Friday, June 5, 2009

DR. GEORGE TILLER


By Robert Barnes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 1, 2009

Dr. George Tiller was killed while attending Church services May 31, 2009. Dr. Tiller, the nation's most prominent provider of controversial late-term abortions, was shot in the lobby of his Lutheran church in Wichita, where he was serving as an usher.

Hours later, police stopped and apprehended Scott Roeder, 51, of Merriam, Kan., a Kansas City suburb, on Interstate 35. He had been driving a car that had been identified by churchgoers as leaving the scene of the crime. Authorities were returning him last night to Wichita, and he had not been questioned or charged with a crime.

Wichita Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz said all indications were that the assailant acted alone. The FBI and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation are trying to determine whether others were part of the attack and whether the suspect had any connection to antiabortion groups.

Tiller, 67, had performed abortions since the 1970s. He ran the Women's Health Care Services clinic, one of three in the nation to perform abortions after the point when a fetus is considered able to survive outside the womb.

The clinic had been the scene of frequent abortion protests -- some peaceful, some not -- and had served as the national focal point of antiabortion activists during Operation Rescue's "Summer of Mercy" protests in 1991.

Tiller was shot in both arms in 1993 by abortion protester Rachelle "Shelley" Shannon, who remains in prison for the crime. Tiller received protection from federal marshals for a time. In recent years, he declined interviews and public appearances out of fear for his safety.

He had also been a frequent subject of attempted prosecution in a state that has become one of the battlegrounds of attempts to restrict abortion. In March, the physician was acquitted of criminal charges that he performed late-term abortions without properly obtaining a second medical opinion.

Please comment on this story.
What are your views on this very "Hot Button" issue

12 comments:

Diogenes said...

A murder was committed, which is aways a tragedy and a crime. The alleged perpetrator was arrested. The feds are investigating to see if anyone else may have had some complicity.

Did Dr. Tiller "get what he deserved"? No.

Is this an indictment of the entire anti-abortion crowd? No.

Should some people analyze their own rhetoric to see if they may have, in some way, contributed to the commission of this crime? Yes.

Eman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eman said...

This was a high crime done in such a way it deserves the death penalty, which Kansas participates in, though no executions have been performed since their current law was established on April 23, 1994. The Governor at the time, Joan Finney, never signed the bill. The law did become effective July first of that year. If any crime ever called for capital punishment, this one does.

I have never supported hate crime enhancement. Crimes are done out of hate or envy and if a jurist feels this is an extreme case, the maximum sentence should be imposed. That’s why we have sentencing guidelines. The worst get the worst, exceptions do not. In my opinion, looking at what we know, I feel the highest crime has been committed and the highest possible sentence should be imposed.

It is noted that the President spoke of this crime before leaving for the Middle East this week and said: "I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence."
I note this because there is a very interesting peripheral on this story that has made news, but in an effort to stay on subject, I reserve the right to make a further statement later.
I am Pro-Life. I will never change that view as it is a principle I believe in with all my heart. I am also believe the death penalty is a necessary punishment for crimes such as this.
Some may ask, “How can you be pre-life and pro-death penalty." That’s simple.
One is innocent, the other is not.

Diogenes said...

The prosecutor already said that they're not seeking the death penalty because the circumstances of the crime do not provide the "aggravating factors" needed by statute to warrant the death penalty.

Nameless Cynic said...

And that would be the question.

This man walked into a church and gunned down a doctor in cold blood. (Not, to be honest, that the temperature of the blood has anything to do with it.) What "aggravating factor" is missing? Doctor, saving lives, church, prior planning - this has all the hallmarks of a slam-dunk victory for the death penalty crowd.

The prosecutor is unwilling to seek the death penalty because this will become a media circus that will make the Terri Schiavo debacle look like a county fair.

And this would be a bitter-sweet death penalty case because, like you, Eman, many pro-lifers seem simultaneously pro-death. And to have one barbaric attitude supported while the other is called into question would probably sting just a little.

Personally, I'd love to see this one go. Hell, the cockroaches would come out of the wall and swarm on this like to was a finely-aged steak.

George Tiller was the target for a lot of right-wing anger because he performed late-term abortions. What our right-wing friends are ignoring is that every one was legal. But rather than try and change the law, the anti-choice crowd elected an assassin.

This is in Kansas, folks! This is where they tried to enshrine creationism into the Halls of Science! If they couldn't get an anti-abortion law passed there, where could they?

This was murder, and the man who was murdered was saving the lives of the mothers. Because it was a hot-button issue, Bill O'Reilly targeted the man. And now the Falafel Man is trying to proclaim his innocence. He walked up to Tiller, and pained a giant bullseye on Tiller's back, and now he has the gall to say "It wasn't my fault!"

Crap. When you carve the words "murdering abortionist!" into a stick and put it in the hands of a loon, it's your fault when that loon goes over to the man you're pointing at and beats him to death. You don't get to claim "I didn't kill him! I just held him down while Frankie beat on him!"

