September 26, 2018

James A. Smith Sr.





Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Honored with NRB’s 2018 Faith & Freedom Award

WASHINGTON (NRB) – The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) presented its 2018 Faith & Freedom Award to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday, September 25.

“We are grateful for Senator McConnell’s principled and strategic leadership, and I thank him in particular for ensuring that Justice Neil Gorsuch made it into the seat on the Supreme Court once filled by Justice Antonin Scalia,” said Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, NRB’s president & CEO, in presenting the award during the NRB Capitol Hill Media Summit, the annual gathering of the NRB President’s Council.

“The Senate Majority Leader’s quick and decisive action is what ensured that the American people would have a say in the future direction of the high court, and it is no accident that they surprised nearly everyone by defying the odds of the pundit class in not only electing President Trump, but also re-electing a Republican majority in the Senate,” Johnson continued. “And now, instead of the court tilting further Left for a generation, we have Justice Gorsuch. I’m thankful for Senator McConnell.”

Although the decision to honor McConnell with the prestigious award was made long before the current controversy over the Supreme Court confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Johnson praised McConnell’s recent public statements promising a vote on the nomination.

“I, for one, appreciate the spirit of fairness to the accuser and accused that he and Chairman Grassley are displaying in the midst of such serious allegations, as well as his leadership in the midst of the months-long circus facilitated by leading Senate Democrats who were clearly committed to derailing any nomination from President Trump to replace Justice Kennedy,” Johnson added.

McConnell told Johnson and approximately 40 NRB leaders: “We’re going to vote on this, and we’re going to vote on this soon.”

He also decried the tactics employed to delay the process for as long as possible, and how some believe any allegation should be believed despite the fact that due process posits the rebuttable presumption of innocence.

“I’m hopeful and I’m optimistic that this good man will be confirmed,” he said.

Other troubling trends the senator noted included how Democrats are looking at the judiciary as another legislative body, the lack of tolerance for other points of view, and how some believe religion can only be practiced on Sunday.

“There’s a lot of Americans who think it’s a good idea to do that every day without having someone else trying to shut them up or criticize their own beliefs,” the senator noted.

Upon receiving the NRB’s Faith & Freedom Award, McConnell said, “Thank you very much for this award. I really appreciate it. I want to thank you for what you do.”

Elected to the position of Senate Majority Leader unanimously by his Republican colleagues first in 2014 and again in 2016, McConnell is only the second Kentuckian to ever serve as Majority Leader in the U.S. Senate. He is also the longest-serving Senate Republican Leader in the history of the United States, as well Kentucky’s longest-serving senator, having been first elected to the Senate in 1984.

NRB annually presents the Faith & Freedom Award to a stalwart defender of religious liberty at its Capitol Hill Media Summit, the annual gathering of the NRB President’s Council in Washington, D.C. Past award recipients include former Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), former Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Alliance Defending Freedom Founder Alan Sears, former Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), former Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), former Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), former Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, and Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.).

PHOTO ABOVE: Photograph by Cassie Gerhardstein

About NRB

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

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 will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, March 26-29, 2019. For more information, go to




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