WATCH: Attorney General William Barr Says Decline of Religion and ‘Campaign to Destroy Traditional Moral Order’ in the U.S. is the Reason for Rise in Drug Abuse, Mental Illness, and Suicide

The country’s top lawmaker made the claim in an ominous address delivered Friday at the University of Notre Dame’s Law School in Indiana

Attorney General Bill Barr says increased rates of mental illness and drug abuse can be attributed to the declining influence of religion in the United States.

The country’s top lawmaker made the claim in an ominous address delivered Friday at the University of Notre Dame’s Law School in Indiana.

In his speech, the outspoken Republican, 69, also launched a withering attack on ‘so-called progressives’, accusing them of being actively involved in an ‘organized destruction’ of Judeo-Christian values.

Barr, who is a practicing Catholic, told the crowd of law students on Friday: ‘Along with the wreckage of the family, we are seeing record levels of depression and mental illness, dispirited young people, soaring suicide rates, increasing numbers of angry and alienated young males, an increase in senseless violence and a deadly drug epidemic.’

He subsequently stated that 70,000 Americans die each year from drug overdoses – a figure higher than the total number of American military personnel killed during the Vietnam War (58,220).

Barr later told the assembled audience that ‘the campaign to destroy the traditional moral order has coincided with immense suffering and misery, and yet the forces of secularism, ignoring these tragic results, press on with even greater militancy.’

The New York-born lawyer argued that progressives use pop culture and academia to denigrate traditional religion and further a secular agenda.

He referenced a recent law requiring New Jersey public schools to teach LGBT history as one such example.

Barr proclaimed that ‘the secular project has itself become a religion, pursued with religious fervor’.

Religious adherence in the US has been on a steady decline in recent decades.

According to a 2016 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, 24% Americans identify as having ‘No religion’ – up from 16% in 2011.

Meanwhile, the survey found that the number of White Christians now account for less than half the population – down from 81% back in 1976.

Barr’s appearance at Notre Dame caused controversy on Friday, with around 40 protesters gathering on campus to demonstrate.

The Attorney General is currently in the hot seat in Washington – widely framed as of President Trump’s closest allies and recently accused of covering for him in the midst of the impeachment inquiry.

‘I heard Notre Dame was hosting Bill Barr for a talk at the law school, and by inviting Bill Barr here, Notre Dame has become complicit within this impeachment conversation,’ one protester told 16 News Now.

Notre Dame is one of the country’s most famous Catholic universities, and has educated many prominent Republicans and Democrats alike.

SOURCE: Daily Mail, Andrew Court