Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tiller Murdered

George Tiller, prominent abortionist at one of the few late-term abortion facilities in the country, was shot dead a few hours ago while attending a service at his Reformed Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas.

This was murder. It horrifies me to think that the killer was likely styling himself as a modern-day John Brown. There are indeed crimes that cry out to Heaven for vengeance -- **but vengeance is not ours to deliver.**

"Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends." Murdering an abortionist does not restore life to those he killed, and those who would defend the act on grounds of 'the future abortions prevented' need to recall that no end justifies evil means.

If I could take this opportunity to address a broader issue that has been seriously troubling me since Obama became President:

Some are going to argue that the rule of law has in fact been overturned, that we are living in a socialist dictatorship, and therefore that vigilante justice is the only option. Those who do so, first of all, are simply wrong. That abortion is claimed as a Constitutionally-guaranteed right is absurd and atrocious, but it does not nullify the great American Experiment in self-governance. As for our country becoming a 'dictatorship' - the claim has about the same credibility as the liberal claim, beginning three or so years ago, that Bush was a tyrant.

A friend of mine in conversation just blamed President Obama for the murder. But while his words (like his speech at ND) can be disingenuous, Obama has not been pushing people to the fringes. Rather, it is the apocalyptic rhetoric of conservative commentators that is responsible for pushing people towards, well, apocalyptic actions. In response to this murder, all men and women of good will not only have a responsibility to denounce the use of violence, but to reject those who make its use more likely. We cannot allow this cold culture war to become any hotter.


Ari said...

Thanks for this post, Brian. It deserves pointing out explicitly that if the aim is to change the current system, it must be worked with from inside. To become a vigilante is *not* to show the unjustness of laws in an attempt to change them, but to show one's disrespect for the rule of law and thus forfeit any claim that it should be changed. It is, in other words, simply terrorism.

If anti-abortionists want revolution, that is always an option. But they should know that that has been the resort of any number of failed anti-American movements over the last 50 years: just to name a few, the liberal radicals of the 60s and 70s, the environmental terrorists of today, and, of course, Islamists.

Anonymous said...


Excellent comment. I have already mentioned the Gandalf quote to several people today regarding the Tiller murder. Anyone who is "pro-life" and then murders someone is obviously a hypocrite.

Several other thoughts came through my mind when I heard the story:

- Violence begets violence.
- You live by the sword, you die by the sword.
- As Joe Schiedler said today on Relevant Radio, everyone is salvageable. Killing an abortionist doesn't help the cause.
- My mother would tell us that for all we know, Hitler is in heaven. (We have never been told of specific people who are in hell. We have only been given signs of people who are in heaven.)

Mr. X

Brian Boyd said...

Mr X - Interesting about 'live by the sword, die by the sword' coming up, because that's what some people have said to *justify* the murder ('he had it coming to him'). But in response I think we simply need to point out that the admonition is meant to tell us *not* to be violent .. to bring out one more aphorism, 'an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.'