E C Lucas, Daniel (AOTC), pages 94-95
"Five times in vv. 1-12 it is stated that the image was set up by Nebuchadnezzar. This emphasizes the way in which religion and the State get intertwined. Refusal to worship the image cannot be tolerated because it subverts the authority of the State. As Welch (1958:85) comments, 'The State has certain ends in view and want a certain type of citizen to fulfil them; it issues its orders by which it shall procure the best means to serve its ends. Some day it may demand an obedience which will make it impossible for certain men to save their souls alive. Then the opposite ends for life will come into open collision, and men will have to choose whom they mean to serve.' This is the choice that faced Diaspora Jews from time to time.
"Nebuchadnezzar's rage (13-15) may contain an element of annoyance at the ingratitude of these Jews. Powerful patrons can turn into dangerous enemies. However, he does not accept the accusation against them without giving them a chance to prove their loyalty and obedience. His primary concern is with their public conduct, rather than with their private beliefs. There is a parallel to this in modern secular society. Religion is acceptable as long as it is a matter of private belief and does not lead people to challenge the assumptions and values of their society by what they say or do."