Interesting history lesson on conservatism and Catholicism in the US in the 60's and 70's and its parallels to today.
Catholic--indeed most Christian--conservatives have always struck me as odd. Excepting sexual liberalism, it is very clear that liberal policies fit in far better with New Testament teachings than do conservative policies. In fact most conservative Christians point to the Old Testament to find justifications for their political beliefs, ignoring the many times that the New Testament directly or implicitly contradicts those points.
Rich, athiest conservative (e.g. Ayn Rand) makes logical sense. General asshole/jerk (e.g. racists, Sheldon Adelson) conservative makes emotional sense. There is a narrow weaving of non-asshole, non-rich that may make some sort of sense, though a strong sense of individualist (aka selfishness) or kook (e.g. Ron Paul) is still required to fit in that gap. Christian conservative just doesn't. At all.
Unlike asshole Bill Maher I think that religion can be a positive force in society. Most religions preach tolerance, love of neighbor, helpfulness, caring for others, disdain for violence, selflessness... That doesn't mean that there are not [always] going to be people who twist some aspect of some religion to violence and selfishness. There is also a lot of us and them isolationism in religious communities (Mormons donate a lot...to the LDS church, they give to other charities at much lower rates than the general public).
I've got lots more thoughts on the subject but this is it for now...