A few thoughts about the Tiller murder

I await with anxiety the inevitable capture of the person who shot George Tiller to death.

Tiller will now be lifted up in mockery of authentic martyrdom.

I hope to God his murderer is not Catholic.

I am supposing he will be identified ad nauseum as a "right-wing anti-women’s rights extremist" and a member of "radical anti-social groups", perhaps even the Catholic Church.  "See!", they will crow. "Homeland Security was right to issue that memo about so-called ‘pro-life’ groups?"

I am just cynical enough to wonder if he will not be identified as Catholic even if he isn’t.  I just bet that most news outlets will try to tie this act to the Catholic Church’s teachings and the protests of a handful of extremists who protested … well.. you get the idea.

As despicable as Tiller was, his murder will result in harsh payback against pro-lifers. 

Just as bad as the harsh payback will be the adoption of a cool and patient stance on the part of, for example, the Obama Administration – taking a soft and reasonable tone offering opportunities for more dialogue, etc.

Those Catholics who are soft on protesting abortion in strong terms will now be energized.  They will claim that, yes, their way is better after all.  We have lost the debate on abortion in the public square and now we must adopt a moderate tone and hope to get a little of what we would like to achieve.  Stubbornness and litmus-tests only create a cycle of violence, after all.

On this Pentecost Sunday remember that when the Apostles broke out of their room into the public square they did not go forth into safety or comfort.  Filled with the Holy Spirit and focused on the mission Christ gave them, they went out with a clear identity into the public square at the risk of life and limb and nearly all of the Apostles died as martyrs.

I think we need to get our heads into the right mental places right now so that we can see clearly and bear what the future will bring and God in His providence will permit.

I will leave the combox open… for now.

If people can discuss this and the surrounding issues with measured civility, demonstrating the ability to self-edit, I will leave it open.

Knuckle-heads will be banned from the blog.

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124 Responses to A few thoughts about the Tiller murder

  1. Thomas Gillespie says:

    “As despicable as Tiller was, his murder will result in harsh payback against pro-lifers.”

    You mean against the unborn, I’m sure, Father. [How about you let me speak for myself? I said against "pro-lifers".]

  2. Mary Margaret says:

    Possible suspect already pulled over.

  3. AN says:

    All the hand wringing over this is a little sad. Pro-lifers are upset that force was used against an abortionist. These same people want to make abortion illegal, which would mean that the state would use force against abortionists, either by jailing them or shooting them if they violently resisted arrest. Just be honest and admit that the thing that you are worried about is that this will hurt the pro-life movement due to bad PR and possibly legal actions by the Obama regime. But don’t argue that you oppose violence against abortionists because that means that you don’t want abortion to made illegal. [Wow... is that out of line.]

  4. IL Catholic says:

    -AN

    Some of the “hand wringing” comes from the fact that illegal force was used. There’s a difference when a private person uses force and when police use force.
    And yes I’m concerned about the implications, who wouldn’t be?

  5. ejk says:

    Murdering this man is no solution, but I am not going to worry about what pro-choice people will do or think. WHAT can be any worse than what we are already seeing.? Maybe this was a pro-choicer who killed him so President Obama hurries to push through whatever bill was to make pro-lifers terrorists. [That did also cross my mind.] Really, it is out of our hands…and we must pray! I forget that power we have, all too often.

  6. LCB says:

    Until a suspect is arrested and the facts are known, it’s impossible to say what brought this about.

    Is it likely that this was related to his work? Yes.

    BUT, there could be other circumstances. There could be a distraught woman who had an abortion, or a a jaded lover that hasn’t been mentioned.

  7. Maureen says:

    People are worried about this, because it plays into the hands of pro-abortion people and anti-Catholics of certain stripes. And since the government is currently controlled by folks who loooove taking advantage of any opportunity for a “crisis”, the whole thing smells of burning Reichstag.

  8. cathguy says:

    AN,

    The difference between vigilantism and justice is HUGE. Vigilantism is repugnant. Does the vigilante give his victims due process? NO! Did the killer give Tiller due process? NO! Does the vigilante give the accused a fair and open trial. NO! Did the killer give Tiller a fair trial? NO!!!

    Furthermore, you might want to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church on capital punishment. No faithful Catholic in full union with the Bishop of Rome would advocate capital punishment in the United States. So your comment about us wanting to do to Tiller what the killer did, but just through the means of the state, is likewise ludicrous.

    Friends, prepare. Fr. Z. is correct. The liberal media, and liberals in general, will use this as a means to smear and attack Christ’s Church. Many priests and deacons and Bishops will also be on the offensive against pro-life Catholics who they will be encouraged to label and extremists. Our martyrdom is nearer with each passing day. Pray.

  9. Jason says:

    Call ME jaded, but I think this was a planned hit from some quarters to paint the pro-life movement in a bad light.

  10. Aelric says:

    No faithful Catholic in full union with the Bishop of Rome would advocate capital punishment in the United States.

    This is simply wrong.

  11. AN says:

    I understand the difference between vigilantism and law enforcement but my point was that the pro-life movement advocates violence against abortionists through the instruments of the state and stop pretending that it doesn’t. And arresting someone and locking them in a prison is an act of violence. So please nuance these remarks about ‘we don’t advocate violence against abortionists’ because you do.

  12. Rellis says:

    Does anyone think that this was done deliberately on Pentecost Sunday for some reason? Since Tiller was a Lutheran, he would have been going to church for this, just as we do.

    I can’t myself think of a connection, but maybe the deranged mind of the killer did.

    This is not to encourage useless speculation–it’s more to raise the point that this is the third most important day on the Christian calendar, and Tiller was shot at his place of Christian worship. It would make sense that there is some connection.

  13. Boko says:

    “No faithful Catholic in full union with the Bishop of Rome would advocate capital punishment in the United States.” cathguy @ 2:48

    This faithful Catholic in full union with the Bishop of Rome advocates capital punishment in the United States.

    I’m really sorry that you’ve been misled and even lied to by our bishops and catechists, many of whom are pushing a leftist, rather than Catholic, creed. I’m sorry that one of JPII’s great failures was his weakness in affirming what the Church has always taught about capital punishment.

    But don’t post untruths and don’t calumniate your fellow Catholics.

  14. Lasorda says:

    How quick we are to speculate about the politics of a murder. Let’s let Dr. Tiller’s body cool before we worry about what the media will say. Dr. Tiller did horrible things, but he was a human being with a family and was made in the image of God. Perhaps we should pray for all those involved and leaves the politics for later.

  15. Tim says:

    “the pro-life movement advocates violence against abortionists through the instruments of the state and stop pretending that it doesn’t.”

    Actually the assumption is that the legal status of abortion will be complied with, though probably protested even more-so than it is already. The coin flips. Many in the pro-lif movement have found themselves being prosecuted by the instruments of the state. Should we consider that to be pro-death violence against pro-lifers via the state? I don’t think so. I consider it to be the application of unjust laws by a government that has lost its path. In short; Chill out.

  16. Mark says:

    AN,

    I’m happy to admit that as a pro-lifer I advocate getting the State to use its coercive power of force to stop abortionists.

    That is the whole point of illegalizing it: to stop its occurrence, as much as possible, through the coercive instruments of the State.

    So that if I know an abortion is being planned or in progress, I can call the police and they can come and stop it, with force if necessary, and put the abortionist where he can’t hurt anywhere else, and restrain the mother at a mental facility until she gives birth and the baby is safe.

    Yes, I admit that. Why wouldnt I? That’s the whole point of illegalizing it.

    If other pro-lifers wont say as much or in so many words…perhaps they are a bit uncomfortable or embarrassed about or ambiguous about what they really want?

  17. Lori Ehrman says:

    My antispam words were “Do the red” Ironic on this Pentecost. Personally, I am praying for the soul of George Tiller. I pray sincerely that God the Holy Spirit, infused the Truth, in George’s soul this day. And…we should not be discouraged. With God on our side who can be against us.

  18. AN says:

    Tim,
    I am quite chilled, thank you. I am just trying to provoke some honest introspection by people.

    Mark said:
    “If other pro-lifers wont say as much or in so many words…perhaps they are a bit uncomfortable or embarrassed about or ambiguous about what they really want?”
    That is exactly my point. It is important that we understand what it is we are really trying to achieve and how.

  19. Tim says:

    prompting honest introspection usually does not begin with dishonest and inflammatory statements. Something to consider.

  20. Janet says:

    I said on a post some time ago that I’d be suspicious of any violence against abortionists, and some comments on this thread lead me to believe that I’m not the only one.

    If this shooter ever set FOOT in a Catholic parish even ONCE in his life, (or her, to be fair,) the media will describe him as a, “____ Catholic,” fill in the blank with whatever makes you watch CNN rather than MSNBC or whatever.

    Sec. Napolitano {sp???} must be wringing her hands with glee right now. -_- I wonder how the Obamessiah will “use” this “crisis”?

  21. Ellen says:

    I immediately thought that this killer took away Dr. Tiller’s chance to repent in the future. Who knows what he might have done if he had lived?

  22. Suzanne says:

    God have mercy on that man’s soul. We never know what his last thoughts and intentions were – especially considering that he was in church when it happened.

    The pro-abortion movement has much to gain from this – Tiller was an embarrassment to them for his “abortion extremism.” Tiller was bad PR for the pro-abortion movement. He has been rehabilitated by becoming a “martyr” and this could very well be the death knell to the pro-life movement.

    Does anyone remember the Clinton years? Janet Reno had the very peaceful group of which I was a part (simply walking across the country praying for an end to abortion) under surveillance by the FBI. I think it’s about to get worse. A whole. lot. worse.

