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FFRF asks Okla. Sen. Deevers to resign over Christian nationalist remarks

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is calling on Oklahoma state Sen. Dusty Deevers to step down after he claimed that his religious beliefs trump the law and his constitutional obligations.

While on the Oklahoma Senate floor on March 13, Deevers declared that federal law should not be obeyed if it violates “God’s word”:

Government doesn’t make the law. The people rise up, power rises up from the people, and the people make the law. And that law should be in accordance with God’s word, and the conscience. And these federal laws are restricting both of those things so when this authority, namely the federal government, commands what God’s forbid. … We are not to obey them.

Deevers’ assertion that the law “should be in accordance with God’s word” is not only wrong, but egregiously so. His declaration shows brazen support for Christian nationalism — the claim that America is a Christian nation, that religious law should prevail and that Christian adherents are the true Americans — and blatant disregard for the separation of state and church, in betrayal of his oath of office to the entirely secular U.S. Constitution.

“The Framers of the Constitution made the United States first among nations to invest sovereignty not in a deity, but in ‘We the People,’” FFRF Co-Presidents Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker write.

Deevers’ contention that his religious beliefs trump federal law is anathema to America’s founding principles and the views of most Americans, including Christians. Many American Christians respect the diversity of our culture, and understand that fellow Americans may not share their religious values, as evidenced by groups like Christians Against Christian Nationalism. Anyone who respects American values must oppose Christian nationalism, as the two ideologies are fundamentally at odds.

Deevers’ advocacy for a Christian theocracy is not only at odds with our country’s history and laws, but stigmatizes and marginalizes many of his constituents. Nonreligious Americans are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population by religious identification — 37 percent of Americans are non-Christian, and this includes the nearly one-in-three Americans who now identifies as religiously unaffiliated. Deevers’ statements convey that he considers non-Christians second-class citizens.

As a state senator, it is Deevers’ duty to support the state and federal Constitutions and to protect the rights of conscience of his constituents, not to promote his personal religious views — much less a Christian theocracy. His oath of office has charged him with a great responsibility over citizens. Deevers has shown that he is unfit for this responsibility, and if he cannot uphold the law without regard to whether it comports with his personal religious beliefs, then he must immediately resign.

“Deevers’ un-American statements should concern every citizen of the United States,” says Gaylor. “Our laws are in place to protect the rights and freedoms of all citizens — regardless of their religious or nonreligious views.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit association with 40,000 members across the country, including hundreds of members in Oklahoma. FFRF protects the constitutional separation between state and church and educates about nontheism.

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