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May 31, 2009


Pro choice I made a post and I think my connection devoured it :(

I was just saying, basically, I encourage you to try and atleast understand where we are coming from here (regarding justification). I hope I am speaking for most of us when I say were not 'hungry for death' and overjoyed that this mans life came to an end. and in the same vein I am very grieved for his family and close friends. Beyond all this chat, the bare fact of this tragedy is apparent. I have a heart, and it is for those who have been affected by this tragedy.

Forgive me if this post shows up twice in slightly different renditions*

Ed, so I'm a murderer now? I was not talking about legitimate means to end abortion, you are more than welcome to do that. I was talking about the illegal, violent, means to do so.

What bothers me so much is that on the one hand pro-lifers are saying how terrible this murder was and then like justin way above justifying the act. It seems a little two-faced.

i do not celebrate that women do get abortions I just feel that it is something best solved by the woman herself and her doctor and family.

But if I feel a little frightened by this killing that is really just because I am feeling misplaced guilt for being a baby eating liberal.

Rebecca I completely agree with your post. I guess my main reason to even jump into this comment thread was all over the christian blogs I looked at there was a kind of barley restrained glee about this killing and it really mad me angry.

I can understand that this is an emotional issue and is very complex. But my wife has volunteered for Planned Parenthood in the past and may do so again. She has never had problems, but stuff like this really makes me nervous for her safety.

Absolutely. We should not rejoice in this mans death, even if we dont agree with the life he lived, even *if* we have reason to believe it was just. This man is dead, and his family is grieving. And your absolutely right, this is a very, very complex issue (im speaking to this insident speciffically) both emotionally and intilectually. And if its any consolation please let me apologize on behalf of all of the things you read on the christian blogs. I can only imagine.

Regardless of how strongly I feel about this and how sharply I disagree (for good reason), and barring some of the more difficult and candid issues being discussed here, it should not take prescidence over the fact of the matter and remove atleast our empathy for those affected by this tragedy *as well* as your legitemate concern for your wife's safety. I would attribute such actions on behalf of christians to a lack of effort in really taking a hard look at this issue, and "shortcutting" to violent, and ultimately worsening methods. Let me say that as humbly as I can, I in no way intend to make it sound as if I am exempt from such a charge of intilectual lazyness.

and let me add that your concern for some of the things you read is legitemate, too. *


Did I say you are a murderer? I don't think so.

"I was not talking about legitimate means to end abortion,"

When you say "violence and intimidation" is a "systemic campaign" and then proceed to claim that no pro-lifers condemn extreme tactics, thereby offering silent assent, then how I am to take your words any other way than that all pro-lifers (the pro-life "system" as it were) are "terrorists" as some NOW has already claimed? It's true that you weren't talking about legitimate pressure, but it certainly seems like you are tarring every single pro-lifer as someone guilty of violence.

You still haven't address the core issue: if abortion is the killing of innocent human beings.

The very definition of murder is the unjust taking of human life. If the unborn is a human being, then Tiller is indeed a murderer, and he deserved the just punishment for murder at the hands of legitimate authorities. (That's our government.)

We can clearly say that what happened to him was not the legitimate course of justice. We can also say that his killer deserves and will get justice for his own actions.

But because you're still dancing around the core issue, whether the unborn is a human being, we can't even discuss what Tiller did or did not "deserve".

No, until the fetus becomes viable outside the womb I do not consider the fetus on the same level as a born child. Life does not 'begin' anywere. The sperm is alive and the egg is alive before fertilization and the cell that develops after is also alive. Just in the same way as any single celled organism is alive. If you really think about it there has been an unbroken chain of life from when the first cell appeared all that time ago.

Thus, I am not against abortions that are preformed early (First Trimester) after that I do feel that there are increasing ethical concerns. But I do not feel that these concerns can be addressed with arbitrary laws and bannings. The libertarian in me wants to leave these difficult choices to the woman, doctor, and family closest to the situation.

