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Will Obama Call the Murder of George Tiller What it is–Terrorism?

Dr. George Tiller

Dr. George Tiller

George Tiller, 67, a Witchita, KS doctor who performed abortions was shot dead inside his Lutheran church this morning during the service. His wife was in the choir at the time. This is terrorism, and it is evil. Dr. Tiller was targeted as part of a concerted effort to intimdate women who need and seek abortions and the doctors who help them. May he rest in peace.

Apparently Dr. Tiller had been a target of anti-abortion forces for years. He was previously shot in both arms and his clinic was bombed, yet he went on doing the work he believed in.

Dr. Tiller, who had performed abortions since the 1970s, had long been a lightning rod for controversy over the issue of abortion, particularly in Kansas, where abortion opponents regularly protested outside his clinic and sometimes his home and church. In 1993, he was shot in both arms by an abortion opponent but recovered.

Dr. Tiller had also been the subject of many efforts at prosecution, including a citizen-initiated grand jury investigation. In the latest such effort, in March, Dr. Tiller was acquitted of charges that he had performed late-term abortions that violated state law.

Many are celebrating Tiller’s death today.

Anti-abortion groups like Operation Rescue are hypocritically rushing to condemn the killer’s act, but they incited it over many years.

The “Tiller Watch” page is no longer available of Operation Rescue’s website. But this is a group that made it its business to learn the identities of Tiller’s family and employees. It publicized their home addresses and, yes, it publicized where Tiller went to church….Operation Rescue is by no means the only group….They made the fight personal and up close. They should not be surprised, or pretend to be appalled, upon learning the news that Sunday, in a house of worship, a murderer got too close.

Ann Coulter has been an enthusiastic voice calling for Tiller’s murder:

In fact, the hands are many in the death of George Tiller, some more directly than others. Take Ann Coulter, for example. I watched her describe, to a church full of right-wing activists, abortion-clinic doctors and health care personnel who were murdered as either having been shot, “…or, depending on your point of view, had a procedure performed on them with a rifle.” And she’s still out there today, spewing the same bile with violent force.

Interestingly, a worker at Tiller’s clinic was honored at the White House during a Memorial Day luncheon on May 26, yet so far we have heard no comment from President Obama on Tiller’s murder.

Will he speak out? I imagine he’ll eventually be dragged kicking and screaming to the teleprompter to say a few mealy-mouthed words. But will he denounce this crime as an act of terrorism? I’d have to say that is highly unlikely. I hope I’m proven wrong.

UPDATE 1: President Obama released a statement a short time ago:

I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.

I was right. It was pretty mealy-mouthed. Abortion is a “difficult issue?” Why not take an opportunity to defend the courageous doctors who keep helping women at the risk of their own lives? Why not defend the rights of women to make decisions about their own bodies? Oh yeah, because he doesn’t believe those things. Never mind….

Update 2: The AP has a list of abortion-related violent events.

Update 3: Seriously mentioned this website, A Heartbreaking Choice, in a comment on the previous thread. They have stories of women who were helped by Dr. Tiller.


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119 Responses

  1. Thank you for posting this BB, this story has me feeling shaken. Partly because it’s a local story (the suspect is being held in my county jail) but, it’s more than that.

    You said it right in the title: This is terrorism. Dr. Tiller was assassinated.

    • Thanks, Katiebird. I am shaken by it too. And I’m also shaking with rage. There really is a war on women in this country. Dr. Tiller is collateral damage in that war. Thank goodness for courageous people like him.

  2. I wonder why they haven’t released the name of the suspect. The only thing I’ve heard is that he is a 51 year old man.

    • They’re saying on the local news that he’s “a person of interest” is that why they haven’t released the name? They did most of the news broadcast outside his house a little while ago. So it’s not like the reporters don’t know it.

      • Once the police say “suspect” a whole bunch of rights kick in.

        And they were burned bad by the Richard Jewel thing in Atlanta. Smart cops don’t try to be media stars.

      • The names of “persons of interest” are often released.

