Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Clarification

In my last post I implied that President Obama's speech at ND was disingenuous. What I meant was the disparity between his well-measured, impressive words, and his actions. Particularly the nominations of Sibelius and Dawn Johnsen trouble me: Obama calls for reasoned debate on abortion, but his choices confirm the view of those who consider abortion to be an inalienable right.

That said, if Obama follows through on his policy-reversal of *installing* a conscience-clause (instead of revoking the one in HHS, as had been in the works), and continues to keep FOCA off the agenda (when he had promised to pass it during the campaign), then I believe we ought to take his statements of good will in good faith. And even if not: Violence is neither good nor effective; so, too, with vitriol. Only by responding to Obama's calm, comprehensive arguments with better-reasoned and more-accessible points and policymakers of our own - such as the 'Life: Imagine the Potential' ads - will we be able to succeed.

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.