And, yes, Eman, we know what a crime it is that the born-again Muslim shot the soldier, and the media is ignoring it. Well, sadly, the media is in the business of making money, and this is a hotter-button issue, with more horrific elements. The media is like a swarm of flies - they go where the biggest stink is.

But since one of us brought it up, (oh, wait, that would be me, wouldn't it?) what exactly is the difference between the Taliban and the anti-abortion crowd, if this case is given a pass? Compare the following statements.

"The World Trade Center was a blow for freedom! America is an evil nation! It's hands are covered in blood!"

"This killing was a blow for justice! George Tiller was an evil man! His hands were covered in blood!"

When you have religious extremists setting the agenda, you have to expect things to go horribly wrong.

Eman said...

1.Is it your assertion that one who is pro-life is an extremist? If so, explain.
2.Is being pro-choice extremist?
3.
“What exactly is the difference between the Taliban and the anti-abortion crowd?”

This statement really raised my eyebrows. It’s as inflammatory as it is bellicose. Is everyone who believes in the sanctity of life on some sort of religious crusade to destroy all those who don’t? Words mean things sir and that statement is easily disproven.

Can you respond to these please?

Eman said...

I am beginning to see a pattern in you. You are a cynic but by choice. You are pessimistic in all views you claim to have. How can you claim to know how things really are when you doubt all you see? Your last comments really open a window into your cynical mind..

Let me show you.

“This is in Kansas, folks! This is where they tried to enshrine creationism into the Halls of Science!”

How can you dismiss creationism when you do not know how the world was made? Creationism is an alternative to Evolution. Why would you, in a free country, dictate what you think is right (still having no fact that it is right) and not allow others to believe a different version of our existence? This implies control where there should be a free choice. You want the version you believe to be true no other theories or thinking is allowed. I have no such wish, through this blog or any writings I have posted, to make anyone believe anything or force others to change their minds. What I do is present my view, my witness and my story. You came in and started to foist your cynical rhetoric into an open and free dialogue. You came with malice and intent. I stepped up and apologized. Not you.

I had to apologize on my own blog. You have never done that on yours. I looked. You attack those who think differently and call them iniquitous without any reason, other then what YOU think. What YOU see. What YOU believe. Why must others be shamed into believing your way is right? I won’t.

I stand on principles my father taught me and his taught him. Do you have any idea how insulting it is for you to call that wrong? For once put the others shoes on man. You like to play God but you are not even close to believing in Him.

It’s like you want a shouting match. I won’t play. Not any more. Look at what you write:

“what exactly is the difference between the Taliban and the anti-abortion crowd”

My gosh man, we want life, not shiria law. We say if you don’t desire to raise the child, at least give the child a chance with someone else. Every movement has its extremist side and this ones no different, but don’t put me in that line-up. Comparison of the Taliban to pro-life is just inconsiderate and insensitive. You who claim to stand with the politically correct crowd talk like THAT?

“When you have religious extremists setting the agenda, you have to expect things to go horribly wrong.”

The religious extremists are not in power and not setting the agenda or making the laws right now. The left is. Obama has gone to Church once (Easter) since taking office. I pray for him and those around him every day. If we are to, as you say, expect things to go horribly wrong when religion is in power, what can we expect when there is no religion in the powers that be?

Where do they base moral behavior? When a man of faith slips, the left pounce, but when the left slips, it’s shoved under the rug and covered up or at worst is made to say “everyone does it”. That’s a level playing field?

“And, yes, Eman, we know what a crime it is that the born-again Muslim shot the soldier, and the media is ignoring it. Well, sadly, the media is in the business of making money, and this is a hotter-button issue, with more horrific elements.”

Why? Because the media says it is? Because you say so? Because it sells? If it bleeds it leads so why is an army officers’ death less important when killed by an extremist just like Dr. Tiller? Does that make it ok to do? You and the puppet press are marginalizing a member of the armed forces who protect this nation from the very type of person that killed him. If he’d been in Iraq, would it have meant more?

I now see who I am talking to here better then I did last week. I pity you. You blow with the wind and change with the tide and have no Sheppard in your life to help you see what is just and true. I have a Sheppard. His name is Jesus. And I believe He is right and just and true. I trust God, and lean not on my own or your understanding.

That’s where we differ. I have a constant. You do not.

Nameless Cynic said...

Wow. OK, you're covering a lot of ground here. I have to say, it would take a lot of room to cover every one of your points. Let's see how much shorthand we can throw in here, and I'll let you choose where to expand.

First response (conveniently numbered, and so easy to shoot through quickly):

1. No. Not all pro-lifers are extremists. But, for the sake of argument, let me point out that not all Muslims are, either. I know a number of both. And, to continue that analogy to its obvious conclusion, let me just point you here.

