Tiller and his Assassin: The similarities

On Sunday, George Tiller, the late-term Kansas abortionist, was killed in the lobby of the Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita while serving as an usher.

The man who reportedly took his life was 51-year-old Scott Roeder. What do Tiller and his assassin have in common?  On the surface, nothing; below the surface, everything.

Roeder, was a man of modest means and few accomplishments.  His victim was a rich and powerful figure in the battle over abortion rights.  In short, Tiller was as famous as Roeder was obscure.

But examine the similarities:   Both men were “driven.”  A friend described Roeder as “smart” and said he could have “done anything he wanted.” In recent years, Roeder had become obsessed with ending abortion.   Tiller, on the other hand, had done everything an abortionist could possibly do.  He ran one of the few free standing clinics in this country that perform grisly late-term abortions.   He had more money than he could ever spend.  At 67 he was past retirement age but still working.

Hated by some and revered by others, Tiller was the target of protests; his clinic had been bombed; he had been shot in both arms and received numerous awards from abortion rights groups.

So, what kept Tiller going –  ego, the high one gets from living on the edge?

Very likely every abortion Tiller performed was an attempt to justify what he was doing to himself, to those around him and even God.

Many were surprised to learn that a man like Tiller went to a Christian church where he was a member in good standing and was allowed to serve in a prominent position.  What kind of church is the Reformation Lutheran?  It’s a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

The common definition of evangelical in this country is believing in the sole authority and inerrancy of the Bible and in salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, resulting in a spiritually transformed personal life.  However, in the ELCA, the definition springs from its historic German roots, which simply means Protestant.

In short, the ELCA is just another liberal mainline denomination that places great emphasis on achieving “social justice.”

The church’s statement on abortion is lengthy but contains mostly rhetoric.   It affirms life but says, “A developing life in the womb does not have an absolute right to be born, nor does a pregnant woman have an absolute right to terminate a pregnancy.”

The church considers abortion morally responsible with the pregnancy presents “a clear threat to the physical life of the woman” or when “the pregnancy occurs when both parties do not participate willing in sexual intercourse.”

However, the church opposes ending intrauterine life “when a fetus is developed enough to live outside a uterus with the aid of reasonable and necessary technology” unless  “there are lethal abnormalities indicating that the prospective newborn will die very soon.”

Clearly, as statics has shown, Tiller’s practice violated the church’s position on late-term abortions each and every day.

But here’s the rub.  In laying out these moral parameters the church states, “Human beings live in community, with responsibility and accountability to God, self, and others.  Women faced with unintended pregnancies, are called to be good stewards of life by making responsible decisions in light of these relationships.”

Did you get that?

God is only one member of this equation and the great I AM is on equal footing with “self” and “others.”   Therefore, if you say it’s OK, it’s OK.

Regardless of a parishioner decision on abortion,  an ELCA pastor’s response “must be a gracious affirmation of the value of women’s lives” and “assistance in dealing with ongoing implications of their decisions for their own well-being and their relationships.”

In other words, regardless of the moral absolutes in God’s word that prevent the taking of an innocent human life, a pastor is not free to call sin, “sin” or to lead a person to true repentance that leads to a changed life.

Tiller’s alleged killer also considers himself to be a Christian and had a fish decal with the word “Jesus” prominently displayed on the rear window of his car.

“Thou shall not murder” is one of the Ten Commandments of God.   The Bible prohibits individuals from punishing another for wrongdoing, no matter how grave.  However, it supports using the judicial system to punish those who commit crimes.

Clearly, both Roeder and Tiller felt free to violate the absolutes in God’s word when it suited their purposes.

Here’s where the similarity ends.  Roeder will have a chance to truly repent and seek forgiveness.  Sadly, Tillers life has come to a tragic end.

