This 33' 45" video was published by Amazing Polly on Nov 7, 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2EbW5F113Y
Ron: Below I include a transcription of most of AG Barr's presentation from about the 14 minute mark in this video. He talks about Judeo-Christian values but I think he really means the values taught by Jesus the Christ and NOT the values espoused in the Torah as set out in the Old Testament or the Talmud. Also, although he consistently refers to the Christian faith and Catholic religious values I think that the thrust of his message is about understanding and developing spiritual values based on Jesus' teaching that we need to learn to love God with our whole heart and soul and to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.
Among these militant secularists are many so-called Progressives. But where is the Progress…. What is it that can fill the spiritual void in the heart of the individual person. And what is the system of values that can sustain human social life. The fact is that no secular creed has emerged capable of performing the role of religion… We hear much today about our humane values. But in the final analysis what under girds these values? What commands our adherence to them? What we call values today is really nothing more than mere sentimentality. Still drawing on the vapour trails of Christianity…
Periods of moral retrenchment follow periods of excess. This is the idea of the pendulum and we all thought to ourselves, after a while the pendulum will swing back. But today we face something different that may mean that we cannot count on the pendulum swinging back. First, is the force, fervour and comprehensiveness of the assault on organised religion we are experiencing today. This is not decay, this is organised destruction. Secularists and their allies have marshalled all the forces of mass communication popular culture, the entertainment industry and academia, in an unremitting assault n religion and traditional values. Thses instruments are used not only to affirmatively secular orthodoxy, but also to drown out and silence opposing voices. And to attack viciously and to hold up to ridicule any dissidents.
One of the ironies, as some have observed, is that the secular project has itself become a religion, pursued with religious fervour. It’s taking all the trappings of religions 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 law suits and savage social media campaigns.
The pervasiveness and power of our high tech popular culture fuels apostasy in other ways. It provides an unprecedented degree of distraction. Part of the human condition has been that there usually been no way to avoid the big questions that stare us in the face.Are we created or are we merely material accidents? Does our life have any meaning and purpose. Blaise Pascal observed that instead of grappling with these questions many human beings are easily distracted from thinking about the final things. And indeed we now live in the age of distraction were we can envelop ourselves in a world of digital stimulation and universal connectivity. And we have almost limitless ways of indulging all of our physical appetites.
There’s another modern phenomenon that is suppressing society’s self correcting mechanism. It’s making it harder for us to restore ourselves. In the past when societies are threatened by moral chaos the overall social cost of licentiousness and irresponsible personal conduct becomes so high that society ultimately recoils and revaluates the path it is on. But today in the face of all the increasing pathologies instead of addressing the underlying cause we have cast the state in the role of the alleviator of bad consequences. We call on the state to mitigate the social costs of personal misconduct and irresponsibility. So the reaction to growing illegitimacy is not sexual responsibility but abortion. 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 are solving problems, we are underwriting them. We start with an untrammelled freedom and we end up with as dependants on a coercive state on whom we depend.
Interestingly this idea of the state as the alleviator of bad consequences gives rise to a new moral system that goes hand in hand with the secularisation of society. It can be called the system of macro morality and in some ways it is an inversion of Christian morality.
Christianity teaches a micro morality. We transform the world by focussing on our own personal morality and transformation. The new secular religion teaches macro morality. Once macro morality is not auged by their pivate conduct but rather by their commitment to political causes and collective action t address various social problems.
This system allows us to not worry so much about the strictures on our own private lives because we can find salvation on the picket line. We can signal our finely tuned moral sensibilities by participating in demonstrations on this cause or on that…
A third phenomenon that makes it difficult for the pendulum to swing n. back is the way that the law is being used as a battering ram to break down traditional values and to establish moral relativism as the new orthodoxy. Its being used in a couple of ways, First either through legislation but more frequently by judicial interpretation. The forces of secularism have been continually seeking to eliminate the laws that reflect traditional moral norms.
At first this involved rolling back laws that prohibited certain kinds of conduct. Hence the watershed decision legalising abortion and since then the legalisation of euthanasia and the list goes on as we all know.
More recently we have seen the law used aggressively to force religious people and entities to subscribe to practices and policies that are antithetical to their faith. The problem is not that religion is being forced on others. The problem is that irreligion is being forced, secular values are being forced on people of faith.
This reminds me of how Roman emperors couldn’t leave Christians in the Empire alone. Although loyal to the Emperor, they couldn’t leave them in peace. They would mandate that they had to violate their conscience by offering religious sacrifice to the emperor as a god.
Similarly today, militant secularists do not have a live and let live spirit. They are not content to leave religious people alone to practice their faith. Instead they seem to take delight in compelling people to violate their conscience. For example the last Administration sought to force religious employers including Catholic religious orders, to violate their sincerely held religious views by funding contraceptive and abortion coverage in their health plans. Ans similarly, California has sought to require pro-life pregnancy centres to provide notices of abortion rights.
This refusal to accommodate the free exercise of religion is relatively recent. Just 25 years ago there was a broad consensus in our society that a law should accommodate religious belief. In 1993 Congrees passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The purpose of the statute was to promote maximum accommodation to religion when the government adopted broad policies that might impinge on religious practice. At the timer this was not controversial. It was introduced by Chuck Schumer with 170 co-sponsors in the House and was introduced by Ted Kennedy and Oran Hatch with 59 co-sponsors in the Senate and it passed the Senate by 97 to 3.
But recently as the process of secularisation has accelerated this has come under assault and the idea of religious accommodation is falling out of favour.
Because this Administration firmly supports religious accommodation the battle ground at this time has largely shifted to the states. Some states are now attempting to compel religious individuals and entities to subscribe to practices or to espouse viewpoints that are incompatable with their religion. Ground zero for these attacks on religion are the schools. And to me these are the most serious challenge to religious liberty today.
For anyone who has a religious faith by far the most import part of exercising that faith is teaching that religion to your children. The passing on of the fait. There is no greated gift we can give our children and no greater expression of love. And for the government to interfer in that process is a monstrous interference in religious liberty…
We cannot sit back and expect that the pendulum will swing back to sanity… We understand that only by transforming ourselves will we transform the world beyond ourselves. This is tough work. It’s hard to resist the constant suductions of contemporary society. …We must place greater emphasis n the moral education of our children EDUCATION IS NOT VOCATIONAL TRAINING. It is leading our children to the recognition that there is truth and helping them develop the facility to discern and love the truth, and the discipline to live by it. We cannot have a moral renaissance unless we succeed in passing to the next generation our faith and values in full vigour. The times are hostile to this. Public agencies and public schools are becoming increasing secularised and active in promoting moral relativism…
We must be vigilant to resist effort by forces of secularisation to drive religious viewpoints from the public square and impinge upon our exercise of our faith. I can assure you that as long as I am Attorney general the Department of justice will be at the forefront of effort, ready to fight for all amrerican liberties. The freedom to live according to faith.
I believe this speech is very important. I also think that this is partly why the establishment is attacking Barr & others in the Trump administration. A return to faith is so important and understanding how far the attacks on faith have gone is fundamental to healing our society & culture.. and our individual selves, in my opinion. If you'd like to contribute to my channel, please go to my website amazingpolly.net and on the Contact page you will see different ways to reach me / send contributions. God bless you all. ♥