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In the days of the New Deal, Catholics supported the Democratic Party, sharing its concern for laborers and its language of moral responsibility for the poor and suffering. In the days of civil rights protests and the Vietnam War, Catholics were prominent, and Democrats spoke the language of social responsibility and a higher morality. Recently, however, the Democrats have championed the assertion of absolute personal autonomy and individual rights on moral issues. Their rhetoric projects an elitist bias against religion and traditional values, replacing Franklin D. Roosevelt's pragmatic liberalism and its moral underpinnings with radical moral individualism. This shift has driven a wedge between the Democratic Party and the Catholic Church and made the GOP the "God Party." Here, Winters (doctoral student, Catholic Univ. of America), a Catholic writer, recommends a return to the kind of moral and religious language once invoked by Martin Luther King Jr. and Msgr. Gerald J. Ryan, especially in defining human dignity, the common good, and just war. He believes that winning back the Catholic vote could be decisive in future elections. A well-written and thoroughly researched look at Catholicism and politics in our era with a thought-provoking thesis; recommended for academic and public libraries.
—C. Robert Nixon