    We need to start praying. Hard.

  23. Suzanne says:

    By “death knell to the pro-life movement” — I mean public activism and statements…of course, we will continue to “fight” abortion with our prayers.

  24. Bob says:

    Call me cynical, but I see a Reichstag in this too. [Godwin's Law...]

  25. Mark says:

    If it is a Reichstag, there is no reason we have to let it be THEIRS, if you see what I mean. It’s a pivotal moment, to be sure, but if we worked as hard against them as they work against us…we could use it to put our side in power instead of vice versa.

  26. Steven says:

    To let people know, an arrest has been made SW of Kansas City, about 2.5 hours from Wichita. From a Wichita PD news conference they have a 51 year old man in custody and he is in route to Wichita. Information is being held pretty close at this point.

  27. A friend reminded me of this passage.

    “Revenge not yourselves, my dearly beloved; but give place unto wrath, for it is written: Revenge is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.” — Rom 12:19

  28. Laura Lowder says:

    If you haven’t become a pro-life activist, now is the time to do so. I like what my blog partner says: our blog is where he’s putting all his prosecutorial evidence, to make their jobs easier.

  29. Laura Lowder says:

    Suzanne,
    If this is a death knell for the pro-life movement, in terms of our activism, then I say we need to show them a glimpse of Resurrection power.

    This is Pentecost – when the Holy Spirit empowered the Twelve so that as they preached three thousand souls were added to the Church in one day. This is NO time to become timid or reclusive, passive or self-protective.

  30. Dove says:

    It is not the case that Catholics are the only people who are against abortion. Thinking people who know that the fetus is a human being realize that abortion is murder. The Hypocratic oath forbids physicians from performing abortions; Hypocrates was a Greek in ancient times. Opposition to abortion is not a modern idea; it goes way back.

  31. Pes says:

    By no means were we losing the public debate. On the contrary, the pro-life side, supported by science, has made significant gains in the past ten years, and a great deal in the last five.

    Hence the need on the anti-life side to elect the man with the most extreme anti-life voting record and the most anti-life money on his side: Barack Obama.

    He will make all the appropriate noises, deplore violence, plead for reasonableness from the pro-life side — and secretly be delighted that pretending to have gained “the high ground” is now so a cakewalk.

    Thanks a lot, Tiller’s murderer. You’ve just set back the cause of human rights several decades.

  32. cathguy says:

    Mark and An,

    Extreme and un-nuanced positions are not necessarily an example of cogent thought. They are easily arrived at and argued, but more often than not end up falling apart. A foolish consistency is a hobgoblin of a little mind (or something like that)

    An,

    You have failed to address my point in my original post criticizing you, which even Fr. Z commented was out of line.

    You, and Mark, BOTH make a mistake. By seeking to make abortion illegal we seek to make abortion rare. It will never go away. Consider the war on drugs. Drugs are illegal so they will be rare, not so that no-one will ever use them.

    By having a law against something (like the last sodomy laws that were struck down recently) the state is making a collective statement: “this is where we stand.” The people are making a statement about what they believe is, or is not, acceptable behavior. Every one (except a prescient few) argued that striking down the sodomy laws was a good thing, as they were never enforced. HOWEVER, once they were struck down, they helped pave the way for gay marriage.

    I am not arguing that women ought to be thrown in prison for seeking an abortion, nor am I necessarily arguing that Doctors who perform abortions ought to be given long prison terms. What I AM saying is that abortion ought to be criminalized because it is wrong. Because by criminalizing it we will make it rare. Because by criminalizing it we will say “every person in this country has a right to life” and actually mean it.

    Mark, your posts are increasingly extreme in my opinion, and do little good. An, likewise, you are ill advised to assume that all pro-lifers are extremists. This is terrible.

    What do I want to see happen to abortion providers?

    I want to see their actions made illegal. Those who are caught providing abortions ought to be brought to trial. Consequences? Revocation of medical licenses. Huge fines. Perhaps even prison time for repeat offenders.

    Women who seek abortion? Those who seek abortion ought to referred (forcibly if necessary) to social service agencies that have the funds and health facilities to provide for the mother and baby at no-cost to the mother if necessary. Mothers should have every opportunity to give their child up for adoption, or given a helping hand if they choose to raise the child themselves.

    Mark and An, drop your extremist and unbalanced rhetoric. Abortion IS a crime. That doesn’t mean we are out to use violence.

    Please… USE REASON and be REASONABLE. Otherwise, please, for the sake of all decent people, keep quiet.

  33. Suzanne says:

    Laura – I totally agree. I don’t believe that we should be self-protective or reclusive. I’m only saying it’s the death of the movement as we’ve known it … relatively open and easy. We’re going to have to steel ourselves for what is coming. Be not afraid!

  34. Trisha says:

    I can’t believe some of these comments. Dr. Tiller was a mass murderer, let’s not forget that. His death fits the life he freely chose. The so-called justice system set him free to continue his murders, which are legal in our land – none of which makes any sense. Whoever shot him may have felt there was nothing left but vigilantism, to prevent the murder of more babies. God is in control and could have prevented his death this morning, but allowed it to happen. My prayers are with the person who did this, not that he would escape punishment as he did commit a mortal sin, but that he repents and makes peace with God.

  35. GordonBOPS says:

    Trisha – Is it really for sure a mortal sin? I’m not sure the answer, but as far as I know, there are abortions that won’t be happening tomorrow at Tiller’s clinic. This invoked the whole issue of the legitimate defense of others. Granted, this act is illegal and against the civil laws of our country–and so there may very well be a civil toll to pay for this person. But, that’s separate from the determination of the moral culpability of the actor here. This person may have been a relative of a soon to be aborted baby for all we know. There’ little doubt one may take steps to prevent the death of others by taking steps which can stop the death of others… again, this person will be subject to the criminal penalties of our country which may result in a finding of guilt (and this person is STILL innocent until proven guilty).

  36. Nemo Iudex says:

    God alone is able to bring good out of evil. Millions of innocent people are put to death by communists and socialists on behalf of the Revolution, and they become martyrs. Abortionists die, and babies are saved. The fact that Tiller’s murderer was unjustified in his/her own right does not mean that God did not “use” him/her (as He can “use” every evildoer) to exact the revenge that is His alone, per Romans 12:19. Thus did the pharisees and the Roman soldiers unwittingly play out the will of Christ’s Father. We must love the sinner, hate the sin — in the case of both Tiller and his murderer.

  37. Mark says:

    cathguy,

    Saying that the State should use its coercive powers to stop abortions both through preventative force and after-the-fact punishment (for deterrence’s) sake is not extreme or un-nuanced. It’s what I assumed all pro-lifers wanted in having it illegalized.

    For me, at least, illegalizing abortion is not about the State making some sort of merely persuasive “moral statement”. It’s about the State using it’s police powers to actually actively stop abortions from occurring, as much as possible. To actively save babies, using the force of the police to shut down clinics, arrest providers, restrain mothers until they give birth, and stop actual abortions in progress when possible.

    I mean, I’d expect the police to save ME if I were being murdered on the street and the cops were alerted. That’s what I pay my taxes for. That’s the primary point of the State and its coercive powers. The State has a mandate to use its collectively legitimized force to resist unjust aggression for the protection of the populace.

    Again, I want abortion illegalized so that if I know an abortion is being planned or in progress, I can call the police and they can come and stop it, with force if necessary, and put the abortionist where he can’t hurt anyone else, and restrain the mother at a mental facility until she gives birth and the baby is safe. And so that if the police wont make it in time, I personally can fight the abortionist and disable him and restrain him, and when the police do finally arrive they’ll help me against him instead of vice versa.

    That’s the whole point of illegalizing it. Your vague “moral statement” purpose for illegalization turns the whole thing into some abstract Satyagraha cloud-cuckoo personal spiritual quest that has little to do with the real world and the fact that real babies are being really brutally murdered.

    Sodomy is one thing, totally different. Sodomy doesnt murder people. A law for the sake of a “moral statement” in the case of sodomy is one thing there. But abortion is totally different than the homosexuality issue. Illegalizing it is about actual lives threatened that the State has a duty to protect, not just pay lip-service to some vague moral foundation for society.

  38. cathguy – you’re the one being unreasonable. The only thing Mark has said is that we need to get our moral theology right on this issue. He has not a single time argued for the use of violence in this matter; rather, he has stated that we need to be sure, for the sake of truth, exactly why we don’t use it.

  39. JillofTheAmazingWolverineTribe says:

    I will find it interesting to see how the jury will handle this case. A Kansas jury essentially used jury nullification of the laws to free Tiller the Killer, who should have been put behind bars. Will another Kansas jury see fit to use jury nullification in the case of Abortionist Tiller’s own death? Perhaps the jury will find his own killer was merely performing a VERY late term abortion.

    As far as blackening the prolife movement, the press lies anyway.

  40. “As far as I know, there are abortions that won’t be happening tomorrow at Tiller’s clinic.”

    You don’t know that! My guess is people will feel so sorry for the mothers who have had to cancel the abortions that Planned Parenthood will set up an emergency team to make sure they’re carried through.

    “Abortionists die, and babies are saved.”

    What an extremely simplistic argument.

  41. Trisha says:

    GordonBOPS – you have a very good point.
    Nemo Iudex – seems you and I are on the same wave length.

  42. Some people here need to remember that in the US, there is something called a Patriot Act and that there is a head of the Department of Homeland Security who is likely to be very interested in such people as hang around this blog.

