They aren't even A-list stars, but that didn't stop The Washington Post from highlighting a handful of visiting “Hollywood activists” in town to “start a conversation” about the separation of church and state.
The story got big play in “The Reliable Source”  column, the gossip/celebrity news feature of the influential Style section of The Washington Post. Reporters Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts wrote:
Feeling a little cramped, First Amendment-wise? A crew of
Their mission: an earnest confab (Q&A's, singing, etc.) organized by the Interfaith Alliance and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and taped for simulcast tonight in theaters in 37 cities (not here, though). Big competition for Horton Hears a Who!, huh? Everyone we talked to said it's mostly about “starting a conversation.”
Perhaps when you lead with the words “Hollywood activists” you don't also need to include the word “liberal,” but Argetsinger's and Roberts' column should have identified the Interfaith Alliance and Americans United for Separation of Church and State as leftist groups.
The liberal slant of the entire enterprise is disclosed in a passage quoting one of the celebrities in attendance, Jack Klugman:
Which is exactly what our colleague Marissa Newhall did with the 86-year-old Klugman. "First of all, I'm a liberal," he told her. "My god is Upton Sinclair. I've read all of his books. I evidently passed it on to my boy" Adam Klugman, one of the event's producers. The Odd Couple star, who is Jewish, said he had faced religious bigotry in the past. “I just feel there should be a discussion. Our forefathers obviously thought it was very important.”
Another celebrity, Dan Lauria, who played the father in the series The Wonder Years, reportedly was a part of the event because he heard, “about military commanders who tell their soldiers, 'God first, country second.'” Actress Wendie Malick, from Just Shoot Me!, told The Post she felt religion was a distraction in the 2008 presidential race, especially the recent focus on Barack Obama's controversial spiritual mentor the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Argetsinger and Roberts chose to use this quote from her and giddily included her past GOP tie:
"If we are in fact a tolerant nation, it should be no one's business," she said. (Fun fact: The Just Shoot Me! star interned for Jack Kemp back in the early '70s.)
The Post layout featured a picture of actor Kevin Bacon, arguably the “biggest” name at the event. The Post's gossip gals ended their tribute to the liberal “First Amendment” conversation-starting event with this:
“-- now where's Kevin Bacon? The eternally boyish character actor arrived late, just in time to take the stage with Bacon Brothers band mate Michael. Lyrics from their catchy, Mellencampian song Children: 'Please don't hurt the children/. . . Please don't send your guns in and say you're doing the work of God/. . . Faith is not a weapon.'”
Indeed faith is not a weapon, but the