American Protestant fundamentalists who are against abortion frequently say they are for a "culture of life." It seems that many of them also support the death penalty and have a low threshold for a willingness to wage war. Does anyone know how they justify this seeming contradiction? What is remarkable to me is that fundamentalist Christians who are against abortion seem to hold this value of "unborn life" above almost all else, saying that they are "single issue voters." Not only do I wonder how this is reconciled with their not seeming to value the lives of convicted criminals and those will die due to wars that we easily enter, but also how they put the value of a fetus' life above all the other things that Christians are supposed to value, that, if one is a single issue voter, one gives up fighting for. I guess what I mean is, how is this favoring of one class of lives justified philosophically/religiously against the valuing of other classes of lives and other "Christian" values? Thanks.

I think it comes down to a question of guilt or innocence. A criminal has committed a major sin, and hence deserves a major punishment: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and a life for a life. Even just an ordinary adult will have some track-record of sin behind them -- none of us are perfect. They might not quite be evil enough to deserve to be targetted directly, but nevertheless it wouldn't be such a terrible thing if they were to become the victims of collateral damage in war. But an unborn baby, having had no opportunity to sin, is completely and utterly innocent, an unblemished soul, and consequently of greater moral worth. As far as I can discern, that's roughly the idea that those fundamentalists have. Speaking for myself, I regard this attitude as wholly abhorrent, both antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and morally repugnant in itself. But, hey, that's just my opinion, and what do I know?

How can abortion be so easily accepted in a civilized society? Sure, it is important that a woman or any person be able to have control over their body, but the fetus is a separate entity, a new person completely, as is logically shown by the fact that a mother can give birth to a male child. Anyone can tell this without having to use the available scientific evidence which proves my point. So, what gives any person the right to kill someone else so that they can live the way that they want?

There's something else in your question that doesn't seem quite right. Allen Stairs queries your claim that the foetus (please pardon the British spelling!) is "a new person": for my part, I have some misgivings about the claim that it's "a separate entity". In what sense is the foetus separate from the mother? In the literal sense of the term, it blatantly isn't separate from her. It's inside her own body, and connected to her body through the placenta, no more separate from her than are her liver or kidneys. You might say: okay, but it's separate in the sense that it has the potential to survive in separation from her, as her liver and kidneys do not. But, for a foetus in the early stages of development, that's not true either. Many countries permit abortion, but -- except in really extreme cases where the mother's life is endangered -- only up to a certain time, that time being principally determined by the stage of development at which a foetus becomes capable of surviving outside the mother...