The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: (202) 466-3234,Joe Conn,Rob Boston,Sandhya Bathija

Americans United 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.