Barry Lynn, president of American United For Separation of Church and State, and his organization are opposed to many things religious but mostly things Christian—and most of all, everything evangelically Christian. Lynn has described evangelical Christians in such colorful terms as:
• radical religious fundamentalists
• extremists who despise pro-choice advocates, working mothers, gay-rights
• smug, sneering, tyrannical, self-righteous, bigoted, hate-filled, and dangerous zealots.36
But of course Barry Lynn is one of the foremost preachers of tolerance. You can tell that from the way he describes Christians. After all, the liberal’s definition of tolerance is to accept any belief as long as it is not rooted in Christianity.
AU was founded in 1947 under the name Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State (POAU). Protestants were in the mix, of course, but so were groups like the American Humanist Association and the American Ethical Union, both of which deride Christianity as “superstition.” Leadership included leftists Paul Blanshard, POAU’s first general counsel, who claimed the church needed to “rise to the moral level of socialism,” and Methodist Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam, POAU’s first president. Oxnam was a former Planned Parenthood president and a fan of Stalin’s Soviet Union who once chaired the Massachusetts Council of American Soviet Friendship.37
It should be of no surprise that ten veterans of AU’s executive staff or governing boards signed onto Humanist Manifesto II, released in 1973.
So, as with the ACLU, let’s look at a couple of examples of what AU supports. It backed the National Endowment for the Arts when the arts organization funded a crucifix dipped in urine. The AU cried censorship when the City of New York stopped funding a museum for displaying a dung-splattered painting of the Virgin Mary.
On the other hand, when the Federal Communications Commission attempted to force Christian radio stations in America to commit 50 percent of their daily programming in non-religious programs, AU supported the FCC position. Lynn went so far as to tell Focus on the Family’s Citizen magazine that the FCC was “quite generous” to allow 50 percent Christian programming.38
In 1985, Lynn told the U.S. attorney general’s Commission on Pornography that child pornography is protected by the First Amendment. While production of child pornography could be prevented by law, he argued its distribution could not. A few years later (1988), Lynn told the Senate Judiciary Committee that even requiring porn producers to maintain records of their performers’ ages was not permissible.39
In addition, AU:
• opposes “In God We Trust” being printed on America’s money
• opposes employing chaplains in the U.S. House of
Representatives and the U.S. Senate
• opposes religious themes in public school memorials that honor slain students.
If Americans really knew what AU and Barry Lynn stood for, they would reject him as a God-hating liberal in favor of an all-powerful government that suppresses religious freedoms.
36 Matt Kaufman, “Reverend Barry, Quite Contrary,” Focus on the Family Citizen magazine, www.family.org.