As Americans begin to dismantle the safety net of the New Deal era, the most popular version of the culture wars' thesis paints an arguably cosmic battle between defenders of religious orthodoxy who embrace laissez-faire capitalism and secular elites who have imposed a Marxist welfare state upon an unsuspecting populace. Walsh shows that this thesis ignores the role of religious leaders in legitimizing the types of programs embodied in America's approach to the welfare state.
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