“The general principles, on which the Fathers achieved independence,
were the only Principles in which that beautiful Assembly of young Gentlemen could Unite,
and these Principles only could be intended by them in their address, or by me in my answer.
And what were these general Principles? I answer, the general Principles of Christianity,
in which all these Sects were United: And the general Principles of English and American Liberty…
“Now I will avow, that I then believe, and now believe,
that those general Principles of Christianity, are as eternal and immutable,
as the Existence and Attributes of God; and that those Principles of Liberty,
are as unalterable as human Nature and our terrestrial, mundane System.”
Adams wrote this on June 28, 1813, excerpt from a letter to Thomas Jefferson.
Monday night, once the dishes were finally finished, I sat down to catch a bit
of the day’s news.
I came in right at the beginning of a sit-down interview between Fox News journalist
Martha Maccallum and Wall Street editorialist, Bill McGrun
The subject topic was ‘Faith in American Politics’ as both journalists were offering
their take on the speech given by Attorney General William Barr Friday to a closed-door
audience at Notre Dame’s law school.
The gist of the speech has been called Barr’s take on the ‘coordinated
campaign to destroy the traditional moral order.’
I’ve written about this very subject for quite some time here in my small little corner
of the blogosphere.
Mr. McGrun observed that Barr was basing much of his thoughts on that of the
Founding Fathers and the sustaining of a ‘free’ society.
McGrun noted that “if you want a free society,
it requires people capable of self-governing
which means restraining your passions.
Religion contributed a lot of that morality that made people disciplined—allowing
them to be free and so when religion is in decline, you then get anything goes…”
Below is the link to the interview between Maccallum and McGrun…
it is a short interview and worth the viewing
but below that is the link to the full video of Barr’s address.
When I was searching for a video clip to share regarding Barr’s speech,
many news outlets offered clips with a few key soundbites along with their
overtly negative reactions.
I simply wanted the speech without any added commentary, con or pro.
So what I found was actually marked as a banned video.
Why that is I am uncertain.
The other item I sought to share was the column Mr. McGrun referenced that he’d written
following his having watched and digested the Barr speech…however,
in order to do so, I would
have to be a Washington Post on-line subscriber…
of which I am not nor do I wish to pay for.
So perhaps there is some other place where his column may be found…
but due to my limited social media connections, I’m not certain.
And as an aside I should note that both Barr and Maccallum are Catholic.
Maccallum’s son plays football for Notre Dame.
And Barr has younger family members attending Notre Dame
My Bulldogs beat the Irish, but could not beat the roosters (South Carolina)
so if you think this is a biased observation, think again.
Lastly, I’ve included a link to the Notre Dame student-based school newspaper
which published a story regarding the speech.
All of which are well worth the time to both watch and read…
William Barr speaks at Notre Dame about ‘militant’ forces of secularism, religious liberty in America
PS—I might be out of pocket for a day or two as illness has once again struck the home
of the Mayor—dad is now ailing and so we are off to help out…
Thankful that there are still some statesmen-like people who will say what needs to be said. Not bound by political censorship. Hope things go well with the mayor and her staff.
And here’s to happy sailing
We are on the same wavelength as I read McGurns article last night and was going to do a post on it. Not sure I’ll get to it though so I’ll put the column here and you can decide whether to leave it or not. It brings up many interesting truths.
From the October 15, 2019 Wall Street Journal, “Bill Barr Gets Religion” by William McGurn
For Notre Dame fans, this football weekend was a twofer. Not only did the Irish beat a longtime rival, the University of Southern California, on Saturday, the campus was treated to a sight it had never before seen: the attorney general of the United States, at a pregame tailgater, serenading faculty, students and fans with his bagpipes.
Turns out that was William Barr’s second performance on campus. The first came at the law school Friday, when he delivered a bracing speech on the role of religion in the American story of freedom.
The attorney general advanced two broad propositions. First, the waning of religion’s influence in American life has left more of her citizens vulnerable to what Tocqueville called the “soft despotism” of government dependency. Second, today’s secularists are decidedly not of the live-and-let-live variety.
“The secular project has itself become a religion, pursued with religious fervor,” he said. “It is taking on all the trappings of religion, including inquisitions and excommunication. 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.”
