AU Executive Director Barry Lynn Thanks Religious Right Group For Prayers

Watchdog Group Leader Says Liberty Counsel’s ‘Adopt a Liberal’ Program Beats Prayers For His Death

Americans United for Separation of Church and State Executive Director Barry W. Lynn today said he’s thankful for the prayers being said on his behalf by supporters of a Religious Right group.

Liberty Counsel, a far-right legal organization affiliated with the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, has unveiled a program called “Adopt a Liberal.” Supporters are exhorted to pray for one of 11 liberals on a list. (See more here.)

Lynn is the only person to appear on the list who is not an elected leader or government official.

“This is quite an honor,” Lynn said. “I’m pleased that Liberty Counsel considers me such a threat that I rank alongside President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.”

Liberty Counsel hopes the prayers of its supporters will lead Lynn and the others to change their political views.

“Please pray daily for the liberal(s) of your choice, so each can become a good influence on our Nation’s culture,” says the group. “Prayer is powerful! It allows God to change the minds of those for whom we are praying. In fact, we fully expect that many of our adoptees will ‘graduate’ from this prayer program with vivid testimonies of God having changed their lives and worldviews!”

Recently, two Religious Right activists, Gordon James Klingenschmitt of Colorado and the Rev. Wiley Drake of California, have announced that they are praying for Lynn’s death. Lynn said he much prefers the approach of the Liberty Counsel.

“As a Christian minister, I obviously believe in the power of prayer,” Lynn said. “I’m also thankful to live in a country where, thanks to the separation of church and state, people have the right to pray whenever, however and for whatever they like.”

But Lynn added that Liberty Counsel shouldn’t expect him to change his views. He also noted that any Liberty Counsel supporter who chooses to adopt him had better be prepared.

“I like to stay up late, and I’m not doing any chores around the house,” Lynn quipped.  

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.