Sunday, May 31, 2009

On The Murder of Dr. Tiller

Standing in the foyer of his Reformed Lutheran Church, Dr. Tiller was murdered today (as his wife sang in the choir) with a gun by an alleged 51yo man who has been apprehended.

Dr. Tiller has been a target of pro-fetus groups around the nation for thirty-plus years, and was shot in both arms by a member of the Army of God (and be sure to check the associated people AND groups) some years back. His clinic has been repeatedly vandalized over the years and for three years he was surrounded by federal Marshalls for personal protection.

Army of God's statement on the murder today (and no, I will not link to their hate site):

A great day for the unborn children scheduled to be murdered by Babykilling Abortionist George Tiller.

George Tiller reaped what he sowed and now has been cast alive into everlasting torment and fire for the innocent blood he has shed.

Psalm 55:15 Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.

I pray the person who performed this deed is never known or apprehended.

Right wing anti-choice groups have repeatedly targeted Dr. Tiller over the years, and he has been the topic on O'Reilly and other non-news shows (30 sec vid of Dr. Tiller reciting the history of violence against him and his legal clinic):

Now, regardless of how one feels about abortion, it is legal in this country and will likely remain so.

In 1969, when I was sixteen years old by a month and ten days, I was FORCED to have my child as abortion was illegal. Regardless of whether my child was the result of rape, incest or the stupid action of an ill-informed, unprepared teenager, I was still forced to have my child like thousands of other females my age, older and younger.

So, what did the pro-fetus folks have to say about Tiller's murder today? Well here is one outstanding comment from Roman Catholic Randall Terry:

"George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God. I am more concerned that the Obama Administration will use Tiller's killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions. Abortion is still murder. And we still must call abortion by its proper name; murder.

Those men and women who slaughter the unborn are murderers according to the Law of God. We must continue to expose them in our communities and peacefully protest them at their offices and homes, and yes, even their churches."

A pretty horrid statement, but hardly as horrid as this statement from Randall Terry:

.."You better believe that I want to build a Christian nation," Terry said, "because the only option is a pagan nation. Not that the government can make someone a Cristian by decree. A Christian nation would be defined as 'We acknowledge God in our body politic, in our communities, that the God of the Bible is our God, and, we acknowledge that His law is supreme." snip "When I, or people like me, are running the country, you'd better flee, because we will find you, we will try you, and we'll execute you. I mean every word of it." He added, "I will make it part of my mission to see to it that they are tried and executed."

Or perhaps this will strike your fancy:

"I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you... I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good... Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called by God, to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism."

That's right, boys and girls, hate is the new right just like the old right.

Now, I don't want to cull Randall Terry for no reason as I do not want to target Roman Catholics at all. Roman Catholics, according to Gallup polling, support abortion rights at 40% while their non-Catholic counterparts support it at 41%. Likewise, Roman Catholics support stem cell research at 63% while their non-Catholic counterparts support it at 62%.

I am perfectly fine with Roman Catholics and everyone else believing what they will and acting that way as long as it does not amount to taking their beliefs and creating law that prohibits non-Catholics or non-believers from exercising their individual rights.

I even give Terry the right to his vitriolic hate speech, given the First Amendment, and I would support the ACLU in protecting his rights to speak hatefully. Much of the western world, obviously, does not protect this kind of speech and it is understandable why especially if and when it incites violence.

Randall Terry pushes his right to the very edge in threatening people. Nonetheless, he does not cross the line into advocating direct violence in these words, nor does he incite riots or violent civil disobedience.

UPDATE: Here is Randall Terry today, and listen to his words carefully... they are important (vid, 3 minutes):

Personally, I detest hate speech and everything that goes with it and I cannot tolerate Randall Terry for even a moment. I also hate guns. Nonetheless, Terry's speech is protected by the law of the land JUST like abortion is legal AND THE LAW OF THE LAND as are guns.

We cannot pick and choose our freedoms. They are broad and there for everyone. This is not only what the religious right and abortion opponents don't get, but often what liberals and progressives don't get as well.

Was Dr. Tiller's murderer a domestic terrorist? I don't know. I have no idea what motivated this man, what group or groups he belong(s)(ed) to, or what caused him to enter a church today, brutally gun down a doctor in cold blood and (allegedly) threaten a bystander then speed away in his sedan.

But I can say these things under the First Amendment:
  1. ANYONE that supports Randall Terry is a loon and probably just as vicious as he is.
  2. ANYONE that thinks we don't need better gun laws isn't paying attention.
  3. ANYONE that believes the US should be a theocracy is off their rocker.
  4. ANYONE that supports violence against another person or group is amoral.