Poll: 2 in 3 Faithful Americans Say Religion Is Under Attack

News: US News
by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  October 17, 2019   

US Attorney General Barr: Irreligion is being forced on people of faith

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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - The majority of faith-filled Americans agree that secular forces are attacking their religious beliefs, according to a recent survey.

A Rasmussen poll on Oct. 17 found more than 2 in 3 religious-minded Americans (67%) agreed with the following observation: "The problem is not that religion is being forced on others. The problem is that irreligion and secular values are being forced on people of faith."

This exact observation was made by Attorney General William Barr a week earlier during his strongly-worded talk at Notre Dame. Even more telling, the poll found that half of all Americans (50%) affirmed Barr's statement regardless of how important they viewed religion in their daily lives.

Barr clarified that religious values of Americans weren't simply dissolving on their own but were, in fact, being attacked.

"This is not decay," observed Barr, "it is organized destruction."

He then identified certain organizations pushing these values on the American people.

"Secularists, and their allies among the 'progressives,' have marshaled all the force of mass communications, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values," Barr asserted.

When asked in the survey if they agreed with this latter statement, more than half of Americans (61%) who treasured their faith agreed. Nearly half of all Americans polled (47%), religious or not, held this view to be true.

Barr's talk on religious liberty at Notre Dame Law School on Oct. 11 was so tough that it prompted the poll to determine just how many Americans were really on board with Barr's not-so-subtle message.

The attorney general, handpicked by President Donald Trump, emphasized that the attacks on religious freedom are given "an important priority in the Administration and for this Department of Justice." He then detailed how the Trump administration is fighting for the religious liberty of each American.

We have set up a task force within the Department with 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.

He referenced how necessary the concept of religious liberty was to the Founding Fathers and their view on its essential role in preserving society.

"The imperative of protecting religious freedom was not just a nod in the direction of piety," affirmed Barr. "It reflects the Framers' belief that religion was indispensable to sustaining our free system of government."

Because man is fallen, we don't automatically conform ourselves to moral rules.

He then unveiled what "the Founding Fathers foresaw" as the "supreme test" of America's free society.

They never thought the main danger to the republic came from external foes. The central question was whether, over the long haul, we could handle freedom. The question was whether the citizens in such a free society could maintain the moral discipline and virtue necessary for the survival of free institutions.

The framers, thus, viewed America's version of a limited government, said Barr, as "only suitable and sustainable for a religious people."

Such people would be able to recognize a moral order higher than "man-made law" and "control themselves according to those enduring principles," he related.

The necessity of religion and the "Judeo-Christian moral system" that came with it was how Barr prefaced his discussion on the need to counter the many attacks on these very religious values.

Barr, a Jewish convert to Catholicism, even brought up the Christian concept of man's so-called fallen nature that the Catholic Church teaches is burdened with what's called the effects of original sin.

"Because man is fallen, we don't automatically conform ourselves to moral rules even when we know they are good for us," remarked Barr. "But religion helps teach, train, and habituate people to want what is good."

He ended his talk with a solemn promise to always fight for religious liberty.

"I can assure you that, as long as I am Attorney General, the Department of Justice will be at the forefront of this effort, ready to fight for the most cherished of our liberties: the freedom to live according to our faith," concluded Barr.


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