  43. I myself am certain that there are some serious moral questions to be answered in this matter, but this blog is so absolutely NOT the place to discuss them. Too many of us are ill-informed and also thoughtless.

    I earnestly recommend Father Z to close this topic down ASAP and do some very serious comment editing.

  44. Mark says:

    “My guess is people will feel so sorry for the mothers who have had to cancel the abortions that Planned Parenthood will set up an emergency team to make sure they’re carried through.”

    Though some mothers might be so scared for their own lives now that they wont show up. It’s an uncertainty that certainly doesnt justify what happened, objectively. But it may have been part of the killer’s self-justification.

    And let’s not let the illogic of this particular killing destroy the whole discussion of the moral theology of legitimate defense in general. As David Klinghoffer’s article says: “That these men used force in a wild, uncontrolled way does not mean that sane abortion foes could not come up with a more careful strategy, using the minimum level of violence necessary to accomplish their end: say, by shooting abortion doctors in the legs instead of the head, or setting fire to clinics by night.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating that. But at the same time, when discussing the moral theology of all the hypotheticals, let’s not lump all force into the same category.

    Wild uncontrolled force, like shooting an abortionist to death when he isnt even in the process of doing anything, is very different from someone who brakes into an abortion room while an abortion is in progress and merely smashes the abortionist’s hands, etc. Or someone who simply destroys the equipment or clinic during the night, etc.

    There are gradations of this that need to be theologically dissected carefully. I have no doubt that in most cases we will conclude force is futile, ineffective, and unjustified. But who knows what we’ll find if we refuse to even examine the hypothetical possibilities. We can no longer afford not to. If we dont have answers to them, men like this will keep doing stuff that harms the movement.

  45. GordonBOPS says:

    Gideon – Why use fear as a way to shape the debate? Father and others are right – this will likely be used to use thought crimes against those who are pro-life.

    Its not the first time though that fear has been used in this way–one can recall what happened after Rome burned in the early years of Christianity. My question is — Who is playing the fiddle THIS time?

  46. Nemo Iudex says:

    Gideon — You didn’t think my sentence preceding was also a simplistic argument? In any case, neither was an “argument” strictly speaking, but a rhetorical statement. Here’s an argument: “X is an dead abortionist. Dead abortionists do not kill babies. X does not kill babies.”

    Trisha — the three-word version: “God’s permissive will.”

  47. I will leave the combox open… for now.

    If people can discuss this and the surrounding issues with measured civility, demonstrating the ability to self-edit, I will leave it open.

    Knuckle-heads will be banned from the blog.

  48. Bill in Texas says:

    “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and render unto God what is God’s.”

    This is why pro-life supporters do not murder abortionists, and do not play the vigilante by invading abortion facilities. Stopping the act of abortion is Caesar’s role — that is, it is the function of the law and of government to make the act illegal and to establish penalties and punishment for it. Stopping the abortionist by taking his or her life is God’s role, if that is His will, not ours.

    Whoever shot Dr. Tiller arrogated to himself the role of God, and one way or the other, he will pay for it. May God have mercy on Dr. Tiller’s soul, and on the soul of the murderer.

    Our role, as pro-life advocates is three-fold: First, to act within the system of laws and government to make the act of abortion illegal and to implement appropriate penalties and punishment — rendering to Caesar our due. Second, to act in ways that encourage conversion of heart among our fellow citizens, both with respect to making the act of abortion illegal and with respect to restoring chastity to being a valued virtue — counseling the ignorant, instructing the doubtful, and being light to the world. Third, to act personally in ways that provide women and children with appropriate support before and after birth, including appropriate adoption and financial means — loving our neighbor as ourselves, including giving of our time, talents, and money, all of which are God’s gifts, not our property.

    It’s really pretty simple. Not easy, simple. It’s all right there in what Jesus told us we are supposed to do.

  49. Laura Lowder says:

    Gideon,
    I’m well aware of the possible consequences of my posting here. So be it.

    NOTE TO ALL – I’ve been posting on a secular website, Topix, for a couple weeks now, mostly defending the Church and the unborn. Hostilities there are riding high this afternoon in the wake of this murder. All pro-lifers are being blamed for this murder, in some form or fashion. We’re being called out for being radical, anti-woman, anti-choice, irrational, idiotic… you think of the insults, we’re taking it this afternoon.

    This is not a hypothetical conflict for those of us who love Our Lord and who believe in the sanctity of ALL human life. Topix is a microcosm of a well-established mentality throughout this nation.

    (if anyone wants to join in the posting there, I’d be glad for some rational company)

  50. Steven says:

    It seems Father Zuhlsdorf is right. I read lots of blogs some of them more left leaning politically. The comments that are angry about a man being murdered I would expect and understand. But lots of comments about seizing church property to compensate the victims of hate speech from pulpits. Lots of comments about domestic terrorists like Operation Rescue and Randall Terry. Lots of comments about removing churches tax exempt status. Even some calls for the establishment of hate speech tribunals covered often in First Things. A very scary thing if you haven’t followed them.

  51. Mary Kay says:

    My first thought when I heard this news was another ten years of self-righteous indignation from pro-aborts about playing the victim card of how unsafe they feel from those “violent Christians.” Second was bummed this happened on Pentecost. Third was “now Tiller will see the Truth and face God.” At which point I remembered to pray for both the soul of Tiller and of his killer.

  52. Lepanto says:

    This reminds me of a major episode in the early 20th century dystopic work “Lord of the World” by Robert Hugh Benson. In this work the world is split between Catholics and socialist/atheist/pantheists. When a Catholic attempts to assassinate the leader of the evil anti-Christ party, he becomes a martyr and it hurts the Catholic cause. This seems to be what is happening here.

  53. Marty says:

    I don’t always agree with you, Father, but I enjoy reading your blog immensely. I especially appreciate your thoughtful reflections and reasoned tone — Thank you.

  54. GordonBOPS says:

    As I see it, there are really two issues here– First, there are the moral theological issues which have been brought up as to the moral culpability of the gunman. Second, there are the legitimately enacted laws of the civil authority – which HAVE apparently been violated (recall that all are considered innocent until proven guilty). The act here, of shooting and killing another is punishable by the civil laws of our country – and rightly so. It is up to a judge and jury to determine the culpability as to these laws. As Catholics, we have a duty to obey the legitimate laws of our country and that includes, of course, the laws against murdering another person. In that context it is NOT the right course for pro-lifers to resort to violence. The concern I have is that those who bring up the issue of moral culpability — are being painted with a broad brush with the subtext that they are advocating violence. As somebody who discussed the issue or moral culpability, I’m not advocating that (as one who has discussed this issue) and I doubt others are advocating that- either. Unfortunately, I think the end result is that pro-choicers will be painted as the persecuted group– esp. now that the most recent polls show pro-lifers are in the majority now.

  55. Disgusted in DC says:

    Not only was this murder, but it was a sacrilegious murder, having taken place at place set apart for the adoration of Almighty God. Let us not forget that. It is disheartening to think such a crime was committed by an otherwise observant Christian who rationalized his abominable act by reasoning that because Tiller was committing sacrilege Sunday after Sunday, that his killing would somehow “atone” for the crimes of “Dr.” Tiller. I would like to think that the murderer was a pro-abortion agent provocateur, but I seriously doubt it.

    Tiller is Cain embodied. As the scripture says, anyone who slays Cain, vengeance will be taken upon him sevenfold.

  56. Ottaviani says:

    No faithful Catholic in full union with the Bishop of Rome would advocate capital punishment in the United States.

    Then that person is not a faithful Catholic. The church has never taught that capital punishment is a sin. From the Catechism of the Council of Trent:

    Part III: The Fifth Commandment Thou Shall Not Kill – “Execution of Criminals”
    Another kind of lawful slaying belongs to civil authorities, to whom is entrusted the power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of which they punish the guilty and protect the innocent. The just use of this power, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this Commandment which prohibits murder. The end of the Commandment is the preservation and security of human life. Now the punishment inflicted by the civil authority, which is the legitimate avenger of crime, naturally tend to this end, since they give security to life by repressing outrage and violence. Hence the words of David ‘In the morning I put to death all the wicked in the land, that I might cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the Lord.’

  57. Resurrexi says:

    Disgusted in DC,

    According to Catholic moral theology, Tiller’s murder would not be considered a sacrilege since it took place in a Lutheran place of worship. Lutheran clergy(in general) do not have valid orders and thus cannot consecrate buildings like Catholic and Orthodox bishops can. Had the murder taken place in a Catholic or Orthodox church, the malice of sacrilege would then have been added to the gravity of murder.

    Pax

  58. Nemo Iudex says:

    Disgusted in DC — Not sure how you can know so well the murderer’s state of mind. Is it not possible that he/she was quite insane? Or that he/she was reasoning along the lines of “if I kill this person in church he/she will go to heaven”?

  59. BillyHW says:

    Father, if an American soldier were to kill Osama bin Laden tomorrow in a mosque, could you please explain to me the moral difference with this act against George Tiller?

    (Also, would we wring our hands and lament that the killing of Osama bin Laden would only create more acts of terorism? Would we scream that the killing of Osama bin Laden was a set back for the anti-terror movement?)

    This is a serious question.

  60. Tabby says:

    Fr,
    After praying for his soul and the soul of the murderer, I imagined the headlines and news features we are likely to see in the coming days.

    Even if the killer was not particularly Christian or pro-life, the coverage might reinforce the most minute ties he had with the Church and pro-lifers. It is almost too coincidental a story. Just after Obama called every pro-lifer a terrorist, [When did this happen? Or are you proposing something fictional?] and just after everyone gave the president a quizzical look, this man emerged and gunned down the most high-profile abortionist as he serves in a church.

