Skip to comments.Tiller's Killing: Necessary... But Unlawful
Posted on 06/03/2009 11:13:53 AM PDT by lewisglad
In a commentary today, Creighton theologian R.R. Reno parses the justifications for killing an abortion doctor like George Tiller, and finds that alleged murderer Scott Roeder came up shortthough barely. Reno says that The blanket condemnation [by Catholics bishops] of violence seems unhelpfully expansive and so he wants to explain that the reasons Tillers killer was wrong are not as simple as they seem.
Reno says that under Christian thinking, such an action would have to satisfy three conditions: It would target the guilty, not the innocent; it would have to be necessary (principally to protect others); and it would have to be an act of self-defense that does not violate the principle of legitimate authority by being premeditated and calculated violence, as Tillers killing was. Reno says the suspect got two out of three:
The emphasis on unlawful use of violence, the evocation of vigilantism, and the description of Tillers killer as a vigilante killer are all exactly right. We are all sinners, but it is painfully obvious that Dr. George Tiller acted in wanton disregard for the sanctity of life. Killing him did not violate the principle of innocence. Moreover, he gave no evidence of stopping. As a result, perhaps something like the principle of necessity can be satisfied. But it is certainly obvious that his killer was acting as the law unto himself. He arrogated to himself the roles of jury, judge, and executioner. He violated the principle of legitimate authority.
That strikes me as far too close to justification, as others would argue that unjust laws shouldnt stop us. With their redesigned site, the First Things blog now allows comments, and the first commenter on Renos thread pressed him to go further, asking how Renos argument would apply to Bonhoeffer or the Nazi resistance. Good question.
(Excerpt) Read more at commonwealmagazine.org ...
I think RR Reno is right, actually; all of the other conditions are satisfied, except that it should have been a legitimate authority that did it. And then we come up against that famous question: what happens when the laws and/or the authorities are unjust or wrong?
Theoretically, we should change the laws. But what about a situation where all legitimate and non-violent attempts to change those laws are stymied by the authorities or even by the evil person himself?
Most would agree that when man's law directly contradicts God's law, God's directives must prevail. For example, thousands of Christians were martyred because they refused to worship the Roman emperor. It is almost universally accepted that these people did the right thing; in fact, many have been canonized as saints.
Other Christians have been praised for refusing to take the lives of others, or their property, or spread anti-Christian propaganda, etc. as mandated by law.
But what about stopping a serial killer who has taken more than 60,000 lives? How do you factor in the 15-20 babies who will not be killed today by this monster -- and the same number every day now on?
Where do you draw the line between Biblically justified and unjustified under these circumstances?
1. The increased pressure (i.e., persecution) of nonviolent pro-life associations -- this killing has and will increase the oversight of pro-life groups ad anti-prolife measures because it is so easy for abortion proponents to label every member of the pro-life community nutjob-extremists!
2. The man who killed Tiller has now deprived God of the opportunity to turn Tiller around and use him for the cause. Two contrary examples where God worked his miracles would be the conversion of Dr. Bernard Nathanson to the pro-life side. Nathanson was a New York abortionist and founder of the predecessor organization of NARAL. Second example -- Norma Jean McCorvey (Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade). If God can convert these two, and St. Paul, who ordered and oversaw the martyrdom of St. Stephen, he can certainly turn a two-bit abortion doctor given the right circumstances. Now, we will never know.
3. You have deprive a man of the opportunity to repent and amend his life (not that he would, but he could.
In sum, Tiller may be gone, but at what cost?
This incident DOES “step it up a notch”...
Mayhap the pols and the docs will think twice about thwarting the political and legal means to stop their homicide?
I would go with the good ol’ Ten Commandments... thou shalt not kill
Exactly, Roeder deprived Tiller of the opportunity to repent for a lifetime of evil crimes against humanity.
I think the article has it right, non-violence/self defense is the only way. Otherise the other side wins
Exactly.I dont remember the people voting to legalize abortion on demand.Yet we are supposed to uphold laws passed by activist judges?KMA ruling class.
Suppose that Roeder had been entirely stable, lucid, sane and sober, and had been directed by a "voice" to slay Tiller. In your estimation, would that "voice" have been more likely that of God, or the devil....?
My personal suspicion would be the latter...
That is a very good question.
I would say violence would most definitely be justified against the Nazi’s in self defense.
IRC Pro-Life folks have served jail time and been hit with large fines from trying the “talk & non-violence” route. States have tried to pass laws limiting abortion, only to have them overturned by murderous judges.
If talk, protest and legislation will not stop the killing of babies, just how to you propose it be done?
They are babies and their killing must be stopped. When that killing is compounded by being mass killings and that for profit, there is an even greater imperative to stop it.
How would you do this?
Would you include German citizens in that justification? German citizens who were not targeted by the Nazis?
I was mainly thinking of American laws that give a homeowner right to shoot if his/her person is in danger or they are in their house and theatened by an intruder
So, no German citizen would have been justified in fighting the Nazi regime then?
Laws were passed, ignored, broken, and enforcement officials (ks AG) covered it up.
Another law to require enforcement of the first law was passed, and vetoed by a governor on the take.
Tiller was finally taken to court, and the prosecution bungled it, Tiller got off without penalty, and couldn’t be tried for the same offense again.
There is a continuum where people will act outside of the law when they see the law to be inadequate to stop an injustice. Some will act sooner, some at a time when the thwarting of the law becomes more egregious. Roeder was one that acted earlier.