  3. Whoever did this hurt his own cause. It was anti-abortion violence in the 90’s that drove sensible people away from Operation Rescue back then. Tim McVeigh thought he was going to trigger a revolution but he completely discredited the militia movement.

  4. Was he really shot on his way INTO church? That’s what the headlines were saying.

    BTW — great post BB. and don’t forget to “tweet’ it.

    • He was shot in church I thought. I’ll double check.

    • The LA Times says he was shot in the lobby. I read that his wife was in the choir box when the shooting happened.

      http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-tiller1-2009jun01,0,7068875.story

      • The LA Times story is well worth reading.

        this month, Tiller’s attorneys told the Associated Press, the doctor had asked the FBI to investigate an incident where vandals cut wires to security cameras, cut holes in the roof and plugged downspouts, resulting in thousands of dollars in damage to the clinic.

        The murder may have been motivated by Tiller’s recent acquittal on trumped up charges.

  5. I notice the AP list has something like Dr. Tiller a prominent late term abortion provider…

    What? I don’t really understand the way it is phrased. The AP almost seems to be trying to explain the violence away or something with that qualifier.

  6. I was reading some of those accounts in that last link under the headings My Kansas Trip.

    So many people don’t understand that those terminations happen because there’s absolutely no chance of that pregnancy ever being successful. It’s like damning every one involved to a few months of nothing but pain and costs. Terminations after viability are never done for anything but severe fetal deformity. If there is any chance of viability, they won’t do the procedure.

    But that’s not the lies that the theocrats spread. They’ve just made an industry off of ensuring the pain and suffering of women and children.

    • I’ve heard leaders of that movement say over and over that they lie, cheat, steal, and whatever it takes. The sheeple they prey on have no idea what the truth is. The Catholic church even says terminations are okay if there’s no chance of a successful pregnancy, but no one every mentions that little bit of fine print in church doctrine. Every body suffers for the sin of the fictional EVE because it keeps women and children as property status alive and well.

      • Yes.

      • Exactly. These people couldn’t care less about facts–or about human lives. It’s a war on women.

        • For some of them it’s about political power – they say whatever they need to say to get and maintain it.

          They don’t hate women but if women get in their way that’s just too bad.

        • You are right on. It’s a war on women and our bodies are the battleground.

          It’s unfathomable that a person who claims to be “pro-life” would shoot a man down in a church of all places. I was relieved to see that his wife was in the choir box and not with him. I hope she didn’t witness the murder.

    • And also, every pregnancy carries the risk of death. They’re also damning women into risking their lives to deliver a child who has no chance of survival.

  7. I wish SCOTUS would reverse Roe v. Wade.

    Then we could take this fight to the ballot box and kick the nutters’ asses.

    Roe made too many lefties complacent on the issue of choice, while firing up the fundies.

  8. That statement warms my heart. Obama is a weenie and I didn’t expect a strong statement, but the least he could do is pay tribute to Dr. Tiller’s heroism and bravery.

    Maybe President Clinton will say something appropriate.

  9. Yahoo news:

    Johnson County sheriff’s spokesman Tom Erickson identified the detained man as Scott Roeder.

  10. Tiller had four children and ten grandchildren. He was shot at the beginning of the church service.

    The Associated Press reported that parishioner Adam Watkins, 20, said he was sitting in the middle of the congregation at Reformation Lutheran Church when he heard a small pop at the start of the service.

    “We just thought a child had come in with a balloon, and it had popped, had gone up and hit the ceiling and popped,” Watkins said.

    Another usher came in and told the congregation to remain seated, then escorted Tiller’s wife out. “When she got to the back doors, we heard her scream, and so we knew something bad had happened,” Watkins said

    • That just verifies the sick nature of these people’s belief systems. How the hell do you go into a Christian Church and murder someone? How do you reconcile your Christian beliefs with that. It takes some really demented and sick rationalizations to do so.

      • Absolutely – how can you possibly justify taking his life?

