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Anti-Abortion Extremist Claims Christian Scripture Supports Tiller's Murder

New York Times:

Scott Roeder, 51, of Merriam, Kan., whom authorities have described as a suspect in Sunday's fatal shooting here of George Tiller, the doctor who had been a focal point for abortion opponents for decades, was once a subscriber and occasional contributor to a newsletter, Prayer and Action News, said to Dave Leach, an anti-abortion activist from Des Moines who runs the newsletter. Mr. Leach said he and Mr. Roeder had met once, and Mr. Roeder had described similar views to his own. Of Dr. Tiller's death, Mr. Leach said, "To call this a crime is too simplistic," adding, "There is Christian scripture that would support this."

Anyone know the scripture Leach is referring to?

Opponents of abortion, including those here who have been most vociferous in their protests of Dr. Tiller and his work, also expressed outrage at the shooting and said they feared that their groups might be wrongly judged by the act.

Troy Newman, the president of Operation Rescue, an anti-abortion group based in Wichita, said he had always sought out "nonviolent" measures to challenge Dr. Tiller, including efforts in recent years to have him prosecuted for crimes or investigated by state health authorities.[...]

By late Sunday, Mr. Newman said, some were already suggesting that there were links between the suspect and Operation Rescue. Someone named Scott Roeder had made posts to the group's blog in the past, Mr. Newman said, but "he is not a friend, not a contributor, not a volunteer."

Someone named Scott Roeder posted a message on the Operation Rescue blog about Dr. Tiller that read, in part: "Tiller is the concentration camp 'Mengele' of our day and needs to be stopped before he and those who protect him bring judgment upon our nation."

There's more:

Both pro-choice and pro-life groups condemned the murder. But there was one exception: Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry. "George Tiller was a mass-murderer," he said in a statement. "We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God."

More on the hypocrisy of the anti-abortion movement in a future post.


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Comments (16)

Paul Hooson:

My criminal background search software for the arrested suspect find previous charges for the criminal use of explosives. Other evidence connects the suspect to right wing violent organization's such the Freemen. That's a pretty good image of a right wing terrorist. However, it all helps to hurt any moral authority for those in the antiabortion movement just as much as when some antiwar person bombs some military site such as a recruiting office.

Back when I attended Portland State University, a French professor opposed to the Vietnam war was arrested for bombing an army recruiting center. His violent act didn't do much good for those who opposed war on moral grounds.

Violence in the name of moral issues always sacrifices any moral high grounds.

Lee Ward:

I'm seeing some bizarre rhetoric, such as this over on Wizbag:

"Some on the right will look at this as poetic justice. The murder of Tiller was a just irony. A fitting end for a man who has murdered thousands of helpless children."
Allen:

Some time back, Homeland Security Dept released a report on right wing nuts. Even through President Bush had the report made, the wing nuts made a big stink about it. If I remember correctly, it mentioned some groups that were against something or other. Abortion was, I think, one of the groups.

Whatever a woman's reasons, if a fetus are non-viable, it's her call as to whether she goes full term or not. Period. End of story. Whether you think it's "disgusting" or not, it should be between a woman and her doctor. It's only "hot button" because agitators like to make it one to rile up the right-wing male audience who don't like the idea of women having any control whatsoever over their own bodies when it comes to reproduction.

I wonder what the outcry would be if someone killed queer Rush or some other right wing commentator? Would their ever be the same kind of hate posts this incident has brought forth. And from both sides? Just one hell of a mess. A doctor, doing what is legal under the law, gets killed. And probably because the accused didn't like what the Dr was doing. Sicking, isn't it?

J.R.:

Violence in the name of moral issues always sacrifices any moral high grounds.

Well said.

It's only "hot button" because agitators like to make it one to rile up the right-wing male audience who don't like the idea of women having any control whatsoever over their own bodies when it comes to reproduction.

Yeah, so no male could possibly be making a principled, religious stand could they? And what of all the women out there who oppose abortion, what's their deal?

