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May 31, 2009

Comments

Who accused STR of forwarding violence against abortionists???

Violence is justified when defending the innocent against violence. Let's trot out the toddler. If your neighbor is about to murder a toddler, you would be justified in using lethal force to stop him. Isn't that what's happened here?

Therefore, from a moral point of view, gunning down Tiller is appropriate.

Now, that doesn't mean it's the necessary thing to do. Pro-aborts get a horde of propaganda from something like this. Killing Tiller may make it more difficult to stop abortion generally, so more of such murders may occur. But this point is not a moral one but a practical one.

Bad reasoning. First of all Tiller was in church not engaged in an actual abortion at the time. There was no toddler to trot out. If you are going to reason that way you have just described vengence not the immediacy saving an endangered toddler as you described above.

Did you guys see this? Right up the same alley.

http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-general/20090531/US.Tiller.Shooting/

Damien,

Are you suggesting that Tiller's killer would be morally justified if he'd have just waited until Monday when Tiller was on his way to work?

i don't see the difference.

Tiller had shown a long history of murdering innocent babies come Monday morning. Taking out Tiller on Sunday is just as valid as taking him out as he donned gloves for his next murder. Without a Saturday resignantion, it was as obvious as a prediction of the sun coming up that Tiller was going to be butchering on Monday.

i don't see this an act of revenge but as an act of defense for those who can't defend themselves.

"Therefore, one is never justified in using lethal force when other measures are available."

What other measures are available for his Monday appointments?

What is sad is the the media will latch onto this tragic murder of Dr. Tiller and promulgate it as much as possible; while ignoring the thousands of deaths of unborn babies that occurs everyday.

Absolutely. Man, on one hand, its sad in the sense that he was gunned out. Bare fact. With that said, and with absolute respect to his family and kyn.. This is an opportunity for some serious questions. I for one would never endorse nor justify stalking "abortionists"; thats just as wicked as the act of abortion itself. I just cant help but question the situation at hand. Perhaps this is just a disgusting portrait of how jacked up humanity is. I would equate it to a known (and violent) gang member getting gunned down durring service (which I dont doubt has actually happend). It just tragic.


And I say that as humbly as possible and with the upmost respect for those affected by this tragedy.

And yes ryan, I do find it a bit curious that apparently this man was performing 21 week + abortions... not that the progress of the baby really makes any difference, and that of course, this fact, or the fact, of abortion, means absolutely nothing to no one. We should be just as grieved for this man as we are for the children who have passed -- actually, perhaps more so for the children.

"Means absolutely nothing to no one" -- shuold have read, "means absolutely nothing to anyone", or something like that

>> one is never justified in using lethal force when other measures are available.

You’re just basically touting pacifism.
“Other measures” are always available in any dispute.

Would you hold that Claus von Stauffenberg shouldn’t have tried to blow up Hitler? Was he wrong when he stated that "Naturrecht" (natural law) trumped Hitler’s law? Stauffenberg could have pulled out his magic markers and made a protest sign that said “Hitler is Naughty Vote for Me Instead.”

Note: The holocaust killed about 6 million jews. Since 1973, over 45 million legal abortions have been performed in the United States

>> Since there are no imaginable circumstances in which lethal force is the only means available to end the harm of abortion, then lethal means are never justified.

What do you mean? We can imagine millions of circumstances.

Imagine a doctor driving a 10 minute route to his clinic. Since the law is not going to change in that 10 minutes. Taking him out en route is the “only means available” to end the “harm of abortion” that he’s about to cause.

>> Therefore, Stand to Reason does not condone violence to end the harm of abortion.

What happened? Did you guys get the feds banging on your door or something.

Ya I don’t know why Christians hold such vastly contradictory views here. If you just use your own technique “trot out the toddler”, I think it’s pretty clear how you should proceed.