      • the media, politicians of BOTH parties and the anti choice nutters are all to blame. The hell with them saying they regret the violence. They are all complicit in it because they all profit from it and CHOSE to ignore ignorance rather than correct it.
        Democrats, particularly the male variety have no problem pandering to the anti-choicers for a lousy vote. Obama is no different. His response was weak and not helpful. Abortion is not a tough issue. It is settled law. It is no one’s business but the woman involved and rather than the media, Obama and other pols spewing meaningless crap statements, if they really cared, they should be EDUCATING people to what late term abortion is and when it is performed and why it is vital to the lives of women seeking one.
        Obama has the ear of the corporate media like no other president except dubya. He should be using it to set people straight. He MUST know that people are simply ignorant on this topic.

  11. Obama’s statement sucks. I agree, this would have been the time to stand up for women and men like Dr. Tiller. He didn’t even punt.

    • G-Dub or Reagan would have said pretty much the same thing.

      Even Operation Rescue was more forceful in condemning the killing.

    • Did he actually make a public statement, or did he just issue a press release?

      The headlines should say Obama is “shocked, shocked.” He shouldn’t be surprised. According to the LA Times story, more violence was expected. He should have provided protection to prevent it.

    • Apparently, the subject is still above his pay grade.

    • Do you honestly believe Obama left the tv room long enough to make any statement? Isn’t basketball on today? The only thing I hear him saying is, “get me another beer.”

      That read like a comment out of the “Book of Statements”. Some staffer either chose the statement out of a book, or crafted it and Obama gave it a quick glance, decided it didn’t have anything in it that would actually expose his viewpoint, and gave it a thumbs up.

  12. From the LA Times story:

    Warren Hern, a Colorado physician and close friend of Tiller’s who said he is now “the only doctor in the world” who performs very late-term abortions, said Tiller’s death was predictable.

    “I think it’s the inevitable consequence of more than 35 years of constant anti-abortion terrorism, harassment and violence. George is the fifth American doctor to be assassinated. I get messages from these people saying, ‘Don’t bother wearing a bulletproof vest, we’re going for a head shot.’ “

    • This is outrageous. The Lisencing boards need to step in and refuse to certify anyone who opts out of performing these procedures. We’re talking about medically necessary procedures, not even elective abortions for god’s sake! These doctors would not be targets if the procedures were widely available in hospitals.

  13. Also, we just lost one-third of our late term abortion providers. He needs to dispatch federal marshalls to protect the others, their staff, volunteers, and families.

    • I saw that in your comment on Dakinikat’s post. I didn’t know that.

    • yeah, but that would turn off his fundy African American base.
      I was watching some talk show the other day with people arguing about gay marriage and some black women was screaming at a gay man “YOU NEVER MET AND EX BLACK PERSON”….meaning of course that homosexuality was a choice. This is very much the same view point Donna Brazille gave when rejecting allowing gay people to be included in the DNC’s call for equality.
      The whole thing makes me sick. When oh when are Politicians going to stop pandering for votes and actually do the right thing and ask people to get educated and open minded?

  14. The suspect had a history. He had been arrested 12 years ago, and had posted on the Operation Rescue website. He’s a terrorist. Why didn’t the NSA identify him?

    Rhetorical question.

  15. Tiller had experienced tragedy firsthand.

    Tiller, who was born and raised in Wichita, was the son of a physician. He took over his father’s practice when he died in a 1970 airplane crash that also claimed the lives of his mother, sister and brother-in-law. At the time, Tiller was finishing medical school and had an internship at Camp Pendleton. He had planned to become a dermatologist, but when he returned to Kansas to close up his father’s practice, patients pleaded with him to stay.

    Eventually, his clinic evolved from family practice to abortions, and in the late 1980s and 1990s, protests became increasingly violent and intrusive. Tiller testified that he was the subject of frequent death threats, that he was harassed at his church and that members of his staff were picketed at their homes.

