The Catholic Church never banned the teaching of evolution, and it made that clear today. The Church has also never, ever, ever supported a literal interpretation of the Bible—and hey, the Church even holds to the idea that Jews don’t go to hell! The Church’s general reputation as part of conservative America stems from its disapproval of abortion and contraception, and some of it positions on women.
But to lump it in a league with the cultish nightmare groups like those Sarah Palin belongs to is a big mistake.
The Church has been around long enough to make a lot of mistakes, and I’m not making excuses for it. I simply do not share too many of its core beliefs to do that (and my rabbi wouldn’t approve).
But I don’t live in Bush’s world. I don’t believe that everyone is either for us or against us. I believe everyone is pretty much a free agent interested in their own interests. So, knowing the different kinds of faith groups can help explain some of their behavior. One handy thing about the Church is, there’s no official diversity of views. What the Church says is it. If you don’t like it, see you at the Anglican church.
Anyway, in political rhetoric this is why I try to remember to use the term evangelical right—because I don’t see any benefit in alienating Catholics on issues that we can agree on (poverty!).