Remarks by Attorney General William P. Barr on his Acceptance of the Christifideles Laici Award at the 2020 National Catholic Prayer Breakfast
Washington, DC ~ Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Good morning. It is a great honor to be recognized by this esteemed organization. The truth is that no one is really worth of an award like this, so I am a little sheepish in accepting it. But I am honored to do so, because I greatly admire the organizers of this breakfast and those who are associated with it. This is a beautiful piece of artwork that I will cherish. Thank you.
早上好。 我非常荣幸受到这个受尊敬的组织的认可。 事实上，没有人真的值得获得这样的奖项，因此我在接受这一奖项时有些受宠若惊。 但是我感到很荣幸，因为我非常钦佩这个早餐会的组织者和相关人员。 这是一件我会珍惜的精美艺术品。 谢谢。
For more than 15 years now, inspired by Saint John Paul II’s call for a renewal of Catholic communal and civic spirit, the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast has served as a living testament to the vital role of the Church and its principles in American public life. Thank you for praying with me, and for me, and for the future of our country.
This is a challenging time for many Americans. But times of trial have a way of reminding us how much we have to be grateful for. As people of faith, we take comfort in the knowledge that God has a purpose and a plan. And as citizens, we gain strength from the knowledge that our forebears confronted and overcame even greater tests.
现在对于许多美国人来说是一个充满挑战的时刻。 但是试炼的时候也以这种方式提醒我们要充满感恩。作为有信仰的人，我们的安慰来自于对上帝的目的和计划的认知。 作为公民，我们从前辈们面对并克服了更大考验的认知中获得力量。
In joining together to pray for the strength and health of our country, we carry on a tradition that goes back to the beginning of the Republic. During the summer of 1783, General George Washington gave his first major address following the Revolutionary War — a war the young nation very nearly lost. He delivered a famous prayer that continues to be read aloud every day at Mount Vernon. He asked God not only to protect the nation from external threats, but to maintain the character of its citizens: as he put it, to “dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy,” and to comport ourselves “with that charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the divine author of our blessed religion,” and without which “we can never hope to be a happy Nation.”
我们秉承了可以追溯到共和国初期的传统，团结起来为我们国家的力量和健康祈祷。 在1783年夏天，乔治·华盛顿将军在独立战争后首次发表重要讲话，这个年轻国家几乎输掉了这场战争。 他发表了著名的祈祷文，每天依旧会在弗農山被大声朗读。 他不仅祈求上帝保护国家免受外部威胁，而且要维护其公民的品格：正如他所说，“让我们所有人义无反顾，热爱怜悯’’并“与那种慈善、谦卑、平心静气相称”， 就是我们所信仰的神聖造物主的特征，而没有它们，“我们将永远无望成为一个幸福的国家”。
As Washington and his fellow Founders understood, religion is at the heart of the American experiment in self-government. In his Farewell Address, Washington said: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”
What he meant is that self-government begins with self-restraint. And there is no greater teacher of restraint than religion. That is why John Adams declared that our Constitution — which recently celebrated its 233rd birthday — “was made only for a moral and religious people.” As Father John Courtney Murray later put it, the American idea is not that “free government is inevitable, only that it is possible, and that its possibility can be realized only when the people as a whole are inwardly governed by the recognized imperatives of the universal moral order.”
他的意思是，自治始于自制，宗教是教导克制最好的老师。 这就是为什么约翰·亚当斯（John Adams）宣布，就是最近庆祝了诞辰233岁的《宪法》所述那般——“仅是为有道德和宗教信仰的人民制定的”。正如约翰·考特尼·默里神父后来所说的那样，美国的思想并不是“自由政府是可能但并不是必然的，只有当整个人民内里都由公认的普世道德秩序规则所约束时，才有可能实现自由政府。”
That crucial link between religion and liberty, so well understood at the Founding, is all too often forgotten today. In American public discourse, perhaps no concept is more misunderstood than the notion of “separation of church and state.” Militant secularists have long seized on that slogan as a facile justification for attempting to drive religion from the public square and to exclude religious people from bringing a religious perspective to bear on conversations about the common good.
Yet as events like this one remind us, separation of church and state does not mean, and never did mean, separation of religion and civics. As late as 1952, Justice William O. Douglas could write for a majority of the Supreme Court that “we are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being.” Alexis de Tocqueville, the keenest observer of the early American republic, praised America’s separation of church and state while extolling America’s union of the “spirit of religion” and the “spirit of liberty” as the key to its success. And Tocqueville identified religion as perhaps the greatest bulwark against a descent into tyranny.
然而，正如此类事件提醒我们的那样，政教分离并不意味着，也从来没有意味着宗教与公民的分离。 直到1952年，大法官威廉·O·道格拉斯（William O. Douglas）都可以为最高法院的多数人写信，“我们是有宗教信仰的人民，其制度以至高无上者为前提。” 美利坚合众国早期最敏锐的观察家亚历克西斯·德·托克维尔（Alexis de Tocqueville）称赞美国的政教分离，同时赞扬美国“宗教精神”与“自由精神”的结合是其成功的关键。 托克维尔（Tocqueville）认为宗教也许是抵制滑向暴政的最大堡垒。
How does religion preserve liberty? In the first place, as our Founders recognized, religion assists in the formation of virtuous citizens who are prepared to exercise liberty responsibly. Whereas in democratic times, individuals have a tendency to withdraw from public life and pursue private self-gratification, religion builds community, strengthens social cohesion, and turns our attention to the common good. At the same time, religion safeguards individual rights by warding off what Tocqueville called the “impious maxim” that “everything is permitted in the interest of society.” For all of these reasons, Tocqueville referred to Americans’ religion as “the first of their political institutions.”
