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Lynn, Barry W. 1948-

Lynn, Barry W. 1948-


Born July 20, 1948, in Harrisburg, PA; son of Harold William and Edith Christine Fairchild Lynn; married; children: two. Education: Dickinson College, B.A., 1970; Boston University, Th.M., 1973; Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1978.


Home—Chevy Chase, MD. E-mail—[email protected]


Minister, activist, and writer. Ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, 1974—; Board of Church and Society, Washington, DC, legislative counsel, 1978-80; Draft Action, Inc., president, 1981-83; National Security Dissent Project, William O. Douglas Inquiry into the State of Individual Freedom, director, 1983; American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), legislative counsel, 1984-c. 1991; Battleline radio talk show, cohost, 1989-93; Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Washington, DC, executive director, 1992—; Culture Shocks radio program, host. Also served two years regular cohost of Pat Buchanan and Company and did a weekly syndicated radio program, Review of the News, with Col. Oliver North. Has appeared on numerous television and radio talk shows.


District of Columbia Bar.


Polluting the Censorship Debate: A Summary and Critique of the Final Report of the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography, American Civil Liberties Union (Washington, DC), 1986.

(With Marc D. Stern and Oliver S. Thomas) The Right to Religious Liberty: The Basic ACLU Guide to Religious Rights, Southern Illinois University Press (Carbondale, IL), 1995.

Piety & Politics: The Right-Wing Assault on Religious Freedom, Harmony Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Nation, Church & State, and USA Today.


Barry W. Lynn is an activist minister with a law degree and executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Lynn is also "a major voice on religious liberty issues," according to a contributor to Religious Leaders of America. The author is especially noted for his opposition to the Religious Right's efforts to combine politics and religion. In his book, Piety & Politics: The Right-Wing Assault on Religious Freedom, Lynn provides an historical perspective on the separation of church and state as he examines modern-day issues and controversies surrounding this issue, such as gay rights and school prayer. He also discusses his opposition to right-wing religious leaders, such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, for their efforts to insert their religious philosophy as the basis for a theocratic government. The author argues that those who wish to proclaim their own religious beliefs as the standard for all people under a single government disregard basic fundamentals of liberty, including the law and diversity of faith. Writing in Booklist, Vanessa Bush called Piety & Politics a "well-considered examination of this contentious issue." A Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote: "Lynn maintains a reasonable demeanor, largely foregoing cheap shots and one-liners." The reviewer added that the author "remains convinced that most Americans want a government that backs no religion and suppresses no religion."



Religious Leaders of America, 2nd edition, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1999.


Booklist, October 1, 2006, Vanessa Bush, review of Piety & Politics: The Right-Wing Assault on Religious Freedom, p. 29.

Church & State, November, 2006, "Barry Lynn's Book Gets Great Reviews, Now in Bookstores," p. 20.

Conscience, winter, 2006, review of Piety & Politics, p. 49.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2006, review of Piety & Politics, p. 825.


Americans United, Oklahoma Chapter Web site, (March 2, 2007), profile of author.

Culture Shocks Web site, (March 2, 2007), brief profile of author.

Kansas State University, Office of Mediated Education Web site, (March 2, 2007), profile of author.

Piety & Politics Web site, (March 2, 2007).

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