Imagine that in the fictional country of Contradictoria there is a law which stated that any mother could toss her child into a big incinerator if she didn’t want to take care of it. Suppose that everyday 3,700 toddlers were tossed in (that’s 1.37 million a year).

Suppose a demolition expert named Judas blew up the incinerator one day.

Did Judas do a bad thing?

Well, ToNy, considering Judas blew up the incinerator (and assuming this incenerator is just that), he did a great thing. No one was hurt, and they cant toss baby's in anymore!


On another note, in a very corrupted sense I see your point tony. I think you've thrown out a considerable number of factors, but lets just speak to this strange charge;

"Ya I don’t know why Christians hold such vastly contradictory views here. "

Is it contradictory, by default, to hold an anti-abortion view and an anti-assassionation of abortionists view?

If so, why?

Given that the law forbids murder, and we are called to obey it, do we break the law in order to murder murderes? Should we all transform into vigalanties? And while were at it, should we make costumes too? Because honestly, that would be rad. Im not sure im following you here, but I welcome your insight.

Oh i should note in the above example:

Suppose the Incinerator was staffed by 500 abortion doctors. And they were in the explosion.

I suppose I am asking by what merit is it such a grand betrayal of ones christian convictions by not endorsing (to the point of vocal condemnation) the assassination of abortionists?


For some reason, this reminds me of the actions of Phinehas:

"An Israelite man came bringing a Midianite woman to his relatives in the sight of Moses and the whole Israelite community while they were weeping at the entrance to the tent of meeting. When Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw this, he got up from the assembly, took a spear in his hand, followed the Israelite man into the tent, and drove it through both the Israelite man and the woman—through her belly. Then the plague on the Israelites was stopped, but those who died in the plague numbered 24,000.

"The LORD spoke to Moses, “Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned back My wrath from the Israelites because he was zealous among them with My zeal,  so that I did not destroy the Israelites in My zeal. Therefore declare: I grant him My covenant of peace. It will be a covenant of perpetual priesthood for him and his descendants, because he was zealous for his God and made atonement for the Israelites.”"
(Numbers 25:6-13 HCSB)

Is it truly wrong to act when those who are supposed to put a stop to evil stand around sucking their thumbs instead of doing what they're supposed to do?

Revecca,

>> Given that the law forbids murder, and we are called to obey it, do we break the law in order to murder murderes?

yes

that's what Claus von Stauffenberg did

Did Claus von Stauffenberg do the right thing?

Since they made a movie about him with Tom Cruise last year, I guess some people think he did.

Probably should define "murder" and see if it fits into the context of Dr Tiller and the Trot out the toddler tactic.

So then, my question is where does it stop? Should we stalk known murderer's with the intent of blowing them out? Should we abandon the court system when it pertains to these matters? While I do tend to agree that if you murder someone, you deserve death (and wether you get what you deserve is a matter of trial and such), I disagree that justice carried out this way is the right thing to do.

Your also compairing Hitler to an Abortionist (an issue of policy versus a man at the center of an ideology), and in the question you present, I think Claus von Staffenberg did the right thing and I also thing his situation was absolutely different than the one here. (I dont know the entire story of mr. stauffenberg, I should add). And we are neglecting to consider factors in both cases that bear considerable weight on the 'rightness' of both of these scenarios. I dont think your analigy works here. These are two vastly different evils. Though I do think I see what you may be trying to say.

Still, I dont see how you can justifyably advocate the persuit of abortionists in our culture with the intent to murder them, speciffically from a christian worldview. In the same token, the law itself is a bit contradictory considering we charge men with double-murders in some states if the woman killed is carrying a baby. Maybe thats not relevant to the discussion, though.
Sorry for the slightly sloppy post!


i think the STR folks know that killing abortionists is morally justified, not as vigilanteism (which is about punishment for past crimes) but as a defense of babies yet to be butchered. But STR can't say it out loud. Instead,STR decries vigilanteism and touts the practical reasons not to kill abortionists. Hey, STR has a reputation to uphold.

