Funeral services for Dr. George Tiller are going on today in Wichita, Kansas. A spokesman for the Tiller family says this:
“Family, friends and colleagues have come together to celebrate the life of a devoted humanitarian and loving father, grandfather and husband, George R. Tiller, M.D. People are here today from across the country to celebrate and honor the life of a man who wholeheartedly dedicated his life to kindness, courtesy, justice, love and respect.”
A lot of people who are pridefully calling themselves Christians are celebrating the man’s murder. Pride is a sin. Just like murder. And celebrating someone’s murder doesn’t sound to me like loving their fellow man as they love themselves, either, for that matter.
Wonder what God will have to say about all of that one day?
The outrage over Tiller’s career as a doctor who performed abortions comes mostly from people who are unwilling to put themselves in anyone else’s place or to consider that there are, as with all other stories, two sides to this one, too.
My friend Linda Hansen, a writer whom I’ve quoted many times before, wrote her most-recent newspaper column about Tiller’s murder. In part, it noted that the man who was arrested and charged with Tiller’s murder probably didn’t know the man personally. Or any of his patients:
Dr. George Tiller was no “mass murderer”. The kind of woman who went to him for help? She didn’t suddenly realize, at 7 months gestation, that it was time for her annual beach trip and that big bump in her belly had to go because it would ruin her silhouette in a bikini.
She was a woman like one of these:
— She was enjoying her planned pregnancy. She was thrilled when an early ultrasound showed she would be the mother of twins. But something terrible happened during her eighth month. Another ultrasound. She was carrying conjoined twins who shared organs, one of whom was already dead, the other with very little chance of surviving; if it did survive to birth, the baby faced a very short lifespan. And that little life would have been one beginning–and ending–with agonizing surgical procedures.
— She had a late term ultrasound. Her fetus was congenitally malformed. No face. None. No mouth, no nose. Her planned, eagerly anticipated baby would have been born unable to eat–or to breathe.
— She lived in a state where no doctor would perform a late-term abortion for any reason; no clinics, no help. Her baby, the one she wanted, was already dead in the womb. One ob-gyn she contacted for help turned her down because he had “graduated from a Catholic college” and was opposed to all abortions. What a perfectly simplistic inhumane point of view. Dr. Tiller was her salvation.
That certainly puts a human face on the women who would consider such a procedure, far better than anything else I’ve read. It doesn’t matter whether you oppose or support a woman’s right to choose: put yourself in one of these scenarios.
What would you do? No, really. Set aside your politics. And set aside any feelings of satisfaction over one man’s death, particularly if you think that it is somehow justified through the laughable logic that “all lives are sacred.” If you truly believe that all life is sacred, then Tillman’s was as well: there are no degrees of “all.” It literally is “all or none.”
No one who supports a woman’s right to choose is saying that abortion is the right choice to make. And no one who supports a woman’s right to choose what is best for her is celebrating anyone’s death.
How tragically ironic that people who are celebrating someone’s death are the very people who’d have you believe that murder is always wrong.