Liberal Christian Group Files Ethics Complaint Against Attorney General Barr

Attorney General William Barr testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Faithful America, a Christian advocacy group that often champions liberal causes, has filed an ethics complaint against U.S. Attorney General William Barr, claiming he violated his oath to defend religious liberty for all Americans in a recent speech at Notre Dame University’s law school.

The complaint, filed last week (Oct. 24) with the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, objected to Barr’s saying at an appearance at the invitation-only event that religion “gives us the right rules to live by” and that the generation that founded the United States were Christians who “believed that the Judeo-Christian moral system corresponds to the true nature of man.”

The attorney general added, “Those moral precepts start with the two great commandments — to love God with your whole heart, soul and mind; and to love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Officials at Faithful America interpreted Barr’s speech as disproportionately focused on Christianity. After Barr’s remarks, an online petition launched by the group to “investigate William Barr’s toxic Christian nationalism” accrued signatures from almost 14,000 people.

Faithful America’s complaint is not the only criticism Barr’s speech has elicited. C. Colt Anderson, a Roman Catholic theologian and professor of religion at Fordham University, declared to The Guardian after reading the speech that the attorney general represents a “threat to democracy.” National Catholic Reporter columnist Michael Sean Winters derided the speech as “ridiculously stupid.”

But Faithful America said that Barr showcased a disregard for religious minorities, suggesting the speech may have been “coordinated” with Trump’s re-election bid. “He cited perceived attacks on conservative Christianity as evidence of ‘secular’ and ‘progressive’ attacks on religious liberty,” the complaint noted, “but did not mention any other religions, despite numerous recent attacks on American Muslims and Jews from supporters of the (Trump) administration.”

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Source: Religion News Service