Kansas Sen. Steve Fitzgerald on Thursday explained his view of Western civilization as the worldwide practice of respecting human life and dignity.

Moving away from Judeo-Christian values will take society to "a very bad place," he said.

Fitzgerald, one of seven Republicans seeking the party's nomination in the 2nd Congressional District race, found himself in the national spotlight earlier this month when he said "there is only barbarism" outside of Western civilization. CNN first reported the comments, which were attributed to a video provided by a Democratic operative.

In a news conference at the Statehouse, Fitzgerald defined Western civilization as Christendom but rejected interpretation of his remarks as a jab at Muslims, Africa, China or Russia.

"It's worldwide," Fitzgerald said. "It's the dominant culture of the world, to tell you the truth. And what it's based on is the respect of human values, human dignity, human life. And that is the basis, I believe, of our Judeo-Christian values."

He said those values, specifically in terms of abortion, are under attack. His fierce anti-abortion views led him to compare research on fetal tissue to the work of Nazi doctor Josef Mengele in a debate in March on the Senate floor.

Abortion, he said Thursday, is the disregard for human life.

"Moving away from our values," Fitzgerald said, "moving away from our Judeo-Christian heritage, does not take us anywhere except for a very bad place, and we don't want to go there."

North Korea, he said, has no regard for human life. But, he said, Vladimir Putin strongly supports the Russian Orthodox church.

"By the way, so did Stalin when he had to," Fitzgerald said.