I already had last week’s Sunday Sermon prepared when I got the news out of Wichita, so I went ahead and posted what I had. But this still seems like a timely opportunity to discuss the events of last Sunday.
Pro-lifers were quick to condemn the murder of Dr. George Tiller, reportedly one of only 3 doctors in America who perform late-term abortions. They were almost as quick to claim that he’d performed 60,000 abortions in his life (where did they get that number from?), and that he was earning a million dollars a year in his practice, and make lots of other claims designed to portray him in a negative light.
I understand the posthumous smear campaign, and I understand the thinly veiled satisfaction oozed by many pro-lifers (some big names, some semi-anonymous forum posters) at the news of his death. What I don’t quite understand is the condemnation of his murderer — what’s with that?
As far as I can tell, Tiller’s murderer merely embraced the mainstream pro-life message and took it seriously. If O’Reilly’s sobriquet “Tiller the baby killer” was even remotely accurate, and Tiller really was in the business of snuffing out thousands of innocent human lives, the question isn’t whether a pro-lifer can justify killing him — it’s how a pro-lifer could possibly justify NOT killing him.
Here’s a guy who’s the point man for the biggest holocaust of modern times, whose name and location are known, and who lives in a country where you can buy a gun at Wal-Mart. If you really believe fetuses are babies with full human identity and full human rights, and if you believe their rights supercede a woman’s right to control her own body (including her womb), how can you stand idly by while more human beings are killed?
And it’s not just Tiller, either. What about the women who hire him? If the “babies” they paid him to kill are really human beings with full human rights (and the extra right, not shared by any other humans, to occupy another human being’s body without their consent), then they’re committing first-degree murder just as surely as they would be if they hired a hit man to kill somebody.
When prosecutors are dealing with a “hit man” case, they sometimes offer the hit man a deal if he testifies against the real murderer — the one who hired him. They never offer the hirer a deal for testifying against the triggerman he hired. And yet there are lots of pro-lifers who don’t think women who procure abortions should be charged with murder — they say the focus should be on the doctors who perform the procedure, with the women walking away scot-free.
Does this make any sense at all? Well, yes, under one condition. If you don’t really believe abortion is murder, that fetuses are really human beings, and you’re just saying those things because they make good sound bites and bumperstickers, then it makes perfect sense to take that view.
And it makes equally good sense (if you want to call it that) for a pro-lifer to condemn someone who treats abortionists like they really are killing babies en masse, and kills one to save numerous unborn lives.
But if a pro-lifer really believes the pro-life rhetoric, it makes no sense at all.
(cartoon about punching Bill O’Reilly via MythTickle)