Yonason Rosenblum: "Attorney General William Barr gave an extraordinary speech on Oct. 11 at Notre Dame Law School — extraordinary by virtue of its intellectual sophistication, its full-throated celebration of the Judeo-Christian contribution to American democracy, and its defense of religious liberty.
"Barr began by noting the centrality of freedom of religious conscience to the nation's Founders. The Declaration of Independence lists "the pursuit of happiness" among the "inalienable rights" with which all men are "endowed by their Creator." That does not mean the right to have as much fun as possible, as modern readers might assume. Rather, as Carl Conklin argues in The Pursuit of Happiness in the Founding Era: An Intellectual History, it refers to the freedom to live a life of virtue consonant with the recognition that G-d created the universe with both physical and moral laws that direct the universe to its ultimate perfection.
"James Madison, the chief architect of the Constitution, described religious liberty as a "duty to the Creator... precedent in both order of time and degree of obligation to the claims of Civil Society."
"Barr went on to explain why the Founders viewed the cause of liberty as inextricably bound to the religious and moral nature of the people. As John Adams famously put it, "We have no government armed with the power which is capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made for only a moral and religious people.”
"A recent Tablet [Magazine] article, "100,000 Little Stalinists," neatly sums up the situation on the college campuses where the next generation of leaders is being trained. In The Tyranny of Virtue: Identity, the Academy, and the Hunt for Political Heresies, Robert Boyers describes how campus activists alternately enforce silence and unleash torrential verbal abuse, often in the form of Twitter blitzkriegs, at anyone who refuses to conform. The first things students learn is "what not to ask" and "who is to blame." In their determination not to be confronted with "unwanted or disturbing thoughts," many university students have rendered themselves effectively uneducable.
"Barr views the steady decline of religion in American society and the growing disdain for what he refers to as Judeo-Christian moral standards as underlying many of the current social pathologies: rates of illegitimacy that increased from 25% when he was first attorney general in 1992 to 40% today; 70,000 deaths from drug overdoses annually; along with record levels of depression and mental illness.
"Wherein lies the "progress"? Barr challenges the progressive secularists. With what have you replaced Judeo-Christian morality that can sustain human social life and fill the spiritual void in the hearts of individuals?
"The new "spiritualism" — for example, witchcraft, astrology, and neo-paganism — will not fill the void of meaning or provide a source of self-discipline. Notably lacking from these contemporary responses to the inherent human yearning for transcendence and attachment to something larger than the individual self is any system of "dos" and "don'ts.” [me: here, I believe, he is speaking to the DS]
"As long as I am Attorney General," Barr concluded, "the Department of Justice will be... ready to fight for the most cherished of our liberties — the freedom to live according to our faith." That vow alone is compelling reason enough for every Orthodox Jew to support the reelection of President Trump."
To those who do not understand Trump, or want understand what motivates him, one can read this entire article by Yonason Rosenblum at Jewish Media Resources