Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dr. George Tiller Murdered: Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right

Dr. George Tiller was serving as an usher at Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas, when somebody shot and killed him.

Dr. George Tiller's Death - Statements About an Abortionist and the Law

Dr. Tiller's attorneys had a statement about his death:
"...'Our loss is also a loss for the city of Wichita and women across America. George dedicated his life to providing women with high-quality heath care despite frequent threats and violence.'..."
The "high-quality health care" Dr. Tiller provided was killing babies in the third trimester. Not many doctors were willing to kill babies at a point where they look like babies.

Dr. Tiller's death prompted another statement, this one from Operation Rescue, a group which - by Tiller's attorney's standards - is against "high-quality health care" for women:
"...'We are shocked at this morning's disturbing news that Mr. Tiller was gunned down,' said Troy Newman, Operation Rescue's president. 'Operation Rescue has worked for years through peaceful, legal means, and through the proper channels to see him brought to justice. We denounce vigilantism and the cowardly act that took place this morning.'..."
Dr. Tiller's "clinic," Women's Health Care Services, had been bombed in 1985, and he was shot in both arms in 1993. I don't think either of those acts was a good idea: although I believe I can understand the probable motive behind them.

"Understanding" and "agreeing with" are two rather different things. I can also understand, I think, why some people believed that cripples and the feeble-minded should be sterilized, at least, for the good of 'the race.' That doesn't mean I agree with proponents of eugenics.

The Murder of Dr. Tiller was a Bad Thing to Do

I am not at all happy that Dr. Tiller is dead. Not because I think it's a good idea to kill babies: but because Dr. Tiller was a living human being. I'm a Catholic, and have strict instructions to love people. Even people who do things that aren't very nice.

I would prefer to live in a country where someone like Dr. Tiller would have been restrained from killing babies. But, that's not the way America is right now. And, being a Catholic, I cannot support vigilantism.
"...By the Middle Ages, Christians widely accepted the civil power's right to put evildoers to death. Even so, the Church was quick to condition this right. St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), for example, points out that only a public authority may judge and execute a serious offender where the society's defense is at stake, and where the offender's reform is not expected. St. Thomas leaves no room for private vigilantism...."
("The Gospel of Life and the Sentence of Death: Catholic Teaching on Capital Punishment" Rev. Augustine Judd, O.P., via USCCB)
The Catholic Church does permit capital punishment, under circumstances which I do not believe have existed in America since, possibly, frontier days. There's more on the subject, in the Catechism (2265-2267, for starters).

Whoever killed Dr. Tiller committed murder, and I hope the legal sanctions against such behavior are applied - short of the death penalty. People who kill other people for personal reasons are not, in my opinion, safe to have around.

Murdering an Abortionist is Wrong - So is Killing Babies

Killing Dr. Tiller was wrong. Killing an adult, or a child after a certain age, for personal reasons, is illegal in America. More to the point, for me, it's wrong.

That's because "Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person—among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life...." (Catechism 2270)

Dr. Tiller's innocence might be debated, but killing him was objectively wrong.

Related posts: News and views: More, about Dr. George Tiller's murder:
Tip of the hat to 1Cor16_13, for heads-up on "Pro-life leaders condemn murder of abortionist."

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From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.