WATCH: Attorney General nominee William Barr says self control comes from ‘religious values’
William Barr (Screen Capture)

Barr Derides Use of 'Governmental Power to Suppress the Freedoms of Traditional Religious Communities'

Attorney General nominee William Barr during his confirmation hearing Tuesday shared with the Senate Judiciary Committee his belief that personal self control comes from "religious values."


"Our government is an experiment in how much freedom we can allow the people without tearing ourselves apart," Barr told the Senators.

Barr continued, saying that the Founding Fathers believed in "fewer laws, more self control." By self control he does not mean self-governance, but personal self control, as in the ability to make good decisions and not succumb to wants and desires.

"They believed part of that self control ultimately came from religious values," he continued.

"I believe in the separation of church and state, but I am sometimes concerned that we not use governmental power to suppress the freedoms of traditional religious communities in our country."

His remarks echo those he wrote in a highly-controversial 1995 treatise published by a Catholic university.

In it, he rails against what he sees as the "increasingly militant, secular age," the "bigotry" of "a growing hostility toward religion," and "efforts to marginalize or 'ghettoize' orthodox religion."

And he derides the "the steady erosion of the traditional Judeo-Christian moral system," and "traditional morality."

For example, in his 1995 paper Barr denounced "the effort to apply District of Columbia law to compel Georgetown University to treat homosexual activist groups like any other student group."

RELATED: WILL SENATORS ASK TRUMP’S ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE ABOUT HIS HISTORY OF ANTI-GAY AND RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM?

Barr's remarks on "self control" Tuesday are directly related to this passage from that 1995 publication:

"Self-government did not mean the mechanism by which one elected representatives to a legislative body. Self-government referred to the capacity of each individual to restrain and govern themselves."

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