Right out of central casting, critics stepped forward to prove his point. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman accused Mr. Barr of “religious bigotry” and described his words as a “pogrom type speech.”
Political ethicist and professional attention seeker Richard Painter tapped out a series of even more furious tweets, here calling the speech the latest episode of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” there suggesting Mr. Barr isn’t much of a Christian, here again saying Mr. Barr sounded like “vintage Goebbels.” Over at MSNBC, meanwhile, retired Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, once chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, told Joy Reid the attorney general is “Torquemada in a business suit,” a reference to the Spanish Inquisition’s grand inquisitor.
This is what we have come to expect when someone in public life mentions religion in a positive light. Many didn’t like Mr. Barr’s blaming secularism for social pathologies such as drug addiction, family breakdown and increasing numbers of angry and alienated young males. Yet few engaged his more arresting contention, which is that all these problems have spiritual roots. Whereas religion addresses such challenges by stressing personal responsibility, Mr. Barr argued, the state’s answer is merely to try to alleviate “bad consequences.”
“So the reaction to growing illegitimacy is not sexual responsibility, but abortion,” he said. “The reaction to drug addiction is safe injection sites. The solution to the breakdown of the family is for the state to set itself up as an ersatz husband for the single mother and an ersatz father for the children. The call comes for more and more social programs to deal with this wreckage—and while we think we’re solving problems, we are underwriting them.”
Vincent Phillip Muñoz, a Notre Dame professor, notes there was nothing particularly Catholic about this speech. Like Washington in his Farewell Address, he says, Mr. Barr focused on the irreplaceable role of religion in cultivating the morality citizens need to be capable of self-government.
“The speech wasn’t first and foremost about religious freedom,” says Mr. Muñoz. “It was about the human and social consequences of the new secular morality, and what happens when the state views its citizens not only in purely material terms, but as subjects who can’t really govern themselves.”
Even those who strongly disagree with Mr. Barr ought to have found this an invitation for thoughtful and vigorous debate. But rather than engage, some imply there is something unseemly about an attorney general’s even speaking at a Catholic university. Given the hostility that holding such a conversation engenders on campuses today, perhaps America can count itself fortunate it still has a university where this can happen.
Carter Snead, the law professor who invited Mr. Barr, puts it this way: “At Notre Dame, we are not afraid to explore the hard questions about God, religion and America together in friendship, especially on those matters about which people strongly disagree.”
Mr. Barr’s argument has been echoed throughout American history: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people” (John Adams). “Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith” (Tocqueville). “In teaching this democratic faith to American children, we need the sustaining, buttressing aid of those great ethical religious teachings which are the heritage of our modern civilization. For ‘not upon strength nor upon power, but upon the spirit of God’ shall our democracy be founded” (FDR). And so on.
That so many would become unhinged by Mr. Barr’s relatively modest contribution to the genre is highly revealing of the absolutism of secularist opponents determined to marginalize and destroy anyone who dares dissent from their own uncompromising orthodoxy.
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for sharing this column. J.
Thank you Tricia— I’m in Atlanta- a stomach bug is making its rounds at the Mayor’s so I’m playing nurse again—I’ll get back to posting about this soon!!— thank you for sharing the article!!!
Oh no, hoping everyone gets better soon! Stomach bugs are the worst.
Sorry to hear about the illness. Hope the Mayor recovers quickly.
Thanks Tom— it seems to be the norovirus— it comes on with a vengeance but last but a few days
The so-called Progressives don’t debate. They are too busy trying to destroy their opponents. This one reason the Founders said a constitutional republic requires a moral people.
I agree with you Tom
The fact that the media is only writing what they want to is appalling, but also cause for libel. I wonder when the media is going to realize that fake or edited news isn’t going to cut it anymore. The people of our country are being led astray, by the wealthy, healthy and influential press. It’s becoming a time when we don’t trust anyone anymore. Thankfully there are still some in office who will not stand for the corruption the current administration is rooting out. When the truth comes out – when the past is revealed in truth – when our Lord returns to judge the world things will finally change. Come, Lord, Jesus!
Back in Atlanta playing nursemaid
Listened to the Maccallum/McGrun video. Worth the trouble. Thanks.