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Lynn v. Sekulow

Lynn v. Sekulow

Bio

Since 1992, the Rev. Barry W. Lynn has served as executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a Washington, D.C.-based organization dedicated to the preservation of the Constitution's religious liberty provisions (www.au.org).

In addition to his work as a long-time activist and lawyer in the civil liberties field, Lynn is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, offering him a unique perspective on church-state issues.

An accomplished speaker and lecturer, Lynn has appeared frequently on television and radio broadcasts to offer analysis of First Amendment issues. News programs on which Lynn has appeared include PBS's "NewsHour," NBC's "Today Show," Fox News Channel's "O'Reilly Factor," ABC's "Nightline," CNN's "Crossfire," CBS's "60 Minutes," MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," Fox News Channel's "Hannity & Colmes," ABC's "Good Morning America," CNN's "Larry King Live" and the national nightly news on NBC, ABC and CBS.

On the radio, Lynn serves as host of "Culture Shocks," a daily look at various issues affecting society and the culture. In the 1990s he served for two years as regular co-host of "Pat Buchanan and Company" and after that did a weekly syndicated radio program, "Review of the News," with Col. Oliver North. Lynn is a regular guest on nationally broadcast radio programs, including National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," "Morning Edition" and "Talk of the Nation," as well as having appeared on national networks such as CBS Radio, CNN Radio, ABC Radio and AP Radio.

Lynn began his professional career working at the national office of the United Church of Christ, including a two-year stint as legislative counsel for the Church's Office of Church in Society in Washington, D.C. From 1984 to 1991 he was legislative counsel for the Washington office of the American Civil Liberties Union.

In 2006, Lynn authored Piety & Politics: The Right-Wing Assault On Religious Freedom (Harmony Books). In 2008 he coauthored (with C. Welton Gaddy) First Freedom First: A Citizen's Guide to Protecting Religious Liberty and the Separation of Church and State (Beacon Press).

Lynn writes frequently on religious liberty issues, and has had essays published in outlets such as USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Nation. Lynn also has op-eds published frequently by the McClatchy and Scripps-Howard newspaper chains.

A member of the Washington, D.C. and U.S. Supreme Court bar, Lynn earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1978. In addition, he received his theology degree from Boston University School of Theology in 1973.

Lynn, who was born in Harrisburg, Pa., and raised in Bethlehem, Pa., lives in Chevy Chase, Md., with his family.

Thanks for the Memories

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Well Jay, the time has come for me to say goodbye. Note to people who are really happy about this: I’m not leaving the planet, just this blog. As I noted in a personal email, after much thought, I have […]

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President Obama is the “Angel of Death”? Give me a break!

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I think you would agree with me that businesses have the right to hire and fire as they see fit. Fox News, per usual, has manufactured a controversy here, and that’s all there is to it. But since you […]

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Enough With The Church Politicking

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I’m not sure if you heard all the ruckus recently coming out of Sioux City, Iowa. Americans United filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service over a Sioux City church that insists it should receive a tax exemption […]

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The Two Days I Could Not Find the Real Constitution

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I couldn’t agree with you more – we should honor the Constitution every single day. Unfortunately, the past two weekends I found myself surrounded by people who don’t seem to value the Constitution as much as I do. It […]

Ground Zero Hypocrisy

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, The “Ground Zero Mosque” debate continues. I appeared on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” on Friday evening to discuss the issue with Walid Shoebat – a man who claims he’s a Muslim terrorist turned Christian. Because of Shoebat’s […]

How About Some Tolerance?

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, You explained your legal argument (I still don’t believe it’s a winning one), but you fail to address the broader issue. That is, why can’t Americans be tolerant enough to respect the rights of all, whether they agree with […]

Religious Discrimination At Its Worst: ACLJ Lawsuit Must Fail

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, You must REALLY like the Burlington Coat Factory. That’s the only logical explanation I can come up with for why the American Center for Law and Justice, which claims it’s all about preserving Americans’ religious freedom, would file a […]

Kagan And Religious Liberty: Too Bad We Didn’t Learn More

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I think you know how I feel about the National Day of Prayer decision. I think it’s a good one and I hope it sticks. Let’s turn now to other current events. The Senate Judiciary Committee proceedings have come […]

Jay, You’ve Missed the Mark

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay,   Like Supreme Court Justices Alito, Scalia, Roberts and Thomas, you have characterized this case all wrong. You write that the majority’s decision is flawed because it has denied the Christian Legal Society (CLS) its fundamental right to religious […]

A Big Win at the Supreme Court

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Today, Americans United is celebrating another victory – this time at the U.S. Supreme Court. This morning, the high court upheld a policy at University of California, Hastings College of the Law that prohibits school-subsidized clubs from engaging in religious […]

Public School Graduations Do Not Belong in a Church

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, More than a week has gone by since a district court judge in Connecticut ruled that a public high school could not hold its two high schools’ graduation ceremonies in a cathedral, yet I haven’t heard any complaints from […]

Jay: You Are Right

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, you were certainly right to support a student’s right to wear a rosary in spite of a public school’s “anti gang symbol” policy–and indeed to challenge the facial constitutionality of the school’s fundamentally flawed approach to restricting First Amendment […]

