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Bill Barr slammed for his ‘incredibly disturbing’ — and false — attack on secularism

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During a speech at Notre Dame’s law school this Friday, US Attorney General William Barr disparaged the rising tide of secularism in America, saying that a lack of religion is tied to societal ills like violence and drug abuse.

“Basically every measure of this social pathology continues to gain ground,” Barr said, adding that problems in society are the result of “moral upheaval.”

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“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 continued.

“Over 70,000 people die a year from drug overdoses, but I won’t dwell on the bitter results of the new secular age,” Barr said, alleging that many “so-called progressives” are also “militant secularists.”

Responding to Barr’s speech, American Atheists president Nick Fish fired off a letter to the Justice Department this Monday, sharply criticizing Barr’s suggestion that people who lack religion are contributing to moral decay.

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“It is curious that you blame violence on the rise of secularism in the United States,” Fish wrote. “To the contrary, as Attorney General, you no doubt know that according to data published by the FBI, the rate of violent crime in the United States has fallen by 49% since 1993. The timeline of this fall in violent crime correlates to the explosive growth of secularism in the United States.”

“If Barr is looking for someone to blame for undermining the American family, he should look no further than his administration’s repeated actions which have prevented loving, qualified parents from adopting simply because they are non-religious, members of the ‘wrong’ religion, or LGBTQ,” he continued. “Under Barr’s leadership, the Department of Justice has consistently sided with those who use religion as an excuse to ignore the laws and who demand taxpayer money to fund their discrimination.”

“For the chief law enforcement officer in the United States to scapegoat 75 million non-religious Americans for all of society’s problems is incredibly disturbing. By trafficking in stereotypes, AG Barr is harming atheists and the nonreligious and making life even more difficult for a group that is already among the least trusted in the country.”

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This isn’t the first time American Atheists have spoken out against Barr. In January, the group published a letter highlighting his hostilities towards secular Americans during his time as Attorney General under George H.W. Bush. You can read their full letter here.

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Lev Parnas’s attorney hilariously trolls Mitch McConnell in bid for witnesses during impeachment trial

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The attorney for Lev Parnas trolled Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Saturday in a bid for a "fair" impeachment trial.

Attorney Joseph Bondy posted to Twitter a video mashing together the audio of Trump meeting with Parnas and Igor Fruman along with the music from Rick Astley's 1987 song "Never Gonna Give You Up."

Posting the song as an online prank, known as rickrolling, dates back to at least 2007.

Included with the video was a message to McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Bondy urged the two to "vote with integrity and conscience."

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President Xi Jinping warns China’s coronavirus situation is ‘grave’ due to ‘accelerating spread’ of the virus

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President Xi Jinping warned Saturday that China faced a "grave situation" as authorities raced to contain a virus that has killed 41 people and caused a drastic scale-back of Lunar New Year celebrations.

The world's most populous country, which is scrambling to contain the disease that has infected nearly 1,300 people and overwhelmed health facilities, is building a second field hospital and closing more travel routes.

After more countries reported cases, Xi said at a Communist Party leadership meeting on the disease that China was "faced with the grave situation of an accelerating spread of the new coronavirus" but that the country will "definitely be able to win the battle," according to state media.

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‘NPR will not be intimidated’: Mike Pompeo blasted for attacks on reporter Mary Louise Kelly

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National Public Radio (NPR) is standing by "All Things Considered" host Mary Louise Kelly after she was attacked by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"One day after a contentious interview followed by an expletive-filled verbal lashing of NPR host Mary Louise Kelly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is publicly accusing her of lying to him — 'twice,'" NPR reported. "He does not explain how and offers no evidence, but in their recorded interview the nation's top diplomat declined to respond when Kelly asked if he owed an apology to Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was ousted from that post last year after allies of President Trump accused her of disloyalty."

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