Americans have a long history of civil disobedience: when the law suppresses the immutable freedoms of society, we revolt in the name of all of our citizens. Unfortunately, fundamentalist Christians have a similar history, but geared towards a slightly different end. While the former seek to secure the blessings of liberty for all, the latter fight for the ideological comfort of the few. Owing to the myth of Christian “persecution” at the hands of our secular first amendment, fundamentalist Christians spurn the law of man for the law of God, to the detriment of the Republic.
For a recent example, one need look no farther than John Freswater, a public school science teacher who burned crosses into the flesh of his students, and taught creationism in the classroom against the express mandates of his superiors. Now terminated, he’s nonetheless defended to the death by many of his students, who see his aggressive theocratic teachings and flagrant violations of the law as an example to live up to.
We even have (former) presidential candidates who defend the Constitution only insofar as it jives with their religious notions: says Mike Huckabee, “I believe it’s a lot easier to change the constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that’s what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards.”
The Constitution and the law are about securing protection for all faiths, not enshrining one above the others. When fundamentalist Christians valorize zealots trying to work around the Constitution, they’re actively working against America. Any ideology that seeks to supplant the Constitution with arbitrary religious rules is dangerous, and it’s not “persecution” to say that, in a pluralist society, the law of the God of the few ought to bend to the needs of the many. We are not a theocracy, and we ought not be proud of people who want to make us one.