Dr. Tiller's murder, terrorism, and Christianists: a few (more) thoughts.

James Kirchick has an op-ed up in today's Wall Street Journal that addresses the reaction to the murder of Dr. George Tiller. Or so he might want to believe. In actuality, Kirchick is responding to the portion of the reaction that he wants to see, and not to the range of opinion that is out there.

There is no appreciable number of people in this country, religious Christians or otherwise, who support the murder of abortion doctors. The same cannot be said of Muslims who support suicide bombings in the name of their religion.

Not only has Kirchick clearly missed the moral munchkins capering through internet comment threads as they sing the "ding, dong" song, he's also managed to miss some of the semi-official reactions. Take, for example, this press release from the president of Vision Forum Ministries:

"'Tiller the Killer' is dead. Who will mourn for this man?

"Perhaps the bigger question is this: Who will mourn for the more than 60,000 babies that Dr. George Tiller brutally murdered in the most horrific manner imaginable over his lengthy career as America's most notorious provider of late-term abortions?

"The names of these babies are unknown. On the other hand, we do know what happened to the bodies of these children made in the image of God: 'Tiller the Killer' would vivisect these children up to nine months into their lives; next, this professing Christian would baptize the mangled remains of the children he murdered; then, he would place their bodies into his Auschwitz-like crematorium; and, finally, he would take the ashen remains of these children and place them in an urn.

"And yet his death is tragic.

"It is not a tragedy that Tiller will never be a killer again. Will anyone argue that it is a tragedy that the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will never again be dishonored by this church-going Sweeney Todd of the medical profession?

"The tragedy is two-fold: First, by breaking the law of God (murder) in order to advance the law of God (punishing a murderer), the shooter demonstrated that he was a lawless individual and that, whatever his motivations, his cause was unholy. He cannot expect the blessing of God on his efforts, but rather the contrary. The ends do not justify the means. Pragmatic responses to evil produces short term victories and long-term heartaches.

"Second, Tiller's executioner has played into the hands of the community of abortion apologists -- those in the press and elsewhere who are look for every opportunity to shift the debate away from the bloodshed of babies. These individuals are hell-bent to justify America's idolatrous practice of child sacrifice to the gods of feminist self-determination, and the wrongful killing of an abortionist only furthers their cause.

Now, I will grant you that - technically - that's not a statement that "supports" the murder of abortion doctors. But it's certainly not what I'd call an unequivocal denunciation of Tiller's murder, either. It's definitely the type of rhetoric that could contribute to someone's belief that the murder was right and justified.

If you're looking for something that's more clear cut, here's what a former Southern Baptist Convention official had to say:

Drake, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., called Tiller "a brutal, murdering monster" and said he is "grateful to God" that the physician is no longer around.

"There may be a lot who would say, 'Oh that is mean. You shouldn't be that way,'" Drake said. "Well, no, it's an answer to prayer."

Drake said he prayed nearly 10 years for the salvation of Tiller, medical director of the Women's Health Care Services clinic and an outspoken advocate for abortion rights. About a year ago, Drake said, he switched to what he called "imprecatory prayer."

"I said to the Lord, 'Lord I pray back to you the Psalms, where it says that they are to become widowers and their children are to become orphans and so forth.' And we began calling for those imprecatory prayers, because he had obviously turned his back on God again and again and again," Drake said.

Drake called Tiller "a reprobate" and a "brutal, arrogant murderer" who "bragged on his own website how many babies he had killed."

"Would you have rejoiced when Adolf Hitler died during the war?" Drake asked. "Or would you have said, 'Oh that is terrible for him to be killed'? No, I would have said, 'Amen, praise the Lord, hallelujah, I'm glad he's dead.'"

"This man, George Tiller, was far greater in his atrocities than Adolf Hitler," Drake said. "So I am happy. I am glad that he is dead. Now I am sad that he went to hell, because he had a choice just like everybody else did. He could have chosen Jesus Christ and when he died went to heaven. But he chose the devil. He chose to neglect, he chose to reject Jesus Christ. And therefore on Sunday morning when he breathed his last breath there in the Lutheran church, he breathed his last breath, and he slipped into the presence of the devil. And I have a strange hunch and a strange feeling that there is a special, superheated, super-hot place in hell for people like George Tiller."

