When author David Carlin was a young man, it was scandalous for a good Catholic to be anything but a good Democrat. In the pews, pubs, and union halls of America's cities, millions of poor European immigrants and their children pledged allegiance to the Church of Rome and the party of FDR.
All that changed in the 1960s, with the rise of a new kind of Democrat: wealthy, secular, ideological. Even as Carlin served the party he loved twelve years as a Rhode Island state senator and once a candidate for Congress he could only watch in dismay as its national leaders abandoned their blue-collar, pro-life, and religious constituencies and took up with NOW, Hollywood, and the abortion lobby.
So complete has been this transformation that we no longer speak of a natural alliance between Catholics and the Democratic Party. In recent years, the conflict between his faith and the policies of his party has grown so marked that author Carlin, a cradle Catholic, lifetime Democrat, and longtime Democratic legislator, now feels compelled to consider in his new book whether, in good conscience, it's even possible to be both a faithful Catholic and a Democratic true believer.Carlin shatters the excuses that Catholic Democratic politicians employ in a vain attempt to reconcile their faith and their votes, and then, with what he calls the "political equivalent of a broken heart," he examines his own political conscience. As a faithful Catholic and a Democrat approaching his seventieth year, must he now leave the party he's called home since birth?
David Carlin's arguments challenge all religious voters to ask themselves the same question.
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