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Yale ACS Sponsors Debate on Church and State, May 2

Two active leaders of the progressive political movement with sharply divergent views on the appropriate role of religion in politics will discuss "Mending the Wall: A Progressive Debate on Church and State," on Monday, May 2, 2005, at Battell Chapel at Yale University. This "Liberal-Liberal Debate" is sponsored by the YLS chapter of the American Constitution Society and is free and open to the public.

The speakers will be Jim Wallis, the founder and editor of Sojourners magazine and author of God's Politics, and Barry Lynn, the executive director of Americans United to the Separation of Church and State. The debate will be moderated by Harlon Dalton, professor of law at YLS.

Jim Wallis is a Christian leader for social change. He is a speaker, author, activist, and international commentator on ethics and public life. Wallis was a founder of Sojourners - Christians for justice and peace - more than 30 years ago and continues to serve as the editor of Sojourners magazine, covering faith, politics and culture. In 1995, Wallis was instrumental in forming Call to Renewal, a national federation of churches, denominations, and faith-based organizations from across the theological and political spectrum working to overcome poverty.

Wallis's columns appear in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and other major newspapers. His most recent book is God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It (Harper Collins, 2005). He offers regular commentary and analysis for radio and television and teaches a course at Harvard University on "Faith, Politics, and Society."

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn is the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a position he has held since 1992. In addition to his work as an activist and lawyer in the civil liberties field, Lynn is also an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, offering him a unique perspective on church-state issues.

Lynn began his professional career working at the national office of the United Church of Christ, including a two-year stint as legislative counsel for the Church's Office of Church in Society in Washington, D.C. From 1984 to 1991 he was legislative counsel for the Washington office of the American Civil Liberties Union. Lynn has appeared frequently on television and radio broadcasts to offer analysis of First Amendment issues, including PBS's NewsHour, NBC's Today Show, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, ABC's Nightline, CNN's Crossfire, and CBS's 60 Minutes.