Who are the cafeteria Catholics?

I was curious as to the effect of Catholicism, especially when it comes to “life” issues. The GSS has a range of questions on capital punishment and abortion. I looked at ABRAPE, which basically asks if you think abortion should be legal in the case of rape, and CAPPUN, which asks if you think that those convicted of murder should be subject to capital punishment. If you accept the seamless garment model then it should be “no” to both.

Below I limited the sample to 1998-2008, and broke it down by ideology and political party. I’ve also shown you in the first table what you would expect if attitudes toward abortion & capital punishment were independent, and the real distribution. There is it seems a small, but significant, seamless garment effect.

Assume Independence of Views

Liberals Conservatives Democrats Republicans
Pro-death penalty, pro-abortion 50% 49% 50% 52%
Pro-death penalty, anti-abortion 11% 24% 15% 23%
Anti-death penalty, pro-abortion 32% 18% 27% 17%
Anti-death penalty, anti-abortion 7% 9% 8% 8%
Real Views
Liberals Conservatives Democrats Republicans
Pro-death penalty, pro-abortion 53% 55% 55% 58%
Pro-death penalty, anti-abortion 8% 17% 10% 17%
Anti-death penalty, pro-abortion 28% 12% 22% 11%
Anti-death penalty, anti-abortion 11% 16% 13% 14%

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