宗教如何维护自由？ 首先，正如我们的开国元勋所承认的那样，宗教有助于形成准备好负责任地行使自由的道德公民。在民主时代，个人倾向于退出公共生活，追求私人的自我满足，而宗教则建立小区，增强社会凝聚力，并将我们的注意力转向共同利益。 同时，宗教通过抵制托克维尔（Tocqueville）所谓的“无礼准则”，即“为了社会利益，就能允许一切”, 来维护个人权利。由于所有这些原因，托克维尔将美国人的宗教称为“他们的第一个政治制度”。
Unfortunately, in the last half century, that foundation of our free society has increasingly been under siege. Traditional morality has eroded, and secularists have often succeeded not only in eliminating religion from schools and the public square, but in replacing it with new orthodoxies that are actively hostile to religion. The consequences of this hollowing out of religion have been predictably dire. Over the past 50 years, we have seen striking increases in urban violence, drug abuse, and broken families. Problems like these have fed the rise of an ever more powerful central government, one that increasingly saps individual initiative, coopts civil society, crowds out religious institutions, and ultimately reduces citizens to wards of the State.
不幸的是，在过去的半个世纪中，我们的自由社会的基础越来越受到围困。传统道德受到侵蚀，世俗主义者不仅在消除学校和公共领域的宗教信仰方面取得了成功，而且还以积极反对宗教信仰的新正统观念取代了宗教信仰。 可以预见的是，挖空宗教的后果是可怕的。 在过去的50年中，我们看到城市暴力、吸毒和家庭破裂的现象急剧增加。 诸如此类的问题助长了一个越来越强大的中央政府的崛起，中央政府日益削弱个人主动性、控制公民社会、排挤宗教机构，最终使公民沦为国家监管下的被监护人。
As patriotic Americans and people of faith, we cannot be complacent about these trends. Yet nor should we give in to despair. More recently, thanks in part to organizations like this one, we have seen some small but significant steps toward the restoration of religion to its rightful place in American public life.
作为爱国的美国人和有信仰的人，我们不能对这些趋势感到沾沾自喜， 但是我们也不应该屈服于绝望。 最近，部分归功于像这样的组织，我们看到了一些虽小却重要的步骤，恢复宗教在美国公共生活中应有的地位。
Some notable advances — which admittedly are of particular interest to me — have come in the legal arena. They are the result of decades of hard work advocating for sound jurisprudential philosophies and appointing principled judges to state and federal courts. The most recent term of the Supreme Court, for example, saw three important victories for religious liberty. In each of these cases, the Department of Justice filed briefs supporting the free exercise of religion.
法律领域已经出现了一些显著的进步，这些进步对我来说特别有意义。 这是数十年来辛勤倡导健全的法学哲学，并任命有原则的法官担任州和联邦法院的法官的结果。 例如，最高法院最近一届任期获得了三项重要的宗教自由胜利。 对每一起案例，司法部都备案摘要都支持自由行使宗教信仰。
In one case, the Court reaffirmed the principle that the government cannot discriminate against religion in general funding programs, and struck down a provision of the Montana Constitution that had been interpreted to exclude religious schools from a scholarship program for underprivileged students. In another case, the Court held that the First Amendment prohibits courts from intervening in employment disputes involving teachers at religious schools who are entrusted with the responsibility of instructing their students in the faith. In the third case, the Court considered a regulatory mandate requiring employers to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees, and upheld the administration’s rules exempting the nuns of the Little Sisters of the Poor and other employers with moral and religious objections.
In a sense, it is dispiriting that the disputes in these cases ever arose. In each case, the religious litigants were not asking for anything more than the basic freedom to exercise their faith and be treated the same as others. Nevertheless, the recognition of those rights by courts is encouraging. And all involved — from the litigants and lawyers to those who prayed for the wisdom of judges — can take solace in having achieved a just result.
从某种意义上说，在这些案例上出现的争执令人沮丧。 在每起案例中，宗教诉讼者所要求的不过是基本的行使信仰，并受到与他人同等对待的自由。 尽管如此，法院对这些权利的承认令人鼓舞。从诉讼人和律师到那些为法官智慧祈祷的人，都可以从获得的公正结果中得到安慰。
Advocating for religious liberty is just one way that lay Catholics and others can answer the call to serve. In his exhortation Christifideles Laici, for which the award I have the honor of accepting today is named, Saint John Paul II noted that “the lay faithful are never to relinquish their participation in ‘public life’.” At the same time, he emphasized that faith is first and foremost about how we live our daily lives, for “the daily life itself of a truly Christian family makes up the first ‘experience of Church.’”
倡导宗教自由只是天主教徒和其他人可以响应服务呼召的一种方式。 圣约翰保罗二世在他的讲道 “克里斯蒂菲德莱斯·莱奇“ (Christifideles Laici: 拉丁文，意为“外行”)中，我今天很荣幸获得的奖项就是由此命名的，他指出：”平信徒绝对不能放弃他们对 ‘公共生活’的参与“。同时，他强调信仰是我们日常生活的重中之重，因为“一个真正的基督教家庭的日常生活本身构成了第一个’教会体验’。”
Wherever we are in life, it is never too late to work in the Lord’s vineyard. Our spiritual renewal, and the renewal of our national character, depend on it. God Bless you all, and God Bless America.
无论我们处在人生的什么阶段，在主的葡萄園里做工永远都不会太晚。 我们的属灵复兴和民族质量的复兴都取决于它。 谢谢，上帝保佑你们，上帝保佑美国。