  16. Apparently Bill O’Reilly also had a jihad out on Tiller.

    • He’s one of those Radical Christian extremists that only recognize the laws handed to them by their religious elders. Any one that EVER called for violence like this needs to be shown the inside of an interrogation room at this point and they need to be investigated for potentially inciting to violence.

      • Hey, Ann Coulter called for Justice Stevens to be murdered, and nothing happened to her. It’s only a crime if lefties do it.

  17. What Obama could have said:

    http://www.ny.gov/governor/press/press_0531092.html

    “Dr. Tiller was targeted for his belief in the right of women to make their own health decisions. He protected that right and sought to ensure that his patients were provided with the medical, emotional and spiritual counsel they needed to make the right choice for themselves and their families. He continued this work despite the threat of harmful retaliation, physical attacks and the destruction of his clinic. We will forever remember his fearlessness, compassion and commitment. — NY Gov. David Patterson

    • Can Hillary and Paterson run the country while Obama jets around spending tax payer money and doing photo ops?

      Thank you Governor Patterson!!!!!

    • It’s obvious which man can see and which is really blind.

      *****A

      • I am a putrid, slimy piece of scum with absolutely no conscience.

        (edited for the amusement of Captain Spaulding)

        • hey mister twist the truth, I do not know what you actually posted but I can imagine. Please stop being such an ignorant dumbass and learn the real truth.
          Women get late term abortions to protect their lives or to abort dead or dying fetuses. That’s it, end of story.
          You can’t possibly, seriously object to either circumstance.
          Let me tell you a story:

          There was a 42 year old woman and her husband who had been trying for years to get pregnant. Finally she did and they were over joyed waiting for the baby they had wanted for 15 years. then she had an ultra-sound and guess what? They baby was so severely deformed that amoung other problems, he had no brain. Other conditions meant he would have died immediately at birth.
          This couple had 12 weeks left of the pregnancy and rather than mourn for 12 weeks and then again when the baby died in the delivery room they aborted…late term abortion was a blessing and I do not believe in a God that would object to what they did.
          Now here is the thing EVERY LATE TERM ABORTION IS A SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCE. Every single one and if you think anything different it is because you are ignorant brain washed and just plan sick.

        • hey mister twist the truth, I do not know what you actually posted but I can imagine. Please stop being such an ignorant dumbass and learn the real truth.
          Women get late term abortions to protect their lives or to abort dead or dying fetuses. That’s it, end of story.
          You can’t possibly, seriously object to either circumstance.
          Let me tell you a story:

          There was a 42 year old woman and her husband who had been trying for years to get pregnant. Finally she did and they were over joyed waiting for the baby they had wanted for 15 years. then she had an ultra-sound and guess what? They baby was so severely deformed that amoung other problems, he had no brain. Other conditions meant he would have died immediately at birth.
          This couple had 12 weeks left of the pregnancy and rather than mourn for 12 weeks and then again when the baby died in the delivery room they aborted…late term abortion was a blessing and I do not believe in a God that would object to what they did.
          Now here is the thing EVERY LATE TERM ABORTION IS A SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCE. Every single one and if you think anything different it is because you are ignorant brain washed and just plain sick.

    • Bravo Governor Patterson.

  18. Just read on Twitter that Obama just sent his statement out. It isn’t even posted on the WH website yet.

  19. I just flushed an extremely putrid troll from the spam filter.

    • Yes, I put him there and banned him.

    • What’s in the troll zeitgeist these days?

      • Cheering for domestic terrorism

        • I worship Satan

          (edited for the amusement of Captain Spaulding)

        • TT,

          Terrostist sympathizers like you have the right to speak, but we do not have an obligation to listen.

          S

      • This was an anti-abortion, pro-murder of adult humans troll.

        • Decreasing the number of fetii apparently results in fewer human beings for these domestic terrorists to target, harass, and assassinate. That makes them angry.

        • I hope it was really just some juvenile delinquent trying to be funny.

          People who really believe things like that need to be locked up – in a mental hospital.

