Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Tillerís missing excommunication (LCMS)
Get Religion ^ | 6/8/2009 | Mollie Ziegler

Posted on 06/08/2009 10:08:40 AM PDT by markomalley

Last Sunday, late-term abortion doctor George Tiller was gunned down in the foyer of his Lutheran church, where he served as an usher. As anyone with even a cursory understanding of Lutheranism in America could surmise, that church was a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Of the various Lutheran church bodies in America, the ELCA is the most mainline and has the most supportive position on legalized abortion.

As soon as the terrible news about Tiller’s murder hit the wire, many bloggers and liberal pundits noted that Tiller’s active church membership was at odds with the stereotype of how abortion and religion are related. It didn’t take long for that same meme to make it to the mainstream media stories.

What none of these stories have explained is that Tiller had previously been excommunicated by a Lutheran congregation on account of his lack of repentance about and refusal to stop his occupation. That Lutheran congregation was a member of my church body, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Excommunication doesn’t happen terribly frequently in this day and age but it’s not unheard of. I don’t know any of the specifics about his past congregation or what led to the discipline and anticipated learning more about it when it was covered by the mainstream media. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened.

When the news broke, I had many people who know that I’m Lutheran ask how it was possible that his church had not disciplined him or otherwise encouraged him to stop performing abortions. I had hoped that there would be stories exploring Tiller’s religious beliefs and church membership and that the stories would explain the difference between the ELCA and the LCMS. There is obviously quite a difference between a church body that would discipline a practicing abortion doctor and one that would welcome him in membership.

While we did get some stories about his religious views, none of them seemed to have any clue about his religious history. Note, for instance, this piece from the Salt Lake Tribune that was written Religion News Service’s Lindsay Perna and Tiffany Stanley:

Dr. George Tiller’s murder last Sunday morning in the lobby of his Lutheran church counters the secular image of a late-term abortion provider, pinning him more as a churchgoing “martyr” than a godless murderer.

Shot and killed while passing out bulletins in the lobby of his Wichita, Kan., church as his wife sat in the choir, Tiller is already challenging popular perceptions of both abortion providers and the abortion-rights movement.

“It shows a dimension of the movement that a lot of people don’t know about,” said the Rev. Carlton Veazey, president of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. “This man was castigated for what he did — but he was a faithful member of the Lutheran church and that gives a different view of him and his work.”

Veazey sees the face of Tiller as more of “a martyr in the same sense that Dr. [Martin Luther] King was.”

The story goes on to quote various people about how Tiller’s church membership changes the dynamics of the abortion debate. How can they not mention that he was previously excommunicated for his abortion work? It’s such an interesting and significant part of the story! That’s just a huge hole.

Also, the pro-life people who are quoted in the story are of the Randall Terry variety. With the typical pro-choice activists and typical pro-life activists quoted, the story remains in the muck of “bumper sticker” rhetoric. It’s disappointing. (Robin Abcarian’s piece in the Los Angeles Times dealt solely with the Tiller funeral, which means its sympathetic tone is more appropriate. It also took the ‘Tiller busts stereotypes’ approach.)

After Dr. Tiller’s murder, some pundits were confused about how people who see abortion as the unjust killing of babies could also oppose the murder of someone who killed those babies. Here was one such essay written by a fellow libertarian. I saw one letter to the editor written by clergymen in my church body that addressed just that issue:

There is an old saying: Two wrongs don’t make a right. This does not appear in the Bible but it certainly reflects a scriptural idea. This concept, that two wrongs don’t make a right, is certainly true in the case of the murder of Dr. George Tiller.

Dr. Tiller was an infamous abortionist, who was one of the very few in the country who would perform late-term abortions. The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod is strongly pro-life, and condemns the practice of abortion. Dr. Tiller, a former member of a Missouri Synod congregation, was excommunicated by that congregation for his abortion practice. (The congregation he was currently attending is part of another Lutheran body.) We stand by that action. Our sister congregation acted properly in disciplining Dr. Tiller. Such action is always intended to lead a person to see their sins and come to repentance. Excommunication is never intended to bring that person harm.

While we condemn Dr. Tiller’s actions as an abortionist, we just as strongly condemn the actions of the person who took his life. Murder, even of a murderer, is never acceptable. God teaches us in Romans 13 and other places, that the government is in place to enforce justice. We are never to take private vengeance. This is simply not given to private individuals. Murder in any circumstances is a grievous sin. It was our utmost desire that Dr. Tiller come to repentance, and perhaps in time he may have. We do not know. Only God sees all ends. Sadly, because of this heinous act of violence, Dr. Tiller no longer has that opportunity.

I can’t help but think that some enterprising reporter should look at how the two Lutheran church bodies handled Dr. Tiller’s occupation differently. It’s disappointing to read that RNS story in light of this rather dramatic back story.



TOPICS: Current Events; Mainline Protestant; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: abortion; elca; elcachurchofmolech; fauxchristians; lcms; lutheran; mollieziegler; moralabsolutes; prolife; religiousleft; tiller; tller; veazey
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 141-159 next last
That's a very interesting piece of information that adds a whole lot.
1 posted on 06/08/2009 10:08:41 AM PDT by markomalley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: markomalley

“Also, the pro-life people who are quoted in the story are of the Randall Terry variety. “

You mean the ones who do more than put a bumper sticker on their car?


