U.S. Attorney General William Barr took on “militant secularists” in an Oct. 11 speech to the law school at Notre Dame University. “They are not content to leave religious people alone to practice their faith,” Barr said. “Instead, they seem to take delight in compelling people to violate their conscience.”
Barr warned of secularist attempts to force students in public schools to learn lessons that violate families’ religious beliefs, state policies that deprive religious schools of generally available funds, and efforts to force religious schools to adhere to secular orthodoxy on topics like same-sex marriage. “Taken together, these cases paint a disturbing picture,” Barr said. “We see the state requiring local public schools to insert themselves into contentious social debates, without regard for the religious views of their students or parents.”
The Trump administration is on track to file more friend-of-the-court briefs and statements of interest in religious liberty cases than either the Bush or Obama White Houses. The attorney general promised to continue to fight for religious liberty, and he called on law students to “resist efforts by the forces of secularization to drive religious viewpoints from the public square.” —S.W.