Kagan: Church, State and Privacy

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I too would like to get to the bottom of all this and get some answers on what Kagan’s views truly are. I am troubled by some things that I have read, and I need to know where Kagan […]

Supreme Court Nominee Kagan Should Answer Tough Church-State Questions

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, For once, we may actually agree on something. Because Kagan is not a judge, she lacks a clear record on church-state issues. That’s why Americans United is also calling on the Senate Judiciary Committee to fill in the picture […]

Say Your Goodbyes to the Last National Day of Prayer

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I prayed today.  I forgot that this was National Day of Prayer.  I hope no members of Congress objected to me acting on my own and basically not giving one hoot what they thought about it.  Maybe I should […]

Supreme Court Sends Signal: Keep Cross Where It Is

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

A fractured Supreme Court yesterday decided to remand–or send back to the lower court–the contentious case involving a congressional “land swap” that allowed the Veterans of Foreign Wars to keep a cross up in the Mojave National Preserve. Justice Anthony […]

Judge Crabb’s Right, You’re Wrong

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I find your arguments regarding the National Day of Prayer decision highly unpersuasive, and quite frankly, wrong. First, our country does not have “a long history of recognizing the national day of prayer dating back to the late 1700’s,” […]

A Big Win For Religious Freedom Today

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I just heard some great news: a U.S. District Judge has ruled today that the congressional mandated National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. I’m sure you have already read the decision, but Judge Barbara Crabb rightfully concluded that the […]

Sad to See Justice Stevens Retire

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, You are right — Justice John Paul Stevens did make it clear where he stands on church-state separation and I would like to see his successor do the same. While you may not appreciate Justice Stevens for his contributions […]

Supreme Court and Protecting the Rights of ALL Students

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I’m glad you brought up this soon-to-be-argued controversy. Americans United has also joined in on this case, filing a friend-of-the-court brief in support of University of California, Hastings College of Law for their commitment to stand up against discrimination. […]

Health Care

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, Let’s be real here. Do you really think these lawsuits have a single winning argument? And, frankly, since when do state attorneys general have standing in matters like this? Frankly, I think opponents of health care reform are getting […]

Looks Like Bad History Is Winning in Texas

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, At least we can agree on one thing: let’s not rewrite history. But that appears to be all that the right-wing members on the Texas State Board of Education want to do. We’ve already been through this once with […]

Healthcare Substance More Important Than Style

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

It is not clear at this point how, if at all, the President’s health care plan will be enacted. Polls on this topic are universally poor.  So, let’s try to simplify this. Jay, do you agree or disagree with these […]

Discrimination and DeWeese — Both Need to Go

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I’m not saying that faith-based social service groups do not do good work. Some do great work, and many do this work with private funding in order to maintain their religious independence. Other groups that want to receive taxpayer […]

Self Interest and Religious Discrimination Mark Anniversary of Obama Faith Based Initiative

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

It’s been one year since Obama announced his version of the faith-based office. Civil rights and civil liberties groups such as Americans United are still fighting Bush-era battles over tax funding to religious groups that proselytize, job discrimination on religious […]

Will You Help Us Stop ‘The Family’s’ Intolerant Agenda?

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Yesterday morning, I joined several religious leaders in criticizing The Family for its ties to David Bahati, a Ugandan legislator who is pushing the country’s oppressive anti-gay law that calls for the execution of gays and the imprisonment of those […]

Why There Are 59 Democrats In the Senate

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I was over on Capitol Hill the day after the Senate election in Massachusetts. Democrats didn’t appear to be in a very good mood. With just a few days distance from the election, I think that there is only one […]

Teen Challenge and Faith-Based Funding:

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay,   While we wait to hear what happens in Congress over the health care bill, I thought we may move on to another topic.     I’d like to discuss an important issue that Americans United has been working […]

Abortion: When will you ever be satisfied?

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, Will your side ever be happy? Here, Sen. Ben Nelson has dramatically expanded anti-choice legislation – to the disappointment of pro-choice advocates – and yet, you are still complaining. As Cecile B. Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of […]

Happy Holidays to you, Jay!

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I’m glad you brought this up. I’d like to know, what’s wrong with saying “Happy Holidays” and “Seasons Greetings” anyway?  Isn’t the Christmas spirit about being welcoming, loving and peaceful to all? Don’t you think when certain Religious Right […]

Capitol Visitor Center Is About the History of Government, Not Religion

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, It’s a shame the Freedom From Religion Foundation had to file this lawsuit at all. This should never have been an issue in the first place. The Capitol Visitor Center is a building dedicated to the history and importance […]

There Is Still Time to Save Health Care Reform From the Catholic Bishops

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, You asked me: “Would you have criticized the Catholic Church if it had OPPOSED the Stupak/Pitts Amendment and it failed to clear the House?” Here’s my answer:  Of course not.  I think everyone should support the Constitution. In this […]

Why Push Catholic Moral Theology?