2 posted on 06/08/2009 10:11:50 AM PDT by icwhatudo (For every clinic bombed or burned, 17 to 18 churches are burned down. MSM? MSM?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: markomalley; muawiyah; ResponseAbility; JoeProBono; P-Marlowe; wagglebee; xzins; betty boop; ...

This article has a very, very interesting update.


3 posted on 06/08/2009 10:11:51 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: markomalley

Thanks for the ping!


4 posted on 06/08/2009 10:16:16 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Charles Henrickson

Over here!

Thought an ELCA apostate would appreciate this!


5 posted on 06/08/2009 10:16:53 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (AGWT is very robust with respect to data. All observations confirm it at the 100% confidence level.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: markomalley

This “missing” information was pointed out quite frequently here at FR on that Sunday.

I guess Mollie Ziegler doesn’t Freep?


6 posted on 06/08/2009 10:22:43 AM PDT by Jeffrey_D.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jeffrey_D.
This “missing” information was pointed out quite frequently here at FR on that Sunday.

I must have missed that thread myself.

7 posted on 06/08/2009 10:26:44 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: markomalley

Thanks for the ping!


8 posted on 06/08/2009 10:31:53 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: markomalley; Alamo-Girl; muawiyah; P-Marlowe; wagglebee; xzins; metmom
It was our utmost desire that Dr. Tiller come to repentance, and perhaps in time he may have. We do not know. Only God sees all ends. Sadly, because of this heinous act of violence, Dr. Tiller no longer has that opportunity.

Pity poor Dr. Tiller's fate here — so cruelly cheated out of an opportunity to repent by Mr. Roeder.

Sigh....

Thanks ever so much, markomalley, for the ping to this very interesting back story! I expect we won't be hearing much more about it, thanks to media censorship.

9 posted on 06/08/2009 10:33:41 AM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. ¬ó Mark Steyn)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: betty boop
Seems to me that it's the continuing "M.O." of the left - control the information, control the people. Tiller's rejection by the traditional Lutheran church does not service their purpose, so they don't mention it.
10 posted on 06/08/2009 10:39:55 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: betty boop

You said it all.


11 posted on 06/08/2009 10:49:34 AM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Alamo-Girl; markomalley

****Seems to me that it’s the continuing “M.O.” of the left - control the information, control the people. Tiller’s rejection by the traditional Lutheran church does not service their purpose, so they don’t mention it.****

I agree. The left media always excludes info that does not support their agenda.


12 posted on 06/08/2009 11:02:19 AM PDT by ResponseAbility (Government tends to never fix the problems it creates in the first place)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: betty boop
Pity poor Dr. Tiller's fate here — so cruelly cheated out of an opportunity to repent by Mr. Roeder.

He was not cheated out of an opportunity to repent. That opportunity had been available to him his entire life. Mussolini, Ceausescu, and Saddam Hussein were also "cheated" out of further opportunities to repent. It appears to be an occupational hazard for murderers.

13 posted on 06/08/2009 11:04:18 AM PDT by SampleMan (Socialism enslaves you & kills your soul.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: ResponseAbility
Thank you for your encouragement, dear ResponseAbility!
14 posted on 06/08/2009 11:04:20 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Jeffrey_D.; Charles Henrickson

No, she doesn’t but that still doesn’t deny the fact that she is...

Not Guilty!

Her husband writes for a weekly in DC. Nation? World? Something like that.


15 posted on 06/08/2009 11:15:00 AM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (FreepMail me if you want on the Bourbon ping list!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: markomalley
God teaches us in Romans 13 and other places, that the government is in place to enforce justice.

Which did not happen, as George Tiller had the best government money could buy.

So (karmic) judgment was exercised in the House of the Lord.

16 posted on 06/08/2009 11:52:01 AM PDT by pray4liberty (http://www.foundersvalues.com/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: aberaussie; Aeronaut; aliquando; AlternateViewpoint; AnalogReigns; Archie Bunker on steroids; ...


Lutheran Ping!

Glory to the Holy Trinity!

17 posted on 06/08/2009 11:55:13 AM PDT by lightman (Adjutorium nostrum (+) in nomine Domini.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SampleMan; Alamo-Girl; markomalley; muawiyah; P-Marlowe; wagglebee; xzins; metmom; HarleyD; ...
Mussolini, Ceausescu, and Saddam Hussein were also "cheated" out of further opportunities to repent. It appears to be an occupational hazard for murderers.

Indeed it does, and may I say justly so? While Christian society is waiting for such monsters to repent, people are dying in droves.

I do so much wish that certain "Christian moral thinkers" would take this fact of reality into consideration when they explain to us what the Bible "requires."

Thanks for administering this "dose of reality," SampleMan!

18 posted on 06/08/2009 12:02:10 PM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. ¬ó Mark Steyn)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: markomalley
Dr. Tiller, a former member of a Missouri Synod congregation, was excommunicated by that congregation for his abortion practice.

"The kingdom of heaven was nigh unto you."

19 posted on 06/08/2009 12:03:50 PM PDT by firebrand
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: betty boop

Tiller certainly was denied the opportunity to come to repentance but he was also denied the opportunity to take the lives of more babies.


20 posted on 06/08/2009 12:04:37 PM PDT by Conservativegreatgrandma (I)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 141-159 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson