Theocracy alert: Trump’s Attorney General nominee William Barr is a Catholic conservative who rejects the separation of church and state, calls secularists “fanatics,” and blames secularism for “moral decline.”
And now Barr is one step closer to assuming the role as the chief lawyer of the federal government of the United States and head of the United States Department of Justice.
The Senate voted on Tuesday to break a Democratic filibuster of the nomination of William Barr to be the next US attorney general.
The 55-to-44 vote split on partisan lines with only three Democrats voting to advance Trump’s nominee. Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Doug Jones of Alabama and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona joined Republicans to support Barr’s nomination. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was the only Republican to vote no.
Barr is a states’ rights, religious conservative who believes women do not have a constitutional right to abortion, that Roe vs. Wade was wrongly decided, and that the legality of abortion should be determined by individual states.
As attorney general under the late President George H.W. Bush, Barr was the architect of America’s failed war on drugs and the current punitive criminal justice system. Barr was and is a big proponent of mass incarceration, despite the fact that research shows such a system fosters and promotes racial discrimination.
In addition to the racism and misogyny one would expect from a conservative Catholic, Barr is also a bigot when it comes to non-religious people and others who respect the separation of church and state.
The Daily Beast reports:
In a 1995 essay, Barr expressed an extreme view that American government should not be secular, but instead should impose “a transcendent moral order with objective standards of right and wrong that… flows from God’s eternal law.”
Barr went on to blame everything from crime to sexually transmitted diseases on a government-led attack on “traditional values.” He explicitly called for the government to subsidize Catholic religious education and to promote laws which “restrain sexual immorality,” a reference to homosexuality and extramarital sex.
In a 2011 address to “The Governor’s Conference on Juvenile Crime, Drugs and Gangs,” Barr condemned church/state separation in public schools:
This moral lobotomy of public schools has been based on extremist notions of separation of church and state or on theories of moral relativism which reject the notion that there are standards of rights or wrong to which the community can demand adherence.
In a 2017 article published by The Catholic Lawyer, Barr bemoaned the rise of secularism and offered an answer to the challenge of “representing Catholic institutions.” Discussing what Barr termed as “The Breakdown of Traditional Morality” the new attorney general nominee writes:
We live in an increasingly militant, secular age… As part of this philosophy, we see a growing hostility toward religion, particularly Catholicism. This form of bigotry has always been fashionable in the United States. There are, today, even greater efforts to marginalize or “ghettoize” orthodox religion…
In the article Barr uses the example of equal rights for LGBT people as an indication of the breakdown of traditional morality, claiming that equal treatment for LGBT rights groups at Georgetown University was actually an attack on morality:
The second way in which secularists use law as a weapon is to pass laws that affirmatively promote the moral relativist viewpoint. Such laws seek to ratify, or put on an equal plane, conduct that previously was considered immoral…Another example was the effort to apply District of Columbia law to compel Georgetown University to treat homosexual activist groups like any other student group. This kind of law dissolves any form of moral consensus in society. There can be no consensus based on moral views in the country, only enforced neutrality.
If confirmed, Barr would succeed Jeff Sessions as the nation’s attorney general. Barr previously served as attorney general under the late President George H.W. Bush.
Bottom line: William Barr should not be confirmed as attorney general. He is a dangerous religious conservative who implicitly advocates for a Christian theocracy. He rejects the separation of church and state, rejects equal rights for LGBT people, calls secularists “fanatics,” and blames secularism for the nation’s supposed “moral decline.”