    If the suspect escaped and was never found, I imagine 60 Minutes will “find” where he lived. The camera would pan over a condemnable basement covered in filth as the news anchor covered her face from the stench. There might be some kind of perverse collection like women’s shoes, and the most prominent feature would be dozens of pictures of Jesus on the walls.

    Early Christians in Rome were accused of eating babies, having unspeakable sex acts, and creating all sorts of calamities. Everything decreed was to prove they were dirty, perverted, and violent.

    I hope the early Christian martyrs are praying for us now, because I am very afraid of backlash from the murder of George Tiller.

  61. cathguy says:

    Much of the commentary here is far too substandard and almost absurd.

    First: a man has been killed.

    Second: a murderer has been apprehended.

    We should be praying for the souls involved, and for the family of Dr. Tiller. The discussion here I personally find quite off-putting.

    For those who wish to debate the surrounding issue of what happens when abortion is illegal in some strange fantasy land of their own creation, I say I am not interested in having such a discussion. It plays directly into the hands of abortion rights advocates, who will look a those who post on this blog as radical extremists who wish to throw women who get themselves into unwanted pregnancy into prison.

    A basic course in American law would seem to be in order:

    Should Roe vs. Wade ever be overturned (a possible but unlikely scenario) then abortion DOES NOT become illegal. Rather, the matter reverts to the individual states. The people will then have a say on what sort of laws regarding abortion are passed. If opinion polls are any indication, the average state would ban third trimester abortions, regulate and limit second trimester abortions, and allow for almost any reason first trimester abortions. (This is illogical, but it is where the people are).

    Those who post arguments that pro-lifers (those of us who live in the real world and are not extremists) seek to use force to end abortion are out of their gourd. We couldn’t get it done, even if we wanted to. The political will isn’t there, and even if it was, there is such a thing as the rule of law to deal with.

    I think the most SANE approach is the one advocated by Democrats for Life in the US. Roe is probably a done deal (though I think we should do everything possible within the bounds of legality and morality to repeal it). However, we can put a legislative agenda into place right now that would seek to reduce abortion by as much as 90% over the next 10 years (I am NOT talking about contraception here). Once abortion has been reduced significantly, then, and only then, may we find the political will among the people to actually do something along the lines of banning or criminalizing the practice.

    ALL of this discussion about making it illegal and criminalizing the abortionists is pie in the sky stuff. Those of us who live in the real world need to act in real world ways. That means praying outside abortion clinics. It means giving women real options. It means overturning Roe and sending the abortion issue into the democratic process. But if you think we can do anything else other than what I have outlined…. well then…. I can only say that it is my opinion that you really haven’t examined the issue in the light of American law.

    Some of us want to post extreme arguments and take extreme actions. Some of us simply want to save lives and work to change hearts and build a culture of life. I think the second approach is the only one that is likely to work.

    I would add as an addenda that I think anyone who votes for a pro-death candidate has done something very wrong. We can’t ever hope to overturn Roe with pro-choice politicians. That should go without saying.

  62. BillyHW, that is a serious question but I don’t think this blog is the right place to discuss it. It should be discussed with serious moral theologians and informed by studies of especially Aquinas.

  63. Janet says:

    cathguy…that condenscending tone of yours is *really* starting to grind on my nerves. If you want to tell us all how you’re so much smarter than us, get your own dang blog.

  64. Allena says:

    I feel the same way about this as I did when they Hung Saddam Hussen. I thought it was wrong, but I wasn’t glad to see him gone.

    I offered my communion today for the repose of his soul, and for his shooter.

    Is it a sin to not be sorry he won’t be able to do tomorrow what he did last week? Certainly murder is not something the pro life people should condone, but really, are we going to miss him?

    I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the moral implications of this, and my thoughts.

  65. Mark says:

    I’m sorry, cathguy, but there is nothing extreme about wanting to put an accomplice to murder in jail. Though I’m not sure I would advocate that for the woman, merely restraint at a mental facility until birth. But even one who does advocate punishing the mother, it is far from “extreme”.

    I’m sorry, but if you’ve surrendered hope of illegalizing abortion as “pie in the sky”…many of us havent thus despaired.

    “Changing hearts” and “building a culture of life” are all good and dandy, but, again, abortion really isnt a “morality issue” like others. It’s real babies being murdered. And there is an urgency there that the pacifist “merely change hearts” crowd doesnt seem to have, which really makes one question if they believe what they say, etc.

    But I honestly think cathguy is a subtle troll. [?] He seems to imply that those working to illegalize abortion are “insane” by outlining the “most sane” approach as if some sort of cold moral calculus can be preformed to “reduce abortion” (in an approach that sounds like compromise) when lives are immediately in danger. There is to be no compromise on the question when murder is legal.

  66. Mark says:

    “Stopping the act of abortion is Caesar’s role—that is, it is the function of the law and of government to make the act illegal and to establish penalties and punishment for it. Stopping the abortionist by taking his or her life is God’s role, if that is His will, not ours.”

    Again, that’s true to a point, but our moral theology DOES allow for proportionate use of force to defend ourselves or an innocent in immediate danger. You wouldnt say “nope, that’s caesar’s job” if a man was stabbing a born child out in your street. At the very least you’d call the police or a group of neighbors to stop him, even if you didnt feel you’d succeed personally. Or if you had the strength or the means, you’d run over there and hit him with a baseball bat, or even shoot him in the legs, etc. And moral theology needs to more robustly explain why those same principles arent applicable in this case. Or else you get men like the shooter today.

  67. cathguy says:

    Janet,

    I wasn’t trying to be condescending. I re-read my post and never said I was smarter than anyone. Sorry you perceived that. I did say that in my judgement much of this discussion was relatively poor. That remains my judgement. Were I Fr. Z (I am not) I would have shut down the combox and done some serious editing. However… his blog… his choice. [Indeed..... yes.]

  68. Tess says:

    1. The Catechism regards reasons for resorting to the death penalty as “very rare, if not practically nonexistent.” – 2267

    2. This murder has set back the pro-life cause. Now we will all be painted as violent extremists.

  69. cathguy says:

    I find the statement that I am a “troll” deeply offensive. I have suffered persecution because I am pro-life. I demand an apology.

    What exactly is wrong with my arguments? Name calling is silly.\

    Fr. Z, I respectfully ask that you moderate your blog. [Do allow me to make these choices?]

  70. JP Borberg says:

    Ok. Deplorable crime etc etc…

    However, just for fun, I’m very temped to go all Biden and say “Well, I’m personally opposed to the murder of abortionists, but I shouldn’t impose my beliefs on those whose values differ from mine”.

    Not my actual opinion, of course, but the ‘reasonable’ and ‘open-minded’ ‘pro-choice’ Obama supporters failing to see the irony in them complaining about that comment just adds to the irony.

  71. cathguy,

    Whyever should Roe be a ‘done deal’? And wherefrom do you get that ‘the people’ are where you say they are? The Pew poll showed that a majority of Americans now believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. That is quite vague, but it doesn’t quite support your assertion about ‘the people’ wanting unregulated first-trimester abortions.

    It is not such a complicated matter to overturn Roe after all. All it takes is to elect a pro-lifer as next President and have him appoint two unambiguously pro-life SCOTUS justices (provided the four pro-life justices in place today stay in their seats).

    Once Roe is overturned, yes, some states will enact liberal abortion laws, but others will enact some very strict ones. And that’s when you begin pushing for a constitutional amendment that grants full citizenship to all from the moment of conception.

    To capitulate as you do is not only decidedly off-putting, it is also, to my mind, diabolically foolish. Would it have been wise for FDR to decide that it was too expensive to fight Nazi Germany and instead struck a deal with Hitler that would have made him reduce the rate of the extermination of the Jews by 90%?

  72. “I have suffered persecution because I am pro-life. I demand an apology.”

    cathguy, I thought you pacifist guys were all about turning the other cheek?

    If you continue with your pathetic whining, I’ll gladly slap you soundly again, turned cheek or no. [Wow. You're gone if you keep this sort of thing going. I consider it out of line.] If you’ve suffered persecution for your faith, God knows it and you ought to be content with that. It does not increase your merit that all of us in here know.

  73. R Hunse says:

    Come on cathguy:

    You cannot simulataneously seek to reduce abortion while permitting it to remain legal under civil law. No society can remain with civil law that contradicts the natural law. As for contraception… abortion is many things, among them it is radical contraception. AND people will always seek recourse to abortion if contraception is considered perfectly moral, licit, enlightened, ‘green,’ healthy, ‘sustainable’ etc. One of the most pro-life things that Catholics can do is to pray for God’s providence to give them the opportunity to share the truth about contraception with their protestant friends. So instead of playing the game with your doable legislative agenda which really is so much white noise why don’t you try telling some of your protestant friends about why contraception is wrong. You might be surprised by the reaction and you would be advancing the pro-life cause considerably. JMJ

  74. Mary Kay says:

    “Well, I’m personally opposed to the murder of abortionists, but I shouldn’t impose my beliefs on those whose values differ from mine”.

    the mot juste of the day….

  75. cathguy says:

    Gideon,

    Please go back and re-read my post. I said that I support overturning Roe. I never said that I capitulated. Given the political landscape, overturning it is possible, but unlikely.

    The polling data on the American people and abortion is highly fluid, but in general reflects a deeply divided and reactionary populace. When there is a pro-choice president, the American people are pro-life (51% in the poll you mentioned). When there is a pro-life president the pendulum swings the other way (see the same polling data under George W. Bush).

