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Why Is Killing Abortionists Wrong?
Reason ^ | June 1, 2009 | Jacob Sullum

Posted on 06/09/2009 3:38:48 PM PDT by lasereye

Leading pro-life activists are denouncing the murder of Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller, but I'm not sure I understand why.

"It is immoral and it is unchristian," says the Rev. Rob Schenck of the National Clergy Council. Calling the killing "a cowardly act," Operation Rescue President Troy Newman says his group "has worked tirelessly on peaceful, nonviolent measures to bring [Tiller] to justice through the legal system, the legislative system....We are pro-life, and this act was antithetical to what we believe."

Yet if you honestly believe abortion is the murder of helpless children, it's hard to see why using deadly force against those who carry it out is immoral, especially since the government refuses to act.

Nor is it sufficient to note that killing Tiller was against the law. When the law blesses the murder of babies, it is hardly worthy of respect, any more than laws blessing the enslavement of Africans or the gassing of Jews were, and violent resistance against such enactments surely is justified in principle.

Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry implicitly condemns Tiller's murder, saying, "We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God." Yet Terry continues to call Tiller a "mass murderer" and insists "the pro-life movement must not be browbeaten by Obama or the child-killers into surrendering our best rhetoric, actions and images," adding, "We hold absolutely no responsibility for [Tiller's] death."

How is it possible to believe that fetuses are people with a right to life yet also believe that using deadly force to defend that right is wrong?

(Excerpt) Read more at reason.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: abortion; abortionists; prolife; tiller; trollbait
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1 posted on 06/09/2009 3:38:48 PM PDT by lasereye
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To: lasereye

“Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”.

In this life Caesar has control of law, justice and punishment. God will recompense.


2 posted on 06/09/2009 3:43:53 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: Drango

While I shed no tears for the abortionist who met a just end, and would relish the opportunity to be a juror at the shooter’s trial, you are correct. There are specific, Scriptural admonitions about obedience to the laws of man.


3 posted on 06/09/2009 3:45:57 PM PDT by Gurn (Remember Mountain Meadows.)
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To: lasereye

Let’s see...
Even when we believe someone has committed a capital offense we guarantee them a fair trial. To kill someone because of your own beliefs is not justice...
No trial
No jury
No defense

He is trying to spin up an argument by taking the position that if you believe abortion is murder then killing the doctor is justified. Then when he gets people to agree to that concept he will cast all anti-abortionists as the kind of lunatics who advocate murder in place of justice. Beware the libertarian pot smoker who tries to make moral equivalences.


4 posted on 06/09/2009 3:46:10 PM PDT by BlueNgold (... Feed the tree!)
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To: lasereye

Killing abortionists is not wrong, it’s illegal.


5 posted on 06/09/2009 3:48:31 PM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham ("Baldrick, to you the Renaissance was just something that happened to other people, wasn't it?")
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To: lasereye
Yet if you honestly believe abortion is the murder of helpless children, it's hard to see why using deadly force against those who carry it out is immoral, especially since the government refuses to act.

Mr. Sullum needs to do some research.

The sole authority to execute lies with the state. See Romans 13:1-5.

If the state neglects in carrying out it's responsibility that does not necessarily give the individual permission to act. God will judge the state, and if you act outside your authority God will judge you too.

6 posted on 06/09/2009 3:48:41 PM PDT by MAexile (Bats left, votes right)
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To: Drango

Agreed, There is nothing in the new testament to support this killing is OK argument.


7 posted on 06/09/2009 3:49:34 PM PDT by omega4179 (America is a Christian Nation)
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To: lasereye

Why isn’t the author out hunting down abortionists?


8 posted on 06/09/2009 3:50:57 PM PDT by wtc911 ("How you gonna get back down that hill?")
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To: wtc911

Abortion is murder.


9 posted on 06/09/2009 3:55:53 PM PDT by myknowledge (F-22 Raptor: World's Largest Distributor of Sukhoi parts!)
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To: lasereye

If it’s wrong to kill an abortionist, could there at least be equal time of condemnation and sympathy for each of the babies killed by these abortionists?

