It has been my experience that when discussing politically charged issues that also concern pro-life issues with other conservative minded individuals who are also religious to some degree (or at least use religious reasoning for their positions on such issues,) Catholics are the most consistent in their application while other Christians, especially Evangelicals, are less so. My experience with non-Christians and such matters are nearly nonexistent.
This tendency is best observed when comparing the rationale for being in favor of or against abortion to that of being in favor or against IVF. I have met only a small handful of Evangelicals who disagree with the morality of IVF for the same reasons they disagree with the morality of abortion. To the contrary, I’ve met plenty of Evangelicals that seem to believe that IVF is an actual godsend all the while still toeing the “life starts at conception” line. More surprising is that many of these individuals hold fast to their position even after I inform them that IVF involves the deliberate artificial insemination and deliberate destruction of zygotes.
Quite honestly I’ve never once heard IVF spoken of on a conservative-leaning radio talk show, written about in any politically partisan papers, or any other medium one would normally expect the topic to be broached if a consistent pro-life ethic were expected. Outside of Catholic publications and media American religious conservatives are pretty silent about it. So what gives? How do such individuals deal with the inconsistency? More importantly, are there any large, representative religious organizations (doesn’t even have to be Christian) that apply a more consistent ethic similar to that of the Catholic Church? If you good folks of CAF know of any official publications from such groups or of any prominent apologetics or political comments provided by representative members of such groups, I’d be very much interested in reading them.
NB: I used IVF as the best example I’ve observed given my own experiences, but the same could be said of embryonic stem cell research to a much smaller degree, or of certain forms of contraception that work post karyogamy. It gets even weirder when you meet a Christian who (1) believes life starts at conception, (2) that IVF is a moral means to dealing with infertility, and (3) that embryonic stem cell research is as immoral as abortion.