by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Joy Pullmann of the Federalist documents a former U.S. attorney general’s criticism of American public schools.
The West is facing its deepest civilizational crisis since Jesus Christ resurrected, and addressing the crisis requires removing militant secularists’ monopoly on education, former U.S. attorney general William Barr told a packed Christian conference in Chicago, Ill. on Saturday.
“We are going through a fateful crisis in western civilization. This is the deepest crisis we’ve faced in my mind since Christ,” Barr said. “That’s because our whole civilization is based on the Judeo-Christian tradition and that tradition is under sustained attack by increasingly militant secular forces.”
In a reprise of a 2019 speech at Notre Dame University that met massive corporate media backlash, Barr told the audience U.S. public schools have become hostile to traditional religion while wresting control of American children’s upbringing from their parents. This is a threat to the entire Western order, Barr said, because the unique American system of self-government cannot exist without a citizenry that is committed to traditional religion.
That’s because there are only two ways to restrain people from following disordered passions, Barr said: internal restraints, which are largely provided by one’s beliefs; and external restraints, which are typically provided by government. So in order to have a limited government, Barr noted in an explicit echo of the American Founders, citizens must practice self-restraint.
Such self-restraint is primarily developed through religious devotion, he said. But religious observance, the keystone of ordered liberty in the West, has been under systematic assault by anti-religious forces Barr called an “atheocracy,” his amalgam of the words “atheist theocracy.” These anti-religious forces now control the minds of American kids due to their monopoly on U.S. education institutions.
“The threat today is not that religious people are about to establish a theocracy in the United States, it is that militant secularists are trying to establish an atheocracy,” Barr said.