Serious, I’m sure some of those babies felt pain, and I’m sure of them would have grown to be nice boys and girls if you got to know them.


10 posted on 06/09/2009 3:56:28 PM PDT by MNDude
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To: lasereye
enslavement of Africans or the gassing of Jews

People who think these two are morally equivalent are complete schmucks.

ML/NJ

11 posted on 06/09/2009 3:56:48 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: lasereye
Yet if you honestly believe abortion is the murder of helpless children, it's hard to see why using deadly force against those who carry it out is immoral, especially since the government refuses to act.

Nor is it sufficient to note that killing Tiller was against the law. When the law blesses the murder of babies, it is hardly worthy of respect, any more than laws blessing the enslavement of Africans or the gassing of Jews were, and violent resistance against such enactments surely is justified in principle.

I read and understand what was written. But who decides? You, me, McGee? See where this line of reasoning leads - to utter anarchy.

Nope, I don't buy it, and I don't agree. Did Tiller "get what was coming to him?" That's for the Almighty to decide, not any of us - certainly not outside the framework of a carefully structured (if imperfect) judicial system.

12 posted on 06/09/2009 3:57:05 PM PDT by Ancesthntr (Tyrant: "Spartans, lay down your weapons." Free man: "Persian, come and get them!")
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To: lasereye

Jacob, God has told us ‘Thou shalt not murder.’ God didn’t write ‘Thou shalt not kill’, He wrote specifically ‘murder’.


13 posted on 06/09/2009 3:58:44 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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For those in Rio Linda, if a child partially out of the womb about to be murdered by Tiller had fired a pistol and blown the monster away, it would have passed through court as ‘self-defense’, not murdering a murderer.


14 posted on 06/09/2009 4:00:01 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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Once that door opens (assassination) it's hard to close. The place to defeat abortion is in the courts and legislature, not by murdering people.
15 posted on 06/09/2009 4:02:33 PM PDT by dellbabe68
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To: lasereye

The Catholic Church and western civilizations have long held the concept of justifiable homicide. For the protection of one’s own or another’s life, limb, chastity, or valuables of some moment, it is agreed on all sides that it is lawful for anyone to repel violence with violence. If one cannot, within the legal framework, prevent the murder of the unborn killing an abortionist may be justified. While it is against man’s laws, it is probably not against God’s law.


16 posted on 06/09/2009 4:06:54 PM PDT by Natural Law
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To: Drango
In this life Caesar has control of law, justice and punishment

Only if God allows it.

17 posted on 06/09/2009 4:07:43 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (Overproduction, one of the top five worries for the American farmer.)
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To: wtc911

“Why isn’t the author out hunting down abortionists?”

I think he’s busy trying to frame pro-lifers as hypocrites.

I think he makes valid points, but he misses the constraints God puts on us regarding submitting to lawful authorities.

Still, if your neighbor was routinely sucking out 2 year old’s brains, would you feel like a criminal if you intervened?

Granted, our current laws would absolve you. Our current laws don’t absolve you if you intervene to protect someone of eight months’ gestation. Thus the dilemma.


18 posted on 06/09/2009 4:08:16 PM PDT by Marie2 (The second mouse gets the cheese.)
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To: Mr Ramsbotham
Calling the killing “a cowardly act,”

Pulling that trigger is definitely not cowardly, it's hard to pull that trigger.

19 posted on 06/09/2009 4:08:20 PM PDT by Recon Dad (Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum - MARSOC DAD)
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To: dellbabe68

“The place to defeat abortion is in the courts and legislature, not by murdering people.”

And yet, our ability to effect lawful change has been impeded by unlawful and illegal decisions. As in, bubble zones, and legitimate laws restricting abortions struck down over nonsense.


20 posted on 06/09/2009 4:09:50 PM PDT by Marie2 (The second mouse gets the cheese.)
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To: lasereye

Sure. Let’s all just kill anyone we think deserves it. Good idea. This guy is an idiot.


21 posted on 06/09/2009 4:10:53 PM PDT by Huck ("He that lives on hope will die fasting"- Ben Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac)
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To: lasereye

The article makes excellent points.


