In a speech at the Notre Dame Law School this past week, US Attorney General William Barr blasted those that he believes are mounting an attack on Judeo-Christian values. “[T]he problem is not that religion is being forced on others, the problem is that irreligion is being forced — secular values are being forced on people of faith,” Barr told the audience. He played out his contention that there is a concerted effort in the US to squelch the freedom of Christians, in particular, to practice their faith as they choose.
Barr further contended that “ground zero” for the attacks is public schools, with a curriculum focused on LGBTQ interests. “This is not decay,” he said. “This is organized destruction. Secular forces 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.”
He is absolutely correct in some respects. There is a concerted effort on the left not only to squelch religious freedom, but to silence anyone who might speak against their narrative. Oddly, it seems their focus is strictly upon Christians, but they are accepting of any other religion. There appears to be a complete lack of understanding on the part of the left of the meaning of the word “tolerance.”
That aside, in any society that values freedom, none of this should be a problem. People are right to speak about what they think are good values and what they think are bad values. It’s a good and healthy thing to speak freely about what sorts of things a society should value most. However, it’s ironic that people speak so strongly of tolerance while being so intolerant of anyone who might disagree with their values.
The main problem here is that no government should ever have the power to determine values for its people. There should never be any room for values coming “under attack” from any sort of governance, other than that selected by choice. When we make government the arbiter of values, we open values to majority rule. These conflicts come about because there is great power in forcing the values of one group onto others. Where one group enjoys the freedom of having its values cemented into law, other groups bear the status of being under rule of values they don’t support. As the ruling class changes, so do the values everyone is forced to accept by law.
For many decades, perhaps centuries, those adhering to traditional Judeo-Christian values have enjoyed the fact that their values have been enshrined with majority custom and law in the West, especially in the US. As those who oppose such values grow in number, what the former group — myself included — has enjoyed, is turning against them. Soon, those who oppose their values will outnumber them and their values will be suppressed.
Now is the time to change all of that.
By eliminating government as the arbiter of values and repealing laws that entrench values, we can instead have the law protect the individual to select their own values. By enshrining the right to select one’s own values within law, we can protect the values of all. While values will always come under attack, if the individual is protected from being forced to accept the values of others, those who hold Judeo-Christian values have nothing to fear. They can correct this right now, while they continue to occupy the majority. And now is the best time to realize what threats await if we fail to do this.
If Christians wake up to the realization that to protect our values, we must support those who disagree with them. We must enshrine in law that no government has the authority to determine anyone’s values. Furthermore, as Barr aptly points out, the schools are where it is happening most. Therefore, the best answer is for government to withdraw from the business of schooling and instead allow people to choose for themselves how their children will be taught.
Barr is right about Christians coming under attack from the political left. He is wrong about fighting such an attack by strengthening Christian values within the law and forcing schools to avoid teaching topics of LGBTQ. Instead, he should be pressuring those in a position to make changes to remove government from schools and to protect individual selection of values. That is the best way forward, and the only way to keep Judeo-Christian values alive and well — well into the future.