The Culture of “Life” Strikes Again: The Murder of Dr. George Tiller31 May, 2009
Back in April, the Department of Homeland Security warned that right wing extremist and terrorist groups may take advantage of the worsening economy and the election of an African-American President would increase both the number of hate groups and increase the number of people involved in such groups. Of course, the reaction of the media right was measured and moderate. Well, not really — many accused the Obama Administration of orchestrating a hit job on real Americans. After all, no Christian American would ever become a terrorist, right? No politically conservative veteran would ever become involved in an extremist act, right? Conservatives and Christians value life (even if it means the death of a mother).
Today, the sick neo-conservative Christian culture of ‘life’ struck again. George Tiller, a medical doctor in Wichita, Kansas, was
. . . shot just after 10 a.m. at Reformation Lutheran Church at 7601 E. 13th, where he was a member of the congregation. Witnesses and a police source confirmed Tiller was the victim.[snip]
Tiller has long been a focal point of protest by abortion opponents because his clinic, Women’s Health Care Services at 5701 E. Kellogg, is one of the few in the country where late-term abortions are performed. (quote cribbed from The Washington Monthly)
A suspect in this morning’s fatal shooting of abortion doctor George Tiller is in custody and on his way back to Wichita, Wichita Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz said this afternoon at a news conference.
The 51-year-old male suspect was arrested about three hours after the shooting without incident on Interstate 35 in Johnson County, Stolz said.
Police did not release the suspect’s name.
The investigation is in its “infancy stages,” Stolz said. He said the shooting appeared to be an isolated act.
Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. It was not an isolated act. It is part of the Christian radical right ‘culture of life.’ And when a Democrat is elected President of the United States of America, the right wing terrorists start shooting.
In 1993, Dr. David Gunn was murdered in Florida and Dr. George Tiller was wounded in Kansas. In 1994, Dr. John Britton and his escort, James Barrett, were killed in Florida; Dr. Garson Romalis was wounded in British Columbia; and Sannon Lowney and Leane Nichols were murdered at two women’s heatlh clinics in Massachusetts. In 1995, Dr. Hugh Short was wounded in Ontario. In 1997, an unnamed physician in New York and Dr. Jack Fainman were both wounded during attempted murders. In 1998, Dr. Bernard Slepian was shot and killed in New York; and Officer Robert Sanderson was killed during a clinic bombing in Alabama. (data form the National Abortion Federation) And this is an ‘isolated act’?
Back in the summer of 2008, with the prospect of a liberal President, Bill O’Reilly started inciting:
Now, a guy in Kansas, George Tiller, OK, can kill a baby — kill a baby — a half-hour before the baby’s supposed to be birthed for no reason whatsoever other than the mother has a pain in her foot. OK? Mother’s health: pain in the foot, migraine headache, whatever it may be.
And, more recently, Ann Coulter slammed him in a drive by column:
Being such a prestigious institution, Notre Dame could probably get famed partial-birth abortion practitioner George Tiller to do the demonstration at next year’s graduation. Obama could help — inasmuch as Tiller the abortionist is a close friend of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. (from her May 21st column)
(Both quotes from Media Matters (and are direct quotes from the column/television show))
There is even a website, dr-tiller.com, which calls him “. . . America’s most notorious abortionist. And calls him “Tiller the Killer”. Others have called him a murderer. He has been shot before. He has been assaulted. His health clinic has been vandalized. And the police have the gall to call this an ‘isolated act’?
What they do not tell you is that he provides a legal and necessary medical procedure for women who want to have children (From Pandagon.net):
. . . Dr. George Tiller . . . is one of the two doctors in the country that specializes in the very small percentage of abortions performed late in pregnancy (but before viability) done for health reasons, usually because the pregnancy is a danger to a woman’s health or life, or because the fetus is dead or dying. Dr. Tiller obeys the law. . .
PZ Myers points out the obvious link here:
These are the people who fuel the kind of self-righteous ignorance that encourages people to picket reproductive health clinics, treat ob-gyns as public criminals, and incite murder. The heroes are the doctors who sacrifice so much — privacy, security, and in this case, their life — to provide essential services to women, the women in whom Reaganites find so little value, unless they are pregnant. One of the tragedies of this recent killing and the conservative tradition is that it will be increasingly difficult to find heroes brave enough to step into this role…exactly as these narrow-minded, puritanical enemies of human liberty want.
Will the media right call this attack what it is, terrorism? Will the radical political and religious right admit that there are right-wing terrorists? Will O’Reilly and Coulter admit that they have been fanning the flames of right-wing radicals? Possibly inciting to murder? Or, will they blame the victim? blame liberals? blame Obama? blame anyone other than themselves?
Will the right finally admit that they are harboring and inciting terrorists?
From PZ Myers:
Feministe has an excellent list of pro-choice charities. Want to do something to infuriate the women-hating anti-choicers and do something positive in honor of Tiller’s work? Donate!