Phil Zuckerman

The unbearable wrongness of William Barr: Professor of secular studies explains why secularism doesn't destroy moral order

Last month, in what Jeffrey Toobin called “the worst speech given by an Attorney General of the United States in modern history,” Attorney General William Barr offered a lecture at Notre Dame Law School in which he denounced secularism as a “social pathology” that destroys the “moral order.” After blaming secularists for a host of contemporary problems — including depression, drug overdosing, and violence — Barr explained that without belief in a “transcendent Supreme Being” and adherence to “God’s eternal law,” the “possibility of any healthy community life crumbles.” Unless we follow “God’s instruction manual,” he sermonized, there will be “real-world consequences for man and society” — consequences that are not pretty, but quite grim. For without religion, there can be no “moral culture” and society will inevitably fall prey to humanity’s “capacity for great evil.”

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