Is it okay to kill an abortionist? Seriously…

Not a rhetorical exercise, especially not today. And not for the theocon journal First Things, which took up the question in seriousness in 1994 following Paul Hill’s killing of an abortion doctor in Florida. Hill said in his defense, “Whatever force is legitimate in defending a born child is legitimate in defending an unborn child.” Many would second that, and have.  

Read “Killing Abortionists: A Symposium.” It has some weird coding at the top, but you can scroll down to the various opinions. Robert George’s is a good bit more snarky that his statement today after the Tiller killing, as he compared killing abortion docs to supporting abortion rights:


“I believe in policies that reduce the urgent need some people feel to kill abortionists while, at the same time, respecting the rights of conscience of my fellow citizens who believe that the killing of abortionists is sometimes a tragic necessity-not a good, but a lesser evil. In short, I am moderately pro-choice.”

I suppose that’s one approach.

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posted June 1, 2009 at 12:06 am

“Kill yes, murder no” – Isn’t that what we hear in ‘just war’ theory?
And who has been using the ‘war’ talk recently in this discussion?
Talk about ’embarrassment’? Isn’t that a subtle way of stirring up
the ‘troops’?

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Tarheel Rambler

posted June 1, 2009 at 7:37 am

I can’t help but think of Jesus’ words in relation to punishment of a sinner: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” I guess the murderer of Dr. Tiller was without sin.

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posted June 1, 2009 at 9:12 am

As much as I believe abortion to be murder, I have a hard time thinking that God wants us to respond in this fashion. For the last few years George Tiller has came down to Barber County Kansas to hunt (phesants-quail),and I have seen him several times. Every time I’d see him I felt disgust and a real sadness that any one could do what he did for a living , but I knew that the Father would take care of him in the end. There have always been and will always be very wicked people, if they are never trasformed and never seek forgivness I have to believe that God will handle them in his way and in his time.

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Your Name

posted June 1, 2009 at 9:51 am

Not everyone who is pro-life is an Eric Rudolph – I think anyone who has any religion today is maligned as a pervert or a homicidal nutcase. It was the atheists, based on the best reasoning of science and philosophy and political theory, that butchered millions. People today are very anti-christian anything, and I think the media and education which are very pro-materialistic will eventually produce another Hitler or Mao….I have no idea why someone would do what they did yesterday, but no media story mentions the thirty Christians that were killed in Orissa in India, or the thousands displaced in Iraq…I think the church in America (who should stand for the minority community) is about to be persecuted in the United States. I think all very educated societies end up at Hitler, Stalin and Mao.

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posted June 1, 2009 at 10:23 am

It was the atheists, based on the best reasoning of science and philosophy and political theory, that butchered millions.
Nonsense. The Communism that ran the Soviet Union and China was not based on the best reasoning of science, philosophy and political theory. It learned oppression from wherever it could. Science and reasoning had nothing to do with it. Hitler, of course, blatantly used religious symbolism throughout his evil regime, symbolism that appears to have appealed quite well to the Catholics and Lutherans who voted for him and engaged in mass murder on his behalf.
Media stories do cover atrocities world-wide, but Americans have shown themselves to be little interested in what happens abroad. It’s no surprise that the papers bury these stories in places that only the most interested in foreign affairs will look.
Don’t worry about the thousands of different denominations in the US being persecuted. Together, they are the vast majority of Americans. As long as politicians feel free to say that they think that atheists shouldn’t have American citizenship, you have nothing to fear, except from other Christians.

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Frank Clyburn

posted June 1, 2009 at 3:25 pm

No, it’s not right to kill the abortionist as it’s not right for the abortionist to kill unborn babies….

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posted June 1, 2009 at 9:43 pm

My issue with this question is that it is even a question. I cannot imagine a person who could do his “job” and feel it was morally right, nor can I imagine that someone could think it morally right to even entertain the question above. What are we becoming?

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posted June 1, 2009 at 10:11 pm

No, it is not ok.

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posted June 1, 2009 at 10:26 pm

I read that symposium at First Things when it came out. A very creepy letter in response to this is the second one at the above link. Also note this article, published there in 2000. Fitzpatrick in the article essentially says that shooting an abortion doctor isn’t demonstrably wrong, but since in our society an insufficient number of people of good will are sufficiently pro-life, it would cause too much disorder to “allow” it. It’s really scary how many pro-life people are unwilling to unequivocally condemn actions such as this as Cardinal O’Connor did. With “friends” like these, who needs enemies?

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