Journal Article

God Imagery and Opposition to Abortion and Capital Punishment: A Partial Test of Religious Support for the Consistent Life Ethic*

James D. Unnever, John P. Bartkowski and Francis T. Cullen

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 71, issue 3, pages 307-322
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online May 2010 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/socrel/srq046
God Imagery and Opposition to Abortion and Capital Punishment: A Partial Test of Religious Support for the Consistent Life Ethic*

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Abortion and the death penalty are two of the most contentious issues in American public life. Previous scholarship has documented religious variations in attitudes toward each of these hotly contested issues. However, scant research has explored how religious factors affect opposition to both abortion and capital punishment, two key elements of a consistent life ethic. This study offers a partial test of religious support for the consistent life ethic by examining the extent to which the nature and quality of the relationship between God and the religious believer fosters opposition to both abortion and capital punishment. Using data from the 2004 General Social Survey, we find that a close relationship with a loving God predicts opposition to both abortion and the death penalty net of other religious factors and covariates. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings and delineating promising directions for future research.

Keywords: religion; abortion; capital punishment; death penalty; god image; consistent life ethic

Journal Article.  5992 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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