        • how on earth can they think a protohuman as a walking, breathing, thinking, reasoning human? I just don’t get. Especially since the majority of third term abortions have such horrible encephalopathy that most of them don’t even have complete brains?

        • I am a putrid, slimy piece of scum with absolutely no conscience.

          (edited for the amusement of Captain Spaulding)

  20. How horrible. What a truly brave and principled man. R.I.P.

  21. Ann Friedman (at Tapped) says,

    I am also worried about what Tiller’s murder means for women in Kansas and elsewhere in the country who need the services that he provided. The simple fact is there are almost no doctors who provide late-term abortions, especially in rural parts of the country. I was in Nebraska several years ago to interview Dr. Leroy Carhart (whose challenges to abortion-restricting laws went all the way to the Supreme Court), and Carhart and Tiller were the only two late-term providers in their region. If one wanted to go on vacation or got sick, the other had to fill in. There was no one else. Perhaps it would be a fitting memorial to Dr. Tiller to contribute to Medical Students for Choice, and encourage more doctors with a deep commitment to reproductive rights to become abortion providers.

    I like that idea.

  22. Playing on Beaker Street right now: Chris Rea’s “The Road To Hell”.

    It seems appropriate.

    BTW, “Beaker Street” still exists, and can be heard online 7PM-12AM Central time Sunday nights:

    http://beakerstreet.com/index.html

  23. I’ve tried to post something twice.

    WTF IS SPAMMY FUSSING ABOUT NOW???????

  24. Should Scott Roeder be considered a “domestic terrorist”?
    It is people such as he who are advocating that these types of acts are terrorism.

    • Of course he should. These acts are designed to create a climate of fear to terrorize others into behaving or not behaving a certain way.

    • See title of post.

    • I am a putrid, slimy piece of scum with absolutely no conscience.

      (edited for the amusement of Captain Spaulding)

      • TT,

        Your existence is a good argument for retroactive abortion, but I don’t condone murdering you for upholding your right to free speech. Tiller upheld the rights guaranteed under American law.

        If you have a problem with American law, take it up with congress. Protest to the full extent. If not satisfied, declare war on congress, like your buddy Roeder.

        Roeder declared war on America when he took up arms against a citizen who acted within the law and provided a service that allowed women to exercise their rights under the law. As a supporter of Roeder, you are praising someone who declared war on America. May you receive the treatment justly deserved for people who support terrorizing and murdering their fellow citizens. I’m sure you’ll enjoy reaping the fruits of your principled stand.

        s

  25. Goddess bless this man. May he find peace and love in the Summerlands. As for the man who murdered him in this life… If I believed in Hell, I would tell him to burn it.

  26. May Dr. Tiller rest in peace. It’s times like these I wish I believed in hell because the folk who incite and provoke violence against another human being because he has a different belief set deserve much more punishment than our judicial system can provide.

    • Blah blah blabbity blah

      (edited for the amusement of Captain Spaulding)

      • Do you honestly believe the man who shot him in a church is going to heaven?

  27. Slightly off-topic: While I am a somewhat heretical Christian, I do not believe in the traditional idea of Hell, because torture is sin, period. Therefore, a righteous God would not make it part of Hir justice system. I think it’s like a hospital for sick souls; the “patients” bring their suffering with them. I guess my idea of it is more like the Catholics’ Purgatory, [which is where I expect a lot of those child-raping priests and their enablers are going to wind up].

    Of course, a loving, forgiving, truly righteous God is not much use for frightening exploited laborers [slaves, peasants, etc.] into obedience to an unrighteous earthly social order, which, sadly, has been one of the primary functions of Christianity since it became the official religion of the Roman Empire, and so acquired vested interests in a wicked social order.

    Despite that, I suspect the belief in a Hell of torments began not among the powerful, but among the victims of persecution. Given what those people suffered, if they had not wanted something horrid to happen to their tormentors and the employers of those tormentors, they already would have been so ultrahumanly virtuous that one could wonder why they needed salvation.

