Paul Hsieh has an excellent essay on this in the Denver Post:
After a resounding electoral defeat, in which voters in this once-red state rejected Republicans McCain, Schaffer, and Musgrave, the Colorado Republican Party will undoubtedly be asking themselves, “Why did we lose?”
I want to let them know that they lost the vote of many former supporters (including myself) because they have chosen to embrace the Religious Right.
I voted Republican in 1996, 2000, and 2004. I believe in limited government, individual rights, free market capitalism, a strong national defense, and the right to keep and bear arms – positions that one normally associates with Republicans.
But I didn’t vote for a single Republican in 2008. I’ve become increasingly alienated by the Republicans” embrace of the religious “social conservative” agenda, including attempts to ban abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and gay marriage.
The Founding Fathers correctly recognized that the proper function of government is to protect individual rights, such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion. But freedom of religion also implies freedom *from* religion. As Thomas Jefferson famously put it, there should be a “wall of separation” between church and state. Public policy should not be based on religious doctrines.
Read the rest here.