Attorney General William Barr called out “militant secularists” in a speech about religious liberty in America at Notre Dame Law School, saying that “over the past 50 years, religion has been under increasing attack.”
“The campaign to destroy the traditional moral order has brought with it immense suffering, wreckage and misery. And yet, the forces of secularism, ignoring these tragic results, press on with even greater militancy,” said Barr in the Oct. 11 address.
“Among these militant secularists are many so-called ‘progressives,’” he continued. “But where is the progress? We are told we are living in a post-Christian era. But what has replaced the Judeo-Christian moral system? What is it that can fill the spiritual void in the hearts of the individual person? And, what is a system of values that can sustain human social life?”
Barr said the result has been the erosion of the traditional family, growing rates of depression, mental illness and suicide, and the ever-concerning drug epidemic ravaging the United States.
While critics quickly painted Barr’s speech as “radically religious,” Franklin Graham rose to Barr’s defense.
“I appreciate Attorney General Barr’s boldness,” Franklin said on Facebook. “There is only one thing that can fill the void that is in every human heart—a relationship with God through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.”
Vincent Phillip Muñoz, a Notre Dame professor, also rallied behind Barr.
“[Barr’s speech] was about the human and social consequences of the new secular morality, and what happens when the state views its citizens not only in purely material terms, but as subjects who can’t really govern themselves.”
Later in his speech, Barr said that the assault on religion we are experiencing today is “not decay; it is organized destruction. Secularists, and their allies among the ‘progressives,’ have marshalled all the force of mass communications, popular culture, the entertainment industry and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.
“The problem is not that religion is being forced on others. The problem is that irreligion and secular values are being forced on people of faith.”