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    Original Essays | September 23, 2015

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Something deep in American culture has always demanded a church--a source of morality that is not owned by the hard cash of the marketplace or the angry passions of politics. For two centuries, that role was filled by American Protestantism, but as the mainline Protestant churches have collapsed in recent decades, American culture has increasingly looked to Catholicism to provide the missing piece of the nation's soul.

In THE CATHOLIC AWAKENING, the influential Catholic neoconservative Joseph Bottum explains how the disappearance of the Protestant churches helped join the once-marginalized Catholics and Evangelicals. For two hundred years, the antagonism between Catholics and Protestants was a consistent force in America, but it has been replaced with a growing unity that represents a new political reality. Coalitions of Catholics and Protestants now have the power to swing elections and affect the way politics is conducted in this country.

From the liberal Left to the conservative Right, word is out that a group of Catholic characters have far too much influence on the Bush White House. Although Joseph Bottum finds the claims of direct influence grossly exaggerated, he shows that the truth is big enough to command our attention.

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