I wonder what the outcry would be if someone killed queer Rush or some other right wing commentator? Would their ever be the same kind of hate posts this incident has brought forth.

None, hate has only been around since Rush took to the airwaves, right?!? I mean Roe was decided when, back in the stone age right? and there was barely any debate about back then. Don't you remember the good ole days when there were no wars, no slavery, no mass shootings, no crime, no disagreements. I mean all of that changed once Rush took to the airwaves./sarcasm

A doctor, doing what is legal under the law, gets killed. And probably because the accused didn't like what the Dr was doing. Sicking, isn't it?

Yeah, it is sickening and its called first degree murder. Unfortunately it happens all the time, under the same circumstances you cite. And rightfully the accused will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

J.R.:

As if we needed more awful headlines today to display the woeful disregard for human life I eluded to above. Despicable.

Paul Hooson:

Hello J.R., unfortunately army recruiting centers have long been a violence magnet just like some abortion centers have been. Some businesses just attract more violence compared to some less political locations it seems.

Regarding J. R.'s headline, of course no one with a lick of common sense would say that this incident is "proof" that all those with disdain for the armed forces or the use of military force are potential killers. Likewise, we would be foolish to paint all those who oppose abortion on demand as potential vigilantes and murderers.

Tiller's death was first degree murder, plain and simple. His killer deserves to be tried and punished to the full extent of the law. A civil and just society does not reward vigilantism, and even though Tiller did some despicable things, he did not deserve to be executed in cold blood.

From what we know, his killer was a disturbed individual who acted alone, just like the majority of those who commit the dozens of targeted workplace/school/office killings that occur in this country every year. But what made this shooting different was the high profile and infamy of the victim.

With regard to Scripture, it should be obvious to everyone that small portions of both the Bible and the Koran can be excerpted and grossly taken out of context in order to justify all sorts of violent behavior. Contemporary Islam seems to suffer more from this problem than contemporary Christianity, but there are also a small number of Christians with the radical and dangerous belief that God has ordained certain acts of violence for the purpose of divine justice.

Many of those Christians often quote this passage from Exodus 21 as a proof text: "When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman's husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe."

Probably a majority of Christians would be comfortable using that same verse and others to support the idea that abortion is murder, and that abortionists commit murder on a daily basis. But just to be clear about this, only a very tiny minority of crazed believers would ever argue that "life for life" is a proper and just response to the taking of an innocent life. The death of George Tiller has absolutely no place in the teachings or practice of either Christianity or Judaism.

Marjorie Ackerman:

Hope Tiller is really for the fire, the unborn babies are certainly little angels.

drlava:


The point is that the killer believed that his actions were justified by God. Just like the Palestinian suicide bomber and the 9-11 terrorists.

The fact that in 2009 large numbers of people believe in spirits and ancient myth is what makes religion the most terrifying concept in the world.

The fact that so many Americans believe in the literal truth of the Bible is a staggering and depressing idea.

Talking snakes.......

J.R.:

Regarding J. R.'s headline, of course no one with a lick of common sense would say that this incident is "proof" that all those with disdain for the armed forces or the use of military force are potential killers. Likewise, we would be foolish to paint all those who oppose abortion on demand as potential vigilantes and murderers.

And I do hope michael that you don't think my comment and headline was "proof" of any such thing. Please read allen's comment to mine in context.

ke_future:

the problem i see is that some people will use this incident to try to shut down the voices of abortion foes. they will try to shift the argument away from abortion and make it about the murder of this doctor. it's hard enough to have a reasonable discussion on the issue of abortion, roe v. wade, etc, without some nut cake doing something like this.

J. R. - no, I didn't think you were implying anything like that with your post. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. The larger point is that it is always wrong to take the words or actions of a lone wacko and then use them to smear an entire group of people, simply because we may disagree with what they believe.

ed davis:

"Violence in the name of moral issues always sacrifices any moral high grounds."
-Paul Hooson

I thought is sounded nice too. Didn't it? But the way it blankets any and all injustice as never being horrible enough to justify taking up arms against injustices and/or atrocities just didn't sit right with me.

