This chapter cites conservatives that regard Watergate and Richard Nixon's subsequent resignation as catastrophic. It discusses how the hopes for fusing American ideas of small government and personal liberty with traditional Christianity looked less than promising by 1975. It also refers to the mainline Protestant churches that, in the 1960s, came to terms with the mix of political reform and moral indifference in ways that were more radical than traditional. The chapter emphasizes how Protestants had yet to emerge as an identifiable political constituency as their concerns were generally too pious and moral for the urbane and worldly ethos of movement conservatives. It describes how the Roman Catholic Church was in the midst of sorting out the reforms of the Second Vatican Council while defending the papal teaching on sex and contraception.
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