Dear Editor:

The stark contrast between Jeff Laadt’s worldview and that of Warren Anderson is but a microcosm of our irreconcilable political divide that was on full display in their recent letters to the editor titled “A.G. Barr apparently threatened by religion” and “Letter revealed secularists are irritated by religion,” respectively.

These increasingly common conflicts nowadays make it easy to surmise that Attorney General William Barr’s address to the University of Notre Dame Law School, regarding religious liberty and the invaluable role religion has played in the successful story of American society, was more than just a progress report on one of the priorities of President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice, headed by Barr.

This brilliantly articulated speech for the ages seemingly was a direct indictment of today’s Democratic Party and its most viable presidential candidates sparring for the opportunity to finally implode the pillars of a culture still standing in the way of their socialistic vision: faith, family and tradition.

In fact, it is arguable that the primary purpose for Barr’s bold speech in such a high-profile venue was to intentionally draw one of the battle lines for the upcoming presidential election.

Barr asserted “From the Founding Era onward, there was strong consensus about the centrality of religious liberty in the United States. The imperative of protecting religious freedom was not just a nod in the direction of piety. It reflects the framers’ belief that religion was indispensable to sustaining our free system of government.

“They crafted a magnificent charter of freedom — the U.S. Constitution — which provides for limited government, while leaving ‘the people’ broadly at liberty to pursue our lives both as individuals and through free associations. This quantum leap in liberty has been the mainspring of unprecedented human progress, not only for Americans, but for people around the world.”

Barr went on to warn that today, our nation faces an entirely different challenge than the external forces we defeated in the previous century. He elaborated on this internal militant force. 

“On the one hand, we have seen the steady erosion of our traditional Judeo-Christian moral system and a comprehensive effort to drive it from the public square. On the other hand, we see the growing ascendancy of secularism and the doctrine of moral relativism. By any honest assessment, the consequences of this moral upheaval have been grim,” said Barr.

To that point, Barr provided statistics on the illegitimacy rate that has exploded from 8% in 1965 to 40% today, with the number reaching 70% in some large urban areas. And then, there’s the record level of depression, mental illness, dispirited young people, soaring suicide rates, increasing numbers of angry and alienated young males, an increase in senseless violence and an “out of control” drug epidemic that kills 70,000 per year.

“Suffice it to say that the campaign to destroy the traditional moral order has brought with it immense suffering, wreckage and misery. And yet, the forces of secularism, ignoring these tragic results, press on with even greater militancy. Among these militant secularists are many so-called progressives. But where is the progress? The fact is that no secular creed has emerged capable of performing the role of religion,” he emphasized.

This important speech can be read at justice.gov or viewed on youtube.com.

Frank Gabl  

Prospect Heights, Ill.