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay,   I’d like to turn our focus away from Planned Parenthood and on to the Catholic Bishops.   As I’m sure you know, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops persuaded Congress nearly single-handedly this weekend to add an amendment […]

Halloween Continued…And Planned Parenthood

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Little did I know when I started writing about Halloween that new “research” by the Christian Broadcasting Network uncovered that witches were contaminating Halloween candy and allowing demons to be ingested by “Trick or Treaters.”  But here it is. Now […]

Halloween, Religion and the Public Schools

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Every year about this time Americans United starts getting calls about celebrations of Halloween in public schools. They come from two kinds of people.  First, we get calls from Christians wondering why Pagans are able to get decorations and parties […]

Did We Get Rid of Good Medical Care…And Death Panels

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I have just one comment on the cross controversy at the Supreme Court.  In my view, the Court will probably end up not resolving the core issue of the legitimacy of the land tranfer and resolve this either on standing […]

Mojave Cross — A Constitutional Crisis Indeed

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, It was a pleasure seeing you, too. I always am up for a great photo-op, too. As you know, I’m heading to New York right now to appear on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight to discuss this very case. But […]

Adopt Me–But Don’t Expect Me To Rake Leaves

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

In a shift in right-wing “prayer” policy, the Liberty Counsel is now urging supporters to “adopt” a “liberal” and pray for that person to change his or her political and moral beliefs. The campaign allows people to “adopt” one of […]

It’s All Relative

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, a few thoughts: The Ten Commandments, as you and Judge DeWeese seem to believe, don’t represent an “absolute,” any more than the allegedly “relativist” proposals which seem to upset you. It’s impossible to claim the Ten Commandments aren’t open to interpretation. […]

My Own Family Values

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Sadly, I had to miss this year’s edition of the Religious Right’s “family values” festival — the Values Voters Summit here in Washington.  I was engaging in my own celebration of family values by participating in my son’s wedding out […]

More Thoughts On the Abortion Diversion

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

On Thursday, I blogged defending the position that the current version of the health care reform bill moving through the House does not cover abortion. I’ve tried to respond to some of the posted responses already. I’d also like to […]

Health Care Speech and the Truth About Abortion Coverage

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I don’t know which polls you are looking at, but it appears that there was a double digit growth in support of the President’s basic approach after he spoke to the joint session of Congress.  He also told the truth […]

Miss California: Look Pretty, Don’t Preach–Anything Wrong With That?

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I should begin by noting that I hate beauty pageants. Judging women, in whole or in large part, by appearances is a sexist and anachronistic affront to an entire gender. I must admit, however, that the latest wrinkle in the […]

Sen. Kennedy Will Be Missed

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Today, our country has lost one of its strongest defenders of the Constitution, Sen. Edward M.Kennedy. He was a longstanding civil rights advocate and will be greatly missed. I issued this statement about Sen. Kennedy this morning via Americans United’s […]

Outrage In Proportion

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I like to think that my outrage is in relative proportion to the outrage that generated it in the first place.  I have never been known to give any politician a “pass” nor to overstate the gravity of a politician’s anti-separation errors. […]

God’s Chosen Healthcare Reform?

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Yesterday at 5 o’clock Eastern time, I joined the President and 130,000 of his closest friends on a conference call about health care.  Earlier in the day, the President had a similar phone call with about 1,000 rabbis, initiated by […]

Health Care Disinformation

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

The White House flagging program was both less useful and less sinister than its advocates and opponents, respectively, believed.  One can understand the frustration that the White House has about the astonishing level of lies, misinformation and nonsense being promoted by the […]

Ann, Aliens and the Antichrist: A Corrective For Coulter

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I want to get back to the very serious issue of the debate over health care in a few days, but I want to interrupt that flow with a point of personal privilege. You see, I have been attacked […]

Vouchers Hurt Public Schools

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, As one of the commentators on our blog stated, parent satisfaction does not define whether vouchers have been successful. So while I am sympathetic to parent testimony, it’s hardly a reason for changing my stance. I have cited and […]

Volunteering Works, Vouchers Don’t

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I think it’s great that so many Americans want to volunteer for good causes, and I have no problem that many want to work with faith-based groups. Americans can volunteer for and/or donate to the charity of their choice; […]

From Pre-Born to Already Born

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Not surprisingly, we have such a different view about fetuses and their alleged “rights” that we haven’t resolved the issue of coverage of “reproductive health” and abortion in the healthcare bill. You would grant constitutional rights to what the Religious […]

All Women Deserve Health Care with the Right to Choose

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, any sensible health care reform plan is going to have to cover women’s reproductive health care more completely and equitably than the current system. We need to listen to those in the medical field as to what is the […]

Did We Learn Anything From the Sotomayor Hearings?

