The latest news flash is that Dr. George Tiller, a well known abortion-providing doctor in Kansas, has been shot and killed — while going to church, of all places.
Media reports said the suspected killer fled the scene in a blue Taurus. Police described him as a white male in his 50s or 60s.
Tiller has been among the few U.S. physicians performing late-term abortion, making him a favored target of anti-abortion protesters. He testified that he and his family have suffered years of harassment and threats. His clinic was the site of the 1991 “Summer of Mercy” protests marked by mass demonstrations and arrests. His clinic was bombed in 1985, and an abortion opponent shot him in both arms in 1993. Tiller’s clinic also provided group and individual counseling, as well as chaplain and funeral services for people who were grieving.
Operation Rescue, which ran a “Tiller Watch” on its website (subsite now taken down!), and has targeted him for action for twenty years, issued a statement:
“We are shocked at this morning’s disturbing news that Mr. Tiller was gunned down. Operation Rescue has worked for years through peaceful, legal means, and through the proper channels to see him brought to justice. We denounce vigilantism and the cowardly act that took place this morning. We pray for Mr. Tiller’s family that they will find comfort and healing that can only be found in Jesus Christ.”
This reminds me of Captain Renault’s tongue-in-cheek statement in Casablanca, “I’m shocked — shocked — to find out that gambling is going on here.” Operation Rescue has had a long history of tacitly condoning or excusing vigilante action, and once had the slogan “If you believe abortion is murder, act like it’s murder.” Tiller’s murder is the forseeable result of targeting him on the website.
Operation Rescue’s statement is equally offensive in claiming that Tiller’s family will be able to find comfort and healing only in Jesus Christ. That’s baloney. Plenty of people find comfort and healing through their family, friends, and so on. One might indeed speculate that someone’s faith in Jesus Christ is what lead to Tiller’s murder in the first place.
There is plenty of room for reasoned disagreement about the morality of abortion, but there is no room for settling these disagreements through murder.
Note: I have received several posts approving of Tiller’s murder and expressing desires that he rot in hell. I will not post these here, nor any other post that countenances murder. I have never before received such hate-filled posts. Draw your own conclusions about where they came from.