9 thoughts on “Tiller and his Assassin: The similarities

  1. Thanks, Jane, for the clearest, most concise statement on the tragedy of Tiller. I haven’t read it said any better. God bless you. Keep those columns coming for WND. -Rich.. Hunter

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  2. It is time for the Christian community to stand up and say what it stands for and against. I’m not advocating the “Hell fire and brimstone” church of the past, but a lot of that was appropriate.

    We Methodists invite all to celebrate communion with us, “who truly and earnestly repent of their sins and are in love and charity with their neighbor.”

    That, if taken seriously, eliminates a large number of people from celebrating holy communion with us.

    Christians need to give more than lip service to the teachings of God in the bible.

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  3. I don’t know how anyone can take any pity on Tiller in any measure. It’s not sad that his life came to a tragic end. I’m glad he’s dead and burning in Hell; the bullet came two or three decades too late as far as I’m concerned. I blasted his church too. The 1st century church would’ve given him the left foot of fellowship right onto the curb. Tiller was a piece of filthy trash and his enablers, The Kansas Governor as well as his church, pastor, wife, contributors, all guilty of the blood of the unborn. He should have been a pariah, but he was an usher, his wife in the choir.

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  4. Was Tiller held accountable by his pastor? I think not, as he was given the position of a Deacon!!! This church was negligent in allowing him to be a Deacon. On the other hand one could only hope that in some way Tiller was moving to correct his lifesyle of killing babies. Maybe as he attended church there was some form of repentance as guilt weighed on his heart (of stone). God will be his final judge.

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  5. “Thou shall not murder” is one of the Ten Commandments of God. The Bible prohibits individuals from punishing another for wrongdoing, no matter how grave. However, it supports using the judicial system to punish those who commit crimes.

    Jane, I’m curious. If the bible prohibits murder for wrongdoing, no matter how grave then how did Phinehas get a covenant of peace by the Father himself for this:

    Num 25:6 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought to his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

    Num 25:7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;

    Num 25:8 And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly: So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.

    Did he take the law into his own hands? How is this any different than what Tillers’ killer did? God said, “I am the same yesterday, today and forever.”

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  6. T.M.

    At that time the Children of Israel were governed by God himself. God handed down the laws and they were administered by Moses, the priests and the elders

    After they were settled in the “land flowing with milk and honey” they asked for an earthy king and God granted their request.

    In New testament times, a new definition of the relationship between God’s people and human governments was required and that definition is found in Christ’s teaching, which is illustrated in Acts and further explained in the Epistles.

    The bible makes it clear that we are to submit to human authority and be good citizens. The only exception would be with human and divine authority conflict, then the Christian must obey the higher authority.

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  7. Jane,
    I am torn between emotion and intellect. Were I on Roeder’s jury, I would be tempted to exercize my right of jury nullification and vote “not guilty”. However, intellect and my belief in God’s using government to keep order would cause a “guilty” vote.

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  8. A murderer murdered a mass murderer.
    The act cannot be justified if you are Christian.
    This man Tiller was a monster. The church is totally off base to not hold him accountable for his actions. That is what Christians do. All of this is so in sync with the rest of the madness in our country. We are not going to survive if we do not get busy doing something other than rain dancing. Many are afraid of Obama and his lackeys. I am seeing and understanding more each day why. All of this is very scary but we must stand in the gap. Who will go for us, Send me!

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  9. have to disagree with you on one of the commandments. thou shalt not kill is really thou shalt not murder. killing in the bible is indeed authorized in the bible under certain circumstances. indeed, the right of self defense is a god given right. most people fail to relaize that god himself has used murder and genocide. the jews were insructed to wip out the race inhabiting the promised land when they moved into the area. becuase the israeli king disobeyed the order and allowed the wife of the slain king to survive god punished the jewish people. jesus never advocated that turning the other cheek meant one had to give up the rife to life. according to the bible, jesus will return as judge not lamb this time around. learn the bible, read it. then you will know when you have written something that makes you look foolish and unwise. tiller made tens of millions off of killing babies. he got what he deserved. on judgement day he will be spending his eternity in a very hot place.

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