Skip to content

Abortionist Murdered

May 31, 2009

Bookmark and Share

I’m pretty angry, so I might choose to retract this tomorrow, but in the meantime …
UPDATE: I’ve edited the language a bit by removing liberal use of the “f-word.”
Of course George Tiller’s death has already hit the blogosphere. I’ve read denunciations from all sorts of perspectives, most of which call his killer an extremist. One exception to this denunciation comes from Randall Terry. According to Christian News Wire,
Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue states, “George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God.   I am more concerned that the Obama Administration will use Tiller’s killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions. Abortion is still murder. And we still must call abortion by its proper name; murder.
“Those men and women who slaughter the unborn are murderers according to the Law of God. We must continue to expose them in our communities and peacefully protest them at their offices and homes, and yes, even their churches.”
While bloggers similarly denounce Randall Terry as an extremist, I absolutely resist. What we have with Randall Terry is someone who is consistent. Most pro-lifers are hypocrites: they claim that abortion is murder (sometimes likening it to the holocaust) while denouncing those individuals who are willing to kill for the cause.
This is completely hypocritical. If I really believed that the legalization of abortion was tantamount to the holocaust, then I should be willing to kill to stop it. If you believe abortion is (mass) murder, then you should be willing to kill abortionists, just like those few individuals who were willing to try to assassinate Hitler.
But most pro-lifers, as I’ve noted, are hypocrites. They are unwilling to face up to the stupid consequences of their ideology. If abortion is murder, then abortionists are serial killers. If I find out my neighbor is a serial killer, it is unethical for me to just let her go about her merry way. I should stop her. I believe vigilante justice would be just as legitimate in this case as it was during the holocaust.
We should not denounce Tiller’s killer and Randall Terry as extremists. We should praise them as the individuals who reveal the very real contradictions of every other pro-lifer and the idiotic consequences of taking seriously pro-life rhetoric.
As does this video:
19 Comments leave one →
  1. josiahe permalink
    May 31, 2009 7:53 pm


    nice language. Watch the legs and arms and head pulled off live. W/ your demeanor, you’ll enjoy it.

  2. missivesfrommarx permalink*
    May 31, 2009 8:06 pm

    josiahe: First, what is the relevance of my language?

    Second, does this mean that you fully support the murder of abortionists? If so, the congrats on your (disturbing) consistency.

    Fetuses are not people—they are fetuses. I care more about animals with developed brains than I care about those relatively undeveloped fetuses. So I see your video and I raise you one:

  3. larry c wilson permalink
    May 31, 2009 8:10 pm

    Your language undercuts your point and strongly suggests that you are not what you claim to be.

  4. missivesfrommarx permalink*
    May 31, 2009 8:13 pm

    Hi Larry: I’m not sure I follow your point, but I want to take it seriously. Perhaps you could elaborate? I’m not trying to be difficult; I’m honestly interested in your claim.

  5. June 1, 2009 6:33 am

    If someone views abortion as murder, and an abortionist as a mass murderer, it doesn’t necessarily follow that by not killing them, or by not advocating their killing, one is being hypocritical.

    One may view abortion as murder, but oppose the killing of abortionists on the ground that killing a human being (or a non-human being) is always wrong.

    It may be a poor policy decision in that it may not achieve one’s stated goal of stopping murder, but it’s not hypocritical.

    I think there certainly is a fair amount of hypocrisy from anti-abortionists, though. Tony Abbott, the Minister of Health (like a Secretary of something in the US government) in the previous Australian government was a very conservative Catholic strongly opposed to abortion. He made a number of public statements attempting to re-open the debate on the issue in Australia with the intent of changing the law. He was unsuccessful, but carried on as the Minister responsible for a department that carried out some 100,000 abortions a year.

    You hit the nail on the head though that the problem with this debate is whether people view a fetus as a human being or not. It makes a lot of the debate almost impossible because people are coming from totally different perspectives and can’t agree on the rules for the debate.

  6. missivesfrommarx permalink*
    June 1, 2009 9:31 am

    Yes, it’s possible that they’re not hypocrites, IF—and this is a pretty big “if”—they’re completely opposed to killing in all circumstances. But I don’t personally know anyone who takes such a hard pacifist line, except a few Quaker friends.

    In any case, most of the people who are pro-life in America are the one’s who support bombing the shit out of any brown person in the Middle East who might be a remote threat.

    An abortion doctor was murdered when I was in high school and college, back when I DID believe that abortion was murder. I remember listening to Rush Limbaugh denounce the murderer, which raised the problem in my mind how I could be hard-core pro-life and be against stopping murderers with deadly force. I tried not to ask the question because I thought the logical conclusion would be that murdering abortion doctors would be okay.

    Thankfully I changed my mind about abortion being murder.

    You’re right about the status of the fetus being central—no positions that try to dodge that issue are even remotely capable working, IMO.

  7. June 1, 2009 10:13 am

    I don’t think it’s that rare or ultra-pacifist an approach; that’s the argument of the Catholics, yeah? Life as a ‘seamless garment’? No abortion, no capital punishment no euthanasia (but lots of youth in Asia cos no contraception or abortion). They have their ‘just war’ arguments, but again I think that’s more to do with the nuances or policy implications of an argument rather than invalidating it on the grounds of internal logical inconsistency. There’s probably some Catholics who would make the case for a ‘just war’ on abortionists.

