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This past week I gave two presentations on my book, Evangelicalism and the Decline of American Politics.

What is more, I did so in the heart of where evangelicals live, my hometown of Lynchburg, Virginia.

In one of the sessions a man insisted the real problem in politics is “judicial activism,” not partisan evangelicalism. Later he continued his argument in emails to me.

It’s a curious phrase – judicial activism – one I would argue is empty of any substantive meaning.

Liking or disliking Supreme Court rulings is little more than beauty being in the eyes of the beholder. When the Court makes decisions evangelicals don’t like, they call it judicial activism. When the decisions go their way they call it upholding moral values.

Since the Constitution gives the Supreme Court the responsibility for deciding constitutional issues, evangelicals are not only fighting decisions the Court makes, but the role of the Court itself.

Apparently they don’t like our system of government.

Perhaps that is why they are trying to undermine it by persuading Republican controlled state legislatures to circumvent Supreme Court rulings by attacking them through the back door.

On issues such as gay marriage, prayer in schools, and especially abortion rights, evangelicals have been busy persuading these states to pass laws whose practical effect is to negate Court decisions they don’t like.

So called TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers), for example, that require rural doctors to have admitting privileges at far away hospitals, demand Planned Parenthood clinics to meet hospital standards that don’t apply to other clinics, or impose an unnecessary 48 hour waiting period between seeing a doctor and having an abortion.

Evangelicals have also pushed Republican states to pass laws that designate only one county clerk who can issue a marriage license to gay couples and then officials often reduce the time that person is available, or mandating the teaching of “creation science” that undermines the ability of school systems to maintain the integrity of biology courses.

Most of these proposals that have become law have been found unconstitutional, but evangelicals justify what they are doing by claiming they are standing with the majority of Americans against “activist justices.”

They are wrong.

In my book I cite one survey after another that show evangelicals hold minority views on these issues. Ninety percent of Americans, to cite one example, support a woman’s right to have an abortion in all or most circumstances (Pew Research Center).

The reason evangelicals do what they do is because they believe the country should follow what the Bible says. The majority of Americans want the country to follow the Constitution.

Now that Trump is President, however, they have an strong ally in the White House.

Not that he cares what the Bible says. He cares only about what he says, but he is quite willing to throw them crumbs from his table in order keep their support.

That doesn’t bother evangelicals since Trump has promised to make America great again, and they are sure that will include his support of their efforts to legislate and/or adjudicate their moral agenda.

What makes matters worse is the fact that God gets blamed for what evangelicals are trying to do every time they say they are doing God’s will.

But the basic problem with evangelicals is they ignore the fact that America is not a theocracy, and most Americans want to keep it that way.

Being a democracy is precisely why the religious convictions of our founders are irrelevant in regard to the role religion (read Christianity) plays in American society.

They believed in God, and some were Christians. They could have established Christianity as the nation’s official religion, but chose not to do so.

That is a stunning fact of history, but evangelicals treat it as if it doesn’t matter.

It does matter, a fact the rest of us cannot ignore, especially with Donald Trump in the White House.

Christianity has a long history of certain manifestations of it speaking and acting in ways that have divided people and nations, doing more harm than good.

I believe we are facing such a time right now in our own country, and risk everything we cherish as Americans and as Christians if we fail to realize just how serious the threat is.