After 25 years on the culture war’s front lines, this prominent pastor-activist thinks liberals are winning.

By Michelle Boorstein

Between the American president endorsing Christian nationalist Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate and next week’s Supreme Court hearing of a baker refusing on religious grounds to serve a gay couple, this might seem like a discouraging month for Rev. Barry Lynn to retire.

For the last quarter-century, the lanky pastor-lawyer has been one of the most omni-present faces of secularism, leading the advocacy group Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. In thousands of appearances on national TV and radio, Lynn was paired with his culture warrior-counterparts on the right, once-towering figures like the Rev. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson – making the case that the mixing of religion and government is toxic and unconstitutional.

But Lynn, who retires Monday, said in an interview reflecting on his career, and on church-state issues in general, that he believes data and his experience paint an America becoming less tolerant of government-backed expressions of religion. “I think the courts are out of step. I think the president is out of step.” He has also been critical of President Obama for not doing more to further church-state separation.

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  1. I’m not worried in the least. The under-educated white males of the US deep south and rural Midwest have found the wisdom that has so long eluded the entire rest of the industrialized world and they will lead us poor deluded eggheads kicking and screaming to the promised land.

    I’m through fighting. I’ll just sit calmly, arms folded and await my deliverance.

  2. rjohn19 #1
    Dec 10, 2017 at 1:38 am

    I’m not worried in the least.

    Don’t worry! It’s been done before!

    The under-educated white males
    of the US deep south and rural Midwest
    have found the wisdom that has so long eluded the entire rest of the industrialized world
    and they will lead us poor deluded eggheads
    kicking and screaming to the promised land.

    It is certainly a monument to the contrast in aspirations and ACTUAL outcomes derived from following charismatic leaders and “faith-thinking”!

    The People’s Crusade was the prelude to the First Crusade and lasted roughly six months from April to October 1096. It is also known as the Peasants’ Crusade, Paupers’ Crusade or the Popular Crusade as it was not part of the official Catholic Church-organised expeditions that came later. Led primarily by Peter the Hermit with forces of Walter Sans Avoir, the army was destroyed by the Seljuk forces of Kilij Arslan at Civetot, northwestern Anatolia.

    Historically, there has been much debate over whether Peter was the real initiator of the Crusade as opposed to Pope Urban II. The expedition’s independence has been used by some historians such as Hagenmeyer to prove this.

    Pope Urban II planned the departure of the crusade for 15 August 1096; a number of unexpected bands of peasants and low-ranking knights organized and set off for Jerusalem on their own.
    The peasant population had been afflicted by drought, famine, and disease for many years before 1096, and some of them seem to have envisioned the crusade as an escape from these hardships.
    Spurring them on had been a number of meteorological occurrences beginning in 1095 that seemed to be a divine blessing for the movement: a meteor shower, aurorae, a lunar eclipse, and a comet, among other events.

    Ah! Those signs clearly identified as “god-given approval” by the woo-meisters!

    An outbreak of ergotism had also occurred just before the Council of Clermont. Millenarianism, the belief that the end of the world was imminent, popular in the early 11th century, experienced a resurgence in popularity.
    The response was beyond expectations: while Urban might have expected a few thousand knights, he ended up with a migration numbering up to 100,000 Crusaders of mostly unskilled fighters, including women and children.

    A charismatic monk and powerful orator named Peter the Hermit of Amiens was the spiritual leader of the movement. He was known for riding a donkey and dressing in simple clothing. He had vigorously preached the crusade throughout northern France and Flanders.
    He claimed to have been appointed to preach by Christ himself (and supposedly had a divine letter to prove it), and it is likely that some of his followers thought he, not Urban, was the true originator of the crusading idea.

    In the late spring and summer of 1096, crusaders destroyed most of the Jewish communities along the Rhine in a series of unprecedentedly large pogroms in France and Germany in which thousands of Jews were massacred, driven to suicide, or forced to convert to Christianity.

    Estimates of the number of Jewish men, women, and children murdered or driven to suicide by crusaders vary, ranging from 2,000 to 12,000.

    Yep! That faith-thinker’s answer sorted out the Moslem invaders of Jerusalem! 🙂

    They also got into disputes with other locals along the way!

    a dispute over the price of a pair of shoes in the market led to a riot, which then turned into an all-out assault on the city by the crusaders, in which 4,000 Hungarians were killed.

    However, a few Germans got into a dispute with some locals along the road and set fire to a mill, which escalated out of Peter’s control until Niš sent out its entire garrison against the crusaders. The crusaders were completely routed, losing about 10,000 (a quarter of their number),

    Before their army was finally destroyed by the Turks!

    Geoffrey Burel, who had popular support among the masses, argued that it would be cowardly to wait, and they should move against the Turks right away. His will prevailed and, on the morning of 21 October, the entire army of 20,000 marched out toward Nicaea, leaving women, children, the old and the sick behind at the camp.[4]

    Three miles from the camp, where the road entered a narrow, wooded valley near the village of Dracon, the Turkish army was waiting. When approaching the valley, the crusaders marched noisily and were immediately subjected to a hail of arrows.[21]
    Panic set in immediately and within minutes, the army was in full rout back to the camp.
    Most of the crusaders were slaughtered; however, women, children, and those who surrendered were spared.
    Three thousand, including Geoffrey Burel, were able to obtain refuge in an abandoned castle. Eventually the Byzantines under Constantine Katakalon sailed over and raised the siege; these few thousand returned to Constantinople, the only survivors of the People’s Crusade.

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