In a recent interview with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the current archbishop of New York, Attorney General William Barr declared that this nation’s founders knew that religion was the key to maintaining a free country, The Washington Times reported.
“Religion really was viewed by the founders at the core of our country,” Barr said on the Sirius XM radio program Conversations with Cardinal Dolan, according to the Times. “The reason they felt they could grant so much freedom in the Constitution and only provide for limited government was because they felt that religion was there and the people were religious people who could largely govern themselves.”
Barr lamented the pervasive efforts by secularists to take religion out of the public square and make it unwelcome in government, schools and other central areas of American life.
“I feel today religion is being driven out of the marketplace of ideas,” the AG said, “and there’s an organized, militant secular effort to drive religion out of our lives.”
Barr decries religious intolerance
“To me, the problem today is not that religious people are trying to impose their views on non-religious people,” Barr continued. “It’s the opposite. It’s that militant secularists are trying to impose their values on religious people and they’re not accommodating the freedom of religion of people of faith.”
In recent decades, many in government have chosen to focus on the concept of separation of church and state, which is not found in the constitution. A twisted interpretation of the First Amendment has been used to prevent Americans from the free exercise of their religion.
The left has intentionally and wrongfully conflated the constitutional prohibition against government establishment of an official religion and the supposed need to eliminate all traces of religion from public life.
This has manifested itself in innumerable ways, including instances in which teachers and educational administrators have prohibited students from talking about their faith, from praying or even from reading their Bibles in public schools. Business owners have been compelled to provide services for gay weddings even when doing so is in clear violation of their faith traditions.
The importance of moral values
When a nation lacks moral values, Barr pointed out, it often can’t discipline itself. The societal chaos that results will then force the government to impose greater controls over its citizens.
Barr argues that this is a primary driver of the left’s desire to completely eradicate religion from the public arena — that doing so provides liberals with a justification for creating an ever-expanding centralized government.
The attorney general’s outspoken recent commentary on the role of religion in society has prompted much consternation from mainstream media commentators, with Paul Krugman of The New York Times likening Barr’s take on the subject to “the language of witch hunts and pogroms.”
Luckily, the attorney general appears unlikely to be deterred from continuing his forceful public defense of religious liberty and from speaking the truths that the nation so desperately needs to hear.