    The fact that some of those victims were able to suppress the quite-human passion for vengeance and pray for their persecutors is the closest thing I can find to some kind of evidence for a more-than-human intelligence behind my faith, as horribly warped and perverted to the service of evil as that faith has been.

    • I’ve always seen the death penalty as vengeance for this reason. I do think it is a perfectly natural reaction for someone who isn’t a divine being though. I admire those that can rise above those feelings too and forgive.

      I, too, am one of those heretics who can’t reconcile a loving Father as able to condemn its child to an eternity suffering. That being said, I am all too mortal and it is my hope that somehow the universe repays the pain and suffering meted out by people to be repaid in kind.

    • Did you know that Pope John Paul gave a public speech on his idea that heaven and hell were not “places” but states of minds?

      Most of the Catholic entities tried to bury it or sweep it under the rug, but Time magazine reported on it and a copy of it is available on the papal website. It’s actually a fascinating look at a concept that is very close to Buddhism.

  28. “It was pretty mealy-mouthed. Abortion is a “difficult issue?” Why not take an opportunity to defend the courageous doctors who keep helping women at the risk of their own lives? Why not defend the rights of women to make decisions about their own bodies?”

    I agree, but I find the wimpiness even on the part of most pro-choicers equally to blame. Ever since women started copping out and saying how this is “always a hard decision” and “Everyone finds the decision difficult” we’ve been giving away this right on a silver platter.

    The truth is not everyone finds this hard; I know people who have had abortions without flinching. Yet wimpiness prevailed and few women dare state such sentiments, because they’ve been cornered into not wanting to sound cold and harsh.

    Yet every woman who’s given into this weakness, who’s played into their hands by calling this a “hard decision” and claiming difficulty, just to preserve their own image, is equally a part of where we are now.

    I’m pro choice and I don’t think it’s a “hard decision” unless you’re already half suckered by the right.

    • I didn’t call it a hard decision. Just in case you didn’t read the post carefully. We aren’t supporters of the mainstream women’s groups. They supported a misogynist for president. They are no longer feminists in any sense of the word.

  29. I am a putrid, slimy piece of scum with absolutely no conscience.

    (edited for the amusement of Captain Spaulding)

  30. Troll clean-up required @ 1:10.

    • I have green teeth, see?

      (edited for the amusement of Captain Spaulding)

    • My mom and dad are brother and sister. Can’t you tell?

      (edited for the amusement of Captain Spaulding)

      • TT,

        It’s called freedom of association. We are not obligated to associate with you.

        s

    • Well, that took care of that … I was just going to delete it so that it could be put out of every one’s misery but you know how demented the clown is …

  31. When someone mentions “the truth”,
    that’s the first lie.

  32. Can someone please take out “The Trash” at beginning at 1:18pm today. We’ve got a fetus fetishist trolling the board.

  33. The only way one can say “abortion is murder” is

    a) to cite a legal definition on which it is…not existing in this country, and legal rather than moral; OR

    b) to cite God as the definer of language. Hence the definition of “murder” is defined by god, and, showing evidence, this is it.

    To argue #1 is to show ignorance of law, to try #2 is to show ignorance of linguistics. Both of which, admittedly, should be better taught in our schools.

    • It’s very interesting, and completely illogical, that these terrorists think it’s okay to impose their will on other people – via violent threats, bombings and murder – in opposition to a woman using her inherent free will regarding her own body.

  34. And more to the point, will liberal women wipe his asshole clean and swoon over him and fall to the ground speaking in tongues when he makes some half-assed unsupportive comment, and when Hillary lionizes him as he deserves, will they yawn and change the channel?

    Wee bit bitter there, gotta say it …

  35. Janis, they will. Because the intellectual level of feminism has dropped so low that most of the younger generation cannot even see what they’ve given up, even as their rates of single mother hood and STDs rise and they don’t understand why. Even as domestic violence increases among teens and they accept put downs and career blocks we would never have stood for.