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

When all is said and done, Jay, I’m not sure either one of us learned what we wanted to from the hearings. Many issues were discussed ad nauseum; others virtually untouched.  (The Washington Post did any excellent analysis of this […]

Sotomayor: Clearly Qualified

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Let me try to figure out your position on what Judge Sonia Sotomayor has said about a couple of issues. I have a few questions. First, you noted in your last post that she said that Roe v. Wade was […]

Good Questions: Yes; Pontifications and Disruptions: No

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, of course senators on the Judiciary Committee should ask thoughtful questions about what we often refer to as “judicial philosophy” during the hearings on Judge Sonia Sotomayor.  There is only one problem: some members of the committee have already made it clear […]

What Freedom Could Mean

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I like the principles of freedom in the Declaration of Independence (and the Constitution) as much as the next guy (that would be you.)  But when I hear conservatives like Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Mark Levin, and a host […]

Sotomayor Convinces 4/9 of Supreme Court She Is Right

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, give me a break.  Four of the nine Justices of the Supreme Court yesterday reached the same conclusion that Judge Sonia Sotomayor did as a judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  The other five reached an alternative […]

Iran: Bad Actors But US Has Limits

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Of course, Jay, the treatment of religious and political dissidents in Iran is contrary to civilized standards of justice.  It is fine that President Obama has publicly rejected any “apology” for his condemnation of the government.  It is appropriate that […]

Liberty University Changes Partisan Policy

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

The Lynchburg News and Advance reported on Liberty University’s announcement yesterday that it was changing its policy in regard to student political clubs.  From now on, no partisan clubs, even the Republican Club, will be given “official” status or receive […]

Are Marshmallow Peeps Religious Icons?

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I have a certain endearing respect for Peeps, those marshmallow creations which used to be seen solely in the form of chickens and rabbits at Easter but now have a ubiquitous presence during every holiday period.  The creatures come from […]

PBS Should Have Been Tougher About Religious Programming

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

A breathless nation awaited yesterday’s decision by the PBS board about whether to actually require its member stations to adhere to a basic rule.  OK, maybe it wasn’t exactly the whole country holding its breath, but a handful of people […]

Let Us Revisit Terrorist Investigations

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I’d like you to revisit a little blog-versation we had a few months back.  A Department of Homeland Security memo had suggested that it was important for law enforcement agents to concern themselves with domestic, not just foreign, terrorist […]

Probably Not the Best Time For Lectures In Mideast

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

As you know, Jay, I am not unsympathetic to the plight of the many of the people you represent around the world.  There are strong human rights arguments to be made in asylum cases in Europe–and frankly strong ones to […]

Sotomayer: Why Does the Right Assume Extremism

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I’m certainly aware that some of the most “liberal” justices on the Supreme Court agree with your arguments in some cases.  I even agree with your arguments in a few cases.  My question to you earlier, though, was why, […]

Sotomayor’s Record: Scant on “Hot Button” Issues

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Sonia Sotomayor’s judicial record is pretty sparse on many of the issue you and I debate on this blog, Jay.  This did not stop you from announcing on Fox News last Friday that she had an  “very very strict” position on the […]

Liberty University to Democratic Students: Drop Dead

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, just a few days ago I was a participant in an event on “church politicking” at the National Press Club here in Washington.  The event was reported by your friends over at the Christian Broadcasting Network.  The focus of […]

Cross Is Religious; Charter Schools Are Bad News (Usually)

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I think the first four people who responded to your last post claiming the cross isn’t necessarily religious are completely on the mark, particularly emphasizing that all deceased war veterans are not Christian.  I’d be happy to leave them have […]

No Day In Court: Justice Denied

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Yes, Jay, there will be a major battle about the Mojave National Preserve cross next term in the Supreme Court. In fact, it is really two battles in one.  The first is whether the plaintiff in this case is even […]

Quick Question: Anybody Praying Harder Today?

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I don’t want to get into a big debate here about the value, if any, of prayer.  However, this is the National Day of Prayer, so designated by an act of Congress back in 1952.  President Obama, as required by […]

Shocking News! President May Pick Justice Who Agrees With Him

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I have been amused over the weekend by the “sky is falling” rhetoric of the Right about the impending retirement of David Souter from the Supreme Court. Curiously, Jay, many of your colleagues concede that they don’t like Souter’s record, […]

No, Jay, the Toe Tapping Will Have To Go

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Well, Jay, we didn’t agree about holding graduations in churches.  It looks like we won’t agree on what students can say or do at graduation, either. Songs which mention God are usually called “hymns.”  Hymns are prayers set to music.  […]

Graduation Battle: What Does Theology Have To Do With It?

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, let me assure you and all our commentators that I would be similarly upset about a public school graduation in a mosque or in a predominantly GLBT Metropolitan Community Church. The doctrine of this particular church is, of course, […]

Graduation In a Church–and It’s Not Confirmation Class

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Well, Jay, let’s move from the national scene to a local one. Americans United has now filed a precedent-setting lawsuit challenging the use of a church for a public high school graduation ceremony in Wisconsin. We had asked a number […]

Carp, Carp, Carp: Must The Right Always Fish For Reasons To Attack Obama?

