Protecting Freedom

Email Print

The makeup of a society is a group of people with common territory, interaction, culture and infrastructure.  Culture is the complexity of religion, knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, morals and customs.  One of the key platforms that affect and mold culture in any given society is media.  In modern society television, newspapers, radio, magazines, movies, advertising and social media have become the major sources of information and education. They also are powerful forces of cultural transmission and socialization.  Some may debate that mass media plays a central role in social construction.  Regardless, media is a powerful instrument to inject vision, direction, ideology and even propaganda into a nation.  It would be safe to conclude that whoever controls “mass media” controls cultural mindset and beliefs. 


Imagine a nation where media is controlled by its governing body.  That government has seized absolute authority over all broadcasting, which includes both television and radio.  It then proceeds to dictate the participants and the content by non-elected agencies.  Acting like a police state these media agencies control the information stream of its society, permitting cooperative agenda and opposing opinion, belief and thought that contradicts their vision for socialization.  This type of governance is strategic, deceptive and suppressive. Its purpose is to institute a limited philosophy and ideology for the ultimate goal of control. 

When reviewing these types of practices within a particular nation most would see this as a closed intolerant society with government that is communistic, totalitarian and dictatorial.   World perception is that media control and suppression is limited to nations such as Iran, Syria, Cuba, Communist China and North Korea.  Although this is true, sadly this type of media practice is beginning to transpire in nations that have a notion of being tolerant, open and democratic.  The nation of Canada fits into this framework.  Although Canada is a Parliamentary Democracy the laws and policies that govern its media are becoming far less democratic.  Canada’s media freedom has been eroding for the past eighty years, completely contradicting and opposing the nation’s governing document known as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In 1932 The Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (CRBC) was formed under the leadership of Prime Minister Bennett.  The commission’s mandate was to regulate and control all broadcasting within Canada.  The CRBC directive also included the ability to lease, acquire and construct stations in order to disseminate the commissions programming.  This legislation gave the government absolute power over all broadcasting within the nation.  In 1968 the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was formed, it’s purpose, to regulated and provide licensing for broadcasting within Canada.  The CRTC regulates all Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications activities and enforces laws and regulations it creates in order fulfill the agencies mandate.  With unfettered control, the CRTC formed The Canadian Broadcast Standards Commission in 1990; it acts as a censorship board to police all Canadian broadcasting. 

The Canadian government has systematically seized control of all broadcasting within the nation.  Government now has the authority to dictate social and cultural transmission.  For example, since 1936 there has been reluctance and an increasing hostility towards Christian programming within Canada.  The reality is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Biblical teachings that positively affect culture don’t fit the CRTC’s agenda.  Licenses have been withheld and those granted have been limited. 

Censorship has also transpired within Christian programming, both on television and radio as Ministers attempt to communicate Biblical teachings to the nation.  Leaders within Canada have been systematically attempting to erase the Judeo-Christian values that have been the core of Canada culture for decades.  By controlling media platforms and content they are forcing their agenda to transform the nation’s social structure. The restriction of Biblical truths will unequivocally be the detriment to the morality of any society and Canada is not exempted.

Facing the same obstacles within the United States a group of Christian programmers decided to form an organization that would uphold freedom of religion and speech afforded to them within the U.S Constitution.  In 1944 The National Religious Broadcasters Association (NRB) was founded, it’s mission: “to advance Biblical truth; to promote media excellence; and to defend free speech.”  The NRB is committed to preserving religious freedom by keeping the doors of electronic media open for the spreading of the Gospel.  Since its inception the NRB now has a membership of 1700 organizations and has successfully maintain and expanded Christian broadcasting within the United States. 

Sir John Dalberg-Acton the historian and moralist stated, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  When democratic governments cease control of property, education/information and the will of the people it has transgressed liberty and violated democracy.  There must be organizations within the Canadian democratic society that hold the government accountable to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, without them civil liberties will disappear.  Silence can never be an option especially when national leaders over reach beyond constitutional boundaries and overstep the rights of the people.   

In October 2011 a group of Christian Broadcasters, Programmers, Church and Para-Church organizations, with the support of the NRB, came together to form the Canadian Religious Broadcasters Association (CRBA).  The organizations goal: proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, transform culture through sound Biblical teachings and preserve religious freedom by keeping the doors of electronic media open for the presentation of the Gospel.  Eighty years overdue, the CRBA along with present and future members will work together to preserve the rights afforded to individuals and organizations in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  The Canadian Religious Broadcasting Association is committed to supporting its membership, working with government and its agencies, protecting the proclamation of the Gospel and upholding liberty for all Canadian citizens.  

Dr. Peter R Marshall