Rebecca,

Notice that in the story of Phinehas, the man committing the evil did so in sight of the leadership of Israel. Yet they did nothing.

In your murderer analogy, the murderer would have to known to be guilty (plus have enough solid evidence to convict him), yet be outright ignored for such a situation to be equivalent to the situation where Phinehas executed Zimri. (The man who openly sinned.)

Justin, in the context of our current culture and its abortion policies, is the best course of action aggressive elimination of its proponents? Even if its logically justifyable? Do we have to kill? Arent there other logically justifyable courses of action that dont involve vigilanteism? Why not consider those?

Forgive me if im inserting words into your post, but it seems like your not really concerned with considering alternatives and instead using this as an opportunity to build a caricature of the original poster's perspective. I dont think you believe that this is the right way to go about changing minds. I think you know better than that dear friend.

There are many great thoughts here.

Certainly there have been some good arguments to murder abortionists, on the basis that they kill actual human beings, that would not otherwise be tolerated if the murders were being perpetrated on 12mth old babies of mothers who line up at clinics asking them to kill their children. Despite this, something doesn't feel right about the muder of abortionists - perhaps it's only bc of my personal discomfort with the fact that it is not part of the worldly legal system - I dunno?

Are you guys gonna cover it on the next radio show?

But I am still trying to figure out how, "More children die as a result of an abortionist being killed"? Is this statistical knowledge, or a logical induction?

It's important that we address this and get clear on our thinking. I know when I go into work tonight these questions are going to come up.

I am a bit confused on our consistency using the trot out the toddler factor. If the unborn are human beings worthy of value and respect does it follow that justice should be served regarding their murder? (Murder = taking of an innocent human life by another) How so should justice be served if the state says an injustice has not taken place?

There's a lot of talk about truth and knowledge and its relationship to reality; the way things REALLY are. Our culture is in conflict about what reality is pertaining to the unborn. Those who are abortion choice seem to be acting out consistently with their views, however pro-life individuals do not. If it is true, corresponding to reality, that the unborn are human beings why is the reaction not more hostile? If lives are in danger why aren't we behaving like it?

Consider atrocities that happen in poorer countries where civil liberties are abused or neglected, what's the typical solution in that scenario? Isn't it usually the application of force to remove those who impose the abuses?

I'm torn because if what we're saying IS reality, what is the appropriate reaction in a culture God has given over to their transgressions? We've done a lot of talking while people continue to die. When is it appropriate to put your foot down?

(Wow, I sound like some kind of french revolutionist.)

Ed, we live under vasty different circumstances than those in the account you posted (the fact that the Israelite nation is mentioned is a huge factor). But in saying that, Im not throwing it or any of the corresponding principles out, not at all. I am simply asking if in the context of our culture, if this is the best course of action even if it is logically justifyable, and furthermore are you somehow betraying your worldview by speaking against this sort of action.

"Our culture is in conflict about what reality is pertaining to the unborn."

And that is one of the major reasons why I say speaking out against assassinations is fair. Our legal system doesnt even recognize the unborn as human life (in most cases), and this has obviously had a profound effect on our cultures mentality.

First of all we do not live in a Christian country. However, there are a lot of Christian people who live in it. The more people who use a thing called a voting card, have the power to sway a particular issue. Now that is a powerfull weapon for a Christian to use.

By the way,

I challenge all of you to do a Google search on late term abortions, then click images. Does this not stir up tears, sorrow, and great anger? What's it make you want to do?

The rule of law is more important than stopping abortion. For without the former, we lose the moral authority to condemn the latter.

A nation of laws that includes some bad laws is infinitely better than anarchy.

"Who accused STR of forwarding violence against abortionists???"

You don't have to be accused of something in order to affirm that you believe the opposite.

STR affirms its belief in Christ's deity. That doesn't mean that anyone accused them of not believing in Christ's deity.

