The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns freedom of religion. According to Mary Margaret Olohan, Attorney General William Barr said that “militant secularists” are imposing their non-religious values upon people of faith. In an interview on The Catholic Channel, he said that religion is being “driven out of the marketplace of ideas” as well as “an organized, militant secular effort to drive religion out of our lives.”
The reason [the Framers] felt they could grant so much freedom in the Constitution and only provide for limited government was because they felt that religion was there, and the people were religious people who could largely govern themselves. All the founders, and as you pointed out earlier to me, Your Eminence, [French diplomat and historian] Alexis de Tocqueville, observed the centrality of religion, to the health of American democracy.
We believe in the separation of church and state, but what permits a limited government and minimal command and control of the population, and allows people to have freedom of choice in their lives and trust in the people, is the fact that they are a people that are capable of disciplining themselves according to moral value.
Barr’s statement sounds a whole lot like the words of John Adams who said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
According to Adams and Barr, the Constitution cannot govern people who do not believe and follow a higher power. If we continue to allow militant secularists to destroy our foundation of faith, the Constitution will have no power over them. We must maintain a place for religion in our marketplace of ideas.