    BUT, your analysis on SCOTUS appointments is VERY flawed. FIrst, many pro-choice justices have been Republican appointees. Reagan gave us O’Connor. The list is obvious. Just electing a pro-life president does not guarantee anything. Far from it. If all Republican appointees voted the way you think they would, Roe would be history by now.

    Furthermore, a conservative president is likely to give us a strict constructionist judge. I will grant you that a strict constructionist judge is MORE LIKELY to vote to overturn Roe if an abortion related case reaches the court. HOWEVER, strict constructionists also have a DEEP respect for precedent. Therefore, some strict constructionists that a conservative president may appoint may be in favor of retaining Roe as settled law. Therefore, I conclude that overturning this thing is a long shot. It is possible! But it is a long shot.

    I would LOVE to see Roe overturned, and I would love to see a Constitutional Amendment giving us personhood from conception to natural death. Even with a pro-choice president however, only 51% of the American people are pro-life. Go back and re-read the process for getting an Amendment passed. It isn’t easy. Where is the political will?

    You are NOT arguing with a Doug Kmiec supporter here. I am a pro-life American Catholic. Here is the crux of my argument:

    Overturning Roe is possible but not likely. Even if we manage it (and we should CERTAINLY try) we will then have to fight a state by state battle with abortion supporters much like we are now on gay marriage, but the deck will be stacked against us.

    IF we can reduce abortion substantially, THEN the opposition will have less support, and we will be far more likely to succeed. (This should be self-evident in my opinion) How do we do this?

    1) Pass a legislative agenda NOW that will reduce abortion (I am NOT talking about contraception).

    2) Work to change minds and keep the pressure up. We should continue to seek to stigmatize abortion as a grave moral evil. It is murder.

    3) Work to convince others. We do this by NEVER advocating for and/or defending violence, or locking up women in mental institutions (I can’t believe I actually have to type this… I can’t believe someone would think it would be helpful to publicly suggest this).

    4) As abortions decrease, seek more regulation. Start with demanding that public funds never support abortions… overturn the Mexico City Policy, etc. etc.

    BUT, to post stuff about putting women in mental institutions, to ask questions publicly about moral justifications for violence…. this is the stuff that will see us defeated.

    You have to get that. Reason is the only way forward.

  76. cathguy says:

    R Hunse,

    PLEASE READ!!! I do NOT WANT TO KEEP ABORTION LEGAL. You are saying what I have said. I said that making it illegal right now is near impossible. To get it done we are going to have to reduce abortions as we go! I NEVER SAID that I defend legal abortion.

    If all pro-lifers are this uninformed about the political process in this country (sorry people think I am arrogant) we are SUNK.

  77. Allena says:

    JP Borberg

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

    YES!!! That is a great response ROFL!!!! Love it.

    Sort of like when people tell me I have too many kids and I ask “Which one should I shoot?”

    I kind of get this blank stare….

    People need to bring their heads out of very dark places, and take a deep breath. See, these babies are people! That is really the clincher right there, is the whole Obama crap of “That’s above my paygrade”.

    We had the chance (if he had upheld his promise) to overturn roe, but not now. Next election, we have to all go out and compaign hard. First we better pray and do penance that we’ll have someone worthwhile to support, because frankly I don’t think abortion is going to be an issue the next candidate talks about much.. If they do, then they will be quasi pro choice.

  78. Girgadis says:

    I have seen cathguy post here numerous times and I think it’s a cheap canard
    to call someone a troll just because you disagree with what they have to say.
    Keep this up and you won’t have to worry about negative media coverage – you’ll
    do their dirty work for them. [Not only that! Cheap shots get people locked out of the blog!]

  79. Cathguy, thank you for your careful, responsible reasoning and for your persistence. Your argument is correct.

  80. Fair enough, cathguy. You did for a moment sound like a died-in-the-wool ‘Kmiec Catholic’, with their ‘Roe is here to stay so let’s just now elect a nice and comfy Democrat and focus on reducing abortions (don’t ask how)’ bull. I can see now that your last comment does not support that viewpoint. I am glad of that.

    You may be right about the Constructionists and Roe. In that case, the only way forward is for a constitutional amendment. But if that is the case you are still being overly pessimistic. An amendment of the ideal type could not pass now, but one that did not go so far might (e.g., an amendment that laid down that it was a matter for states to determine abortion laws; that would put severe limits on abortion in some states and we could work further on from there). In any case, I agree completely about the ‘hearts and minds’ approach. This will be necessary to get support for any laws against abortion.

  81. RBrown says:

    All the hand wringing over this is a little sad. Pro-lifers are upset that force was used against an abortionist. These same people want to make abortion illegal, which would mean that the state would use force against abortionists, either by jailing them or shooting them if they violently resisted arrest. Just be honest and admit that the thing that you are worried about is that this will hurt the pro-life movement due to bad PR and possibly legal actions by the Obama regime. But don’t argue that you oppose violence against abortionists because that means that you don’t want abortion to made illegal.
    Comment by AN

    I suggest you find out what “undistributed middle term” means. That might give you a chance to understand that what you have written makes no sense.

  82. Nick says:

    This is very sad because we are (were) winning….

  83. Mark VA says:

    Mark:

    You showed up here on this blog a couple of weeks ago agitating for extreme and off the wall propositions regarding abortion, and baiting us for sympathetic comments. Now you insinuate that those who’ve blogged here much longer than you have are trolls.

    In your own words: “But I honestly think cathguy is a subtle troll”.

    You continue to inject into our discussion extremism that the genuine pro-life movement never has, and never will, accept. I think you should see by now that this discussion will not go in the direction you’re pushing it in.

  84. R Hunse says:

    Cathguy,

    I do not look at abortion as primarily a political problem but a religous problem. Abortion is not thinkable in a world in which our Eucharistic Lord is widely adored. Fr. Z’s motto “save the liturgy save the world.” Is correct and wonderful in its directness. BTW I have worked in government on Captol Hill and am intimately familiar with the legislative process. It is the nature of legislatures to compromise. If you intend to trust this most grave issue to the legislative process than you will have to live with compromises. If you are not willing to work to end legal abortion (which means Roe) but wish to “compromise” by reducing abortion (even accepting your silly and unsuported claim of 90% reduction) than I would question your commitment to the cause. You sound like som many politicians I have known for whom abortion is simply the trampoline on which they jump.

  85. cathguy says:

    Gideon,

    Thank you for you post. You and I are largely in agreement, and I am glad of it.

  86. cathguy says:

    R Hunse,

    Please clarify.

    Do you believe overturning Roe vs. Wade will end legal abortion in and of itself?

    You worked on Capitol Hill?

  87. Having a hard time with this one says:

    Murder is the way in which those that feel powerless, exert their power. Although this argument is morally offensive, this dynamic rears itself more often then we care to mention. In recent examples you find it when a mother kills the person that molested her child; or a spouse that kills his/her spouse that has committed adultery. This problem persists in our society because the victims of a crime often have fewer rights than those who perpetrate crimes.

    With the crime of abortion is of peculiar interest because the crime is perpetrated, sanctioned and paid for by the State. If the “riot” is the cry of the poor and oppressed, what is the cry of the aborted unborn?

  88. R Hunse says:

    Cathguy,

    let me give you an example of how the legislative process of the type you propose works here in TN, a very red state. We have worked diligently spending enormous amounts of money and time to pass all the usual restrictions. Informed consent, parental noticification, waiting periods, requirements that abortions be perfomrmed in trauma centers etc. In on fell swoop years of hard work were swept aside, in P.P V. Sundquist, In which our Supreme Court found a right to privacy that supercede any restrictions on abortion. Made it impossible to limit abortion in anyway. So we have enjoyed the legislative successes you would have us work for at the federal level only to be defeated by the bench. Our courts are where our policy is made period. The legislative process is simply window dressing. Now as for your pro-life democrat proposal, fine and dandy, what type of justices are those pro-life democrats likely to support. Will they filibuster Sotomayor and the like. I don’t think so. So, pass your workable restrictions. It won’t mean a hill of beans until you elect a president that will appoint and keep appointing and only appoint pro-life justice to the federal appeals courts from where most of our Supreme Court nominees are drawn. It you are not dealing with Roe, you’re not dealing with abortion, at least as far as our civil law is concerned.

  89. avecrux says:

    I find it very interesting that nothing is being said about the man in custody. We have statements from all sorts of organizations – even from the President himself – this from a CNN piece “”However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence,” Obama said in a statement issued by the White House.”
    However – we have NOTHING that has been said about the motives of the person in custody. Phrases like “domestic terrorism” is being used by NOW, protection is being offered to abortion clinics by the government – and the media is saying nothing about the suspect. Shouldn’t cameras be at the house of his family, and microphones be shoved in peoples faces and photos of him as a child be on the news already? Am I the only one who finds the lack of information strange?

  90. Does anyone else feel that there will be a physical backlash against Catholic Churches? Vandalism, threats, maybe downright assaults? Or am I being paranoid?