"A nation of laws that includes some bad laws is infinitely better than anarchy."

That sounds like something John Adams would say.

"The rule of law is more important than stopping abortion. For without the former, we lose the moral authority to condemn the latter."

Sorry Francis, but this same argument can be used to justify any atrocities done that are in accordance with the 'law'.

Moral authority does not come from obeying the law, but from consistently standing for what is moral.

"A nation of laws that includes some bad laws is infinitely better than anarchy."

Indeed, but no one is arguing we should abolish all laws in order to get rid of the bad laws of abortion, so this is a red herring.

The real problem is this...

If you feel that a person is justified in taking a life in defense of others who cannot protect themselves (e.g. if someone attacks you kids with the intent to kill them, and you kill them to stop it), then the same logic applies to the abortion question and you cannot simply claim it is wrong.

The abortion question however, is bigger than the example, as there are over a million unborn murdered every year in the U.S. The question then becomes, what is the best way to stop abortion in America....

Killing an abortion doctor may be counter-productive to that goal. Due to negative publicity, It may save hundreds at the cost of thousands.

Of course, you could always argue that if there were thousands of people willing to kill abortion doctors, the supply of abortion doctors would be so greatly reduced as to save the most lives as there is not an infinite pool of doctors willing to perform abortions. But then, if you have thousands of people really willing to go to jail for life to stop abortions, I am pretty sure there would be a non-violent solution.

Mr. Beckwith, you're saying that the morality of "obeying the law" trumps the morality of "defending the weak & helpless". i guess i could buy that but it seems that there are instances where that hierarchy of principle doesn't work. For example, those who broke the law to save Jews from the deathcamps. It sure seems like defending unborn babies from Tiller's butcher knife would fall into this category as well.

http://thingsthelordtoldme.blogspot.com/2009/05/dr-murdered.html

Yes, the Rule Of Law is critical to the stability of a society. Yet the appointment of Sotomeyer (sp?) to the Supreme Court has prompted serious debate whether or not a judge who considers race and gender over the law when rendering judgement is the final nail in the coffin of that principle.

Consider how the federal government has been trampling that principle underfoot at an ever increasing pace:

- Violating the 9th and 10 Amendments with no constraint whatsoever. (Maybe 90% (?) of the Federal Government's bureaucracy exceeds constitutional authority.)

- Refusing to enforce immigration laws.

- Open, legitimate and easily resolvable questions about whether the current President meets Constitutional requirements. (A "Certification of Live Birth" was given to anyone by Hawaii, even those born outside the country. A "Birth Certificate" had to specify the actual place of birth.)

- Activist judges who routinely usurp the Constitutional authority of the legislature by making laws from the bench.

- Open and numerous violations of the 4th and 5th Amendments, including Eminent Domain abuses.

- The appointment of Hillary Clinton to Secretary of State was a clear violation of Article 1, Section 6 of the Constitution.

- The innumerable cases of politicians getting caught committing felonies, yet never being prosecuted or even removed from office.

- Open and numerous violations of the 1st and 2nd Amendments.

I'm sure there is more, but the point is this; if the government has destroyed the Rule of Law, is the population still bound by it? When the government is openly violating God's laws, where does the Christian take a stand? When the government refuses to enforce God's laws, justly drawing God's condemnation, is the population required to meekly sit back and tolerate open evil?

I hope I am not misquoting here, but I think Kent Hovind was once asked his opinion on a previous situation where an abortionist was killed... I think he said something to the effect of:

No, he (the killer of the abortionist) should not have been killed like that. He should have been tried by the court (for abortion) and the state of Florida should have done it (executed him).

In other words, if we really believe abortion is murder, and if reality reflected that, an abortionist should be properly tried by a court of law and executed/life in prison according to his crime. Of course, because abortion IS legal, you get vigilantes doing it instead...Someone has watched the Boondock Saints a few too many times.