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I’ve been out in California a few days and I’m constantly hearing people ask: “Why doesn’t the Right ever give President Obama a break?”  What they mean is that literally every day the hosts of Fox News, the Drudge Report, […]

Homeland Insecurity: Conservatives Shouldn’t Worry About U.S. Report On Extremists

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I can’t believe you have gotten roped into complaining about the Department of Homeland Security’s recent assessment of potential terrorist threats from right-wing groups. You are joining Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and “columnist” Michelle Malkin in […]

Think the “Culture Wars” Are Over? I Have a Bridge in Brooklyn For Sale

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Maybe  James Dobson was just having a particularly bad day.  As the top Religious Right leader gave a “farewell speech” to the staff at Focus On the Family he noted that “we are awash in evil” and that “humanly speaking, […]

Fear Not: One World Government Not Coming

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I’m happy to talk about your fears about creeping internationalism and the end of United States sovereignty.  But wait!  You provide no evidence that this administration wants to give up America’s constitutional form of government or even its currency (that fear […]

More Unwelcome News On Obama Faith-Based Front

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Dan Gilgoff is now reporting that former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy has been invited to join the White House “Advisory Panel On Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships”.  This unnecessary body already has plenty of people on it who are way off […]

History No Guide To National Prayer Day

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I don’t see American history helping you much on your bootstrapping argument about past practice and the National Day of Prayer. Remember that Thomas Jefferson actually vetoed day of prayer resolutions as President-and those were usually focused on some […]

Government Asks People to Pray Really Hard on One Day in May

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Well, Jay, I enjoyed our debate last week at Gettysburg College and look forward to doing more live and in-person events.  I hope you are now satisfied that no students in Kentucky were threatened with arrest and that all of […]

Tragedy Makes For Political Posturing in Kentucky

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Yes, Jay, even I was shocked by your report of “prayer police” in Kentucky.  However, having heard these tales in the past on so many occasions, I got myself under control and immediately realized that many facts are missing. Students […]

Vouchers Go Down; Irony Barely Survives

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Just yesterday, the Senate trounced the effort to create a kind of “voucher scheme forever” for the District of Columbia.  The vote was 58 opposed and 39 in favor.  The issue will not ever go away, of course, because the […]

Tell Rush Limbaugh: His Friends Are Leading Us To Socialism!

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Nevada Senator Jon Ensign has leaped into the debate over the District of Columbia’s school voucher program with both feet.  Although not usually known in Congress for his interest in education, his interest in ideology is apparent justification for attempting […]

Obama Keeps Choice Promises: Why Any Surprise?

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I am incredulous about your continued “shock” that pro-choice Presidential candidate Barack Obama is now pro-choice President Barack Obama. The President made it clear throughout the campaign that he was pro-choice: noting that he would overturn the Mexico City […]

Supreme Court Gets It Partially Right

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Well, Jay, the Supreme Court got it partially right yesterday by conceding the obvious: that when a city accepts any monument from a private party and puts it up as a permanent display in a park, that represents “government speech.” […]

The Cross Must Go To A Place of Honor

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

So, the Supreme Court has accepted the case of Salazar v. Buono involving cross erected on public land. The first and foremost point which we must not lose sight of in this case is that this cross was a religious symbol […]

No Silence Broken: Just Position Restated

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, in spite of your best efforts to create the Fairness Doctrine as a huge issue, you have failed.  The White House did not “break” any silence.  It just reiterated what President Obama had said when he was “candidate” Obama: […]

WHAT DOST THOU FEARETH?

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I know that my good friend Bill Press did get 2 United States Senators (that would be, out of 100) to say they’d consider a return of the Fairness Doctrine.  Some liberal commentators wish he hadn’t even asked. However, […]

Jay, You’re Condemning Obama For Being Obama

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, you may be the only person in America who is shocked (yes,shocked) that President Obama is making good on campaign promises. During thecampaign, Obama was open about his pro-choice views on abortion. He vowed tooverturn the regressive (and frankly […]

SENATE DOESN’T BUY FEAR TACTICS; PRESIDENT MIGHT

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

In spite of your best efforts, Jay, the United States Senate soundly rejected the argument that the stimulus package contained some terrible provision which would interfere with religious student groups meeting in buildings that might be funded by a few tax […]

DEMOCRATS HELP LIMBAUGH

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

As you pointed out, Jay, earlier this week the Democrats handed Rush Limbaugh a major victory: they made him relevant again.  Of course, President Obama’s comment to the Republicans about not “listening” to Limbaugh was supposed to be ironic, as in, […]

SHOCKER! REMOVING GAG RULE UPSETS VATICAN

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I knew you would not be happy, Jay, that President Obama did what he had always said he would do–remove the restriction against even discussing abortion by groups which are engaged in international family planning and receive any tax dollars.  […]

WARREN GETS NO PASS FROM ME

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I’m sorry, Jay, but I can’t say “amen” to your characterization of Rick Warren’s participation in the inaugural ceremony.  Although once you pass the threshold of having two Protestant ministers, it is not unexpected that one or both (in this […]

AWESOME SUNDAY INAUGURAL CONCERT

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I’m not as excited as some of you may be about all the inaugural activities.  Maybe it is because of that tad bit of “realistic cynicism” that hits us here in Washington after a while.  Having said that, yesterday’s concert […]

Inaugural Prayer Opponents Are Right In Principle

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I realize, Jay, you are eager to draw me into this case because your side is likely to win. My position has been consistent: Michael Newdow and all of the other plaintiffs in this suit are right on principle, but […]

Mormon Church Can’t Operate In The Dark

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

You’re not the only one filing a brief before the CaliforniaSupreme Court in the Proposition 8 case this week, Jay. Americans United hasjoined with more than two dozen other civic groups to file our own brief. Notsurprisingly, our argument is […]

Anti-Mormon Sentiment At Focus On the Family?