Now, somewhere in the fine print, Drake says that all that doesn't actually mean that it was right for someone to actually kill Tiller, but that whole diatribe makes me doubt his sincerity.

And when there are people who are publicly praying that God will end someone's life, is it really surprising that someone might feel inspired to believe that they are God's instrument of justice?

I don't know if Kirchick was right when he said that there is "no appreciable number of people in this country" who support the murder of abortion doctors. I've got no idea what he means by "support", or how he defines "appreciable". What I do know is this: whatever the number is, it's clearly not zero, which means that it's clearly far too large.

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To Enigma:

You stated : Newsflash. According to my defintion of life, which is the right one, and the only, you're not alive until about the third trimester. Any kind of abortion after that, without the prerequisite of saving the mother's life, is illegal.

I feel the need to correct you. Roe v. Wade established that no state could prevent abortion in the 1st trimester (they said nothing about the fetus being "alive" or not - only if it could survive) but that states could establish restrictions during later terms - providing there was a clause to protect the health of the mother.

The same day, the case Doe v. Bolton defined "health of the mother" so loosely that a woman can claim any reason - physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and even the woman's age (too young, too old) - why she should have access to an abortion during ALL trimesters. You can read the court case here if you like: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0410_0179_ZS.ht…

So abortion IS LEGAL and available during all 9 months for any of those reasons in all states. And they can be as mundane as "It would cause too much stress on my family." Or "I'm too young."

I doubt you will actually read this, but I encourage you to visit this site: http://www.godlessprolifers.org/home.html (Home to Athiests For Life) or http://www.priestsforlife.org where you can get better information.

You also stated: Most of these children were dead before the abortion. Others wouldn't live long after being born.

This is also incorrect. Dr. Tiller was infamous for performing late-term abortions. You can read more about him and his practice here: http://www.dr-tiller.com/
I will agree that this site is a bit sensational - IN ITS PRESENTATION - but the facts presented are true and can be backed up by any wiki search. In fact, they direct-quote his own practice's site.

You have to induce birth (hence "partial-birth" abortions) and then right before the baby's head emerges from the womb, either a pair of scissors is stabbed into the soft part of it's skull - KILLING it instantly - or a suction tube is inserted and his little brains are sucked out.

You pervert the term "pro-life" when you apply it anyone who kills others, especially babies - and Dr. Tiller himself called them "Babies" (not fetus or "by-products of conception") - in the name of health, religion, eugenics, or for ANY other reason. You CANNOT be for "Life" on one hand with blood on your other. And I apply this same principle to the murderer of Dr. Tiller. That man did an unneccessary and tragic thing that I find abhorrent - as do most other pro-life groups. You can read statements and comments made by these groups here:

http://www.lifenews.com/state4186.html
http://nrlc.org/press_releases_new/Release053109.html
http://www.priestsforlife.org/pressreleases/09-05-31-tiller-death.htm

And if you are curious, I AM Pro-Life. I do not support capital punishment, the creation of embryo's for experimentation, or abortion for any reason.

Abortion stops a beating heart - which started at day 21-22 after conception. Not 3 months later. And with medical technology progressing everyday, "viability" is getting closer and closer to when that heartbeat begins.
Check this out: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/12282.php
Born at 13 weeks back in 1990 and will celebrate her 19th birthday this year.

By Educated Pro-Lifer (not verified) on 03 Jun 2009 #permalink

"I don't know if Kirchick was right when he said that there is "no appreciable number of people in this country" who support the murder of abortion doctors. I've got no idea what he means by "support", or how he defines "appreciable". What I do know is this: whatever the number is, it's clearly not zero, which means that it's clearly far too large."

The same can be said about abolitionists, since there were fanatics like John Brown who did murder slaveowners in order to take law into his own hand in freeing the slaves.

That does not invalidate the abolitionist movement, which by the way was ran by "Christian fundamentalists" just as the action of the few does not invalidate the pro-life movement.

The irony is while as deplorable as murder is in this case, the ones consistent here are pro-lifers. Pro-lifers condemn the murder. On the other hand, pro-abortionists use the murder as to condemn the pro-lifers over the actions of the few but see no problem with condoning the decades of murders of unborn children, that includes as with this doctor in the third trimester, in the most barbaric fashion.