    They don’t, can’t and won’t see it because they are too busy looking for approval and warm fuzzies in their immediate environments…and I very much doubt anything we do or say is going to change this pattern. Rational discourse has limited impact. Someday in the not too distant future some unfortunate situation (government bankruptcy, some televised horror, the natural social progression of this regressive trend) will swing the pendulum back. But for now, that pendulum has swung, and all we can do is keep the way clear for when it swings back.

    • It’s not the younger generation of kids who put him on the fromt of Ms. magazine like some freaking superhero, though. I fully expect the 50-something that run that rag to be first in line in the barky-fest.

  36. gxm17, I’m afraid I can’t agree with you on that one as I’m not sure what you mean by “inherent free will regarding her own body.” Is this a statement of some pre-legal right? If so, I think it risks treading into the same religious style basis for argument as the christian’s use for a pre-legal definition of “murder”. Better to stick to material arguments of individual and societal welfare, than to argue based on “rights” and “free wills” and definitions that come from what can only be supernatural sources.

    • Gee, and I thought free will and self determination were fundamental American ideals. As an atheist I don’t see these coming from a “supernatural source.” But, yes, I come from a more philosophical approach. Laws can be changed. Right and wrong, not so much.

      The illogic I was referring to comes from someone deciding to impose his will, via violence, in order to prevent someone from using theirs. It’s the big breakdown in the “pro-life” argument. A true pro-lifer would be steadfastly against war, capital punishment and even killing in self defense. In reality, these anti-choice terrorists are perfectly content to sow hate and violence in order to deny women reproductive choice.

    • If we don’t all (men and women) have inherent free will regarding our own bodies, then who does control them and why?

      If you think the answer is God, then isn’t that between the individual and Him/Her?

      If you think there is no God, then who?

    • Screw societal welfare. They never define that term to include us anyway — like the people who refuse to investigate rape in the armed forces because it’s bad for soldiers’ morale. They never seem to include the WOMEN in the armed forces under their definition of soldiers.

      Similarly, the welfare of “society” never includes us. We’re not “society,” we’re merely the means by which “society” propagates itself. That’s how they can promote things that slaughter us as good for society, nevertheless. We’re not PART of society in their view, so fuck their definition of societal welfare.

  37. gxm17,

    “But, yes, I come from a more philosophical approach. Laws can be changed. Right and wrong, not so much.”

    On what are these based then? Is this a deontological system? In which case, I’d class it as quasi-religious and we are no more logical than they. Or is it teleological, ends based, in which case you are calculating and end…perhaps happiness? Then this can change based on the culture and environment.

    I still don’t see the illogic in their system to reach it’s end. The sad thing is that it has worked. Access to abortion has been effectively restricted. And as far as moral logic goes, they would argue that their will to do right is against your will to do wrong. Perfectly internally logical — just wrong.

    You say “A true pro-lifer would be steadfastly against war, capital punishment and even killing in self defense.” But that’s imposing your view on them just because of the title they chose of “pro-life”. They could as well argue that a pro-choices should be for the “choice” to scream fire in a crowded room, the “choice” to own semi-automatic weapons.

    If we redefine their arguments with straw men we are no better than them. That’s not to say it doesn’t work. Ridiculing their position with simplistic terms may work…as their violence has worked. I’d only ask whether that means we want to engage.

    myiq2xu,

    “If we don’t all (men and women) have inherent free will regarding our own bodies, then who does control them and why?”

    We as a society make that determination. We can’t define “inherent free will” as existing just because it’s convenient. Well, we can, but I’d find it intellectually dishonest and unlivable, but perhaps the inability to live with a pleasing lie is my own flaw (I mean that seriously).

    I don’t believe in god, though of course none of us can know what else is out there. I do believe in maximizing conscious happiness. It’s not a perfect ethical system, but none has ever been found. We are, at my best estimate (and according to latest research), made happiest by at least an illusion of control over our own lives. Control over ones body is consistent with the evidence in this area.

