Lawrence Krauss, writing for the New Yorker, makes a connection between the Kim Davis saga and why he’s a self-proclaimed “militant atheist”:
…. To what extent should we allow people to break the law if their religious views are in conflict with it?
The Kim Davis controversy exists because, as a culture, we have elevated respect for religious sensibilities to an inappropriate level that makes society less free, not more. Religious liberty should mean that no set of religious ideals are treated differently from other ideals. Laws should not be enacted whose sole purpose is to denigrate them, but, by the same token, the law shouldn’t elevate them, either.
Cosmology, my specialty, may appear to be far removed from Kim Davis’s refusal to grant marriage licenses to gay couples, but in fact the same values apply in both realms. Whenever scientific claims are presented as unquestionable, they undermine science. Similarly, when religious actions or claims about sanctity can be made with impunity in our society, we undermine the very basis of modern secular democracy.
This is what’s especially frustrating about Davis. Her opponents — people like me — may disagree with her religious beliefs, but that’s irrelevant in this case. I wouldn’t care if she was a Scientologist or atheist, if she was blocking gay couples from obtaining marriage licenses. Her illegal actions are my concern, not her ignorant beliefs.
Her defenders, either strategically or out of ignorance, are ignoring that. For them, every criticism of Davis amounts to Christian persecution. If we’re going after her, we must be coming after them as well, even though only Davis works for the government and is breaking the law.
When you have Presidential candidates joining the Mix of Martyrs, the future looks very depressing.