So what's few murders of abortion doctors compared to the millions murdered by abortionists? Abortionists complaining how evil it is for a murder of one of their own while seeing no problem with millions of blood on their own hands is purely laughable.

the ones consistent here are pro-lifers

That would be a first...if it were in fact truth.

To compare Dr. Tiller to Adolf Hitler is insane. Dr. Tiller was not a killer - he was a man that stood up for choice - womens right. Women came to him for his services, he did not seek them out, they sought him - are they too murders? No one is judge and God to determine if one shall die nor can you say one will burn in hell."Judge not lest ye be judged" As someone once told me - "We as Christians are commanded to got out unto all the Earth and spread the Word of God and his awsome and Holy news.We are not to sit in judgement of others..Or have we forgotten? "Why do you speak of the splinter in your brothers eye,When you speak nothing of the log in your own eye?".

By Voicetoright (not verified) on 03 Jun 2009 #permalink

[actions of the few but see no problem with condoning the decades of murders of unborn children, that includes as with this doctor in the third trimester, in the most barbaric fashion.]

Newsflash. According to my defintion of life, which is the right one, and the only, you're not alive until about the third trimester. Any kind of abortion after that, without the prerequisite of saving the mother's life, is illegal.

You need to get your facts straight. Most of these children were dead before the abortion. Others wouldn't live long after being born. In almost all cases, the mother's health was at risk. Risk mother dying to give birth a dead baby? Sounds pro-life to me. Risk the permanent injury to the mother so she can give birth to a malformed creature that probably won't live any longer than three years? Hey, that sounds good.

The problem with you, 'truth' and your ilk, is that you can't be bothered to join us here in reality. You have this perception that women who have abortions do it with a cavalier attitude. That couldn't be further from the truth.

I don't expect you'll read this. I don't expect you'll understand. Why I bother wasting my time slapping down, time and again, the stupid and thoughtless arguments you propose I'm not sure. But I do anyway.

Finally, another note: How do I know my definition is right? Roe v. Wade says that you can't preform third trimester abortions - specifically, abortions for any reason cannot be preformed past week 24/28. And it's the Law. Don't like the Law? Go to Saudi Arabia. Go someplace else where you'll feel more at home with innocent women dying, giving birth to monsters and dead babies.

Killer indeed. The only killer here is what you'd become if we had to abide by your ignorance and the talking points you spew.

Any abortions preformed by Tiller were performed to save the mother. Although I highly doubt that misogynistic saps like you really care about the mother.

--Enigma

By TheEngima32 (not verified) on 03 Jun 2009 #permalink

"Pro-life" is a phrase as carefully contrived as "Discovery Institute"â and just as dishonest.

Don't believe it.

If most of the people who self-identify as "pro-life" were opposed to the death penalty, and fought for comprehensive child and adult health care, I might accept that their motives were honorable, even if their methods were suspect. Instead, their actions indicate they generally don't give a damn about most people; the only lives that matter to them are embryos and the occasional brain-dead coma patient.

By Pocket Nerd (not verified) on 03 Jun 2009 #permalink

Pro-rape is pro-murder.
Truth.

Tiller not a killer? Read this account of one of his hired hands: http://tinyurl.com/npzxvj

Stabbing a live child with a blunt probe and twisting is not murder? If I stab a pregnant woman and her baby dies essentially all states in the union will charge me with murder. But if Tiller sucked the brains out of a baby's head simply because it had Down's or spina bifida, that's OK?

Leaders of the Episcopal denomination are calling Tiller a "saint and a martyr" (http://tinyurl.com/pgl6eq). How revolting. The man committed unspeakable atrocities. I have held 28 week-ers in my hands. They are precious and miraculous. To vivisect them in utero is simply evil.

robroy, read TheEnigma's comment, then grow a brain. Defending the life of a woman is not murder.

60,000!

