Abortion, for those of us in the pro-life community, is murder. Plain and simple. We think that life, given the science we know now, begins at conception, when our unique DNA is determined and separate from our mother’s, and that a baby’s life is worth no less inside the womb than outside it. We lament the cowardice of the pro-choice community in not taking a stand on when life actually does begin, because that would force that community into a corner of accountability. Ignorance is bliss for them.
Partial-birth abortion, one of the types of late-term abortions that Dr. George Tiller performed, isn’t the smug easy vacuuming of a blastula or group of cells that will, barring complications, grow up to be a human. Indeed, it is a special type of murder. It is a type of abortion that finds in its trash cans bits of eyes, toes, flesh, and heart. It is a type of abortion that the defenseless, innocent baby will feel acutely, seconds before its life is extinguished forever, never having seen the light of existence beyond its mother’s womb.
Thus, it is not without a sense of irony to those of us with pro-life convictions that Tiller was shot in the head, of at all places, his church. After years of murdering children at their mothers’ behest in the safety of his own clinic, George Tiller was shot in the safety of his own church. He was caught, without foreknowledge, without the opportunity to say goodbye to anyone, in the one place where he thought he would be safe. In a sense, he died in the way that he murdered children – who were caught, without foreknowledge, without the opportunity to say goodbye to anyone, in the one place where it thought it might be safe – its mother’s womb.
These realities aside, the media is looking for one single “pro-life” personality to say the equivalent of: “Good, I’m glad he’s dead” so that they, people utterly devoid of moral authority on the question of abortion and murder, can scream “hypocrite!”
But they are naïve. Pro-lifers are precisely that – pro-life. We don’t want anyone to die for death’s sake. But in the absence of a law that respects God’s command to not murder innocent children, or to put it as St. Thomas Aquinas might have, that an unjust law is no law at all, am I to weep for vigilante justice that erases a murderer of babies from our midst? I may not endorse this vigilante’s behavior, but I will accept the benefits of the result. Fewer children will die because of his death. And that is good.
I will not weep for George Tiller. Nor do I expect the angels did at his judgment with God, which occurred in our time on June 2nd, 2009, but occurred in the eternal present with He who knows all hearts.
It is not for us, as humans, to judge intentions or conscience. Nor are we able to. Those weighty considerations are between every single person and God alone. But, we are able to judge actions. And the actions of George Tiller on his judgment day must have weighed heavy in the balance. As Christians, the best thing that we can do for him is pray for God’s mercy on his soul, that last week, in our time, when he was judged, when those dead children confronted him at his judgment, that he was not found wanting. For if he was, a fate worse than abortion would have awaited him.
Overland Park, Kansas
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