, and here to learn more about Strategic Fundraising.
Walk Through Noah’s Ark
Answers in Genesis (AiG) announced last week that in the Spring of 2014, an all-wood, full-scale replica of Noah’s Ark will rise from the Kentucky landscape and be open for tours. As part of the LLC that owns Ark Encounter, AiG will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Ark, which is expected to be the “largest timber-frame structure in the USA.” But there’s more! The Ark will be part of a historically-themed park, close to AiG’s Creation Museum. The Ark Encounter theme park will include replicas of an ancient walled city, the Tower of Babel, a first-Century Middle Eastern village, a petting zoo, and much more. In addition to providing an expected 900 jobs, this project will also embody the Genesis stewardship mandate as “one of the largest ‘green’ construction projects in the country.” Click here for more information about the Ark Encounter, and here for more information about Answers in Genesis.
PHOTO ABOVE: The Ark Encounter; courtesy of A. Larry Ross Communications.

Key Benefit of NRB Membership
Are all your employees reading NRB Today and benefiting from the information provided in this publication? If not, please send the name and email address of anyone in your organization who would benefit from reading NRB Today each week!

Member Spotlight: Movieguide®
As the Surgeon General and the findings of countless scientific studies have confirmed, the multi-billion dollar entertainment industry shapes our culture. Rather than curse the darkness, we can light a candle by helping entertainment industry leaders understand the moral and spiritual dimensions of life, including the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Christian Film & Television Commission® ministry (CFTVC), which also publishes MOVIEGUIDE®:The Biblical Guide to Movies, Entertainment and Culture, is a high-impact, strategic, cost-effective way to do just that. For more than two decades, it has inspired and encouraged entertainment leaders to increase the number and quality of movies with explicit Christian, redemptive, faith-based themes and content.


PHOTO ABOVE: Dr. Ted Baehr, Founder & Chairman, Christian Film and Television Commission.

The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters
By  Charles Colson and Harold Fickett
We live in an era when many leaders teach that “all roads lead to God.” The concept of a narrow way and a righteous God are not politically correct, much less popular. Many would argue that the decades-long movement toward religious syncretism in modern culture has even weakened the Church. That is why this book is “for our troubled times and for decades to come, for Christians and non-Christians alike,” says the publisher. “It is the most important book Chuck Colson has ever written: a thought-provoking, soul-searching, and powerful manifesto of the great, historical central truths of Christianity that have sustained believers through the centuries. Brought to life with vivid, true stories, here is what Christianity is really about and why it is a religion of hope, redemption, and beauty.” To purchase a copy click here.



Here is one good idea that a fellow NRB member cannot wait to share with you!

Read More…

A compilation of timely news that's of critical importance to Christian communicators. Updated several times daily. 

The President's blog considers the factors that influence our efforts to use electronic media for the cause of Christ.
Read More... 

The Chairman's Page considers how we can re-focus ourselves and our actions back to our scriptural heritage.

Does Your Organization Deserve the least Legal Protection or the BEST?


NRB’s new legal resource, The Guardian Group, is designed specifically with the NRB member organization in mind. We know in the past you’ve probably used a system to minimize legal liability and avoid costly mistakes, but these are extraordinary times, with unprecedented threats ahead. Membership in The Guardian Group will entitle you to breaking news and information about those threats, free representation on NRB-related legal cases and issues, and pro-active ways to avoid legal “land mines."
Further details... 


Join a select group of leaders in supporting NRB’s efforts to preserve your rights in Washington, D.C.




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