AG William Barr on Protecting Religious Freedom

Attorney General William Barr recently spoke at the Notre Dame Law School and the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture:

“Today, I would like to share some thoughts with you about religious liberty in America. It’s an important priority in this Administration and for this Department of Justice.

“We have set up a task force within the Department in which different components that have equities in this area including the Solicitor General’s Office, the Civil Division, the Office of Legal Counsel, and other offices. We have regular meetings. We keep an eye out for cases or events around the country where states are misapplying the Establishment Clause in a way that discriminates against people of faith, or cases where states adopt laws that impinge upon the free exercise of religion.

“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.

“In the 20th century, our form of free society faced a severe test.

“There had always been the question whether a democracy so solicitous of individual freedom could stand up against a regimented totalitarian state.

“That question was answered with a resounding ‘yes’ as the United States stood up against and defeated, first fascism, and then communism.

“But in the 21st century, we face an entirely different kind of challenge.

The challenge we face is precisely what the Founding Fathers foresaw would be our supreme test as a free society.”

Read the AG’s full remarks here.

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