Ron Brown

Nebraska running backs coach Ron Brown talks during the FreedMen Conquest at Pershing Center on March 24, 2012.

LJS file photo

The authorities are not going to keep Ron Brown quiet.

"They tell me to shut up," the assistant Husker football coach said Saturday during opening comments at the FreedMen Conquest 2012, a daylong rally for Christian men and boys at the Pershing Center.

"They tell me to stick to my place and shut up," Brown said. 

"That I won't do."

Brown has been criticized in recent weeks for not clearly saying he didn't represent the University of Nebraska when opposing an Omaha ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Some have called for his dismissal because of his views about homosexuals, saying he doesn't represent the university's anti-discrimination policy, which includes sexual orientation.

Saturday, he showed no signs of backing down.

"Understand something. There is going to be a resistance, an opposition," Brown said to the almost 2,000 men and boys gathered at Pershing for the third-annual rally hosted by FreedMen Nebraska, one of Brown's ministries that focuses on spreading the gospel.

The event blended song, prayer, inspiration and football analogies. Attendees also prayed at the foot of the Capitol before breaking for lunch.

Inside Pershing, Brown encouraged each member of the audience to speak out and "be a warrior for God."

"All of us together. Let's go talking together."

There is a time to say what is right and what is wrong, he said. A time to bring that message "out to the street, to the public square."

"Biblical truth is at stake," he said. "Nebraska is teeter-tottering, and could go either way."

Brown also referred to an ACLU letter two years ago to public schools suggesting they should not invite him to speak because he promotes his religion.

He said he is tired of calling his neighborhood attorney to check out what he can or cannot say.

"Bring it on," he said. "When you are loved so much, you can't play it safe anymore."

Reach Nancy Hicks at 402-473-7250 or nhicks@journalstar.com.

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