Catholics and the Religious Left

Here’s a good topic to interject into the Brown campaign’s effort to appeal to Catholic voters – the existence of an electorally significant religious left with roots in Catholic doctrine. Here’s a quote from a recent academic study:

When asked whether “avoiding sin” or “helping others” was more important to being a good Christian, evangelical Protestants surveyed were more likely than mainline Protestants or Catholics to answer “avoiding sin,” Wald said. For Roman Catholics, about two-thirds selected “helping others” over “avoiding sin,” he said.

“Unlike evangelicals, the people who relate to the communal aspects don’t stand out on abortion and same-sex marriage,” he said. “What they really tend to care about are economic issues like unemployment and fair wages that have an immediate effect on human suffering.”

That quote is from an article here and it’s a link within a link, so let’s also give credit to the superb John Sides at themonkeycage.org for providing the access.

About Maurice T. Cunningham

Maurice T. Cunningham is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. He teaches courses in American government including Massachusetts Politics, The American Presidency, Catholics in Political Life, The Political Thought of Abraham Lincoln, American Political Thought, and Public Policy. His book Maximization, Whatever the Cost: Race, Redistricting and the Department of Justice examines the role of the DOJ in requiring states to maximize minority voting districts in the Nineties. He has published articles dealing with the role of the Catholic Church in Massachusetts politics and on party politics in the state. His research interests focus upon the changing political culture of Massachusetts. Professor Cunningham is a regular contributor to the online magazine CommonwealthMagazine.org. He is a former assistant district attorney and assistant attorney general in Massachusetts. Professor Cunningham is a lifelong resident of Massachusetts. He earned his BA at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, his JD at New England School of Law, and PhD at Boston College. He lives in Cambridge with his wife and two children.
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