Trump Speaks at NRB Convention, Promises to Protect Religious Liberty

March 1, 2024
Trump NRB | First Liberty Insider

by Kassie Dulin, Director of Government Affairs and Counsel  • 5 min read

On February 22, former President Donald Trump delivered a 75-minute speech at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention, an event billed as the world’s “largest gathering of Christian communicators.” During the speech, Trump promised to “aggressively defend” religious liberty if he is reelected as president.

Trump opened his speech in Nashville by saying, “Americans of faith are not a threat to our country. Americans of faith are the soul of our country.”

He then reminded attendees how his administration, “did more to uphold religious freedom than any administration in history,” especially through the appointment of judges dedicated to upholding the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law.

Trump said his administration, “fearlessly protected the conscience rights of doctors, nurses, teachers, and faith groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor.” He also prevented the IRS from leveraging the Johnson Amendment – a law that has chilled the speech of faith leaders for decades – against “pastors’ freedom of speech.”

In a groundbreaking act, President Trump also installed “faith advisors in every federal department and agency” to ensure that his administration protected and promoted religious liberty through federal policies and programs.

And – in what may be the most enduring act of the Trump White House – the former president did, indeed, “totally” transform the federal judiciary, appointing over 230 federal judges dedicated to upholding the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law, including three U.S. Supreme Court justices – Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.

After highlighting his record, the presidential candidate cast a detailed vision of how a future Trump administration would “aggressively defend religious liberty” in “all of its forms,” including in “our schools, in our military, in our government.”

Trump announced that he would create a “new federal task force” to fight “anti-Christian bias,” by investigating “all forms of illegal discrimination, harassment, and persecution against Christians in America” and promised to permanently end the Johnson Amendment. He assured listeners that, under his leadership, the federal government would never again “target religious believers.”

Trump even alluded to First Liberty’s U.S. Supreme Court victory in 2019, which prevented the 100-year-old Bladensburg WWI Veterans Memorial from being torn down for featuring a cross. He promised, “No one will be touching the cross of Christ under the Trump administration. I swear to you, that will never happen.”

Trump gave other assurances that will appeal to many people of faith, including promising to stand proudly with “our friend and ally, the State of Israel,” to support “universal school choice,” “restore the timeless truth that God created two genders, male and female,” “keep men out of women’s sports,” and “sign a law prohibiting child sexual mutilation in all 50 states.”

And he promised to “once again appoint rock-solid conservative judges in the mold of Justice Antonin Scalia and the great Clarence Thomas.”

For those troubled by the erosion of our First Amendment freedoms, Trump’s speech casts a vision of a hopeful future for religious liberty.

Watch the full speech below:

* Disclaimer: First Liberty Institute reports on the religious liberty-related statements and actions of key national leaders, including presidential candidates. The information contained in this document is provided for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any candidate, political party, or ideology.

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