Innumeracy is alive and well in the fundamentalist right. That's 1 abortion/day for 165 years. Even 5/work day would require 40+ years without a vacation. Someone is not using their brain to even put out a number like that.

denying life to someone is the real issue here. The murder of Dr. Tiller is wrong not right. The only one that has the right to end a life is the one that creates it. For Christians and most forms of religion God is the creator. For Athiests and evolutionist there is no God thus the mother is the creator. Either way murder is murder. Killing an unborn child whether it is passed the 28th week or not is wrong. For all you know any one of those children could have grown up to become someone. Known or unknown they would have been loved and they would have loved. Dr. killer and the mothers chose to play God. Whether society accepts abortion or doesn't the bottom line is life was denied. Karma exists and our actions today have consequences tomorrow. Whether the Dr. Killers patients sought him out or not the bottom line was he performed the action. Saying he is innocent is like stating that the executioner is a holy man of God. Just because he is licensed to murder doesn't justify his actions. No body has a license to kill and no one can grant it. No person or government has the right kill. We are born with free will, a gift from God. We can choose which path we take in this world. I perfer to take the right path, in my heart I know it is the right one. I pray God that it is everyday. Regards

By right2life (not verified) on 03 Jun 2009 #permalink

eric-

Read the other thread (Suspect...) for where they get this number. To summarize, they took his total number performed over 12 1/2 years and treated it as a yearly average.

"Now, I will grant you that - technically - that's not a statement that "supports" the murder of abortion doctors. But it's certainly not what I'd call an unequivocal denunciation of Tiller's murder, either. It's definitely the type of rhetoric that could contribute to someone's belief that the murder was right and justified."

If anyone is interested, read Mr. Phillips article in its entirety and you'll see that he goes on to outline how Tiller's murder wasn't Biblically justifiable. Including stating that:

"The problem here is that the biblical jurisdiction to execute rests only with the state. There is no provision in Scripture for vigilante justice."

Today on his blog he reiterates:

"I explained that the murder of abortionists is immoral and does not constitute âjustifiable homicideâ as understood in the Scripture or historically in our Christian common law. I further argued that such behavior will not have the blessing of God and only plays into the hands of the enemies of the unborn"

FYI - the # 60000 is an estimate from an AP article run by Washington TImes in February http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/28/pro-life-groups-vow-to-…

I'm not going to start a whole essay on why most abortions are plausable...i'm not even going to start on the fact that those who are against abortions are hypocrites, being happy with the physical endangerment of the mothers, and the psychological death of a family which comes with bringing deformed or miscarried babies into this world!
but the truth is, even in Iran, or should i say, the islamic republic of iran, women have a choice to abort their pregnancy if they know the baby has a mental or physical deformity which won't let it live a normal life, or if the mother's life is at stake, or if pregnancy is from rape...and we're talking about islam here!
so if a country so famous for totally ignoring women's rights, allows abortions, mainly because of the mere rationality of not forsaking a life already here for one that hasn't been formed yet...why shouldn't america allow it?

these children up to nine months into their lives

Hmm, shouldn't these people then count their age from conception and not birth? I wonder if they just want to buy cigarettes 9 months earlier.

Anyway, what's a real tragedy is that pregnant women will die because they it's harder for them to get life-saving abortions. When a woman's life is in danger, the "pro-life" solution is to just fuck off and die anyway. In many cases, the mother will die and take the fetus along with her. Pro-life my ass. These people are pro-death. They want women to die so they can prove a point. Both robry and right2life want women to die, plain and simple. They think that Tiller did something wrong by saving a life. If anyone claims to be pro-life after this incident, you know they are lying. It's clear that they care more about fetuses than actual living human beings, if those human beings happen to be women and need to be taught a moral lesson.

Historical footnote: the commenter above calling himself or herself "Truth" claims anachronistically that "the abolitionist movement ... was ran by 'Christian fundamentalists'..." While it is true that both the pro and anti slavery movements were dominated by Christians who made regular appeals to the Bible in support of their positions, it is impossible that either side was "ran by 'Christian fundamentalists'" Fundamentalism was an early twentieth-century movement, drawing on the work of theologians at Princeton during the 1870s.

"For all you know any one of those children could have grown up to become someone."
For all you know they may have grown up to be mass murderers, rapists, or republicans. Or not survived birth due to massive deformity. Or been dead already in the womb.
"We are born with free will, a gift from God."
Interesting theory there, care to prove this? Just let me get comfortable while I wait.

For all you know any one of those children could have grown up to become someone.

Late term abortions are only made when the fetus have severe defects or the life of the mother is threatened - often, both is the case. E.g. the fetus is cancer-ridden, and the cancer might spread to the mother.

So, no, for all we know, those "children" could not have grown up to become someone.

What Dr. Tiller did was to spare those "children" a short life in pain, potentially killing the mother in the process.