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I am glad you returned safely from the Middle East.  I’m afraid that long ago I decided that I could not resolve the crisis there so I’ll let your comments speak for themselves. On another front, I know you […]

PHARMACY CASE COULD EXPOSE “SILENT AGENDA”

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Well, Jay, I think your”victory” in the Illinoispharmacy case may be short-lived. First, on the merits, it seems unlikelythat the courts will create some new “right” to allow licensedprofessionals to “opt out” of any practice they find religiouslyobjectionable.  Second, to […]

No Official Christian License Plates in South Carolina

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Well, Jay, Americans United won a very significant victory late last week in a case in South Carolina involving license plates.  U.S. District Court Judge Cameron McGowan Currie granted a preliminary injunction against the state continuing to market or actually […]

No Nativity Scenes=No Atheist Signs=OK By Me

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

In my view, there is an inherent flaw in all of these religious holiday display cases ever since the Supreme Court allowed the city of Pawtucket, Rhode Island to put up as part of its “official” display a Nativity scene […]

Transparency Needed In Proposition 8 Battle

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

We obviously disagree fundamentally about the role of the courts in dealing with issues where fundamental rights (like marriage and equal protection) are at stake.  The “will” of the voters does not trump such rights and the courts exist to […]

PROPOSITION 8: Pernicious and Perhaps Gone

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

 I have been in the San Francisco area for several days.  My trip coincided with the thirtieth anniversary of the assassination of Harvey Milk.  The atmosphere would have been somber simply about that, but it was poisoned even more by […]

OBAMA REJECTS RIDICULOUS SCHOOL ARGUMENTS

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

According to the Washington Post, President-elect Obama has decided to send his two daughters to the Sidwell Friends School.  This is a wise decision.  Earlier in the week both the Post and syndicated columnist Cal Thomas had editorialized that he […]

Religion Does Not Equate With Politics, Economics and Culture

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I must say publicly what I told you privately after the oral argument in the Pleasant Grove City v. Summum argument.  You did a very fine job.  You also know, though, that I believe it was a great job […]

Jay, You Are Making Me Even More Nervous

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Your latest post on Summum should make it clear to lawyers and non-lawyers alike that this case was, is and should forever be seem as a case about whether the government can prefer some religions over others and promote their […]

RELIGION IN SUPREME COURT FOR WRONG REASON

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Pleasant Grove City, Utah, has a website.  It also has a park.  In that park is a monument containing the Ten Commandments.  Some years back, a religious group called Summum asked to put up its own monument in the same […]

RELIGIOUS RIGHT: ONE DOOR SHUTS; FIFTY OPEN

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Before I suggest that readers take a look at a more detailed post-election document, I wanted to note something about your last post.  If prayer is to be taken seriously, we have to know what the praying is for.  I’m […]

EVERYBODY IS DOING IT

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

The blogosphere is filled with them: predictions about the outcome of Tuesday’s election.  Although a Google search indicates there are even ones made by monkeys, a quick examination of the first few hits indicates this could be a put on. […]

Conservative Judicial Panel Makes “New” Law

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

It is usually legal “conservatives” who claim that appealscourts often “make” law, not interpret it.  Well, two of the three judges on the panel of the EleventhCircuit seem to have wildlymisinterpreted the key basis for the only Supreme Court decision […]

NO SPEECH POLICE : JUST COMMONSENSE

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I know you would like to seethe tax code provision barring endorsement of candidates by non-profitsrepealed.  We have a big difference ofopinion about that.              However, I do not see why you believe thatunder the current law the […]

BIG CHICKEN COMES HOME TO ROOST

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

For the past two years I have been telling my liberal friends, Jay, that the Religious Right is not dead; it is not even sleeping.  I’ve also been alerting them to the fact that the so-called “new evangelicals” may have […]

Of Bishops And Signs: Finding New Ways To Flout Federal Tax Law

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

As noted in my last post, if that school assignment was to draw anything you want (and that’s the end of the story), then you were right to intervene.  I would have done the same if her mother had called […]

Schools Can Promote Political Ideas, Cannot Promote Religion

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, you are mixing apples and oranges.  Let’s start with the story of the pro-Obama textbook.  Although I must admit I generally treat anything reported in WorldNetDaily like I used to treat the stories of Bat Boy in the now […]

DIFFERING VIEWS ON ABORTION RAISE BIG QUESTIONS

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

The third Presidential debate did provide another example of the candidates’ views on abortion, but both candidates were unconvincing in their responses to Bob Schieffer’s questions on the matter. On whether a potential nominee’s views on Roe would be a […]

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

                Yes, Jay, there are so many issues that should be discussed in the third debate.  I am not clairvoyant (although given the stock market I am thinking of putting up a psychic hotline and trying to get $2.99 per […]

