Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Get Right

Abortion is one of those topics I try to avoid discussing with folks.

It's not because I don't think it's important. I do. However, I also understand that abortion is one of the those topics where the conversation very quickly devolves into shouting and namecalling. It's such an emotionally charged topic that it's very hard for people to find common ground.

I was thinking about the emotions that the abortion issue creates as a I digested this story about the abortion doctor in Kansas who was murdered at church. It has dominated the national news for a while now, and it has sparked crazy discussions on blogs across the internet. The two camps seem to have taken sides pretty clearly. Either the doctor got what he deserved, or he was murdered by lunatic. There haven't been many folks arguing anything in between.

Well, here goes nothing.

I'm not trying to make some pitiful plea for all of us to get along. That ship sailed a long time ago. No, what I'd like to see is folks actually admit that complicated issues rarely have simple answers.

From most accounts, this doctor was one of the few people in this country who performed legal late-term abortions. These operations typically involve well-developed fetuses, who look a lot like the babies that get delivered in a full-term pregnancy. Apparently the law dictates that late-term abortions can only be performed due to a medical risk to mother, or some sort of severe disability with the baby.

I've read that this doctor may have performed 60,000 late-term abortions over the past five years, and consequently, he was one of the most hated people on Earth in anti-abortion circles. Yet, I've also seen folks describe him as a loving and kind man who took on a difficult and heinous job that needed to be done, but that nobody else really wanted to do.

To me, the duality of this doctor's life mirrors the abortion issue itself.

There are no simple answers with abortion. Yet, people insist on pretending there are. It's not enough to say "Life starts at conception" and ignore all the reasons why abortions make sense for some women. It's also not enough to say "A woman's body is her body" and pretend like you don't understand that we're talking about erasing a potential life.

More importantly, it's simply unacceptable to believe that because people disagree with your position, and act on their beliefs, they deserve whatever comes to them.

That's what really troubles me about this incident. Have we as a society become so morally bankrupt that we can rationalize ANYTHING?

I respect the fact that many folks believe that performing an abortion is the same as murdering a child. But, those folks have to know that those are their feelings, they are not fact. Just because a person believes that this doctor was committing murder does not justify gunning him down outside of church.

I could compare it to my feelings on racists. I find people who mistreat and discriminate against people based on the color of their skin reprehensible. Thinking about slaveowners and segregationists always raises my blood pressure and works me into a frenzy. Yet, I understand that no matter how heinous I think those folks were, no matter how many people they hurt or even killed, it would not have been right to murder them in cold blood.

If I behave like my enemy, how can I be better than my enemy? How can I claim the mantle of Christianity, yet behave in a manner that would be an anathema to Jesus? How can I rationalize and even rejoice at actions that I know violate God's will? Where is the God in murdering a father and husband because I didn't agree with his actions?

Most of the folks who shrug off this doctor's death seem to be saying that since he killed babies, he had this coming to him. They seem to be saying that taking the law into your own hands and killing someone who you feel is evil, is understandable and even justifiable.

I see this as part of the slow return to the darker days in American history where murder and mayhem were common place, and punishment was handed out based on who had to power to enforce their beliefs. We create laws in an attempt to instill order. We understand that left up to their own devices, humans will trample the rights of others in order to make themselves happy. Laws are supposed to counteract these desires, and while they often fail, they do succeed sometimes.

When we shrug off laws, not because they are unjust or immoral, but because we disagree with them, then what precedent are we setting? I understand the urge to protect unborn children, but how does the desire to protect children from murder justify another murder? It's one thing to work to overturn current abortion laws, it's quite another thing to become a vigilante and murder doctors who perform abortions.



Lisa J said...

IMHO you did a good job of going down the middle and produced a well written and well reasoned post. Even though I'm pro-choice, I think most anti-abortion people think what happened was wrong that you can't justify killing someone who you think is a murderer and that two wrongs don't make a right(though sometimes it makes you feel better to commit a wrong after you've been wronged), Also, I am not a religious person but the idea of killing someone in a holy house to me is just disgusting and I'm sure most people feel that way. Most folks are rational and know you can't take the law into your own hands like that. It is just those polarizing yahoos on Fox and stations who stir it up and make things seem more skewed than the way most people view them. I also wonder how can you call yourself "pro-life" if you advocate taking a life, of anyone. SMH

SweetT said...

