Lynn to speak on separation of church and state

‘It’s Religion Stupid, Not the Economy’ sponsored by Danforth Center on Religion & Politics, Assembly Series

Barry W. Lynn, JD, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, will present “It’s Religion, Stupid, Not the Economy” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, in the Knight Center, Room 200, on the Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis.


Americans United is a nonpartisan educational organization dedicated to preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure religious freedom for all Americans.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is the Thomas Hennings Lecture, jointly sponsored by WUSTL’s John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics and the Assembly Series.

As the 2012 Republican presidential candidates continue to focus on perceived assaults on religious freedom rather than on economic recovery, Lynn will explore how this came to be and how it will impact the campaign and the country going forward.

Lynn is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and constitutional lawyer. He points out that during the creation of the Constitution, the injustice of living under a state-imposed faith was fresh in the minds of our Founding Fathers.

They knew that religion, when united with the power of government, was a recipe for tyranny. The result is the First Amendment to the Constitution that ensures Americans absolute freedom of religion. But in today’s society, political groups are defining that freedom in very different ways.

Lynn appears frequently on television and radio broadcasts offering analysis of First Amendment issues and writes on religious liberty. He is the author of Piety & Politics: The Right-Wing Assault on Religious Freedom and co-author, with C. Welton Gaddy, of First Freedom First: A Citizen’s Guide to Protecting Religious Liberty and the Separation of Church and State.

A member of the Washington D.C. and U.S. Supreme Court bar, Lynn earned his law degree from Georgetown University and his theology degree from Boston University School of Theology.

For more information, visit or call (314) 935-4620.