During a speech at the University of Notre Dame on Friday, Attorney General William Barr blamed “militant secularists” for what he claims are attacks on religious values, CNN reports.
According to Barr, issues that society is currently dealing with — such as violence and opioid addiction — are a product of decades of efforts to undermine religious values.
Perpetrated by what he describes as “militarist secularists,” this campaign of sorts has created “angry, alienated young males” who commit violent attacks, according to Barr.
“The campaign to destroy the traditional moral order has coincided and I believe has brought with it immense suffering and misery. And yet the forces of secularism, ignoring these tragic results, press on with even greater militancy.”
The attorney general argued that the secularists that are ruining the American society belong to a “new secular religion.”
He singled out progressives.
“Among the militant secularists are many so-called progressives. But where is the progress?” Barr asked, before suggesting that those who dare stand up to progressive militants opposed to religious values end up being ostracized from society.
“Those who defy the creed risk a figurative burning at the stake: social, educational and professional ostracism and exclusion waged through lawsuits and savage social media campaigns,” he said.
As CNN notes, Barr’s speech highlighted efforts by the Department of Justice pertaining to religious liberty.
The DOJ is pushing a series of policies created by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The policies are meant to protect religious businesses and schools, and DOJ attorneys are already defending the rights of such organizations in courts.
According to Mother Jones, Barr has long decried secular culture. The country’s top lawyer has been involved with conservative religious groups for decades, and he has spent much of his career advocating for more religion in law, schools, and in the American government.
After the speech, a number of legal experts criticized the attorney general, claiming that his call for more religion in virtually every pore of society — including the government — is a clear violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Attorney General Bill Barr: "This is not decay. This is organized destruction. Secularists and their allies have marshaled all the forces of mass communication, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion & traditional values." pic.twitter.com/fIJVpGxrBA— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 12, 2019
The Trump administration has enjoyed the support of religious conservatives, especially Evangelicals.
During a campaign-style speech before the Family Research Council on Saturday, President Donald Trump echoed his attorney general, reassuring his religious supporters that he is fighting for them.
Trump told the crowd gathered at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., that Democrats want to impeach him because he is fighting for religious freedom.
“They’re coming after me because I’m fighting for you,” he said.