A Big Thank You To Barry Lynn

A Big Thank You To Barry Lynn

I don’t consider myself a hero worshipper ... but wait, if a hero is someone whom I respect and admire, then Barry Lynn is one of my heroes.

Each time I receive a Church & State issue, the first page I turn to is the one written by Barry Lynn.  His gift for explaining difficult legal topics with clarity and brevity is unsurpassed.    

And his book God & Government is an intellectual stimulant which I often refer to. My favorite part of its 300-plus pages is, “I have built most of my career on just two phrases:  The sixteen words in the First Amendment that note  ‘Congress shall make no law respecting any establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof’; and Article 3’s prohibition of any religious test for public office.”

I’ve learned much from you, Rev. Lynn.  Thank you for your untiring efforts to make certain that our country does not become a theocracy.  I’ll miss you.

—David Quintero | Monrovia, Calif.


The Bible And Marriage

In your recent “Let Them Eat Cake” story (October Church & State), the baker cites “what the Bible teaches us about marriage.”

 What the Bible teaches is that marriage is one man and as many women as he can persuade or purchase or coerce to become his wives or his concubines. Remember King Solomon and his 500 wives/concubines?

 The Bible teaches that if a wife doesn’t conceive an heir for the husband, it’s just dandy for him to sire one with a concubine (or handmaid), but then if his wife later does bear a son, it’s OK to disown the concubine’s son and to drive her and that child out into the desert and not care if they live or die. Later on it is praiseworthy to be willing to kill your son, now old enough to understand what is happening, if you think that doing so will please a higher authority.

 It’s also OK to sell your daughter into slavery so long as you follow the rules. And if your child is disobedient, ask the city fathers to arrange to have the disobedient child stoned to death.

Anyone who follows such biblical guidance on marriage and family life today would be sent to prison or a mental institution.

—Pam Green | Davis, Calif.


Editor's Note: The program booklet for AU’s gala contained a number of messages from well-wishers on the occasion of Barry Lynn’s retirement. We’re printing a few below: 


Enjoy your retirement, knowing that your insight and leadership have laid a strong foundation on which we will continue to defend the separation of church and state. Well done!

—Margaret B. Brown


Thank you for being a Warrior for True Religious Freedom! Your vision and determination have been a source of inestimable value. Time to enjoy some time for yourself as others take up the torch for our cause.

—Tom Farber


It is difficult to find enough superlatives for the incredible leadership Barry Lynn has brought to AU, while enduring the dangers that accompany it. His example is a beacon for us all to follow.

—Alan Herman, Lt. Col., USAF (Ret.)


This seems to be a never-ending fight. Thank you for your many years of leading this important fight for all of us!

—Andrea Saad


Congratulations on a superlative career as a premier defender of church-state separation! You were a wonderful colleague I have called friend leading a fine organization. Best wishes.

—Matthew Stark, executive director emeritus, Minnesota Civil Liberties Union


In expressing our deepest gratitude to Barry Lynn for your service, leadership and vision, we wish you good health and much happiness in the future.

—Nature Coast (Fla.) AU Chapter


Meeting you was an honor and a delight. I wish you all the best in the years ahead.

—David Furhman


Retiring now is good: before wrinkles in your forehead make you screw on your hat and you need no help getting a rocking chair started! Enjoy your next phase of power living, as you have gracefully strengthened our lives in the past!

—Harvey M. and Jessica B. Harris


Your devoted service to protecting our Constitution and separation of church and state is very much appreciated, especially with the present administration’s policies. Wishing you all the best in your retire­­ment, well deserved after all your years of devoted services as leader of Americans United.

—Bonnie J. Wiegand