22 posted on 06/09/2009 4:11:14 PM PDT by Nuc1 (NUC1 Sub pusher SSN 668 (Liberals Aren't Patriots))
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To: Huck
Yes, if we are going to kill abortion doctors, the next logical step would be kill doctors who prescribe birth control pills and pharmacists that sell Plan B.
23 posted on 06/09/2009 4:16:46 PM PDT by trumandogz (The Democrats are driving us to Socialism at 100 MPH -The GOP is driving us to Socialism at 97.5 MPH)
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To: Ancesthntr
I read and understand what was written. But who decides? You, me, McGee? See where this line of reasoning leads - to utter anarchy.

In the absence of justice we will driven to this point. The reason the left attacked our justice system is to pit us at each others throats. Absent correction they will be successful. At the present I see no correction.

24 posted on 06/09/2009 4:17:03 PM PDT by Nuc1 (NUC1 Sub pusher SSN 668 (Liberals Aren't Patriots))
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To: lasereye
Leading pro-life activists are denouncing the murder

*******************

The reason is in the first sentence of the article.

25 posted on 06/09/2009 4:18:35 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Drango
Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s

So if the government where to legalize the killing of Christians then Christians should just render unto Caesar and willingly be murdered.

26 posted on 06/09/2009 4:20:34 PM PDT by Ajnin
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To: Marie2

"When policemen { judges, governors, attorney generals, politicians, etc } break the law, there isn't any law. Just a fight for survival."

Sometime you can find great truths in below average movies.

27 posted on 06/09/2009 4:22:43 PM PDT by labette ( Humble student of Thinkology)
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To: lasereye
Yet if you honestly believe abortion is the murder of helpless children, it's hard to see why using deadly force against those who carry it out is immoral, especially since the government refuses to act.

The NARAL'ers, NOW Nags, and pro-abortion advocates might simply consider Doctor (and I use that term loosely) Tiller's murder a very late term abortion..something on the order of the 204th trimester.

28 posted on 06/09/2009 4:25:09 PM PDT by RoadKingSE (How do you know that the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a muzzle flash ?)
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To: lasereye
The state has the power of the sword, and it is not for an individual to play God. Abortion is not new. Christians have had to endure worse things than this, and it did it without killing others. We are told not to repay evil with evil, for vengeance is mine says the Lord. The type of action that you are talking about is closer to Islam than Christianity. Let's call a holy war on all sinners and kill them. Why stop with abortionist?
29 posted on 06/09/2009 4:28:18 PM PDT by Nosterrex
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To: lasereye
In a nation where laws have been perveted. And justice has been twisted. And right and wrong has no clear meaning.....

Vigilantism will prevail.

I'm only surprised abortionists aren't murdered every day,

30 posted on 06/09/2009 4:28:28 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (I am Legend)
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To: Natural Law

Well said.Thank you.


31 posted on 06/09/2009 4:31:52 PM PDT by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life is tough.It's even tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: trumandogz

“”Yes, if we are going to kill abortion doctors, the next logical step would be kill doctors who prescribe birth control pills and pharmacists that sell Plan B. “”

That’s like ending a war by killing police officers....


32 posted on 06/09/2009 4:31:58 PM PDT by Voter62vb
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To: Balding_Eagle
Only if God allows it.

Well, so far he has. Right?

33 posted on 06/09/2009 4:32:12 PM PDT by Gurn (Remember Mountain Meadows.)
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To: omega4179
There is nothing in the New Testament that requires one passively to accept the wholesale slaughter of the little ones, just because the state does.

As martyred Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer might have said as he joined a conspiracy to assassinate Hitler,"Sometimes you have to rise above principle and do the right thing."

34 posted on 06/09/2009 4:35:56 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: hinckley buzzard

But the problem is is that the vessel of life freely walks in and submits that precious child to murder.


35 posted on 06/09/2009 4:39:00 PM PDT by Voter62vb
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To: lasereye

It’s probably all in the timing.


36 posted on 06/09/2009 4:39:33 PM PDT by Mikey_1962 (Obama: The Affirmative Action President)
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To: Recon Dad

Take it from an old trigger puller. Right, Dad?