I would go with the good ol Ten Commandments... thou shalt not kill
The actual commandment is “murder” , killing is allowed ... most bibles however have the erroneous translation.
And that my friend is the real issue and has the liberals running scared. Their real corruption (i.e. rigged system) has been exposed and they darn well know it. So they will play pin the tail on the donkey and target the pro-life organizations (or even Bill O'Reilly) as being responsible.
Meanwhile no coverage of the murder of the soldier killed by a home-grown Muslim terrorist on American soil. Doesn't fit their agenda I suppose.
A Jewish friend told me the commandment is "Thou Shalt Not Shed Innocent Blood".
Judas referred to it when he betrayed Christ.
How many young lives will be spared the good Dr. Tiller’s crematorium?
What’s the difference between bashing the kids skull in the minute he lands in Dr. Tiller’s arms, and bashing the kids skull in while inside the womb?
Life’s not an inalienable right if your mom is in a position to alienate it.
“Thou shalt not COMMIT MURDER.”
Killing can be necessary; murder is NEVER needful.
Should they be killed too?
Late term abortions which was Tiller’s specialty?
Perhaps they should be.
That is the best way to put it... and surely a baby’s is the most innocent blood of all.
Theoretically, we should change the laws. But what about a situation where all legitimate and non-violent attempts to change those laws are stymied by the paid-off, corrupt authorities or even by the evil person himself?
The women procuring abortions should at very least be subject to a very massive fine.
There has to be such a deterrent in place for abortions to be stopped.
A million moms a year choose to kill baby daughters and baby sons by abortion.
illegal, but not necessarily unjust.
Very well could be ,, I don’t know anyone that is fluent in Aramaic , however the gist of both the translation your Jewish friend provided and mine is close enough.
Maybe so, but God always warns before punishment. God sent Dr. Alveda King to talk some sense into George Tiller. Did no good. George Tiller was in church the day he died. He had plenty of opportunity to rethink his crimes against humanity, but he must not have thought them so evil to continue his business and give his apostate church the blood money for years and years.
He even baptized the babies he killed and had the parents posing for one last picture with the corpse.
Jesus would slap the living shit out of this guy.
I think he'd speak and cast the demons out.
The law also provides for the defense of an innocent third party. Would shooting Tiller "in flagrante delicto" suffice?
That's the dog that doesn't hunt. Tiller already flew in docs who operated in his absence. It's already been reported that business will go on at the clinic with these same docs just getting more hours. Roeder didn't save any lives, he just took one.
Tillers family said Tuesday there are no immediate plans to reopen the clinic, one of the few in the country to perform late-term abortions.
The familys hope is that the valuable work of Dr. Tiller will be able to continue, but there have been no final decisions made about the long-term plans for the medical practice, said a statement released by Tillers attorneys, Dan Monnat and Lee Thompson, on behalf of Jeanne Tiller and the Tiller family.
No patients are being scheduled at this time, according to the statement. The Tiller familys focus, of course, is to determine what is in the best interests of the employees and the patients.
Late term are babies that would live outside the womb. Why did these monsters wait until so late?
Late term abortion is no doubt murder.
You should read Beethoven’s biography sometime - and contrast his miserable life with his magnificent music.
I do not agree that the women procuring these abominations should be killed, although I’m not beyond wondering if sterilization is warranted - especially for repeat customers.
What Tiller was doing was illegal under Kansas law, and yet the Kansas authorities were bribed by Tiller and for the price of 30 pieces of silver, looked the other way while Tiller practiced his butchery on innocent children.
If the legitimate authority had done its job, Tiller would be alive (and rotting in prison) today.
My friend, YHWH bless him, is a messianic Jewish scholar, well versed in the old texts.
An unwanted child, raised without love in an orphanage or worse, endures a life of addiction and hate and sin and crime and pain.
As a result, the child's soul is forfeit. A sinner most foul.
The child grows and sins, as a result of the sad circumstances. And is damned.
Which would you prefer?
What are you doing on FR?
He won’t comprehend why you are shocked by that completely specious analogy. The unregenerate mind cannot grasp the things of God.
Good point. Thank you for your insights, dear brother in Christ!
Women who choose to have abortions have taken out a contract to have their babies murdered. They have essentially hired a hit man to kill their babies.
Now if anyone contracts to murder another human being, that person is considered complicate in the crime of murder and is just as guilty of it as the murderer.
The penalty for murder should be leveled at everyone involved who takes deliberate action to kill another human being.
I don’t like murder. However I do believe that things happen for a reason. Tiller knew the risks as he had been shot before. I am not sad he is gone but I wish it had been a natural death.
I'd have been happy with a lightning bolt from the sky. Wouldn't that have freaked them out?
Lmao! I just hate the bs that goes with his murder, had a lighting bolt hit him in Church then that would have freaked many people out for sure. Would that have been called an act of God? Or nature?
Examining only the act committed by Tiller the baby killer's killer (and not the very negative impact it will have on the pro-life movement), the above is what I find bothersome. But then I ask, as the author mentions and I quote below, what if Tiller had been Hitler or any one of the many known mass murderers....wait he was.
"That strikes me as far too close to justification, as others would argue that unjust laws shouldnt stop us. With their redesigned site, the First Things blog now allows comments, and the first commenter on Renos thread pressed him to go further, asking how Renos argument would apply to Bonhoeffer or the Nazi resistance. Good question."