Some members of the American Catholic clergy told Catholic voters last year that a vote for the pro-choice Democratic nominee would be punishable by exclusion from the sacrament of Holy Communion.
This is a shift — however slight — in conservative rhetoric and tactics.
The charge used to be that Democrats were godless, a party of secularists run amok. That changed somewhere around the time when Barack Obama boomed, "We worship an awesome God in the blue states!"; progressive minister Jim Wallis became one of the best-selling authors in the country; and Americans began to reconnect with their history, including centuries of religiously motivated political causes such as abolition, women's suffrage and the civil rights movement.