While there are no laws on the books to arrest someone based on their religion (although many short-sighted Christians still seem to want to make an exception for Islam), there is nothing to prevent police officers from abusing their authority, bearing false witness, etc. You know, to uphold Christian values. Bigotry is a distressingly common thread in alleged cases of police misconduct. And I say 'alleged', since those kinds of cases tend to 'disappear' after a short bit of paid leave (i.e. free vacation time).
But it's not all bad news. What's telling in this fine example of positive developments in combatting bigotry in all its forms, is that it needed to happen at all.http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/george-washington-institute-for-religious-freedom--facing-history-symposium-in-washington-dc-116678294.html
Secular folk are not at all innocent of a little bigotry ourselves. We (for the most part) tend not to remain blissfully ignorant of this fact. A little introspection goes a long way for any follower of ANY creed, even if that 'creed' is not to have a creed.
Unfortunately, certain people seem to believe that introspection is a 'sin'. One must follow, follow, follow, and never once second guess their leaders' adherence to their religious ideals, teachings, or their motives, or even their own motives for being such a mute and conformist member of a herd of mindless sheep.
Perhaps that sounded a bit bigoted?
I'll walk further out on the 'politically correct' tight rope now, and use racial examples.
I normally don't care what race/color/whatever you are. If you came from China or Mexico or France, and speak even a little English, it's a lot more than the Spanish or Chinese or French, or whatever else that I know. I'm duly impressed. If you were raised in America and acted more or less 'American', you're just like anyone else. If I were to move to and live in China or Mexico or France, I would be expected to speak the local language there. How would I be perceived if I moved there and acted out the whole 'ugly American' way, and demanded everyone address me in English, and understand English to suit me?
If you behave like a retarded racial stereotype, I will similarly be put off, perhaps even offended. Speak exclusively in your native tongue among your family? Fine. I know a lot of folks who could have learned a second, or even third language when they were young, from their parents and/or grandparents, and regretted the lost opportunity to do so. To speak AROUND me as if your language is a secret code? That's rude. Dress as a thug/gang member, and act like a thug, and I am genuinely less kindly disposed toward you. Is that racist? Be black, or white, or Hispanic, or whatever, and dress and behave like a gangsta retard on MTV, and it's much the same thing. You're waving your cultural (or sub-cultural) dick in my face, just as if I had moved to France or China, or Mexico and played the 'ugly American' there.
So when a religious person goes out of their way to BEHAVE like a stereotypical holy roller/fundy/wowser, and gets in my face, it tends to raise my hackles a bit. You can hail mary and 'Jesus wuvs you' and 'let's pray', and whatever else all you like in a POLITE and NON-COERCIVE way, and I am never offended, or eager to make offense in turn. But when you're impolitely waving your religious dick in my face, or worse, trying to make our secular, liberal, democratic republic do that for you, I am less inclined to be kindly disposed towards you, and I'm probably going to give you some version of the 'ugly atheist' act, in kind.
In general, I'm expected by religious people to swallow a WHOLE RELIGION from scratch, and the person who is petulantly demanding that I do so would never in their wildest dreams switch to even a slightly different denomination of exactly the same religion... any more than a gang-banger would change his colors.
I don't personally care if you keep or lose your religion. Just keep it in your pants. And if you go to an 'atheist' site and lay down the gauntlet, don't be surprised when someone picks it up. Do I go to 'Rapture Ready' or any of the thousands of other religiously oriented sites and troll? Nope. But if you post here, you've volunteered to get a special and intimate examination of your religious beliefs that won't be comfortable, and might not all be 'polite'. Do you walk into a biker bar and proclaim that Harley Davidson motorcycles are 'gay', and expect a unanimously friendly reception?