I ACCEPT THE OFFER…AND MAKE ONE

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I’m glad that Michelle Obama wasn’t too offended, but I still think she had every right to be after Senator McCain’s “that one” comment. Of course, the candidates should address both constitutional law and future Supreme Court nominees at the […]

BORING…AND EVEN MORE

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I’m not a big fan of the Drudge Report, Jay, but Drudge and company nailed it last night as it posted its response to the second Presidential debate in big bold letters: BORING.  Let’s face it though, plenty of things […]

MEDIA NOTICES SUPREME COURT: Appointments Temporarily Considered Important

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I’m sure you noticed that the major media has noticed that there is a Supreme Court.  This may have something to do with the fact that this, the first Monday in October, is the opening day of the 2008-2009 […]

“RELIGULOUS”: REALLY TWO FILMS; ONE NOT SO GOOD

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

OK, Jay, for starters, I did like this Bill Maher film more than I liked Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ”. I saw it last night at a pre-opening screening sponsored by the Washington Area Secular Humanists and the […]

CONGRATULATIONS, JAY: AND I MEAN IT

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

The asylum decision that you just achieved is admirable.  Willfully sending people back to their country of origin if there is credible evidence that persecution will occur there is an affront to international legal principles and virtually any standard of […]

No Fix Needed in Apples and Oranges Matchup

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I’m glad that you appear to agree with me that there is no obvious basis for believing the Supreme Court would surely rule the current “no partisan politicking” rule unconstitutional.  Of course, I don’t want to see a “fix” of […]

Bullies in Pulpits Challenge Law

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Well, about 35 pastors, most with the aid of the Alliance Defense Fund, have issued a challenge to the Internal Revenue Service’s statutory authority to prohibit preachers from endorsing or opposing candidates from the pulpit using church resources.  For example, […]

Pulpits and Politics: A Bad Plan for Sunday

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

To hear some people tell it, this Sunday is one of the most important days in the history of the American church.  This is the day when the church pulpits of America will be freed from the bondage of the […]

PEACE CHURCHES: Why Not Ask Iran About Peace?

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, you are half right in discussing the reception (I’m not sure why you characterized it as a “celebration”) to be given by 25 significant religious groups for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  He is, of course, a revolting figure in […]

Obama Evangelical Vote: Still Looking

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I know you were at the annual Religion Newswriters Conference the other day and may have seen first-hand pollster John Green‘s startling-to-some news that after all the hyped up effort by Democratic Party officials to go after evangelicals, evangelicals […]

STILL LOOKING FOR ANSWERS

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I’ve been getting more information in about last weekend’s “Values Voters” confab in Washington, the place where the “Obama Waffles” booth was located.  Speaker Star Parker referred to public schools as “cesspools” and claimed that taxing the rich was a […]

LEFT HANDED METHODISTS FOR OBAMA

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

There is a belief, widely shared in the Obama camp, that there is a plethora of voters out there who are dying to vote for a Democrat if they can just be convinced that he or she is truly religious.  […]

DISCRIMINATION ONE: MEET DISCRIMINATION TWO

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I know you are happy about the verdict in the Teen Challenge case.  Frankly, I have never been convinced this case was really about religious discrimination.  It always seemed to me to be one more sad example of the NIMBY […]

Freedom of Religion Is Absolutely Protected; Fraud Not So Much

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

We both know that law enforcement officials can investigate”fraud” without passing new laws against specific activities like reading Tarotcards.  In fact back in l944 the SupremeCourt allowed the Postal Service to investigate something called the “I Am”movement that was soliciting […]

Predicting the Future: In Defense of Fortunetelling

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, maybe we should take a breath from national politicsfor a few days and get local.  I live in Montgomery County, Maryland,just outside of Washington.  I was quite surprised to learn from a gueston my radio show that diviners or […]

HHS Regs: Patients should come first

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

HHS Secretary Leavitt’s explanation of his actions is, quitefrankly, mindboggling.  “Freedom ofexpression and action should not be surrendered upon the issuance of a healthcare degree,” he notes.  The real issuehas nothing to do with gaining a credential; it has everything […]

Proposed HHS Regs: Bad Law, Bad Science

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

A proposed regulationfrom the Department of Health and Human Services regarding health care workers’religious “rights” is already causing considerable controversy–and it should!  The Department placed the rule on displayAug. 21 for a 30-day public comment period. The comments will be […]

Here’s the Next McCain-Palin Risk: The FRC Conference

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Next weekend, the far-right-of-center Family Research Council will convene (what else?) a far right conference in Washington DC.  They certainly want both McCain and Palin to show up.  Here’s the rub: will these candidates want to risk showing up at […]

Palin Homerun May Have Been In Wrong Ballpark

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Governor Palin’s speech was seen by many observers, in pundit parlance, as a “homerun”.  Unknown a week ago, and after a pretty mediocre appearance with McCain last Friday, she gave a smart, snappy, unexpectedly direct speech which was partly done […]

Stop The Presses!

