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Caren Browning/Rebecca Freed
The Morris + King Company
“Lynn v. Sekulow: Politics, Religion & The Public Square” is a First-of-its-Kind Blog from the Leading Web Site for Multi-Faith Religion and Spirituality
New York, NY – August 18, 2008 – Beliefnet.com, the leading online community for faith and spirituality, announced today the launch of “Lynn v. Sekulow: Politics, Religion & The Public Square,” an ongoing opposing-viewpoints blog with the nation’s two leading church/state authorities, operating from opposite sides of the issue.
The blog will feature written and video posts, taking an expansive view of the debate over faith and religion in American politics and government—from scrutinizing one of the top presidential campaign issues – expanding faith-based initiatives – to previewing the Supreme Court’s fall term, to debating the effort to issue “I Believe” license plates in South Carolina. “Lynn v. Sekulow” can be viewed at: http://blog.beliefnet.com/lynnvsekulow/ and will also be featured on Bloggingheads.tv.
As Chief Counsel for the conservative American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), Jay Sekulow has argued landmark cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Rev. Barry Lynn is the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a Christian minister and longtime civil liberties activist. Both are staunch defenders of religious freedom who host popular national radio programs, and are frequent contributors to national news programs and publications.
"Few topics touch more raw nerves than the role of religion in public life—from prayer in the school to religion in the White House," says Steve Waldman, Editor-in-Chief, Co-Founder and President of Beliefnet.com. "We're privileged to have two of the smartest, most passionate advocates to argue through the disagreements on these key issues and even show us some areas of common ground.”
In addition to weighing in on court cases that figure prominently in the breaking news cycle—particularly as the Supreme Court’s 2008 term opens this fall—the Sekulow/Lynn blog will examine broader questions about faith and politics such as Barack Obama’s position on late-term abortion bans, John McCain’s reticence towards “God talk,” religion in the schools, prayer in the military and religious monuments in public places. Other topics in the pipeline include:
• The ACLU’s Attempt to End Lunchtime Prayer at the U.S. Naval Academy
• American United’s Attempts to Prevent South Carolina from Issuing an “I Believe” License Plate
• ACLJ’s Upcoming First Amendment Case Before the Supreme Court Focusing on Displaying Monuments of the Utah Summum group’s “Seven Aphorisms” & the Ten Commandments
• The California Supreme Court’s Legalization of Gay Marriage and the Current Attempt to Overrule it Through a November Ballot Initiative
“Most Americans have strong and divergent views on the critical issues facing this nation—whether it’s the proper role of religion in politics, the military or the public square, or protecting human life,” says Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice. “My friend Rev. Barry Lynn is a passionate and articulate advocate for his view of the constitution—a view that I will certainly challenge. It’s our hope that ‘Lynn v. Sekulow’ will not only engage the issues that matter most, but will add to the discourse in a convincing and meaningful way.”
While some “Lynn v. Sekulow” posts will be argumentative, others will be explanatory, offering unique analysis in today’s fast-breaking and frequently confusing news environment. Visitors to Beliefnet.com will engage the two authorities in a “comments” section as they argue and deconstruct the most dynamic issues fueling the culture wars.
"Your mom probably told you it's not polite to talk about religion and politics at the dinner table, but let's face it—those types of discussions are usually the most interesting ones, and if there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that Americans like taking part in a good, robust debate,” says Barry Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. “My old friend Jay Sekulow and I don't agree on much, but we’re both looking forward to a spirited debate on important 'culture war' issues.”
This blog, and the recently launched “Progressive Revival,” which features more than 28 prominent religious and political liberal bloggers, adds to Beliefnet’s coverage of religion and politics which includes God-O-Meter—Beliefnet’s “scientific” calibrator for the presidential candidates’ use of “God Talk” and the faith factor in the Campaign 2008—penned by Beliefnet Politics Editor Dan Gilgoff (http://blog.beliefnet.com/godometer). Other political coverage includes Steven Waldman’s column on religion and politics published on the Wall Street Journal Online, and regular interviews with candidates about their faith lives. Waldman and Rod Dreher, Beliefnet’s Conservative “Crunchy Con” blogger, will also be covering the upcoming political conventions.
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