So, almost always. Definitely in this case. But not always. Hear me out:

I can think of a few cases wherin violence is justified, and unfortunately, absolutely necessary. Cases where discourse just ain't gonna cut it. Letters of stern disappointment and all that nonsense.

The American Revolution was violent, wasn't it? The Civil War was violent, right? WWI and WWI were violent too. And as far as I am concerned, our Great Country maintained the moral high ground in all. There are other scenarios, but to keep this short, I'll just assume these are plenty.

Lee Ward:

I was thinking of the American revolution also - yes.

But to compare anti-abortion extremists with high moral revolutionaries you also have to recognize that they are operating outside of the law -- and that puts their freedom in jeopardy.

Right wing conservative extremists will want to have their cake and eat it too - have the freedoms afforded them by the laws of our land as they selectively choose which laws to ignore.

Murdering is against the law. Abortions as performed by Dr Tiller are not against the law. if extremists are operating contrary to the laws of our nation they can and should be jailed.

ed davis:

Yup. The law. We must abide by it. It is an American duty. There isn't a way I can think of to stage civil disobedience regarding this law. The babies sure can't do it, that's for sure. At any rate, definitely jail all of the a-holes that have murdered abortion practitioners. How many is that? In reality it is a tiny number, especially if scripture calls for this type of behavior (umm, whaaat? where? and by whose interpretation?) There are how millions and millions of Christians in America that read this horrible thing called the Bible. How many "Christians" have murdered abortion practitioners?

My understanding of Christianity is that you can't behave yourself into heaven. But you sure can behave your way into prison. Which is where any American citizen convicted of murder needs to go. To me, that diferentiates it from other religions I have tried to learn. Simply put, once saved always saved, but carte blanch for any all behavior is not given. And the human being that daily affirms this notion won't murder an abortion practitioner. A psychotic fool who has been to church before might, but that certainly isn't something done while trying to live the Beatitudes! It has nothing to do with being or living the life of a "Christian".

When are you gonna write something about legalizing drugs? That is a form of civil disobedience that I can cheer until it changes an unjust and absolutely ridiculous set of laws. And it sure shouldn't involve killing anyone! People would certainly get stoned, but in a good way. And it would save lives. And money. And keep people from being punished in cruel and inhamane ways.

ed davis:

So, I see I failed to make this point:

You ingeniously group pro life activists (therefore including Christians, by default) with anti-abortion extremists (body count, what?) and therefore terrorists (body count, what?). That is a bit of a leap, Mr. Ward.

Careful, if you repeat that rhetoric in your head too many times you'll confabulate it to be true and be afraid of Christians. Don't fear monger yourself into a corner that you sometimes eloquently paint Rush, Beck and others into! Don't want you contracting Apocalyptic Stress Syndrome like yours truly! (A.S.S. is a self deprecating joke I made up, by the way. I am not (nor have I ever) prosyletized any sort of right wing hatred of every person that has a different point of view from mine. You banned me before saying that I needed to take my hate speech and go away, in order to leave these discussions to adults. When talking about these crazy times, it is easy to segue into that 2012 / Nostradamus / holy crap what in the hell is going on in this world today topic.

Words have consequences. Some things words easily affect are mental health and happiness.

Oh, and since comments aren't open at the "Bans at Blue are Lifted" thread (or whatever it is titled, I am too lazy to look it up right now), I'd like to say thanks!

You stung me real bad and didn't give me a chance to reply. It started with a link to Evan Sayet, went through Hillary getting lambasted by the media (who were repeating lies over and over and over until they were accepted as the truth) and eventually some tongue in cheek (I tried to be, at least) rant about A.S.S. I was trying to say that it does happen. That the media is a very powerful faction and that, yup, words are powerful and they do have consequences. I used other pseudonyms trying to be funny. Like Major Boehner, Another Archimedes Plato Wannabe (really, sitting here typing out my opinion for the moment on a cyber soap box is a bit ego maniacal ain't it?).

Hopefully you'll be tolerant of me as you get to know me better.

peace.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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