Thank you for your honesty. I do think, though, that there's a double standard in regard to "religion in politics." It seems to me that a lot of social liberals 1) say that religion should be left out of politics; 2) but they categorize only "traditional" religious folk (such as us Christians) as "religious"; 3) thus demonizing and alienating us, all the while never admitting that, in truth, everyone is "religious," because everyone has a belief system. This tactic is simply an attempt rid the public-policy arena of a particular belief system that is anathema to what liberals want (abortion, same-sex marriage, etc.).
As someone you might consider guilty of this, I'm compelled to share my position.
I don't think it's Religion itself, but rather the citing of one's Religious beliefs as primary reason for overt support to ban gay marriage and limit healthcare for women.
I see common ground where both sides would prefer less govt in their lives.
But I have a problem when one group attempts to impose their own religious views on another. Passing laws that limit Gay rights or deny women's healthcare does this on a national scale.
Equal rights for all, I say.
While I am all for equal rights for all, I think there is still a perception issue here between the two groups that you are demonstrating wonderfully.
You seem to be missing the unbreakable bond between religion and personal values that many religious people...and even some who may not be religious, but were brought up in a religious environment...have.
I am guessing you would say that your "personal value" is "equal rights for all". That's great. But you need to accept that for many people, the idea that marriage is only between a man and a woman is a strongly held personal value.
Now, that personal value may come directly from religious teaching, just like your personal values come from some teaching, whether its religious, social, or otherwise. But the fact remains, that it is a personal value for both sides, which is why it remains so contentious.
I do agree with others though, that the concensus on these issues does seem to have shifted pretty strongly over the last few years, for various reasons. And I think that shift is eventually going to force a natural evolution of the political policies on the right. But I think that is separate from the personal values of those who are against these social changes.