  91. r hunse says:

    Cathguy,

    not exactly. I am simply saying that it is difficult and time consuming to win anything like a victory (and they are always fleeting and partial at best from a legislature) in the legislative process and what victories are obtained are quickly lost at the bench. It is really not possible for a catholic to support in a well formed conscience a democrat candidate, the proportionate reasons are simply not there. The republicans have certainly been dissappointing as well. What we are pushing for here in TN is the election of justices. Look Roe is the 800 lb gorilla in any S.C. nomination because it would allow states like mine that are so inclined to limit or even criminalize abortion. So the political part of my view is that the courts are where the battle is. And at the Federal level that is Roe and Bolton. In the abscence of Roe we could given several legislative sessions criminalize abortion in my state. No nashing of teeth over waiting periods and the like. Just end it. We would still have our court to deal with but the approach would be the same. Ultimately, I really don\’t even see abortion as a political problem, though we should continue to work diligently in that arena. I have done pro-life work form many years and I have come to the conclusion that catholic evangelization is the best pro-life work. Abortion is ultimately a religious problem. There are 60 million catholics. If we all followed the teaching of the Church would we even be having this discussion.

  92. LCB says:

    1) Let’s not make the good the enemy of the great.

    2) This man, who murdered Mr. Tiller, has done a great evil by committing murder. We are a nation of laws not men. Might never makes right.

    3) This man, who murdered Mr. Tiller, has done an even greater evil than murder. It is possible that Mr. Tiller has been deprived of repenting of his many manifest sins and becoming St. Tiller of Kansas, the Repentant Abortionist.

    Let’s be clear, a man may have gone to hell this day because he was murdered and denied the opportunity to repent. If this doesn’t grave you deeply in your soul, something is wrong with you.

    4) None of us knows neither the day nor the hour. Go to confession, the lot of you, and offer it up for Mr. Tiller’s sake. Only God knows how badly he needs it.

  93. Patrick says:

    I think AN needs to seriously ask herself if there was no difference between John Brown and Abraham Lincoln.

    That being said, the John Brown parallel is apt. The nonsense the media may possibly try to pervade only will hold lf we allow basic principles to be muddled. Like Lincoln, our movement is based in part on the Declaration of Independence that guarantees a God-given right to life. This is by no means unqualified (wars do happen) but at the very least it means that human life can not be ended without due process of law. If our society no longer believes in the inalienable right to life, we should tear the Declaration out of every history and legal book we can find and cease our hypocrisy.

    By definition this murderer, whatever his motives, is clearly not pro-life as he has taken a human life without due process of law. Whatever cause he may have had is clearly at odds with our cause since we seek a restoration of the rule of law. By definition, his act was anethema to all we hold dear.

    I believe that if the media is loudly reminded of this matter this could be a clarifying moment for the pro-life movement and for the nation. We should relish the opportunity to state what we believe firmly and confidently rather than panicking due to the acts of a lone nutcase.

  94. LCB says:

    I should be more specific, especially when the post deals with the matter of homicide.

    point 1 should read,

    “1) Let’s not make the good the enemy of the great (in terms of working to implement incremental restrictions to abortion vs. working to end abortion entirely). The two are not opposed.”

  95. May God have mercy on Tiller’s soul, and grant comfort to his family.

    I feel some trepidation about what this will mean for the pro-life movement. But I think the best thing we can do is just concentrate on continuing what we are doing and keep forging ahead as much as we can. We can’t give in to anxiety and fear.

    Our opponents will do whatever they will do… we’ve got to keep doing what we do: pray, give good witness to God, to life, and to love, and build up the culture of life.

    This is Pentecost! We know that we are not alone and we are not helpless. The Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, is with us!

  96. Nan says:

    Katherine Therese, I hope you’re wrong but I can’t say you’re paranoid.

  97. Bill in Texas says:

    Mark, let’s not confuse the issue. The man who shot Tiller murdered him. There is no justification for this act under any theory of law or moral theology. Two wrongs still do not make a right.

    Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote.org, said: “As the late Cardinal John O’Connor said, ‘If anyone has an urge to kill someone at an abortion clinic, they should shoot me. … It’s madness. It discredits the right-to-life movement. Murder is murder. It’s madness. You cannot prevent killing by killing.’”

  98. Rancher says:

    Cathguy
    I am a realist and, unlike you, I believe the bottom line is that abortion is murder and that those who perform abortions are murderers. Thus they should be tried for murder under criminal law. Not sure how old you are but I am old enough to remember when abortion was ILLEGAL and abortionists were tried and convicted of criminal acts. I pray to return to those days. Want to stop all abortions? As a realist I think the only way to do that is to criminalize the act.

  99. magdalene says:

    Was there not an attempt on Tiller’s life in about 1993? He had 16 more years to repent. It is too bad that he could not hae gone the way of Dr. Nathanson, another infamous abortionist, who converted his life and now his witness helps to save the lives of the unborn.

    ‘They’ call the taking the life of an unborn child ‘health care’. Since when is dealing death ‘health care’? It is upside down but that is how the demon works.

    Never do peaceful pro-lifers seek violence, muchless the taking of even a guilty life.

    I pray at an abortion mill. The police are always there. The old men and the women must seem a terrible threat as we walk and pray the rosary. We are not allowed in the parking lot in front of their door which is in the back of the building. We are in the front. But the right to protest the killing of the unborn is likely to be taken and punishment inflicted.

    We are facing the end of some freedoms in this country: the very right to free speech even on moral issues, among other things.

    My rosary at the abortion mill seeks conversion of hearts. We do not take justice in our own hands. But God is perfect justice and those who so knowingly take the lives of the unborn for profit will come to know it one day.

  100. George Tiller is not the first abortionist to be killed.

    Amidst everyone’s worry about what this will do to the pro-life movement and the rights of the faithful, it’s important to bear that in mind.

    For the first time in living memory, a majority of Americans self-identify as pro-life. Any punitive measure by the Obama administration will occur against this backdrop.

    Pray.

  101. Matt Q says:

    LCB wrote:

    “None of us knows neither the day nor the hour. Go to confession, the lot of you, and offer it up for Mr. Tiller’s sake. Only God knows how badly he needs it.”

    )(

    This reply has nothing to do with LCB nor the request for charity. It is merely my reply to the comment.

    Mr. Tiller was responsible for his own soul. He made his choice each and every time he committed an abortion, late-term yet. I worry about and pray for the souls of all the aborted children he’s murdered whom never had the chance to love the Lord in the manner He wishes by living life on earth and partaking of the Sacraments ( primarily Baptism ) He Himself instituted while He walked this very earth Himself. The stated individual walked freely and made his choices each day, and also seemingly worshipped the very Lord Whom he offended with his free-will choices. How oxymoronic. Whether this individual knew of the morality of what he was doing matters not to me, but the end result was the same–deliberate murder of innocent children. The state of this individual’s soul–yea or nay–is none of my business.

  102. Fr. Terry Donahue, CC says:

    [I posted this comment with the previous Dr. Tiller post, but the same issue has been raised here, so I'm cross-commenting here as well...]

    “If Tiller was in the operating room about to perform an abortion, could [shooting him] be considered a valid way of defending the unborn?”

    Even in the hypothetical case of shooting (without the intention of killing) an abortionist in the act of committing abortion, there are several reasons why lethal force should not be used to prevent an abortion (given the current legality of abortion).

    Moral Theologian Fr. Germain Grisez, OP gives the following reasons in volume 3 of The Way of the Lord Jesus in answer to the question (summarized for brevity) “A gun can be used justifiably to neutralize a man who is in the act of brutally beating a small child with a baseball bat. How is that different from shooting abortionists?”

    First, …gunning down abortionists is hard to reconcile with the Christian gospel, which emphasizes loving even enemies and seeking the conversion of evildoers. A dead abortionist cannot repent; women prevented from obtaining the abortion they wanted are unlikely to be moved to repent by the abortionist’s death; and many hearts, reacting self-righteously against the killing of an abortionist, are likely to be hardened with respect to the slaughter of the unborn.

    Second, …it clouds prolife witness by making it seem that even those who oppose abortion approve killing people when they think doing so would serve some good end.

    Third, …the cases of shooting abortionists have proved it to be counterproductive. It provokes a strong, negative reaction from most people and countermeasures by public officials that impede every other form of prolife work, not least nonviolent direct action such as sidewalk counseling.

    Fourth, …violence against abortionists serves as a bad example for many sorts of extremists, thus contributing to an increase in the lawlessness and unjustifiable violence already common in our society.

    …Another difference between stopping the brutal man [in the act of beating a child with a baseball bat] and gunning down abortionists: The brutal man is an isolated wrongdoer whose violence is afforded no protection by society and its institutions. But abortionists are others’ agents—they serve women who have decided to get rid of their unborn children—and both doing and having abortions are socially accepted, protected by law, and even, in some respects, supported by public policy. The fellow beating the small child with a baseball bat almost certainly will not be replaced if you shoot him. Thus, your effort very likely will achieve your good end of protecting the child. But if you gun down one or even many abortionists, the women who meant to use their services, and others who will decide to obtain abortions, certainly can–and almost all probably will–find someone else to kill their unborn babies. And while killing or maiming large numbers of abortionists might have a temporary deterrent effect on actual and potential abortionists, it probably would quickly provoke a well-organized public response. New governmental programs almost certainly would make doing abortions more lucrative and provide abortionists with special protections and privileges. Abortion probably would be at least as widely available as it is now, so that no fewer, and perhaps even more, unborn babies would be killed. Since our society already is deeply committed to the evils of abortion and its legalization, gunning down abortionists therefore would be pointless unless one went on to gun down the public officials who support abortion. But that would be starting a revolution with no prospect of success; and, like war generally, a revolution without a prospect of success is unjust to the nation, whose common good it injures rather than promotes. Therefore, … gunning down abortionists is unjust, while nonviolent direct action—rescues, sidewalk counseling, picketing abortionists’ homes—is just.”

