The Attorney General was in the news again because he was talking about the importance of religion in American life. You may remember that William Barr gave a speech at Notre Dame arguing that religious commitment provides the source of virtue and moral discipline necessary for self-government.
Although that is true and was considered essential by the founders of this country, there were many secularists who criticized his speech. That was not surprising since he even mentioned in his speech the fact that religion is not popular with many in our secular society and you “risk a figurative burning at the stake—social, educational, and professional ostracism and exclusion” if you defy the secular creed of our day.
This time William Barr was on the radio show hosted by Cardinal Timothy Dolan. He explained: “The problem today is not that religious people are trying to impose their views on non-religious people. 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.”
He went on to explain that the founders believed in “the centrality of religion to the health of the American democracy.” They feared the loss of popular religiosity was a danger to the republic.
He further explained that religion in society permits a limited government and minimal command and control of the population and allows people to have freedom of choice in their lives, and trust in the people is the fact that they are people that are capable of disciplining themselves according to moral values.”
When people are moral and discipline themselves, you don’t need a large government or police force to control the population. When a secular society rejects moral principles, the inevitable social anarchy requires police officers on every street.