Margaret Fosmoe | November 4, 2019
In a speech Friday October 11 at the Notre Dame Law School, U.S. Attorney General William Barr decried the ascendancy of secularism and vowed to do all he can to assure continued religious freedom for Americans.
During the 20th century, the free society of the United States faced off against totalitarianism, standing up and defeating fascism and communism, Barr said. In the 21st century, Americans face the question of whether citizens in a free society can maintain the moral discipline and virtue necessary for the survival of free institutions, he said.
“Modern secularists dismiss this idea of morality as sort of otherworldly superstition imposed by killjoy clergy,” he said. “But, in fact, Judeo-Christian standards are the ultimate utilitarian rules for human conduct.”
Barr spoke in the law school’s McCartan Courtroom to law students and faculty, students associated with Notre Dame’s de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, which co-hosted the event with the Law School, and other invited guests. Media were invited to cover the speech, but weren’t permitted to stay for the question-and-answer period.
Barr, who is Catholic, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Columbia University, and a law degree at George Washington University Law School. One of Barr’s three daughters, Margaret Barr, is a 2006 Notre Dame graduate.
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