As we begin to digest the consequences of Dr. George Tiller's death yesterday morning, especially the way in which this indefensible, violent act will be spun (unfairly, mostly) against the pro-life movement in the coming weeks, I've pulled out a couple of quotes and news articles that seem particularly timely. (They are presented largely without commentary; I'm always a bit leary of the heightened emotions surrounding a time like this.)
However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as
abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence. -- President Barack Obama
I feel sorrow for the Tiller family. I respect the sanctity of life and the tragedy that took place today in Kansas clearly violates respect for life. This murder also damages the positive message of life, for the unborn, and for those living. Ask yourself, 'What will those who have not yet decided personally where they stand on this issue take away from today's event in Kansas?' Regardless of my strong objection to Dr. Tiller's abortion practices, violence is never an answer in advancing the pro-life message. -- Governor Sarah Palin
As with any church community, there are folks on all different ends of the spectrum, but there was a sense here that our lives of faith are bigger and deeper than those issues. -- Rev. Lowell Michelson, Dr. Tiller's pastor
Whoever murdered George Tiller has done a gravely wicked thing. The evil of this action is in no way diminished by the blood George Tiller had on his own hands. No private individual had the right to execute judgment against him. We are a nation of laws. Lawless violence breeds only more lawless violence. Rightly or wrongly, George Tilller was acquitted by a jury of his peers. "Vengeance is mine, says the Lord." For the sake of justice and right, the perpetrator of this evil deed must be prosecuted, convicted, and punished. By word and deed, let us teach that violence against abortionists is not the answer to the violence of abortion. Every human life is precious. George Tiller's life was precious. We do not teach the wrongness of taking human life by wrongfully taking a human life. Let our "weapons" in the fight to defend the lives of abortion's tiny victims, be chaste weapons of the spirit. -- Robert P. George
I think it's the inevitable consequence of more than 35 years of constant anti-abortion terrorism, harassment and violence...They want the doctors dead, and they invite people to assassinate us. No wonder that this happens. I am next on the list. -- Dr. Warren Hern, self-described as "now, the only doctor in the world who performs very-late-term abortions," and a close friend of Dr. Tiller
Tiller is the concentration camp ‘Mengele' of our day and needs to be stopped before he and those who protect him bring judgment upon our nation. -- posted on the Operation Rescue discussion boards by "Scott Roeder," the name of the man who has been charged with Tiller's death
I hope his soul is saved by the prayers of the children he aborted. -- InsideCatholic commenter "Mark"
And while this is not directly applicable to yesterday's killing, I thought it was powerfully relevant none the less:
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. -- John Cardinal O'Connor
So where to we go from here?
And something I heard not long ago which I love: "We have to love our enemies, but in order to do that, we have to have some." Killing them off just doesn't work.