Thursday, September 25, 2008

Piety & Politics: READ THIS BOOK!

The Reverend Barry W. Lynn is the Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. A devout and liberal Christian, an ordained and practicing minister of the United Church of Christ, and an attorney, Rev. Lynn has been an activist leading the charge against religious incursion into our government and our personal freedoms for many years.

I recently read Rev. Lynn’s book “Piety & Politics: The Right-Wing Assault on Religious Freedom”. His grasp of our history, the Constitution, and the dangers of mixing religion and government is both educational and heartening to hear, especially from a clergyman. He doesn’t hesitate to openly chastise those bastions of the Religious Right who falsely promote the fallacy that our laws were derived from Christian or biblical precepts, or that this is a “Christian Nation”. This man stands at the top of my list of truth tellers, modern patriots, and defenders of our freedoms.

The following is the book review I posted to It’s not my typical review, but should serve as a strong recommendation to read this important work.

An Open Letter to Rev. Lynn:

Dear Rev. Lynn,

I just read Piety & Politics and wanted to say "thank you". I just said it by joining Americans United for Separation of Church and State moments ago, but I wanted to say it personally and publicly.

As an atheist I all too often fall into the trap of lumping all Christians together as bible thumping religious fanatics. People who, in spite of my Vietnam service, Bronze Star, and Army Commendation medals, perceive me to be "… non-patriotic, perhaps not even an American" as George Bush Sr. once said, simply because I reject their "beliefs".

People who would happily force every school to promote organized prayer, control women’s reproductive rights, intercede into family decisions of when the terminally ill should be allowed to die, impose their biblical interpretations upon our secular Constitution, and subjugate anyone who's sexual preference, personal philosophy, or religious views do not parallel theirs.

I know that the people of whom I speak aren't the majority of Christians, but I need to be reminded of that from time to time. Thanks for reminding me, and thanks for helping preserve America's freedoms from those who would truncate them.

I encourage every defender of the Constitution and the “wall of separation”, theist or atheist, to buy this book and read it before the presidential election. Here’s a link to it on You can buy it used for under $1.00 + $3.99 shipping.


Joyce said...

There are many of us out there, Drom, and it's about time that our voices -- yes, our Christian voices! -- are beginning to drown out the screeches of the Religious Right.

In the book "Jesus for President" by Shane Claiborne, he makes this definition of church and state.

Church: By church, we mean the body of people who make the God of Jesus visible in the world (for better or worse).

State: By state, we mean "a country or nation with a sovereign independent goverment ruled by ings, presidents, or legislatures."

The following page includes a quote by Tony Campolo: "Mixing the church and state is like mixing ice cream with cow namure. It may not do much to the manure, but it sure messes up the ice cream".

We're out there, Drom. And our voices are beginning to drown out the droans of the religious right. Let's just hope it's on time -- before November!

DromedaryHump said...

I've always said you were one of the good ones. Like i said..I need constant reminder there are more of you out there.

Thats a great quote!! LOL!

And time for Nov vote... from your lips to Mithra's, or is it Tammuz's ear ;)


DromedaryHump said...

finally got a mnice response from the people at Americans United for Sep. of Church and State, Rev. Lynns organization:

Dear Bart,
Thank you for your kind words of support and your membership with Americans United.
Our organization exists in order to ensure that people of all faiths an no faith are treated equally, for all are equal citizens of this great and secular experiment in democracy that we call America.
Please let me know if I can be of any assistance to you.

Ilana Stern
Communications Assistant
Americans United