The Social Gospel softened the impact of industrialism and brightened the lives of many men, and the policies it recommended still have merit. It did, however, strengthen that tendency of American thought that identified fraternity simply with solidarity. By adding the prestige of religion to the old liberal vision, the Social Gospel made it more difficult for subsequent generations to understand fraternity just at the time when social and political developments made it more difficult to achieve or recognize it. And in this sense, whatever its merits, the Social Gospel became one of the myriad snares that have conspired to trap those who would discover fraternity.
Wilson Carey McWilliams, The Idea of Fraternity in America, 483.