Monday, June 1, 2009

Murder Is Murder

By now, surely you have heard of the death of Dr. George Tiller in Kansas, shot to death in the foyer of the church for which he was acting as an usher. Regardless of how you feel about abortion (and I am pro-choice, though, like Secretary Clinton, I believe abortion should be safe, legal, and rare), what happened to Dr. Tiller is reprehensible. Even Operation Rescue, a group I have engaged in protests against in the past, decried this crime. Here is a news-clip:



This is not the first time a doctor who performed abortions has been killed. A Unitarian Universalist doctor, John Britton, along with his escort, Lt. Col. Barrett, was killed in Pensacola, FL in 1994. Dr. Britton had taken up the position to replace another doctor who had been killed for providing abortions, Dr. David Gunn. Ironically, the man who killed Dr. Britton and Lt. Col. Barrett was a Presbyterian minister. Yikes.

This tragedy, this murder of Dr. Tiller in his church, while not the first time for someone who performed abortions, I sure hope will be the last. But if "history is prologue," as they say, I fear it isn't. I lived in Boston at a time when a Planned Parenthood was attacked by a lone gunman, killing two people, with five injured. That was also in 1994.

I have long thought that people like these were domestic terrorists, before the term was used with such frequency, before 9/11, before Timothy McVeigh, even. Their agenda was/is to terrorize women who sought abortions, and those who worked in the clinics, thus fulfilling the definition, in my opinion.

That is to say, this has been going on for some time now. It is horrifying, it is mind boggling, and those responsible should face the highest possible punishment for their actions, whether it be Scott Roeder, the man who shot Dr. Tiller, or people like Eric Rudolph who bombed abortion clinics (which, by the way, also provide family counseling and other women's health services - they aren't just abortion clinics). No matter the party in power, no matter the political climate, it seems there will always be people, no, domestic terrorists like Roeder and Randolph, will engage in violence against women and those who work to help us in our time of need. No doubt, there is a lot of blame to go around for why this is so, who spurs these ideas, and so on, but people are ultimately responsible for their own actions. In this case, for whatever his crazy reasons, Scott Roeder decided to end this man's life.

To Dr. Tiller's family, my heart, and prayers, go out to you. I pray that you may be comforted by your family, your friends, and your faith. To the congregation that had to witness this tragedy, my prayers go out to you as you try to deal, and heal, from the sudden loss of a valued member by this senseless act committed in your sacred space. And for us all, that this act remind us that we do indeed face terrorists at home as well as abroad. That we must be vigilant in protecting the rights of Americans here, and that we must act swiftly to see that justice is done to those who violate those rights. And throughout it all, may we act with compassion toward all those whose lives have been affected by this crime...

6 comments:

bluelyon said...

Operation Rescue is talking out of both sides of its collective mouth on this one. They get no credit from me. They incite people to murder and now they wring their hands when they get taken up on it? They can KMA, as far as I am concerned.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

I hear ya, bluelyon. I assure you, I have NO love lost for OR. I have experienced their vitriol up close and personal, while in counter-protests, and while escorting someone into a clinic. And if they can find proof connecting OR to Roeder, I would GLADLY write it up in a heartbeat.

That being said, I do think he still bears responsibility for what he did, and where he did it.

Still, you are right - they can KMA, too...

Titania said...

I agree with you and Secretary Clinton with regards to abortion. This murder is a tragedy in all the ways you suggested, and it is terrorism on every level. Of those who threaten and abuse, the varieties are endless... In reading your post, I was reminded of a post of Naomi Wolf which addresses sexual crimes, something I read a few days ago. Perhaps Naomi no longer believes Obama is a feminist; she states "Obama is burning what is left of the shreds of the Constitution..." with an emphasis on sexual crimes and the cover up of those crimes. "Why the Pentagon Is Probably Lying..." www.alternet.org/story/140357/ Justifications for doing the things people do, incomprehensible... CG

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey, CG -

Thanks for the good comment (as always!).

Why Naomi Wolf ever thought Obama WAS a feminist is beyond me, but thanks for the link - I'll check it out.

And I'm glad we're in agreement, with Hillary, abt the issue of abortion. There is most definitely a difference between being pro-choice, and pro-abortion, as anyone who has ever accompanied a woman to a clinic can attest, even more so the woman who has had to have one...(I'm reminded of a two-woman play with Mo Who's Last Name I Forgot, and Kathy Najimy in which a woman goes to confession, and confesses to having had an abortion. She talked abt how hard it was because she didn't feel like she could GRIEVE the loss. If she did, then people would jump on her and say, "Aha! See? It IS wrong!!" as opposed to acknowledging that it is a HARD, painful choice...)

bluelyon said...

Roeder has been connected to Operation Rescue. HERE and HERE

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Thanks, bluelyon - I appreciate the links. I am not surprised, mind you. As I said, I have NO love lost for OR, their tactics, their politics, or their methods - not one bit.

And if OR put him up to this in some way, they should be charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

If OR knew, as we do we now, that this man was mentally unstable (I know, I know, killing Dr. Tiller indicates that all on its own), and knew he was targeting Tiller without speaking up, I would think a case could be made for conspiracy there, as well. I certainly hope law enforcement officials are looking into that connection right now.

Thanks again, bluelyon! You rock!