I will no longer allow the lies of forced-birthers to go unanswered.

Here is an account of someone who got a late-term abortion. Read that story, and see why they are done.

We don't live in a fantasy world where every pregnancy have a happy ending. Some times things go wrong. And when they do, people like Dr. Tiller is there to help - unlike the people who tries to keep people like him from doing their jobs.

60,000!

Innumeracy is alive and well in the fundamentalist right. That's 1 abortion/day for 165 years. Even 5/work day would require 40+ years without a vacation. Someone is not using their brain to even put out a number like that.

And of course, the other wingnut quoted says that what Dr. Tiller "was far greater in his atrocities than Adolf Hitler". I wonder if he's a Holocaust denier, an anti-semite, or both, or if he just doesn't think before opening his mouth? Not to mention that apart from the Holocaust, Hitler also caused the deaths of millions of soldiers both German and otherwise.

By konrad_arflane (not verified) on 04 Jun 2009 #permalink

See more on Tiller Operation Rescue connection here

http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/20090604_maddow_exposes_scott_roed…

The suspect was in phone contact several times with a "senior policy advisor" (who had spend 6 months in jail for conspiracy to bomb a clinic)of OR. She admits that she gave him the address of Tiller's church the day before the shooting. When does this amount to a conspiracy charge?

bobh:

The suspect was in phone contact several times with a "senior policy advisor"...of OR. She admits that she gave him the address of Tiller's church the day before the shooting. When does this amount to a conspiracy charge?

It doesn't unless someone shows she was aware of what Roeder was going to do. Roeder could have claimed he wanted the address to organize a protest, or hand out pamphlets, or shout nasty things at Tiller from the street corner, or any number of other legal activities.

Yea because Christians murder 3,000 innocent Muslims at once (by innocent I mean they DIDN'T KILL 60,000 INNOCENT CHILDREN!)

And because Christians killed 6 million Jews or 30 million Russians or 2 million Cambodians like Atheist regimes. The worst people in the world are secularists and atheists. They increase the murder rate (including abortion), drug use, STDs, depression, domestic violence, violent crime and your birth control poisons rivers and your condoms are horrible for the environment.

You are some of the most pathetic hypocrites in history! YOU EAT BABIES BY THE MILLIONS..and then accuse innocent Christians of deserving guilt for another man's decision to sin and commit murder. BUT I SHOULDN'T BE SURPRISED TO FIND THAT BABY EATERS BELIEVE THEY CAN SET THEMSELVES UP AS DISTRIBUTORS OF JUSTICE!
(No wonder all your rulers, including Obama, are responsible for mass murder.)

By Israel F. (not verified) on 05 Jun 2009 #permalink

Mike, I have to say, your blog has consistently the highest ratio of foaming right-wing nutcases to normal commenters I have ever seen. It's one of the things that brings me back here, to be honest.

How do you do it? Do you post at Redstate or Freep and leave trails of Chick tracts, pork rinds, and Ann Coulter nudie photos for them to follow?

By minimalist (not verified) on 07 Jun 2009 #permalink

@Israel F.
OO are we counting the holocaust as committed by an atheist regime now? Because Hitler grew up catholic. His speechs and private comments all explicitly point to "state atheism" (i.e. what stalin had in communism) as being wrong. You can argue he wasn't Christian if you want to "No true scotsman", but saying he was an atheist is just inaccurate.
Incidentally, while we're talking about murders and wars,
How about the crusades, the inquisition, and the witch hunts?

Right2life asserted: "The only one that has the right to end a life is the one that creates it."

Then by your own premise, mothers and fathers have a right to kill their children, in the womb or not. I think Bill Cosby said it best:

"With my father it was simple. He said 'I brought you into this world, I'll take you out.'"

Just consider this:

I wouldn't have cared less if my mother had decided to have an abortion instad of giving birth to me.

As far as I am concerned; as far as I would have been concerned, it is all a non-issue. No big deal.

Besides, I think God himself is capable of administering wahetver punishment might be appropriate. After all, he is responsible for more abortions than us.

Is there there some mystical 'good' that is served by having as many babies born as possible? The world might be a better place with less people on it.

Besides, God doesn't care one way or the other. He's got quite different things on his mind.

By Rolf Aalberg (not verified) on 09 Jul 2009 #permalink