OK, I realize I’m late to the party on the murder of Dr. George Tiller, a controversial provider of late-term abortions, allegedly by 51-year-old fundamentalist Christian Scott Roeder.
Partly, I’m just distracted. But a smaller story out my way sparked me to write about this. You see, there is, in my neck of the wood…or, rather, was…a topless coffee shop. The owner was making plans to expand, and then suddenly an arsonist burned the place down. I know nothing about the arsonist. I don’t even know if they have a suspect in custody. But as my wife said, “I guess the crazy fundamental Christians are coming out of the woodwork.”
Perhaps they are. Let’s sample a couple quotes about the murder of Dr. Tiller…
Prayer and Action newsletter publisher and anti-abortion activist Dave Leach: “To call this a crime is too simplistic. There is Christian scripture that would support this.”
Founder of Operation Rescue Randall Terry: “(He) was a mass murderer and, horrifically, he reaped what he sowed.”
My late and much-missed grandmother-in-law often said, “God don’t like ugly.”
I’ll ammend that a bit: God don’t like psycho.
We do not get to choose to burn down someone’s business or kill someone because of the Bible. We just don’t. For one thing, it wasn’t the kind of thing that Jesus condoned. But also, we are told in the Bible to follow the laws of our lands. The laws of our land, here in the United States, says that an unborn child is not always considered a full life. But a grown-ass man is definitely alive, and killing him over ideology is murder, plain and simple.
I defy any fundie who supports or turns a blind eye to this murder to show me a single passage of scripture that defines an unborn child as a life and thus establishes that ending the existence of that fetus is murder. The first person that does will most likely pick a single passage, and I’ve seen it before, and I will likely rip your argument to shreds if you do.
Furthermore, without establishing that a fetus is a viable life in the Bible, all we have to go on is the law of the land, which says it is not. And frankly, even you can prove to me that the Bible protects a fetus’ life as much as a child outside the womb or an adult, that still doesn’t give you the right to flout the laws of your land and take vengeance. Vengeance belongs to God. It’s one thing to snap and kill someone because they hurt or killed someone close to you…people snap over such things…that’s not generally cold-blooded murder. Killing someone for something that doesn’t impact you directly is cold-blooded murder.
And finally, Dr. Tiller didn’t perform late-term abortions for mothers who just decided late in the game they didn’t want to be pregnant. Late-term abortions are almost always in the interest of preserving the mother’s life or in cases where the fetus is so unviable that it faces death upon entering the world anyway.
All around, this act was wrong. And no Christian should overtly or covertly support this murder of man. Much less murdering him in front of his family while in church. There’s nothing right with that picture.