October 15, 2019

Last Friday, the Attorney General of the United States, William Barr, spoke at Notre Dame Law School, and proceeded to blame all of society's ills on "secularists," and our society's lack of Christian values. Everything from violence, drug abuse, and violence are the fault of "secularists." In his speech, he said,

Secularists and their allies have marshaled all the forces of mass communication, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.
Along with the wreckage of the family, we are seeing record levels of depression and mental illness. Dispirited young people, soaring suicide rates, increasing numbers of angry and alienated young males. An increase in senseless violence and a deadly drug epidemic. Suffice it to say, the campaign to destroy the traditional moral order has coincided, and I believe has brought with it immense suffering and misery.

Joy Reid and her panel dissected the importance of the nation's top law enforcement officer breaching so brazenly the Constitutionally-mandated wall separating church from state. She asked legal analyst, Cynthia Alksne if she thought there was a problem with this.

ALKSNE: Right. Yes. The Attorney General of the United States is not a Catholic priest or bishop. He can have that opinion. I don't happen to share it. I think he's looking for the good old days back when white men were in charge and women knew their place and there's nobody in color in charge of anything. And I'm sure he misses those days, but that's not his job as the Attorney General. In the scheme of things he's done wrong as Attorney General, I view this as small, right? Like, for instance, stop lying to us. That is more important to me. I would rather he does apply to be the president of Notre Dame, although I don't think the Jesuits would want him. I would rather he apply to be the pope, although I happen to like the pope we have. But, stop lying to us. Stop turning the Justice Department into an arm of Trump's personal legal defense bill. Stop, you know supporting all these policies that are anti-Christian in my opinion, like, for example, putting people in cages. That to me is a larger problem than whether or not he gives a speech in front of a couple hundred law students outside the main stream.

Well, it might not be AS bad as the other things he's done, but I'm not sure why we have to choose and compare...these are ALL reasons why the man is completely corrupt and perverting the Constitution in as many possible ways to keep the power in as few white, male, Christian hands as possible.

Reid asked Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson how this blurring of lines between church and state is impacting those in the military. His answer was absolutely chilling.

COL. WILKERSON: What's happening is a reflection of this white male, I yearn for the past attitude. It is evangelical pastors, chaplains who are proselytizing for Jesus Christ in the armed forces when people are very vulnerable, like at basic training, where they're baptizing HUNDREDS of them each training cycle, or whether it's at Ranger School where they catch them when they are very, very vulnerable and get them to be soldiers for Jesus. I'm not making these phrases up. These are the phrases these chaplains use. We even have one chaplain in the Reserve component, who has said publicly — in uniform! — that soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines they do not owe their allegiance to the Constitution. They owe it to Jesus Christ, their savior!

REID: What about Muslim, and Jewish troops?

COL. WILKERSON: That doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. You can sit and tell them how many Muslims are in there. We have Wiccans in the ranks. We have -- what's the group -- Jedi Knights in the ranks. Not a lot of them, but the constitution says all of their rights are supposed to be protected.

Now, I know the first thing you're thinking. "WE HAVE F*CKING JEDI KNIGHTS IN OUR MILITARY??? HOW COOL IS THAT???"

But then, if you're like me, you're pissed as hell that chaplains in the military are telling soldiers that their loyalty is to JESUS CHRIST over the Constitution. It's just another sign that this country has gone completely batshit bananas when it comes to religion, and our priorities are as dangerous as the nukes Trump's trying to get out of Turkey as an afterthought.

In his excellent piece for Patheos, Rick Snedeker rips Barr's narrative of its fragile, false superiority, knee-capping the very religion Barr is trying to lift up. And it's brilliant.

In all honestly, I’d argue that all these awful social actualities in the U.S. could just as easily be blamed on tight-fisted, hard-hearted Republican economic and social policies that vastly favor the rich over the poor and leave millions of despondent yet blameless citizens in the eternal dustbin of the American dream.

There’s zero evidence that secular, humanist values cannot build a society of even greater stability and compassion that previous Judeo-Christian iterations. In fact, there’s a lot of evidence that non-religious values could create a kinder and gentler but still prosperous America. Certainly, the religious oppressions of the past have spawned centuries of misery among many Americans. Just take the Catholic Church’s appalling priestly pedophilia scandal, for one, which continues to globally expand.

But Barr still insists we are all rudderless without religion.

Yes, he does. And it's about as convincing as all the other BS that comes out of his mouth.

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