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I literally did see a rainbow over here in Ireland about the time an important case was being argued before the Supreme Court of Florida.  I did not find any leprechauns with or without pot of gold. However, here’s the prize as […]

Ireland Wants To Know: The Theology of Hurricanes

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I’m sure we’ll debate evolution and intelligent design a great deal more as this blog continues.  I met a guy over in the “Emerald Isle” who posed a question more theological than legal, but I told him I’d blog in […]

“NO NON-CHRISTIAN HERITAGE WEEK”

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

As some posters have already relayed to you, if this ticket doesn’t deliver the conservative evangelical vote it is hard to imagine what would. You are certainly accurately describing her “Christian Heritage Week” resolution as a “real controversy”. As you […]

Sarah Palin: I Am Confused

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Over the years I’ve been asked to help prep politicians for debates.  I’ve never worked for one, so I’m always the outsider coming in.  I usually watch the politician’s staff ask softball questions (even when they think they are hard […]

I NEED A CONSTITUTIONAL

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

OK, this had to happen sometime in the first few weeks.  I have to concede a point to you, Jay.Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito did defend the First Amendment free speech claims of a non-profit in the Wisconsin Right […]

THERE WAS A TIME WHEN THE COURT WAS THE LAST GREAT PROTECTOR OF INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS…NOW NOT SO MUCH

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, I am looking for change in the Supreme Court.  At least, I am looking for change away from the ideological beliefs of members like Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito.  These men seem to think their function is to […]

DEMS HAD AND GOT RELIGION

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

First, let me assure every reader that the Democratic Party and the Republican Party and every other party can do anything they want or nothing at all to formally recognize the religious in their midst.  Second, let me assure you […]

LET THE RECORD SHOW…

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Let’s me return to the Pew poll one more time.  It is a rich document for the statistically inclined.  I just wanted to reiterate that two thirds of the public does not like pastors, priests and other leaders using their […]

New Poll: Commingling Politics and Religion Not As Popular Anymore

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

A pleasantly surprising poll has been released today by the prestigious Pew Research folks which shows that the growing mix of flammable partisan politics with equally fiery religion may not be what a lot of Americans are looking for.  (Don’t tell […]

AGREEMENT? NOT SO MUCH

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Sorry, Jay, we are going to have to look for agreements elsewhere.  I think the only justifiable “conscience” exemption is for that physician directly performing the surgical or other medical procedure to terminate a pregnancy.  Your language effectively gives an […]

Conscience Clause: For What?

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I am not opposed to a very narrowly crafted conscience clause where the issue is the sincerely held belief by a person that he or she is being asked to take a “life”.  This means that conscientious objectors to war […]

CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT: ANOTHER BIG WIN FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Today the Supreme Court of California issued an extremely important decision in a case which addressed the issue: does the right of religious freedom exempt a medical clinic’s physicians from complying with a state law that bars discrimination based on […]

Not A Conspiracy Theory…Yet

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Bloggers are now discussing the infamous “cone of silence” problem from Saddleback’s Saturday forum. Rick Warren claims that he didn’t know that Senator McCain was not even at the church, much less in a hermetically sealed room, at the time […]

Saddleback: Biased Questions and A Big Mistake

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Let’s get to the big mistake first: Barack Obama should not have agreed to do this.  If I were the Senator I’d be looking for a time machine this morning and go back to the day I agreed to show […]

Conspiracy Theory Begins

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Rick Warren certainly did not want to share the official limelight with anybody from the religious right to the religious left. So,Jay, I wouldn’t worry too much about any conspiratorial cabal of progressives managing the conversation tonight.  (However, I understand […]

Presidential Politics and the Church: Response Ahead

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Jay, of course the Presidential candidates ought to be talking about the Supreme Court. They should talk about their philosophy of picking judges and about specific decisions with which they disagree (with any luck they will acknowledge they will obey […]

What’s The Purpose?: We Don’t Need Another Presidential Forum On Religion

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

Why are we doing this again? Why another “forum” on the spiritual life and political consequences for would-be presidents? This Saturday evening both Senators John McCain and Barack Obama will sit down for separate hour-long chats with mega-preacher Rick Warren, […]

Previous Posts

Another Blog To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting LynnvSekulow. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Jay Sekulow: Faith and Justice  Happy Reading! ...

posted 11:26:38am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Another blog to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Lynn V. Sekulow. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Jay Sekulow's Faith and Justice Happy Reading!!! ...

posted 10:36:04am Jul. 06, 2012 | read full post »

More to Come
Barry,   It's hard to believe that we've been debating these constitutional issues for more than two years now in this space.  I have tremendous respect for you and wish you all the best in your new endeavors.   My friend, I'm ...

posted 4:52:22pm Dec. 02, 2010 | read full post »

Thanks for the Memories
Well Jay, the time has come for me to say goodbye. Note to people who are really happy about this: I'm not leaving the planet, just this blog.As I noted in a personal email, after much thought, I have decided to end my participation and ...

posted 12:24:43pm Nov. 21, 2010 | read full post »

President Obama: Does He Get It?
Barry,   I would not use that label to identify the President.  I will say, however, that President Obama continues to embrace and promote pro-abortion policies that many Americans strongly disagree with.   Take the outcome of ...

posted 11:46:49am Nov. 05, 2010 | read full post »

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