    And if you’ll forgive me for saying so, it seems to be a quite USA-centric argument you’re running. Like in Europe or Australia where a generation or two have grown up with out the death penalty, it’s harder to view a situation in the terms you offer. Violent problems don’t always have violent solutions. Often they end in 18 months or so of therapy in a minimum security facility with a nice view of the fjords in winter.

  8. missivesfrommarx permalink*
    June 1, 2009 10:23 am

    I’ll do better than forgive you for saying so: I’ll congratulate you for saying so. It’s good to be reminded that the world doesn’t mirror the US. It’s hard for me not to have American tunnel vision. Most of the Catholics that I know are more or less straightforward American Republicans—but I’m mistaken if I take them to be representative of Catholicism as a whole.

  9. larry c wilson permalink
    June 1, 2009 11:05 am

    I just thought your language was the equivalent of yelling obscenities and as such was ineffective in supporting your point.

  10. JTV permalink
    June 1, 2009 11:31 am

    I agree with the overall gist of your argument in that if I really do think that my neighbor kills innocent children every day, then using violence if necessary in order to stop her or him does seem like a strong ethical imperative.

    I just wanted to add one point, which is that in this debate we shouldn’t forget that what’s at stake for the vast majority of abortion opponents is not innocent dying infants. If this were actually the case, I think we would see a lot more violence in the name of fetuses. It’s about controlling sexuality.

    Case in point that I’ve never heard adequately refuted: why are doctors who perform abortions murdered, but no one ever murders fertility doctors? On the anti-abortion view, fertility doctors hold literally millions of souls in freezers all across this country in the form of fertilized eggs in petri dishes. My understanding is that if these zygotes are not used (implanted in a uterus) after a certain amount of time, they are literally thrown into the trash. This is a scale WAY above the number of ‘lives’ that an abortion doctor ends. This scale is quite literally that of a holocaust. No one gives a flip. Why?

    Because it’s not the actual belief that life begins at conception that drives anti-abortionists. It’s about controlling the sexuality of unmarried people, understood in right-wing ideology as pregnant teenage sluts who will take advantage of government welfare or take control of their own sexuality outside the control of their fathers. Hence, you hear the call for ‘abstinence-only education’ programs for high schoolers that don’t consider abortion an option, while married women who get abortions aren’t even on their radar. Those women are under the ‘headship’ of men.

  11. June 1, 2009 12:11 pm

    I got images of pro-lifers breaking into sperm banks to liberate embryos like the ALF liberating monkeys from labs…

  12. JTV permalink
    June 1, 2009 12:35 pm

    Got Flickr?

  13. missivesfrommarx permalink*
    June 1, 2009 12:43 pm

    Yea, I want to see those pics! Not because I don’t believe you have them, but just because they gotta be awesome …

  14. June 1, 2009 1:11 pm

    It would really only be hypocrisy if they believed not only that abortion was murder, but in vigilantism and the death penalty.
    For instance if they believed also in a strict caste system where only one caste was allowed to engage in violence (and I do know people with weird outthere beleifs like that) or mennonite non-resistance, it really doesn’t matter how murderous abortion is, for them to respond by killing to prevent it (unless they happened to be in the warrior caste) is just a jolly poor show old chap.

    Not to mention, most people have been completely emasculated by the state, only the state has the right to try and control stuff, we plebs just get to bitch and moan, we certainly mustn’t do anything to bring about our vision of how things ought to be. Less so in America, which is probably why this kind of thing happens there.

  15. June 2, 2009 4:45 am

    Yea, I want to see those pics! Not because I don’t believe you have them, but just because they gotta be awesome

    No, I meant like I got images of it in my head!!! Even if people did “liberate” embryos, what would they do with them? Keep them in their fridge? Implant them into willing volunteers? They’re not tadpoles you can release into the lake.

  16. missivesfrommarx permalink*
    June 2, 2009 9:09 am

    Now I feel like a dummy!

    But now I want to read a satirical novel about nutjobs liberating embryos. That’s a Carl Hiaasen book waiting to happen …

  17. June 3, 2009 5:21 am

    But now I want to read a satirical novel about nutjobs liberating embryos. That’s a Carl Hiaasen book waiting to happen

    I just turned that into a plot for the greatest movie ever: “Army Of Jesus”.

  18. canadian permalink
    October 30, 2009 12:51 pm

    Like mentioned by other comments, it is not hypocrisy if you are a pacifist. Mennonites and Amish, for example, are pacifist groups. But even within other Christian denominations there are large number of pacifists, some of whom form organizations such as for example the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship or what have you. And as mentioned by ibs, many Catholics would have similar positions (perhaps not American Catholics? though I have heard of American Catholic opposition to capital punishment, including from nuns and Jesuit priests).

    Count me as one of the pacifist pro-lifers.


  1. George Tiller and the Metaphysics of Outrage « Directionless Bones

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: