I am wondering how we can reassure folks who are of a more secular humanist, agnostic, or even atheistic bent that being a religious believer does not automatically make us irrational. This fear that religious folks are trying to establish a theocracy in America seems to be popping up in many places (in my experience that is).
As far as I can understand it, religious folks (like myself) of various religious backgrounds, are banding together under the banner of pro-life pro-traditional moral values causes. Most of us don’t see these causes as being irrational, even though the causes tend to be motivated to some extent, from a religious point of view. Despite that, we often have very rational basis for our point of view. From a Catholic perspective, those reasons tend to be grounded in various philosophical perspectives, such as Aristotelian/Thomistic natural law, the concept that we have fixed natures and essences that dictate what can or should be reasonably permitted within the scope of human freedom (including sexual choices). I would characterize this as the essentialist point of view, as contrasted to the existentialist point of view that denies that we have any such limits or fixed natures, that the human person is radically free to choose on any number of subjects, including our gender, sexual identity, and even whether we should live or die.
Ultimately the essentialist point of view respects our fixed natures on account of the fact that this is the nature we have been created with. That point of view is colored by the religious concept that there is something fundamentally fallen about human nature and in needing of salvation (reform). That there are some innate tendencies within human nature that are fundamentally irrational (read evil/sinful) and must be resisted.
Contrast this with the existentialist point of view that seems to reject these restrictions. Freedom to choose one’s own path through life is the paramount concern. No one has the right to judge one’s personal choices. Especially when it comes to sexual identity, sexual preferences, and even the right to choose when we die. In their perspective, the essentialist point of view imposes tyrannical restrictions on their freedom. “I am free to do whatever I want with my body” they say about abortion. “I am free to change my gender” they say on the issue of gender transition. “I am free to choose when and by what means I conceive a baby” they say about contraception and reproductive technology. “I am free to choose when I die.” they say about euthanasia. And so on.
The bottom line, it seems, is that yes, we do want to limit their freedom.