Thursday, January 30, 2020

Barr defending Christianity

Over at The Federalist Joy Pullmann has an article on our Attorney General, William Barr, and his defense of religious liberty and freedom. Now, I know that Barr is not good on guns. No, that's not quite right, in fact he is terrible on guns. But, for me, guns are a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. The actual ends are the other natural rights mentioned in the Bill of Rights. The Right to Keep and Bear arms, which I believe is a civic duty for everyone, is to ensure that government does not strip these rights from citizens.

Pullmann's article is entitled Barr: The Real People Trying To 'Impose Their Values' On Others Are 'Militant Secularists.'   She starts out by quoting a Barr in an interview with with Cardinal Timothy Dolan:
U.S. Attorney General William Barr clapped back at leftwing hysteria over his support of the First Amendment Tuesday in an interview with Cardinal Timothy Dolan on Sirius XM.
“I feel today religion is being driven out of the marketplace of ideas and there’s a organized militant secular effort to drive religion out of our lives,” Barr told Dolan. “To me the problem today is not that religious people are trying to impose their views on nonreligious people, it’s the opposite — it’s that militant secularists are trying to impose their values on religious people and they’re not accommodating the freedom of religion of people of faith.”
She goes on to make her case with quotes from articles in the New York press.  She goes on to state that the so called atheists trying drive Christianity (but not Islam) from the public square are just as much regligions in the end:
Further, what is more cultish than forcing people to believe through social pressure, law, and other means that a man is a woman is a man is a woman? What is more totalitarian than to force people to pretend that males and females are interchangeable inside the relationship whose major function in society is to spend half a livetime cultivating happy, competent citizens starting at conception?
Or what is, for another example, the belief that it is possible to fix the world by applying government pressure? That is not a belief that can be wholly validated by research or experience. In fact, research and experience both indicate that central planning usually makes life even more nasty, brutish, and short.
So what is this unfounded, undocumented, unprovable faith in government power to correct human psyches and behavior if not a religious (metaphysical) belief? It is also an unprovable and metaphysical belief about what a human is — a thing that can be “corrected” by politics and whose “error” is not intrinsic to itself. Again, these are all metaphysical, religious beliefs with no empirical basis or possibility of being fully empirically proven.
The Founders put religion first in the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
They did this because they wanted to keep government within due bounds, and they knew that religion can generate conflict. They had seen it in the old world.  Today it is Christianity that is being systematically erased.  It was never the intention of the Founders that the government would chase Christianity from the public square, or indeed any other religion.  This is a gross misreading of the Constitution.

Barr is to be praised for his defense of Constitutional rights.  A vigorous competition between various ideas, even religions, ensures that the truth will be out there, and that the Truth will eventually win out.  Too bad he doesn't feel the same way about guns.

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