Attorney General William Barr delivered what might very fairly be described as a wholly unnerving speech at Notre Dame’s law school on Friday.
The South Bend Tribune previewed the event earlier in the week, noting that it was “exclusively for law school students and faculty, and students associated with the university’s de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture”.
The talk wasn’t open to the public, so the university didn’t publicized it, Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown said, adding that Barr would speak on “religious freedom”. Here is a clip from Barr’s speech:
“Among the militant secularists are so-called progressives”, Barr said, on the way to asking what, if not Christianity, can “fill the void in the hearts of the individual person”.
Barr then said this:
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 and traditional values.
That echoes comments Donald Trump made during his equally bizarre address at the UN General Assembly last month, when the president claimed “media and academic institutions” are “pushing flat-out assaults on our histories, traditions and values”.
Barr also blamed an acute lack of Jesus for drug use and rising violence, which is ironic considering some of the most heinous acts in human history have been perpetrated in the name of organized religion.
“Along with the wreckage of the family, we are seeing record levels of depression and mental illness, dispirited young people, soaring suicide rates, increasing numbers of angry and alienated young males, an increase in senseless violence and a deadly drug epidemic”, Barr said, painting a dire picture of American society on par with Trump’s “American chaos” inauguration speech which was described at the time by former president Bush as “some weird sh*t”.
Barr then suggested that schools are the problem. “Ground zero for these attacks on religion are the school”, he charged. “To me this is the most serious challenge to religious liberty today”.
Congressman Ted Lieu was not amused. “Dear Bill Barr: I’m just a simple Catholic, but even I know your job is to enforce the law, not the Bible”, he chided, in a tweet. “We are a Constitutional Republic, not a theocracy. Do your job instead of being a full on conspiracy theorist”.