37 posted on 06/09/2009 4:41:45 PM PDT by Misterioso (You've wondered where is the Twilight Zone? You're in it.)
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To: Recon Dad
You are correct. The attribution of cowardice for an act of decisiveness is the last refuge of the self-defeated.

One can endorse the act or condemn it, it really doesn't matter-- but it was in no way cowardly, given that the man was certain to be known and recognized and apprehended. He may well have anticipated the death penalty and yet submitted quietly. That is not the action of a coward.

"Give me liberty or give me death."

"I regret that I have but one life to give for my country."

Cowards?

38 posted on 06/09/2009 4:43:14 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Nosterrex
Let's call a holy war on all sinners and kill them. Why stop with abortionist?

because nobody but drooling baby killers and gibbering idiots fall for that straw man argument.

39 posted on 06/09/2009 4:48:42 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: lasereye
How is it possible to believe that fetuses are people with a right to life yet also believe that using deadly force to defend that right is wrong?

Because vigilantism is against US Law and Biblical law as well.

40 posted on 06/09/2009 4:50:27 PM PDT by Tamar1973 (Riding the Korean Wave, one Bae Yong Joon drama at a time!)
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To: lasereye
Never heard of Jacob Sullum.

But if he's NOT actually working for Janet Napolitano in an effort to make her seem correct, then he should keep an eye out for her in his rear view mirror.

There may be some misguided, non-Christian folk who think it logical or morally acceptable to commit vigilante murder against a baby killer. But certainly no studied Christian should fall prey to that false doctrine.

By the author's logic, anyone against any of the wars we're currently fighting has the moral authority to kill Army recruiters in Little Rock, Ark. as well.

And if individual Christians are expected to personally be God's enforcers of His law - even against those who might not be believers - then why should we be expected to kill only the contract killer doctors involved? Why not kill the mothers who ordered the hit on their own kids in the first place? Or the SC justices/legislators/etc. that created and encourage the phony "right" to abortion?

Should we Christians all be starting to gather stones to hurl at the homos and adulterers in general. I guess I'd best limber up, a thorough stoning sometimes takes a while and there are literally millions of Americans who deserve it by God's standard. And I'd best get fitted for a helmet myself.

Spreading knowledge and creating a legal environment that prevents the killing of innocents is within our earthly control - and not that far from being accomplished as recent polls indicate. But this act was not justice, as some seem to imply here. It was vengeance and ...

Vengeance belongs to the Lord.

41 posted on 06/09/2009 4:51:56 PM PDT by BuddhaBrown (Path to enlightenment: Four right turns, then go straight until you see the Light!)
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To: labette

“”When policemen { judges, governors, attorney generals, politicians, etc } break the law, there isn’t any law. Just a fight for survival.””

Our leaders need to remember this. When they give us little to no avenue to make peaceful change, we are left with giving up or violent change. That’s one of the great things about the political process. We can vote.

But when our votes are thrown out because they are judged “illegal,” even though they are obviously not (there is nothing illegal about requiring parental consent for any medical procedure) they are goading the ox.


42 posted on 06/09/2009 4:55:15 PM PDT by Marie2 (The second mouse gets the cheese.)
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To: lasereye
What people need to remember is that every single law in this land, from the Constitution to the most minor municipal statute, is worthless without men willing to enforce it. For regular laws, we have entire government organizations willing to enforce the law, but what do we have to enforce the the Constitution or any other law when the government itself disobeys or ignores them? The Founders intended for the ultimate power to rest with the people, and when the government failed to do its job or when it attempted to usurp power, the people were the ultimate enforcers. So, the argument that the common man, in this country, should cede all of his moral authority to the state is decidedly incorrect.

In the old days in this country, someone like Tiller would have ended up swinging from a tree in short order if the authorities failed to stop him. However, back then, the authorities more closely reflected their constituencies. Now, they do not. The common American cannot count on the authorities, even the local ones, to reflect any community values at all. Dictates come down from D.C., and a national parties dictate to local politicians what values they will uphold. Our system is broken.