    • But they trap themselves in their own argument. I am not “imposing” my view, I’m using their own argument. If it’s wrong to take a (potential) life via abortion then that extends to war, capital punishment, or murdering an abortion provider. By calling themselves “pro-lifers,” while claiming that abortion providers are “murderers,” they have painted themselves into an ethical corner. If that’s a strawman, then it is one the anti-choice terrorists have created.

      If one believes that it is okay to take a life in a particular circumstance, whether that circumstance is war or the death penalty, then they open the door to the argument that an abortion might, too, be one of those exceptions.

      Legally, self-determination can be denied. Just look to the countries that execute homosexuals, or America’s history of slavery. Personally I find it intellectually dishonest to pretend free will does not exist, because even when it is outlawed, it still exists. Did slaves not have the right to freedom just because “the law” said they were slaves? The anti-choice movement wants to deny women control over their own bodies, and deny us fundamental rights that, as Americans, should be guaranteed.

      • Also, free will has never been equated to total personal freedom. Inherent free will stands in contrast to an inherent lack of free will (determinism), not to a lack of personal freedom to act as one chooses. My free will allows me to make meaningful choices within my given circumstances, not to be unrestricted by any circumstances whatsoever. Thus even slaves have free will in that they can choose to be personally defiant, even if actual behavioral defiance is not always possible.

  38. gxm17

    You write: “But they trap themselves in their own argument. I am not “imposing” my view, I’m using their own argument. If it’s wrong to take a (potential) life via abortion then that extends to war, capital punishment, or murdering an abortion provider.”

    But that’s not their argument, it’s how you’ve chosen to interpret it. Theirs varies, but it’s more akin to “It’s wrong to take an innocent life.” You are making up the rest of the definition yourself, and yes it is a straw man, but it’s yours. Their use of the term “pro-life” is no more inconsistent than our use of the term “pro-choice”. We don’t support every choice any more than they support every life. Both are propaganda. Their arguments are bad, so I don’t want to impose unreal order on them, but they aren’t nearly as weak as you make out.

    “If one believes that it is okay to take a life in a particular circumstance, whether that circumstance is war or the death penalty, then they open the door to the argument that an abortion might, too, be one of those exceptions.”

    This type of argument (that one idea might open the door to another) could be used for anything. If one believes it’s OK to drive at 16 that’s opening the door to drive at 10. If one thinks it’s OK to smoke pot that’s opening the door to heroin. If one thinks homosexual marriage is OK, that’s opening the door to bestiality. These are all silly arguments, because you have to draw a line somewhere.

    When you talk about “Free will” you are really talking about something supernatural “in contrast to an inherent lack of free will (determinism)” I assume you don’t mean probabilistic ordering (ala the Copenhagen interpretation)? But something else? If you are arguing the standard, that it is something that puts you outside determinism and into a world that allows praise and blame, then I don’t think we’re going to have common ground. Because this is really a religious belief, a belief derived from, and essential to, religions such as Christianity that reward and punish. It’s exceedingly hard to shake (takes most I have seen many years). But if you mean something else, something that allows and acknowledges the constraints (absolute) of the laws of physics, biology, psychology and society (depending on your sphere of observation) then we do still have grounds to debate.

    My fear here, with addressing inaccurate versions of their arguments, is that it gives them a false set of confidence. They can point to these weak arguments, just as we point when theirs are weak, and they use them as propaganda and “proof” that we don’t understand what they’re saying. In reality, they are saying a lot more than what you state, and their flaws lie in their premises, not in their arguments.

    But to attack the premises is distasteful, because the premises lie deep within Christianity, and, believe it or not, a shared idea of free will. And those are things we are afraid to touch…a fear we need to get over.

    • RWR, maybe you should look up the definition of free will. It’s quite simple.

      I’m sorry that you can’t understand the hateful hypocrisy of a “pro-lifer” murdering another person but luckily most people do. But then I’m not convinced you’re on “our” side. I think you’re either trying to sidetrack the debate or you are in dire need of Occam’s razor.

  39. Apparently Bill O’Reilly also had a jihad out on Tiller.

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