"How can I claim the mantle of Christianity, yet behave in a manner that would be an anathema to Jesus?"

Big Man you said mouthful just right there.

Big Man said...


I see you've been spending a lot of time over at Field Negro's spot.


Big Man said...

Thanks Sweet T

Thordaddy said...

lil' man,

If you accomodate the notion that a mother has a "fundamental right" to kill her child in utero because you REFUSE to push your "Christian" beliefs onto the secular public then how can you push the wrongness of a man killing an abortionist into the public sphere using your "Christian" beliefs?

Intellectually honest liberals KNOW they can have no legitimate complaint to what transpired.

Other less intellectually honest liberals will CLAIM it violated liberal dogma. Those who make that claim are simply denying the liberalism of Mr. Shroeder that they keep for themselves in the case of abortion.

So in this case, Shroeder was ALSO a radical liberal and this is why other honest radical liberals can make no legitimate complaints.

Why should "conservatives" be sucked into a battle between radical liberals in which the outcome is the exaltation of liberal dogma and denigration of conservatism with the main culprits being corrupted liberals?

Deacon Blue said...

Agree with you 100% here, Big Man.

I have no idea what the crazy person above me said, but I'm sure it would have raised my blood pressure if I had read it.

Thordaddy said...

Deacon Blue,

If killing a prolific abortionist is wrong then why are you and other liberals allowed to push your "Christianity" onto secular society? Thou shall not murder is not a "liberal" concept, is it?

And if killing a child in utero is wrong then why are you and lil' man reluctant to push your "Christian" beliefs onto secular society?

And so one can easily understand that your liberal "Christianity" is just liberalism without the Christianity.

You conspire with liberals to tell us how wrong it is to kill a prolific killer of human life and then you conspire with liberals again and take the stance that you won't publicly repudiate abortion thereby assenting to the notion that one doesn't have a fundamental right to exist from conception forward.

How are you a Christian again?

Big Man said...


Sometimes crazy people just like to talk. Whatever helps them out.

Lisa J said...

Yep, I love Brother Field, plus he helps me laugh at some of the foolishness in the world! He got some crazy trolls over there though and some of them just post and post all kinds of craziness.

crys said...

Have we as a society become so morally bankrupt that we can rationalize ANYTHING?

and the answer to only that question, would be YES - per flavor flav, ray j, new york, the housewives, the kardashians.....and the list goes on

Thordaddy said...

lil' man,

Crazy is being so liberal that you cannot conceive of a single reason why one would kill the most infamous and profilic killer of innocent human life known to man.

Deacon Blue said...

Thordaddy still believes I actually read his posts. Amusing.

I suppose I shouldn't taunt the crazy people. Not nice of me.

Bad, Deacon...bad....


Mr. Noface said...

The death of Dr. Tiller has shown how bass-ackwards both side of this abortion debate can be. Both sides dishing out cookie cutter arguments in an issue that is more complicated than being pro/anti -life/choice.

I do not believe that this Doctor was a hero or a martyr like certain segments of the media are portraying him, but to say that murdering him in cold blood is Justice offends my sensibilities as a Christian, American Citizen, and just as a Human. Makes me wonder how some people define "God's Work".

Thordaddy said...

Mr. Noface,

The issue isn't whether the killing of Dr. Tiller was wrong or illegal. The issue is whether his killing was the logical consequence of his prolific killing of innocent human life.

For liberals to say that there was no rationale or justification for Tiller's killing is the equivalent of saying that there is no rhyme or reason to kill an infamously prolific killer of innocent human life.

It is because radical liberals are so extreme on the issue that they really believe that a "doctor" can single-handedly kill 60,000 unborn children (purported) and no one should think anything of it, let alone kill him over it.

Yet, this is crazy think.

It's crazy to think millions of abortions mean nothing while the killing of the "doctor" has grave importance.

Mr. Noface said...


There is a reason for every action, but the reasoning behind murdering the Doctor did not excuse the illegality (not to mention the immorality) of the act. One would only harm his cause by protesting murder with murder.

Thordaddy said...

Mr. Noface,

So if Roeder would have killed Tiller in the act of aborting an innocent human life then his actions would have been legal and moral?

Mr. Noface said...

No, I am saying Roeder killing Dr. Tiller in and of itself is ilegal and immoral.

Raving Black Lunatic