    (Germain Grisez, The Way of the Lord Jesus: Difficult Moral Questions, Q200, http://wayofthelordjesus.org/dmq.cfm?page=dmqq200 )

  103. Luke says:

    I’ve never gotten the impression that the majority, or the media, in our country view Catholics as pro-life radicals. I think that impression is placed on the Protestant Evangelicals of the Jerry Falwell crowd. I think Catholicism as a whole is generally held to a high standard of respectability in all circles, including liberal, no doubt because of the social justice aspects of our faith.

    Therefore, I would be surprised to see any attacks on the Holy Church in the media based off this.

  104. Mike Morrow says:

    I will repeat part of a posting I made to an earlier Tiller thread that supports what Luke has said. I wrote:

    “There will be no association made by press and Democrat politicians of this guy with the Catholic Church. After all, the majority of US Catholics voted for Obama, so implicitly the majority of US Catholics favor abortion, perhaps enthusiastically in the manner of Notre Dame’s Fr. Jenkins (but without the ability to reward with honorary degrees). Would the press and Democrat politicians try to discredit any other predominantly pro-abortion, pro-Obama group? Of course not, so fear not.

    “Conservative evangelical Christian groups…now they have something to worry about!”

  105. Jake R says:

    My friends,

    I (and my wife and kids)have been praying and sidewalk counseling at Tiller’s hellhole abortuary for the last 3 years. Truly, it is a place of darkness and evil.
    I have had several face to face encounters with Tiller and his henchmen “security” guards over that last 3 years. Last Friday, I took an hour and a half shift at the gates of the abortuary, I usually have a litany of prayers and meditations that I go through, but in all honesty, I only prayed TWO prayers, one was for greater respect for the Immaculate Heart, which I now add to the start of every prayer, and then I ask God for one request, I prayed, Lord please transform the heart of Tiller to repent, but if he refuses, please Lord let him meet his eternal reward as soon as possible.
    I then took out some chalk, and wrote ‘babies killed here’ on the entire west side of the curb of the abortuary.
    My friends, I seldom “feel” good at the end my time at Tiller’s,(unless we have a turnaround or save) but for reasons known only to God, I felt
    pretty good at the end of my shift.
    Tomorrow, I will be at the abortuary again, this time praying prayers of thanks.
    Tomorrow, NOT ONE child will be slaughtered in Wichita, by George Tiller.
    That is something I am most thankful for.

    jake

  106. Kirstin says:

    Here are my thoughts on this somber subject:

    Murder is a crime regardless of the identity of the victim or the murderer. The idea some hold that certain people’s murders are more heinous than others because they have purportedly been killed in the name of some targeted hatred or cause (in other words, “hate crimes”) diminishes the murders of people who are “just” killed for more “mundane” or non-categorized reasons.

    Tiller’s murder is, of course, something no one, whether they are pro-life or pro-abortion should in any way support or endorse. But his death should not be used as an excuse by anyone or any group to try to demonize the pro-life movement or pro-life beliefs. And those who are pro-life should not allow any such attemtps to antagonize or frighten them. Just be true to the conviction that all life is sacred and life begins at conception.

    Tiller’s murderer will hopefully be brought to justice speedily, but regardless of the murderer’s motive for the act, pro-lifers need not feel inhibited or intimidated. Every person is responsible for their own actions. This murderer is not representative of pro-lifers, and any attempt by anyone to say otherwise must be met squarely with the truth that any decent organization or cause on earth can contain deviants or disturbed individuals, and if such supposed adherents commit crimes, they do not define the group at large.

    Some people will undoubtedly try to use Tiller’s murder as a means to discredit or restrict pro-lifer activities and activists. Pro-lifers will, one presumes, have the courage and dignity to peacefully, rationally, and undeterredly push aside any such attempts.

  107. cathgal says:

    Hey cathguy,

    You wrote: “No faithful Catholic in full union with the Bishop of Rome would advocate capital punishment in the United States.”
    Guess again! I’m a faithful Catholic in full union with the Bishop of Rome, AND I ADVOCATE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN THE UNITED STATES. I have a copy of the catechism and have used it for years to bolster my support for capital punishment to other, poorly formed catholics. Your comment was about as helpful as that phrase “…any THINKING person would…” (fill in the blanks; it really is a very useful prefix for shutting down any dissent before you’ve proposed your theory.)
    Isn’t that what the “pro-aboriton”, “pro-choice”, pro-”women’s health” people do all the time? Use rhetoric to shut down any dissent to prevent any real discussion? I must admit it works. I got to that part of your paragraph, and it shut me right down! I don’t know or care whatever else you wrote, or anyone else here for that matter. “Cathguy” says I’m not welcome so away I go! Was that your intention? (Bet it was.)

  108. Nemo Iudex says:

    LCB (9:32pm May 31) strikes a somewhat negative tone — “a man may have gone to hell this day because he was murdered and denied the opportunity to repent.” True as stated, but it could also have been put thus: “a man may have been saved from hell today through having received the grace of repentance while in church, for had he lived an hour longer he might have decisively cast aside that grace.” Who knows? (No one.) Since we must not shorten the hand of God, we’d better simply pray. For everyone, murderers and non-murderers.

  109. Scott W. says:

    “prompting honest introspection usually does not begin with dishonest and inflammatory statements. Something to consider.”

    Aye. I’ve been in lots of internet discussions, and I’ve seen lots of examples of some person who has appointed himself Minister of Getting People to Think. 99% of the time that person has neglected to start with himself and ask himself the basic question: Am I acting like a jerk?

  110. cathguy says:

    Cathgal,

    The debate about my comment about capital punishment has, unsurprisingly, been taken completely out of context. I only go back and ask you to re-read An’s comment regarding what pro-lifers are advocating (please understand, her position is the common one in academia especially among feminist scholars). As this blog is read by more people than just those who agree with the pro-life position, a little erudition is called for on the part of those who would seek to comment and debate.

    My point was that NO, Catholics are not advocating what was done to Tiller, so long as the state does it. That is the general position of the feminist. She (or he) would argue that what was done to Tiller was a terrible crime. She (or he) would go on to argue that ALL pro-lifers in practice advocate the same thing. Why? Because ALL pro-lifers seek to harness the police power of the state to ban abortion, and therefore advocate the use of force against women and abortion providers. Thus, the feminist argues, that pro-lifers are hypocritical when they condemn this sort of mindless violence.

    The feminist argument (which is also increasingly the libertarian argument) that I outlined above is weak. But it needs to be refuted. Furthermore, we need to be much stronger than some here have been in condemning the murder of Dr. Tiller. (See Dr. Robert George’s EXCELLENT statement on the subject)

    I was simply pointing out to the person who said that we advocate violence, even if we condemn the act committed against Tiller, that the current Catholic Church (the one led by the Bishop in Rome… who also helped write the current Catechism) is relatively clear in its opposition to capital punishment today. However, to start a debate here on Capital Punishment would be to go down the rabbit hole. That is why I have been ignoring posts such as yours up until this point. Someone even criticized John Paul II while calling me a liberal. This is unsurprising on a blog devoted to traditional Catholic issues. I can only say that I for one do not reject Vatican II or the new Catechism. I do however love the Latin Mass. (No, I am not calling Avery Cardinal Dulles and other brilliant Catholic theologians who support Capital punishment heretics… and yes… I have read many of their arguments)

    For those pro-lifers who would rather ignore or demonize their opponents, the sort of feminist arguments I outlined above can simply go ignored and/or unaddressed. HOWEVER, if you are in the public discourse at any level, the feminist and/or libertarian arguments need to be answered. Also, you should know, that these feminist arguments are increasingly finding a sympathetic ear among many political conservatives, as they dovetail relatively nicely with the libertarian position. Do you know Anne Rand? I assure you many academic people of a free-market bent do. And many of them are ARDENTLY pro-choice, as Rand was. Many of them are the sort of intellectuals who have an ear in the halls of power. Many in the Republican leadership are now advocating abandoning the pro-life position in favor of a more libertarian vision. In a time in this country when only 1 out of 5 people self identifies as Republican, and we have an ardently pro-choice president, we need to do serious thinking and write and speak clearly. In this vein I recommend Robert George of Princeton University. Everything he has written is well thought out, cogently argued, and serious minded.

    So, you see, I was simply answering the typical feminist argument made by An. In defense of the Church I pointed out that the new Catechism is relatively clear on this topic. I also was pointing out that there are many non-violent and peaceful approaches the state could take toward abortion in the event (God willing) it was made illegal. I also pointed out that pro-choicers need to calm down and turn down the rhetoric: the reality of the situation is that we are realtively powerless to use the police power of the state to persecute women EVEN IF we managed to get Roe overturned. On topics as divisive as this one (especially in the light of the terrible act of violence against Tiller) everyone needs to slow down and get a grip… We can and should oppose legal abortion. We should seek to make it illegal. We shouldn’t go screaming around carrying pitch-folks acting like lunatics.

    My statements may have nuance, but they are well thought out and entirely within the bounds of orthodoxy. Perhaps the internet is not the place for such a discussion. However, if we don’t want to be labeled as mindless thoughtless cretin (this is a common perception about those in the pro-life movement in many areas of the country, and in academia in general) then we need to be more careful about what we say, and how we say it.

    In closing I simply say that on the topic of capital punishment, I believe you are wrong. (I would re-read the relevant sections in the C.C.C. and ask yourself: is the U.S. one of the richest nations on earth? That should decide the question in my opinion). However, good Catholics on this topic can disagree, unlike many here, I do not make myself out to be Pope and excommunicate anyone. This conversation regarding Capital Punishment is outside the scope of the argument currently being had, and therefore I will ignore further missives thrown my way on the topic.