Tiller, a long time ago, should have been afraid to continue his barbaric practice anywhere for fear of the wrath of the local populace. Instead, Americans have abdicated their right and responsibility to defend themselves to government, and now use the fact that government doesn't support them as an excuse not to act. If you are waiting for the government to step in and defend what is right and do what is right, you will be waiting for eternity.
43 posted on 06/09/2009 4:59:25 PM PDT by fr_freak
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To: Gurn
Well, so far he has. Right?

It can be argued that in Tillers case God took charge of punishment away from Ceasar.

44 posted on 06/09/2009 4:59:34 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (Overproduction, one of the top five worries for the American farmer.)
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To: Drango
“Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”.

In this life Caesar has control of law, justice and punishment. God will recompense.

Not all Caesar acts are moral, ethical, just. The degree they are not is that degree to which they must be resisted. Rosa Parks knew this. After the deaths of thousands, perhaps 10's of thousands, of very nearly born humans it is clear that 'civil' civil disobedience wasn't working. Was the killer's name Roeder? If nothing else, Roeder moved the conversation to the front burner.

45 posted on 06/09/2009 5:16:08 PM PDT by RobinOfKingston (Democrats, the party of evil. Republicans, the party of stupid.)
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To: Marie2
By its opinion in Roe v. Wade-- perhaps the most outrageous and unjustified usurpation of legislative power ever undertaken by the juducial branch in this country--SCOTUS imperiously and forever denied the people of the right to peacefully debate and address the vital issue of abortion within their duly elected legislatures. SCOTUS haughtily thought that would end the matter. It did not. It never will.

As long as the abomination of Roe v. Wade stands, the wound inflicted by SCOTUS will never heal and there will be supperations of violence from time to time. It doesn't take a prophet to see that.

46 posted on 06/09/2009 5:17:01 PM PDT by behzinlea
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To: hinckley buzzard
Nosterrex: "Let's call a holy war on all sinners and kill them. Why stop with abortionist?"

hinckley buzzard: "because nobody but drooling baby killers and gibbering idiots fall for that straw man argument."

Where is the "straw man" of which you speak?

All I see from Nosterrex is a rhetorical question based on logical extension of a misguided vengeance. I sometimes drool and I might be a gibbering idiot but I can't seem to find the straw, man.

47 posted on 06/09/2009 5:18:44 PM PDT by BuddhaBrown (Path to enlightenment: Four right turns, then go straight until you see the Light!)
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To: behzinlea
"...SCOTUS imperiously and forever denied the people of the right to peacefully debate and address the vital issue of abortion within their duly elected legislatures."

No doubt the Roe decision is infamously immoral. But I think the people of South Dakota, for one example, would disagree with the "forever denied" part of your assertion.

Legislation recognizing that life begins at conception is the route to aborting Roe as the court itself pointed out in '73.

48 posted on 06/09/2009 5:46:47 PM PDT by BuddhaBrown (Path to enlightenment: Four right turns, then go straight until you see the Light!)
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To: lasereye; All
Last week's other vigilante, Abdulhakim Muhammad, after killing one Army recruiter and wounding another:

"U.S. soldiers are killing innocent Muslim men and women. We believe that we have to strike back. We believe in eye for an eye. We don't believe in turning the other cheek...an act, for the sake of God..."

Sound familiar?

49 posted on 06/09/2009 6:01:00 PM PDT by BuddhaBrown (Path to enlightenment: Four right turns, then go straight until you see the Light!)
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To: BuddhaBrown
I would strongly disagree that the people of South Dakota have legislatively overturned Roe v. Wade in that state. They haven't done that by a long shot.

The best hope of any state is that the impact of Roe v. Wade might be mitigated by practical developments such as an increased unwillingness of ANY health care provider to carry on the grisly and sordid business of baby butchery within the borders of that state.

In that sense the murder of George Tiller will likely have a more direct and powerful adverse impact on the provision of late term abortions than any chiseling around the edges of Roe v. Wade by a state legislature.

That is not an endorsement of murder. Tiller's murderer will and should face the due penalty for his crime.

50 posted on 06/09/2009 6:07:03 PM PDT by behzinlea
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