This weekend John McCain mouthed that magical formula that makes the hosts of the Religious Right™ go all to pieces (as reported in Time):

Before a friendly but still skeptical Evangelical crowd at Warren’s Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., on Saturday night, McCain won a roar of approval when Warren asked him at what point a human being gets human rights: “At the moment of conception,” McCain replied.

Hearing this was not unexpected … McCain has been bending over for the Religious Right™ for nearly the past year. But reading this brought something to mind, and that is, how committed are these folks to the idea that life begins at conception? Is this a real philosophical point that they live by in all circumstances, or do they merely use this formulation to rationalize their politics?

At the risk of sounding a bit macabre, do they — for example — hold funerals for miscarriages, as a matter of doctrine and usual practice? I suppose if a woman wants to have a funeral after a miscarriage, she could have it, and if that’s what she wants, it’s fine … but is it automatic? Does it always happen?

I can’t say that I’ve ever heard of it happening.

One would think that if a church were truly committed to the philosophy that “life begins at conception,” that it would happen every time. And given that some 25% of the country is of the conservative-Christian persuasion, this means that miscarriage-funerals shouldn’t be uncommon.

So … what of it? Are they automatic or not?

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