    I would simply ask everyone to read more carefully before posting missives.

  111. cathguy says:

    Jake,

    I am stunned by your post. Do you not realize that you close to advocating evil? Perhaps you have been outside that abortuary to long.

    God help you. We should NEVER be happy when someone’s life is lost. For God’s sake, READ SANE writers. People like Dr. George. “Flee the crazy!”

    Someone will take Tiller’s place. The abortions will continue. The only thing that has happened is that we have lost ground. Evil has been done, and NO, no good ever comes from it.

  112. cathguy says:

    Rancher,

    If you can find ONE instance… just ONE where I said I thought abortion should be legal, I would like you so show it to me.

    Read more carefully.

  113. cathguy says:

    R. Hunse,

    I don’t understand what you are trying to say.

    I agree with you pretty much 100%. I have since my first post. Why are you arguing with me?

    I agree that we should seek to overturn Roe. That doesn’t end abortion, it sends it to the states. That is what overturning Roe does.

    That, by definition, puts abortion in the area of public debate. Period. It will be dealt with on a state by state basis with litigation and legislation.

    That is the point I have been making all along. Why do people think this is radical or liberal?

    I also have been trying to deal with a lot of inflamed rhetoric with logic and reason.

    Please people, READ and THINK especially if you are commenting publicly on a matter as tragic as a murder that can hurt the entire pro-life movement.

  114. I find it rather sad that in a thread where everyone seems solidly opposed to the evil of abortion, people are looking to label some as not being opposed enough to abortion because they thought the killing of Tiller was unjustified. Some individuals seem to want to demonize rather than discuss what needs to be done.

    I find it even more appalling that some people seem to think this sort of vigilante action was valid.

    Let’s go back to some basic Catholic teachings. “The ends justify the means” is a concept rejected by the Church. Also we may not break just laws in the opposition of unjust laws, which is again “the ends justify the means.”

    The Catholic teaching on self defense requires the minimum required use of force to stop the harm to another.

    Who could say… perhaps in time George Tiller could have realized the truth and become another Bernard Nathanson. Even if not, Romans 12:19ff tells us our obligation:

    “19? Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” ?20? No, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.” ?21? Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

  115. cathguy says:

    Arnobius,

    Thank you for your sane and VERY Catholic post.

  116. moon1234 says:

    When is the defense of another, who is being murdered, justified? No one seems to want to answer that question. At what point are we allowed to inject ourselves and stop a murder from occuring (abortion)?

    When (temporally speaking) are we allowed to use physical force in the defense of another life about to murdered? If someone breaks into your home and attempts to murder your child, is your neighbor allowed to defend you? What is the difference between this type of assault and what happens in an abortuary?

    Tiller’s murder is unjustified, but can we just dismiss any type of injection of ourselves by stating “It (Abortion) is legal and we must use legal (according to the state law) means to stop it.” Someone please help me to understand how I can morally do this.

    What happens to me under some future state run healthcare when I am old and infirmed and can no longer speak. Will someone pull the plug on me as I watch, unable to speak in my own defense?

  117. r hunse says:

    Cathguy,

    I object to this statement:

    However, we can put a legislative agenda into place right now that would seek to reduce abortion by as much as 90% over the next 10 years (I am NOT talking about contraception here). Once abortion has been reduced significantly, then, and only then, may we find the political will among the people to actually do something along the lines of banning or criminalizing the practice.

    As a matter of tactics it does not work. As I mentioned we have achieved in my state the “reducing abortion” legislation completely. It was costly, time consuming and ineffective at reducing the number of abortions. As I mentioned our policy is made in the court. To take a line of argument and I will paraphrase imperfectly, that “we will tolerate Roe for now provided we can put in place ever tightening restrictions with the eventual goal of overturning Roe.” Does a great injustice to the cause. We must constantly push by hook or crook for justices at all levels that are opposed to and will overturn Roe and Bolton. It is couterproductive to work with pro-life democrats and give them the talking points of “I voted to reduce abortion,” when their party is the principle reason that abortion remains legal under our civil law. We have in our state on such Democroat Lincoln Davis who is rather ardently pro-life. Fine as far as it goes but his party does not give him a place on this issue. His party is currently the primary reason that Roe is not dealt with. So I guess my only objection to what you have said and perhaps I am overstating your devotion to it is that we should not work with Democrats at all to pass legislation limiting abortion when their very strategy includes passing these cover votes only to trump us at the bench. JMJ

  118. r hunse says:

    Cathguy,

    My second point is not really related to anything you have said only to the general focus on politics etc. so you have no argument from me here.

    It is not a perfect comparison but look at how the campaign to ban smoking has achieved success. They took a perfectly licit habit, (however unhealthy) that was seen as cool and hip and have very nearly achieved widespread criminalization of it in some parts of the country. The “campaign” led with the moral argument. “Smoking is bad for you and you are endangering yourselves and others…” Legislation was not the first step. Now its of course a stretch to compare abortion with smoking but there is a certain surrender implicit in laws seeking to regulate. There is an implicit acceptance under the watchful and prudent eye of government. Sort of like saying yeah abortion is bad and were going to keep a close eye on it. This is subtly very damaging to the vast majority that are not really engaged on this issue. Of course I am not saying that I would oppose any of the restricitions of course I wouldn’t. But it seems to me in my humble opionion that there is something not right about seeking to regulate and limit something that is as the Church points out ‘intrinsically evil.’ Did Dr. MLK urge that Montogermery, AL put in place a program that would allow Rosa Parks to ride the buses say on Wednesdays but not the other days? No the sheer moral vileness of such laws deserved nothing less than complete capitulation by those who supported them. Remember, abortion can be condemned from natural law and even Charles Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and their like have access to that.

    I think it would be absoutely wonderful if priests and lay people would take every opportunity to share with the rest of our country the truth about contraception; its immorality and dangerous physical side effects. Now that would be going on the offensive regarding abortion. It is a very important part of the whole abortion debate to interject. Abortion is radical contraception. If you have done any sidwalk counseling you quickly realize that women and men are at the clinics because they do not want to accept the child. People will always feel it necessary to have recourse to abortion if they think that contraception is okay. It shouldn’t surprise that Plan B which is essentially chemical abortion is marketed as emergency contraception. We will not get anwhere on the law until we have a better number than 51% and we will not have a better number than 51% when the vast majority accept contraception. So my second point is Catholic Evangelization is the ultimate answer. JMJ

  119. Mark says:

    cathguy,

    There is nothing extreme about suggesting that women who seek an abortion should be restrained in a mental facility until they give birth. Indeed, were the police to prevent an abortion, it is probable that the woman would try again. Therefore, she should be restrained by the law until she gives birth and the baby is safe from her murderous intentions. To act otherwise would be like returning a man who tried to kill his wife to his home with her still living there!

    Finding this (and other concrete practical consequences of illegalization) “extreme” was what caused me to think you were a troll. I see now your position is more nuanced, though I still disagree very much.

  120. Most Excellent Sledgehammer says:

    it appears the killer is Lutheran…or at least his family is.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/06/01/kansas.doctor.killed.charges/

  121. Carol says:

    Look, I think we can have the honesty to say that few, if any of us are thinking “isn’t this terrible George Tiller is dead”. I can be relieved. I can pray and have hope that lives will be saved now that this tyrant is dead while still saying we are not called to prematurely take away a life and possible opportunity of future repentance – even if it is on his death bed.

    I’m actually surprised at the candor of those who seem to view this as a killing of a Hitler-type. An militant act in a country approaching tyranny. I can only see Christ in the Garden of Gethsemene, telling Peter to put away his sword, picking up an ear off the ground and healing the wounded.

    I’ve been working in the prolife trenches for 15 years. There is a change in the wind. Countries have had civil wars over less. There is an undertow that I am, right now, shocked to discover. It is new. We better acknowledge it and lead.

    +

  122. Latekate says:

    Usually truth bears little resemblance to what is broadcast in the MSM. I’ve come to admit to myself that if I hear it in “the news” I can’t really say I know WHAT is going on. The recent terrorist bombing that was thwarted was found to have been a false flag op setting up some criminals as patsies.

  123. Anthony says:

    Hopefully everyone here has some small amount of common sense and realises that there is NO law that when enacted will stop people from doing bad things, but that doesn’t mean the laws themselves are useless. Laws allow the prosecution of people who do bad things so that we, as society, can continue to maintain some semblence of order so that we can thrive and pass on our good ideas and morals to our children and maybe there will be less people who do bad things in the future.

    there needs to be laws for the protection of the weak from the strong, like the child in the womb from its mother who might try to kill it, for whatever reason. But its stupid to think that laws are enough. without proper raising children who have no respect for parental authority will also have no respect for civil authority, and thus become abortionists or mothers who want to kill their children.

    Laws are like locks and they are only for honest people, however it is up to the parents out there to ensure that as many honest people make it to adulthood as possible. You do not leave the raising of your child up to anyone else. Not to the priest, or the politician, or even the teacher at school. you and you alone are solely responsible. It is your job to make GOOD priests, politicians and techers. And Doctors. And Mothers.

    Anytime you start relying on “nannies” to do your job then crazy people get their way. Like doctors who think its ok to kill children, and mothers who think its ok to kill their own children, and even people who think its ok to play judge jury and executioner for doctors who kill children.

  124. balthasar says:

    Following the Tiller murder I hope the US Bishops will reflect very carefully on the kind of anti-abortion rhetoric they have been using in the last few months.