Articles

Bible Used to Justify Dr. Tiller's Murder

 

By Larry Jones

"The murder of Dr. [George] Tiller is an affront to every moral system imaginable,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Yet anti-choice ideologues say the bible justifies what normal people call a MONSTROUS CRIME. Even if it did, in my opinion, the bible is not some infallible writing from a non-existent god and should not be our guide for morality.

Yet, Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, piously proclaims that "George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God.” This wingnut has turned grieving into an attack on an heroic doctor whose life was dedicated to giving good medical care to women.

Scott Roeder is the man whom authorities think shot Tiller and whom they arrested in Merriam, Kansas. He was once a subscriber and occasional contributor to a newsletter, Prayer and Action News, said Dave Leach, an anti-abortion activist who runs the newsletter. Mr. Leach said that he had met Roeder once, and that Roeder had described
similar views to his own on abortion.
Leach tried to distance himself and his newsletter from Roeder and his murder, but he stated that: “To call this a crime is too simplistic. There is Christian scripture that would support this."

SO WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?

For the sake of argument, let’s pretend that the bible is the moral authority for humanity. This is an outrageous assumption, since the bible is filled with abominable treachery and justification for rape, murder, baby killing, and a bloody list of other horrors. Biblical law orders You SHALL KILL people for committing such offenses as cursing one's father or mother (Ex. 21:17), for being a "stubborn son" (Deut. 21:18-21), for being a homosexual (Lev. 20:13), or even for picking up sticks on the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32-35)! As the
Freedom from Religion Foundation site states: “Far from protecting the sanctity of life, the bible promotes capital punishment for conduct which no civilized person or nation would regard as criminal.” See the Freedom from Religion Foundation website.


Nevertheless, here are some of the verses the supporters of doctor killers use. Exodus 21:22-25. Talks about what happens if men are physically fighting and a pregnant woman nearby is injured and has a miscarriage and presumably the baby is all right, The one who caused the injury shall pay a fine to the husband. But if “any harm follows’ and presumably the fetus is born dead, “then you shall give life for life,” e.g., the death penalty. This interpretation is an enormous reach of the literal meaning of the passage, yet that’s what anti-abortionist bible “scholars,” like Jim Rudd do.


The bible doesn’t actually deal with the real issue of abortion. The word never appears in any translation whatsoever. Oh, the anti-woman anti-choice Christian fascists twist a lot of verses to their purpose and cite the commandment “You shall not murder,” Deuteronomy 5:17 and Exodus 20:13, and then they give all-out support to the American military’s murder of hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq and Afghanistan, large numbers of them civilians. They are contemptible hypocrites who should be openly and spectacularly opposed by all thinking people.

These people begin with the apriori assumption that a fertilized human egg is a person. But it’s interesting that the bible itself says that life begins when a newborn first breathes. Genesis 2:7 says that “God formed man from the dust of the ground [it had just rained, so read mud instead of dust], and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.” So, according to that particular biblical myth, we become persons when we take our first breath.

Unfortunately that myth goes on to say that woman was made out of man’s rib where she became subservient to him. There was no feminist movement back then. Of course there never really was a garden of Eden.

It is truly ironic that Dr. Tiller’s murderer chose a church to do his dastardly deed. Tiller belonged to the Wichita, Kansas, Church of the Reformation, which in turn is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. ELCA is far more liberal than the fundamentalist Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, yet they have not taken a stand for or against abortion. But Tiller’s church gave him strong support and thus appears to be pro-choice. That he died virtually in the arms of those who loved him makes the tragedy even more excruciating.

Pro-choice religious people and Christian fascists are at odds with each other on this and almost every other social issue and between them there can be no compromise on the issue of abortion, despite Obama’s attempts at conciliation. World Can’t Wait has united with open minded and progressive church people and we seek to continually broaden that unity. But we will continue to expose and oppose those who want to go back to the bible or the Dark Ages and continue to oppress women.

As the video here shows, hundreds came to a demonstration in Wichita to honor Tiller. A few protestors showed up on the other side of the street, along with dozens of cops. George Tiller’s death should spur on all of us who call for abortion on demand and with no apology.

 

About

World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.