2. No. I've never heard of a group of pro-choice people attacking or killing (or bombing or burning) anybody. (Some of them scream a lot. I avoid them, personally.)

3. OK, so I went a little over the top. Let me point you to that last link I gave you up above. Compare them to the Taliban. Tell me the difference. (And then look up any number of blogs and websites celebrating the murder of George Tiller. Same question.)

Then we get to the second response.

Yes, I'm a cynic. By choice. But to be honest, I'm not pessimistic. I'm an oddly happy person for the most part.

Yes, I'm pessimistic about people's reactions and thought processes. I've seen so many people act so stupidly in my life, I guess I just can't help it.

How can you dismiss creationism when you do not know how the world was made?

Well, let's see. I do not believe the following:

The Biblical cosmos consists of a vault of heaven (the Hebrew shamayim, or "firmament"), which contains the sun, moon and stars (Gen 1:14-17). These heavenly bodies move across the stationary earth (Psalms 19:1-7), while the firmament rests on pillars (sometimes mountains — Job 26:11) which are rooted in the earth.

Under the earth is the underworld (or Sheol), the land of the dead (Numbers 16:28-34, I Samuel 28:13-15, Isaiah 14:9-11; Ecclesiastes 9:10). The earth, usually pictured as a disc or circle (Job 26:10), supported either on water (Psalms 24:2) or in empty space (Job 26:7). Although it's usually spoken of as a flat disc, there are mentions of the "ends of the earth" (Deuteronomy 13:8, 28:64; Isaiah 5:26; Psalms 135:7) and the "four corners of the earth" (Isaiah 11:12, Ezekiel 7:2) which refer to distant lands, but could just as easily indicate that the earth is rectangular or square. Or at least a parallelogram.

So, once we fail to get past simple geography with the Bible literalists, where does that leave the creation myth?

See, although I don't know how the world was made, I don't let it bother me much. I like to think of myself as a Zen Agnostic (metaphorically, "I don't know, and I don't care").

(continued)

Nameless Cynic said...

(part 2)

Creationism is an alternative to Evolution.

Yes, but it's not a scientific alternative to evolution. And therefore, it should not be taught in Science classes. If you choose to believe in a religious theory of the universe, let's keep that in religion classes (taught every Sunday, and for some reason often on Wednesdays) in churches around the country.

You attack those who think differently and call them iniquitous without any reason, other then what YOU think. What YOU see. What YOU believe. Why must others be shamed into believing your way is right?

And now you're misunderstanding me. I am a big supporter of Freedom of Religion. I just don't want it to be enshrined in government (remember that whole "separation of church and state" thing?), and I don't want the beliefs of someone's religion to be forced on me.

Two of the world's major religions believe that pork is anathema. One or two flavors of Christianity believe that dancing is a sin. Several assorted belief systems have told us that women should remain subservient to men.

These are beliefs. People are allowed their beliefs. But they are not allowed to force them upon other people. And that's what I attack.

You believe what you want to believe. That's your right. But it's my right not to believe what you do.

We say if you don’t desire to raise the child, at least give the child a chance with someone else.

You know, that's great, in theory. And if it worked, I'd have very few problems with it. But it doesn't.

First of all, the facts about adoption are hard to find. But the facts, when you find them, aren't pretty.

Domestic adoptions are much harder to track then international ones, because many occur with private agencies, involving only local courts. The numbers are also scewed by the vast majority of step-parent and relative adoptions that occur domestically. A number that is maintained (though not very recent) is how many children are in foster care, how many of those foster care children are adoptable (ie, not on a reunification plan with their parents), and how many of the adoptable foster children are actually adopted. In the last year that records are easily available (2000) there were 501,000 foster kids, of those 127,000 were available to be adopted and of that 127,000, 51,000 were actually adopted. (US Census and Child Welfare Services).

So the odds aren't good of getting adopted, much less of coming out of it healthy. Sorry.

Obama has gone to Church once (Easter) since taking office.

This is such an important statistic to some people that they can't seem to focus on anything else. Like, say, the real facts.

You... have no Sheppard in your life to help you see what is just and true.

True. I might (I lived in Wyoming at the time), but he was killed. Again, because people listened to religious extremists. (Hey, you brought him up. Not me.)

If you've really been reading my blog, you might note that I have a fairly strong moral center. It just doesn't happen to be a religious one. Separate the two, and perhaps you'll note the difference.

Nameless Cynic said...

Oh, and, reading back, I can see where I essentially said that you, as a pro-lifer, were an extremist.

I have already mentioned that I might have gone over the top on that statement. But for that implication, I'm sorry.

Eman said...

Apology accepted, and yes, I see it. So let me say, from the cockles of my heart,a very heartfelt …DOH!!!

Eman (meaning me) is the worst speller north of the Mason-Dixon line and many many many points south of same.

Sometimes, I'm such a big dummy, that I can hardly get next to myself.

Eman said...

Diogenes, you’re up. Set the topic.