Dr. George Tiller – who could have killed him, and why

Police have arrested a suspect in the killing of notorious abortion doctor George Tiller:

… Johnson County sheriff’s spokesman Tom Erickson identified the detained man as Scott Roeder. He has not been charged in the slaying and was expected to be taken to Wichita for questioning.

Court records and Internet postings show that someone using the name Scott Roeder has a criminal past and has expressed anti-abortion opinions on sympathetic Web sites.


Someone named Scott Roeder, then 38, was charged in Topeka, Kan., in 1996 with criminal use of explosives for having bomb components in his car trunk and sentenced to 24 months of probation. However, his conviction was overturned on appeal the next year after a higher court said evidence against Roeder was seized by law enforcement officers during an illegal search of his car.

At the time, police said the FBI had identified Roeder as a member of the anti-government Freemen group, an organization that kept the FBI at bay in Jordan, Mont., for almost three months in 1995-96.

Someone posting to the Web site of Operation Rescue in May 2007 used the name “Scott Roeder” in response to a scheduled vigil to “pray for an end to George R. Tiller’s late-term abortion business.”

“Bleass everyone for attending and praying in May to bring justice to Tiller and the closing of his death camp,” the posting read. “Sometime soon, would it be feasible to organize as many people as possible to attend Tillers church (inside, not just outside) to have much more of a presence and possibly ask questions of the Pastor, Deacons, Elders and members while there? Doesn’t seem like it would hurt anything but bring more attention to Tiller.”

As of now, indications seem to be that Roeder is a disturbed individual with a previous criminal record and ties to violent separatist groups, acting as a lone vigilante. But as Kim previously pointed out, I think we can expect liberals to immediately shelve the religious tolerance and compassion reserved for Muslims and Islam (The “Religion of Peace!”TM) in the wake of Islamic terror attacks, and declare a pending crisis, with insinuations that any Catholic, Evangelical, or anyone else who opposes abortion because of religious convictions could be a potential terrorist or cold-blooded killer.

If you do not follow abortion controversies closely, you may be wondering why it was George Tiller who was specifically targeted by a vigilante, out of the multitude of doctors and nurses who provide abortion services in this country. The answer is quite simple — Dr. George Tiller was one of America’s most notorious abortionists because he specialized in very late term partial birth abortions. Many of the babies aborted by Tiller could have survived birth — even thrived — had they not been killed by Tiller. For this reason, he was nicknamed “Tiller the Killer” by anti-abortion groups.

Two years ago, Tiller was indicted by the attorney general of Kansas for violating state laws that permitted late-term abortions only if two physicians were on record stating that either death or “substantial and irreversible” harm to “a major bodily function” of the mother would result if the abortion was not performed. Tiller interpreted “major bodily function” to include mental health, and repeatedly performed late term abortions citing the mental health of the mother as an overriding factor. He also aborted babies because of non-life-threatening birth defects like Down’s Syndrome. In March of this year, a Kansas jury acquitted Tiller on all counts.

Tiller also angered Christians by shrouding his killing with faux religiosity, even going so far as to have a chaplain on his clinic staff to perform baptisms and funerals for aborted children. The quasi-religious psychobabble used by Tiller and his staff to justify their work and console grieving families truly made him into one of the most ghoulish practitioners of abortion in the country. That he was also a member in good standing at a large mainstream Christian congregation in Wichita adds yet another odd dimension to George Tiller’s life.

LaShawn Barber has more on Dr. Tiller, and asks of his death, “Is ‘ironic’ the right word to describe it?” And a commenter at Ace of Spades pithily sums up what a lot of abortion opponents are feeling right now: “Someone just shot a Nazi guard manning the gas chamber at Aushwitz (sic). I should feel bad about this ?”

Gateway Pundit and Stop the ACLU both have good roundups, including hysteria from the leftist fever swamp. And citing Romans 13 from the New Testament, Robert Stacy McCain observes,

Sometimes, when the stubborn wickedness of a people offends God, the Almighty witholds His divine protection, permitting those sinners to have their own way, following the road to destruction so that they are subjected to evil rulers and unjust laws. Never, however, does the wise and faithful Christian resort to the kind of lawlessness practiced with such cruelty today in Kansas.

I’m not sure what evil rulers and unjust laws exactly have to do with Tiller’s death, but I completely agree that the Tiller case serves as a perfect illustration of the harm brought by the cycle of violence. God allows us to make our own choices, free from divine coercion or intervention. If we choose to be reconciled with Him and do good, we receive His grace and the grace of the community of believers. If we choose to do evil, we are left with the unfortunate consequences of those actions.

Tiller’s remorseless killings, made all the more heinous by the fact that Tiller had convinced himself and others that he was actually doing good, have apparently triggered a violent reaction from a vigilante who no doubt believed that an equivalent act of violence was justified in order to end the violence that was being committed by Tiller. But such an act of evil will serve not only to permit, but to justify, an even greater loss of civil rights for both the unborn, and the individuals who are fighting to protect them. Tiller’s death was a tragedy that, sadly, will be multiplied thousands of times over by the actions of abortionists as they continue to kill children in memory of the latest martyr of our modern culture war.

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