Kazin quotes Debby Applegate "what Beecher brought to American culture in an era of bewildering change and fratricidal war was unconditional love so deep and so wide that the entire country could feel his warmth, like it or not." ... For Beecher, sinfulness was a temporary malady, which the love of God could burn away as a fierce noonday sun dries up a noxious mold. "Man was made for enjoyment," he assured parishioners. If he sought his own pleasure in the arms of one or more members of his flock, it should not have been too surprising.
When a modern conservative says that liberalism is "destroying" America, he's talking about another America, the good, joyful, exuberant America. Of course, there was a time when liberals were also joyful and exuberant.
Now its just capitalists and military contractors.