Many liberals and other secular people often accuse Christians of wanting to turn the U.S. into a theocracy because we don’t buy their definition of the separation of church and state. That phrase, by the way, does not appear in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. Of course, what we want is religious freedom, not a theocracy. There are some big differences.
Religious Freedom allows the majority religion to take preeminence in the public square; a theocracy demands that everyone adhere to it. Religious freedom allows the government to create a climate that is favorable to the church; a theocracy requires that everyone attend church. Religious freedom allows people of faith to opt out of certain activities that conflict with their beliefs; a theocracy bans everyone from participating in those activities.
Religious freedom allows states to make their own laws in regard to the definition of marriage; a theocracy enforces a single national definition of marriage as specified by a given religion. Religious freedom prevents Congress from making laws that unduly burden the majority religion(s); a theocracy enforces laws against the favored religion’s definition of blasphemy. Religious freedom demands that the government not interfere with the free exercise of the religion of one’s choice; in a theocracy, no such choice exists.