For the record, Francis (and I know this was not clear from my first post), I was saying that because I thought this post was a response rather than a pre-emptive or just a sheer statement.

Alan, I think were kind of on the same page regarding the latter half of your post.

The question is indeed, what is the best way to stop abortion in america, and by america there is a strong emphasis on the "American mentality" per say. That is how our culture views abortion. Half the country has no idea. Hasnt given the topic any serious thought. And blowing abortionists out for performing abortions merely re-enforces other stereotypes they may have allready had floating around in thier head. We dont live in a society where that sort of justice would even make sense -- even if it is justifyable. Were not at (and will probably never get to) a point where abortion is unimaginable by virtually everyone.. in which, perhaps the death penalty for "abortionists" would be more widely understood.

Even this conversation we are having here. How many people could you have this chat with, that being even CONSIDERING this act justifyable? Who could even entertain that thought, on a widespread level? Or maybe im just not giving people enough credit.

"And blowing abortionists out for performing abortions merely re-enforces other stereotypes they may have allready had floating around in thier head."

How many abortion doctors have been murdered since abortion became legal? How many clinics bombed? I (now) know of 3, maybe 4, in the last 36 years. Yet to hear the pro-abortion apologists talk, this kind of thing happens every week or so.

No matter how honestly we oppose the killing of abortionists, there are those who are not interested in honest debate who pretend that exceedingly rare events like this are everyday occurrences. What is gained by pretending that intellectually dishonest opponents are reasonable people?

Yes, committing murder is a hypocritical approach to opposing murder. I'm just trying to point out that no matter what the truth is (even if the murderer is a pro-abortion person who lost a loved one to this killer) we are going to be tarred for it with a brush broad enough to black out the sun. So why not ask the hard questions if we're going to get beat on no matter what we say?

And in some sense Ed I think I can agree with you on the harsher aspect if your post. And again I feel I need to preface this, with all due respect to the family who is suffering as a result of this..

I suppose it would be fair to ask someone who thinks this is completely senseless, or extreme, if they have honestly weighed and considered the line of work this man was in. Not that people in this line of work expect to be assassinated at some point. But is it possible that someone will think twice about reality as a result of this? Is it possible for someone to do that hard internal examination.. Maybe this is a bit presumptuous. And its very difficult to look at this from a vantage that considers if indeed this man may have in some way "had it coming". Honestly. I dont have the heart right to say some of the darker questions I have concerning this matter. But Ed i think i get it. There are some daedric questions to be asked of things like this. And at what point do we drop the euphamisms and rhetoric and have a legitemate discussion about this sort of... thing..

So here are the hard questions: Was Tiller a murderer? Is killing a murderer actually murder if the legal system refuses to perform it's duty to enforce justice?

I'm convinced that the answer to the first question is an unequivocal "yes." It's the second question that gives me fits.

Justice and vengeance ultimately belongs to God. Yet God has given rulers the authority and duty to engage in both on His behalf. But what about when the rulers refuse their duty? To take these actions into our own hands without God's directive is to usurp His authority; always a Really Bad Idea.

In the incident involving Phinehas, the Bible doesn't just record his action, God openly approves of it. But there is also the passage about submitting to the authorities. Furthermore, when lives are on the line, standing by and doing nothing seems to be the wrong thing to do. Yet seeking out and killing even a murderer like Tiller seems like it is itself murder, and thus unthinkable. It also means that Tiller is now beyond salvation, a sentence I am loath to impose on anyone without a clear scriptural basis that it is my duty to do so.

It seems to me that we do need to have a serious minded discussion on these questions. What are Christians to do about open evil in society? What is the correct Biblical approach to open evil when the government just winks at it?

The problem is like this. An man was sentence to death for a murder. But before the excusion was set by a judge a vigilanty gunned the man down. The vigilanty was later sentence for murder and sentenced to death.

This story is fiction. But the problem is the same. We should not take the law into our own hands where the law does not allow it or intend it.

