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?
That is a very good question.
Should they be killed too?
illegal, but not necessarily unjust.
Jesus would slap the living shit out of this guy.
The law also provides for the defense of an innocent third party. Would shooting Tiller "in flagrante delicto" suffice?
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."
How many pro-lifers here with these magnanimous views on Tiller's redemption are Catholic?
I just want to know exactly where I got off this bus?
btw...several freepers I know personally and who are Catholic have freepmailed me and told me they agree with me. They have no worry about Tiller's soul and nor is all life equally “precious”.
I don't know many serious southern SBC, COC, Pentecost or AOG that think like what I'm seeing there.
not trying to pick a fight btw....the goals are the same but i am definitely not movement pro-life...which has been somethignof a revelation to me frankly
this is just like the left calling every long gun an 'assault rifle.'
The logical fallacy being that death was the only way to stop Mr. Tiller’s abortion activities.
I’ve been making this exact same argument, based on just war theory, for the past several days! Very cool to see a well-respected scholar and expert confirms my analysis!