These findings-from a survey conducted after last summer’s mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater but before the Newtown shooting-expose
an intriguing rift between Catholics and white evangelical Protestants, religious groups for whom a “pro-life” ethos is central....Catholics are far more likely to connect their “pro-life” identity with gun control issues. This divide is embedded in three fundamental differences between Catholics and white evangelical Protestants: divergent native strains of “pro-life” theology, contrasting cultural contexts, and conflicting approaches to social problems.
The idea of gun control as a “pro-life” issue is a more natural one for Catholics, thanks to a history of extending the concept’s reach from abortion to a variety of issues, such as the death penalty, euthanasia, economic policies that threaten the livelihood of the poor, and gun violence.
Among white evangelical Protestants, by contrast, “pro-life” theology has no parallel history of flourishing over such wide terrain....Referring to gun control as a “pro-life” issue sounds much less natural to evangelical ears.