By Matt Ford
Attorney General Bill Barr is a busy man these days. When he’s not personally traveling to Italy to investigate bizarre conspiracy theories about the 2016 election or ending the de facto moratorium on federal executions, he’s giving speeches to a variety of audiences. One of them is attracting far more attention than usual. His speech on religious liberty at the University of Notre Dame earlier this month was a broadside against those he held responsible for Christianity’s decline in American life.
“This is not decay; it is organized destruction,” Barr warned. “Secularists, and their allies among the ‘progressives,’ have marshaled all the force of mass communications, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.” These forces, he argued, pose a fundamental threat to religious liberty and to people of faith in general—one that he pledges to fight as attorney general.
Reactions to Barr’s speech were unsurprising. The American Conservative’s Rod Dreher wrote that his fellow religious conservatives “should ponder the fact that under Donald Trump, as awful as he is in so many ways, a man of William Barr’s convictions is heading up the Department of Justice” when thinking about the 2020 election. “It is inconceivable that any Democratic president would put a man like him in charge of the Justice Department,” he wrote. “In fact, we are getting a good idea that a Democratic president would likely choose his precise opposite.”
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