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。 我非常榮幸受到這個受尊敬的組織的認可。 事實上，沒有人真的值得獲得這樣的獎項，因此我在接受這一獎項時有些受寵若驚。 但是我感到很榮幸，因為我非常欽佩這個早餐會的組織者和相關人員。 這是一件我會珍惜的精美藝術品。 謝謝。
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.
現在對於許多美國人來說是一個充滿挑戰的時刻。 但是試煉的時候也以這種方式提醒我們要充滿感恩。作為有信仰的人，我們的安慰來自於對上帝的目的和計畫的認知。 作為公民，我們從前輩們面對並克服了更大考驗的認知中獲得力量。
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.”
我們秉承了可以追溯到共和國初期的傳統，團結起來為我們國家的力量和健康祈禱。 在1783年夏天，喬治·華盛頓將軍在獨立戰爭後首次發表重要講話，這個年輕國家幾乎輸掉了這場戰爭。 他發表了著名的祈禱文，每天依舊會在弗農山被大聲朗讀。 他不僅祈求上帝保護國家免受外部威脅，而且要維護其公民的品格：正如他所說，“讓我們所有人義無反顧，熱愛憐憫’’並“與那種慈善、謙卑、平心靜氣相稱”， 就是我們所信仰的神聖造物主的特徵，而沒有它們，“我們將永遠無望成為一個幸福的國家”。
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，自治始於自製，宗教是教導克制最好的老師。 這就是為什麼約翰·亞當斯（John Adams）宣佈，就是最近慶祝了誕辰233歲的《憲法》所述那般——“僅是為有道德和宗教信仰的人民制定的”。正如約翰·考特尼·默里神父後來所說的那樣，美國的思想並不是“自由政府是可能但並不是必然的，只有當整個人民內裡都由公認的普世道德秩序規則所約束時，才有可能實現自由政府。”
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，正如此類事件提醒我們的那樣，政教分離並不意味著，也從來沒有意味著宗教與公民的分離。 直到1952年，大法官威廉·O·道格拉斯（William O. Douglas）都可以為最高法院的多數人寫信，“我們是有宗教信仰的人民，其制度以至高無上者為前提。” 美利堅合眾國早期最敏銳的觀察家亞曆克西斯·德·托克維爾（Alexis de Tocqueville）稱讚美國的政教分離，同時讚揚美國“宗教精神”與“自由精神”的結合是其成功的關鍵。 托克維爾（Tocqueville）認為宗教也許是抵制滑向暴政的最大堡壘。
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.”
宗教如何維護自由？ 首先，正如我們的開國元勳所承認的那樣，宗教有助於形成準備好負責任地行使自由的道德公民。在民主時代，個人傾向於退出公共生活，追求私人的自我滿足，而宗教則建立社區，增強社會凝聚力，並將我們的注意力轉向共同利益。 同時，宗教通過抵制托克維爾（Tocqueville）所謂的“無禮準則”，即“為了社會利益，就能允許一切”, 來維護個人權利。由於所有這些原因，托克維爾將美國人的宗教稱為“他們的第一個政治制度”。
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，在過去的半個世紀中，我們的自由社會的基礎越來越受到圍困。傳統道德受到侵蝕，世俗主義者不僅在消除學校和公共領域的宗教信仰方面取得了成功，而且還以積極反對宗教信仰的新正統觀念取代了宗教信仰。 可以預見的是，挖空宗教的後果是可怕的。 在過去的50年中，我們看到城市暴力、吸毒和家庭破裂的現象急劇增加。 諸如此類的問題助長了一個越來越強大的中央政府的崛起，中央政府日益削弱個人主動性、控制公民社會、排擠宗教機構，最終使公民淪為國家監管下的被監護人。
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.
作為愛國的美國人和有信仰的人，我們不能對這些趨勢感到沾沾自喜， 但是我們也不應該屈服於絕望。 最近，部分歸功於像這樣的組織，我們看到了一些雖小卻重要的步驟，恢復宗教在美國公共生活中應有的地位。
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.
法律領域已經出現了一些顯著的進步，這些進步對我來說特別有意義。 這是數十年來辛勤宣導健全的法學哲學，並任命有原則的法官擔任州和聯邦法院的法官的結果。 例如，最高法院最近一屆任期獲得了三項重要的宗教自由勝利。 對每一起案例，司法部都備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.
從某種意義上說，在這些案例上出現的爭執令人沮喪。 在每起案例中，宗教訴訟者所要求的不過是基本的行使信仰，並受到與他人同等對待的自由。 儘管如此，法院對這些權利的承認令人鼓舞。從訴訟人和律師到那些為法官智慧祈禱的人，都可以從獲得的公正結果中得到安慰。
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.’”
宣導宗教自由只是天主教徒和其他人可以回應服務呼召的一種方式。 聖約翰保羅二世在他的講道 “克利斯蒂菲德萊斯·萊奇“ (Christifideles Laici: 拉丁文，意為“外行”)中，我今天很榮幸獲得的獎項就是由此命名的，他指出：”平信徒絕對不能放棄他們對 ‘公共生活’的參與“。同時，他強調信仰是我們日常生活的重中之重，因為“一個真正的基督教家庭的日常生活本身構成了第一個’教會體驗’。”
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.
無論我們處在人生的什麼階段，在主的葡萄園里做工永遠都不會太晚。 我們的屬靈復興和民族品質的復興都取決於它。 謝謝，上帝保佑你们，上帝保佑美國。