The Tiller Murder Wasn't a Lone Killer's Sick Plot; It Came Out of the Radical Anti-Abortion Movement
Continued from previous page
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.
That's some definition of "peacefully protesting".
The prime suspect in Tiller's murder appears to have frequented the Operation Rescue website (which had it's own "Tiller Watch" section), and took part in some of those "peaceful protests" that anti-choicers hold so dear. Far from a random extremist, he appears to have been fairly entrenched in the anti-choice movement.
And if he is the person who murdered Tiller, he isn't alone among pro-lifers who embrace Terry's directive that "If you think abortion is murder, act like it." (After all, Terry has posited, "Wouldn't it have been OK to kill Hitler if you knew you could save millions of Jews?").
Self-identified pro-lifers have celebrated Tiller's murder, leaving hundreds of comments on rightwing blogs (and a good number at progressive and pro-choice blogs, just for good measure). Conservative writer LaShawn Barber gloated at the "irony" of "Tiller the child killer, cultivator of death" being murdered at church. A quick perusal of the front page of ProLifeBlogs.com includes such headlines as "George Tiller has killed his last baby," "Baby killer Tiller shot, killed at church," "Tiller the Killer killed," "Today Tiller the Killer, now a martyr for Molech, met God" and "Tiller shot to death!"
These are not "bad apples". They are symptomatic of (and sometimes the spokespeople for) a larger a movement that is disturbed and dangerous.
While individuals who self-identify as pro-life may be well-meaning and against violence, mainstream pro-life groups and the people who run them do not care about life, before or after birth. And while today anti-choice groups are half-heartedly condemning Tiller's murder, they continue to use the same outlandish and inflammatory rhetoric that inspired and enabled it.
Words mean things. Anti-choicers should certainly have every right to express their views, but they must also realize that actions have consequences and their rhetoric is not harmless. If you yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater, it's reasonably foreseeable that people will panic and someone will be injured. And if you yell "Murderer!" "Baby-Killer!" and "Holocaust!" long enough, it's reasonably foreseeable that someone will take it upon themselves to make sure that vigilante justice is done (especially if you provide the name and address of the person who you claim is committing "genocide").
This was not the act of a lone extremist. It is one more act of violence to add to a long, long list of crimes committed by anti-choice terrorists, and it is the logical outcome of years of increasingly violent, dehumanizing and threatening rhetoric and action on the part of supposedly mainstream pro-life groups. The responsibility for George Tiller's death surely falls on the shoulders of the person who actually pulled the trigger. But when pro-life groups did everything but give him a gun, their hands are hardly clean.