Church-state separationist Barry Lynn recounts his legal arguments in new memoirs

by | Apr 3, 2023 | Religion

(RNS) — For a quarter century, the Rev. Barry W. Lynn dedicated himself to maintaining a firm line between church and state.In the third of three volumes of his new memoirs, “Paid to Piss People Off,” Lynn lays out his rationale: “When all is said and done, I have never known a single soul saved nor a single crime prevented by government force-feeding religion.” 
Before leading Americans United for Separation of Church and State from 1992 to 2017, he helped his denomination defend Vietnam War resisters and worked for the American Civil Liberties Union as a self-declared “irritant” countering a Reagan-era pornography commission.
An oft-called-on talking head, Lynn, a lawyer as well as a United Church of Christ minister, was never shy about presenting his side of culture-war debates on CNN or Fox News. His memoirs’ three volumes are titled with characteristic bluntness: “Peace,” “Porn” and “Prayer.”
“My advice to people who want to change the world is to never give up trying to do it, and there are going to be setbacks or there are going to be victories; and the second: never forget those people that are behind the causes,” he said in an interview.

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