On the murder of Dr. Tiller

I doubt any of my blog readers are waiting with baited breath to see what my opinion is on the murder– in his church– of Dr. Tiller, a medical professional who provided late-term abortions. I’m betting you probably know what I’m going to say. But just in case you want my theological and pastoral opinion.

This is as literalistic as I get: Thou. Shall. Not. Kill.

Yeah, that sums it up.

What, you ask, do I think the church’s response to abortion should be, since I clearly don’t think we should be in the business of advocating for the murder of doctors? I believe that people of faith should not spend time trying to make abortion illegal. We should strive, through advocacy and assistance for women before, during, and after pregnancy, through the support of medical research and assistance, through support of all families no matter what they look like and where biological and adoptive parental lines fall, to render abortion unnecessary. Safe. Legal. An option. But laregely an unnecessary one.

[edited to add: before you click on the comments-- please, sisters who have experienced miscarriage, be advised that one comment contains what I found to be graphic langage on the subject. For all who would comment, I am implementing this rule: No graphic descriptions. Life is fragile at all points of the journey. When dealing with this sensitive subject, I request-- no, here on my space I demand-- gentleness, compassion, and respect for one another. Failing that, I ask for your silence.]

6 Responses

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. Well put! I despair of so many Christians who make all political decisions based on the 2 ‘holy’ issues of abortion and gay rights. There are so many more things to consider, and changing these politically is nigh impossible, though we can still believe, eh?

    However, I find it truly astonishing that Tiller was a member of the Evangelical Lutherans. Just how can he claim an evangelical stance while performing what we all know is murder? Didn’t deserve to die for it, though – eye for an eye was NOT what our Lord preached.

    • Matthew 5:38

      “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’” (nkjv) This example came from God’s Law as recorded by Moses in Exodus 21:23-25; Leviticus 24:19-20; and Deuteronomy 19:21. While the law sounds severe to us, in its time it set guidelines against what may have been escalating personal vendettas among people. The principle of retribution, lex talionis, gave judges a formula for dealing with crime. That is, “Make the punishment fit the crime.” The law limited vengeance and helped the court administer punishment that was neither too strict nor too lenient.

      • hello mssc,

        I’m not clear about how you mean to apply the Levitical Code to this situation.

        Shalom,
        Becca

    • Hi grammatteus,

      thanks for reading and commenting (and so quickly!). I think it’s important to remember that the term evangelical is used differently in different circles. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America is the name of the denomination to which Dr. Tiller presumably belonged. This is a separate usage from the term as used in the evangelical movement. Just to clarify.

      I think it is also important to note that Christians of good faith disagree about big issues, including abortion and gay rights and war and environmentalism and a slew of others. While I don’t know anything about who Dr. Tiller was as a person, it seems possible to me that he could have been a man of deep faith, who did not believe that providing late-term abortions was an evil, but was a service and a benefit to women and their families in situations that are probably too horrible for us to imagine.

      Thanks again for reading and commenting.

      Shalom,
      Becca

  2. Wow, just wow. Okay I’m all on board with murder is murder. But then you seem to get a bit luke warm with regards to abortion.

    Help these mothers you SAY?! What have you or any member of your congregation done to tangibly help ANY mother or baby/child whom has escaped the blade and vacuum of the abortionist?

    Honestly, I’m not usually brass with my aproach but for goodness sakes I have grown weery of those (especially those who call themselves followers of the Savior) who SAY they are pro life but then spew something right out the other side of their mouth or do nothing to help babies or “unwanted” children.

    How many have you (yourself setting the example and all) adopted?

    What’s that verse were upon the Day of Judgement “Christians” are complaining, “But Master we cast out demons and healed the sick in Your name.” What was it He said?

    The enemy usually lets some think they are being successful if they are no threat.

    There are no grey areas it truly is black or white, sin or not sin.

    • Hello mssc,

      Thank you for your passionate response to the post.

      A couple of things: first, I appreciate your call for clear speech and defense of God’s children– as I believe we all are. However, you seem to be accusing me of an inconsistency when I think your true argument would lie elsewhere with me. I work toward the day when abortions will be unnecessary, or largely so. I do, however, believe that it must remain legal, precisely because so few people are able and willing to help mothers and their children before, during, and after pregnancy.

      Second, and this is very important, I need you to refrain from the use of graphic imagery and language on my website. Again, you don’t know me and my personal story, but I find your language about abortion revolting precisely because that same procedure was performed on me. My baby had already died, but my body failed to pass all of the tissue naturally. The surgical procedure performed on a woman who has miscarried but fails to pass the remains of the fetus is *identical* to the procedure you describe, scalpels, suction, and all. It is even called abortion. It’s just a *spontaneous* abortion, not one that was sought medically.

      There is some traffic to this blog from others who have experienced miscarriage. For these reasons, I will delete any other comments with graphic language about abortion.

      Life is fragile at all points of the journey. When dealing with this sensitive subject, I request– no, here on my space I demand– gentleness, compassion, and respect for one another. Failing that, I ask for your silence.

      Thanks, and peace to you,
      Becca

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