As to late term abortions the health restriction seems resonable to me and again I would point out that Dr. Tiller was tried on the charge that he broke this rule and he was found not guilty so unles you have some new information it seems he did nothing wrong in the eyes of the law.

As for the murder comment I thought it was implied in your example, i.e. i am the murderer because I feel intimidated and worried by this killing much like the murderer in your example.

Also do the people commenting here really believe that abortion is on the same level as the holocaust? Or is that just a rhetorical move done for political reasons? (setting aside Godwin's law) Are you really saying that someone like me is at best on the same level as a Nazi sympathizer?

I mean if you believe this is truly the case then why are you not out shooting doctors and femenists and what not? And if this is nor the case why are you surprised when someone takes your rhetoric seriously and goes and kills someone?

Pro-Choice, I would suggest maybe moving this chat over to the "moral vs pragmatic" blog post (it seems most of the posters have jumped over to that one, and the discussion would probably be better)

It's stated that the killing of abortionists would be counter productive to the pro-life cause, but it could have the opposite effect.

I could see a pro-choice advocate being more entrenched into their position and arguing that the pro-life movement doesn't really believe that unborn babies have the same rights as born babies because if that were true, then the death of Tiller shouldn't be a moral problem. They would contend they would kill a person who had and do have every intention of killing more born babies, whether it was lawful or not. In fact, they would say they would be morally obliged to take the life of that person to stop future born baby deaths. Thus unborn babies are of less value than born babies so unborn babies don't have the same rights as born babies.

If I were a pro-choice advocate, I would argue this way and I believe even if there are objections to this line of argument, it has a moral intuition with which many may be persuaded by thus by not killing the abortionist, it could be counter productive to the pro-life cause.

I really appreciate the work of STR. I hope there are more official statements that refute some of the posts because they have been very thought provoking and I am not persuaded yet by STR's position even though I have followed many of the pro-life tactics and arguments. Looking for clarification so I can be confident in my response to others who will argue similarly to these posts.

Thank you

The second to last paragraph in the previous post would have been better as:

... it has a moral intuition with which many may be persuaded by thus by condemning the killing of the abortionist, it could be counter productive to the pro-life cause.

Steve, I don't know if this will be helpful, but I wrote a post on another blog that breaks down the reasons why a person might think himself justified in killing an abortion doctor into two categories--justice and prevention--and then explains the other moral concerns at play (beyond the fact that children are being killed) that make it wrong for an individual to kill for either of these reasons in this case, even though the deaths of children are involved. The reason why we don't kill abortion doctors is not because we don't think that unborn children are valuable, it's because of these other concerns/moral rules in play. The post doesn't cover everything, but it might help.

Secondly, consider this quote I got from Daily Kos after the killing:

The only solution [to pro-life violence] is to confront the lie at the core of pro-lifeism: that abortion is equivalent to murder, or even that abortion is a matter justifying sticking one's nose into others' personal business. That is a lie that shouldn't receive even a moment's consideration, or worse yet, "debate." There is no justification for "debating" such nonsense, because it is in fact nonsense, based on such meaningless questions such as "when does life begin?" that generate assertions that cannot be refuted.

I think that illustrates very well how killing abortion doctors hurts the cause in a practical sense (beyond the moral concerns). This guy sees that the most important question is, "Is the unborn a human being?" But his solution is to shut down debate on this question in order to stop the violence. If debate is shut down, we are doomed. Without debate, there will never be persuasion. Can you see how this will cause more children to be killed and not fewer?


Please see,


Source: http://salvomag.typepad.com/blog/

Definitions are in order here. Murder is taking the life of an innocent..Tiller was not innocent of violating God's law even if he had murdered babies in accordance with U.S.Law. Killing Jews was "legal" in Hitler's Germany but certainly not in God's law. Would you take out Hitler to save the Jews? Would you take out Tiller to save the pre born?

Tiller was a serial child killer who mass murdered children. Abortion is murder and abortionists are murderers; therefore using deadly force to stop Tiller's murderous rampage is morally justified. At one time it was illegal to help save Jews from the death camps, but those who did were heroes and not criminals.

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