If we consider the current state of American public life and institutions, it’s clear that the problem isn’t religious influence but its absence. As secular liberalism grows ever further from its historical roots in the religious spirit, its moral and spiritual fruits wither. It becomes, as the sorry fates of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center show, merely fashionable.

It is an indubitable but indigestible fact of American and European history that our notions of free conscience and other sacred rights emerged from Protestants’ struggle for religious freedom. Nor could the equality of souls have ended up in the Declaration of Independence without the prior finding in Genesis 1:27 that all are created b’tselem elohim—in the image of God.

Speaking of creation, one of the allegedly disqualifying factors in Judge Barrett’s nomination was that she is a mother of seven. If Ruth Bader Ginsburg had seven children, the left would have praised her for “having it all” and demanded hereditary succession on the bench. The Barretts’ septet were used as proxies for greater discords and other counts: the numbers of voters that each party can add to its rolls, by natalism or immigration, the number of conservatives on the bench, the number of weeks at which abortion can legally be performed.