Some ask, "If you consider abortion murder, doesn't that incite the killing of abortionists?" This question needs to be answered clearly and directly and here is the answer. No.

In regards to the topic and this question, "What are Christians to do about open evil in society?"

(abortion debate aside) I suppose the first thing we can do is open their eyes to the evil in question. People are sleeping, and this evil isint even recognized as such.

Ed hit the nail on the head. Well done.

Paul, In your hypothetical example, the vigilante usurped the legitimate authority of the ruling body as it was in the process of performing its duties.

The problem we're faced with here is a ruling authority which is refusing to perform its duty.

I think Greg might say that this is a case of competing moral harms. To not act is to permit a moral crime. To act is to commit a moral crime.

It seems to me that this one requires a lot more prayer, time in the scriptures and some wise discussion.

Ironically, part of the passage my pastor preached on this morning is very relevant to this topic: Luke 9:53-55:

"But the [Samaritans] did not receive [Jesus], because His face was set toward Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, 'Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?' But He turned and rebuked them."

My pastor's title for this message was, "The Will of Man Clashes with the Will of God."

If vengeance is the Lord's, the Lord Himself had the opportunity to exercise the right of vengeance at that moment. But He did not. In fact, He went so far as to rebuke the disciples which suggested violence as a means of retribution against the enemies of God.

very good point Chris. Something to think about.

"Tiller is now beyond salvation"

Ed,
I don't think we can conclude he is not saved. Christ's atonement is even powerful enough to cover serial partial-birth abortionists.

We would expect sanctification in Tiller to have changed his actions, but maybe he was moving in that direction...

One thing I've noticed is that the suspect's motive is not known yet.

One possible, albeit less likely motive is an anti-Christian (Tiller was killed in a church) anti- pro-life movement (Tiller's death is bad press for the pro-life movement) one.

Why is the assumed motive anti-abortion activism?

>The rule of law is more important >than stopping abortion. For >without the former, we lose the >moral authority to condemn the >latter.

>A nation of laws that includes >some bad laws is infinitely better >than anarchy.
Francis, so are you suggesting that nothing should have been done about Hitler and his regime, because he was following the rule of law in Germany at that time? And maybe a better question, why did the allies not attack the USSR for their atrocities, after all the Stalinists killed an estimated 20 million of their people. I just don't understand the reasoning behind going to war against Hitler, ignoring Stalin (who was far worse), and allowing the murder of innocent little children to continue. But wait, they're not Jewish. Maybe if our country had more anti-Stalin and anti-abortion lobbyists in government, something would have and would be done about it.

For those who think there was some kind of justification in Dr. Tiller's death, I want some answers...

What is pro-life about murder?

What about the innocent children who had no choice but to experience a murder take place at their church?

How does killing an abortion doctor end abortions or even the mere desire for people to want an abortion?

How do you deal with Romans 12:17-21 where we are called to overcome evil with good and leave vengeance to God?

How was this an act of love to Dr. Tiller's widow and fatherless children?

There's absolutely something wrong with a church that would allow a man like Tiller to attend. He should have been excommunicated long ago, but then maybe he was a big financial contributer so that would have been a bad idea. North American churches are a joke. They're full of unrepentant murderers, adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals, etc and accepted because "Jesus loves you". The God I know from the Bible is one who also hates sin and is continually angry with the wicked. What nonesense and what shame to Christ. All you persecuted Churches in Christ out there in the world - Please send missionaries here!

>>>> If vengeance is the Lord's, the Lord Himself had the opportunity to exercise the right of vengeance at that moment. But >He did not. In fact, He went so far as to rebuke the disciples which suggested violence as a means of retribution against the enemies of God.<<<<
Chris H, how do you know this wasn't God taking vengeance against Tiller, like Ananias and Sapphira? Obviously only God knew Tiller's heart, but by the pattern of his life, it's hard to imagine that this butcher was saved.

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