It’s Religion, Stupid, Not the Economy

A public lecture by the Rev. Barry Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

line drawing of a person in a chair talking, audience members, and a person with a microphone



Charles F. Knight Center, Room 200 Washington University in St. Louis

One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130


  • It’s Religion, Stupid, Not the Economy

    Barry W. Lynn (March 20, 2012)

The Danforth Center on Religion & Politics was pleased to co-sponsor this Thomas Hennings lecture with the Assembly Series at Washington University in St. Louis.

120320_jjn_barry_lynn_002About Rev. Barry W. Lynn

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.

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 a 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.”  He also 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 form 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.

The Center serves as an ideologically neutral venue for fostering rigorous scholarship and informing broad academic and public communities about the intersections of religious and U.S. politics.  Opinions expressed are solely those of our guests.