Pontifications

Pontifications


Activist: Tiller killing “biblically justified”

posted by David Gibson

So says the publisher of Prayer and Action News, an anti-abortion newsletter and Web site that slay suspect Scott Roder liked. Dave Leach tells the Des Moines Register that Tiller’s murder could be biblically justified as a way to prevent what he sees as the murder of unborn babies.

He said he did not condone death but he wouldn’t condemn it:

“I grieve for Dr. Tiller,” Leach told the paper. “I rejoice for the babies who will not be killed.”

SNIP

Although he doesn’t claim to have a large group of followers, Leach said he has met several people who took up arms against abortion providers. He said he met Roeder once 11 years ago.

“He seemed like a nice guy. Personable, good sense of humor,” Leach said.

Leach said he doesn’t condone or plan any such violence, but he understands why others do.

“Based on what I’ve seen so far, the biblical evidence is overwhelmingly supportive of anyone who would give up everything to save thousands from a violent death,” he said.

SNIP

Leach is known locally as a perennial political candidate and host of the “Uncle Ed” cable television show, which mixes music with his views on abortion and other topics.

Leach said he would never attack abortion providers. “I have a great excuse for not doing that. I know nothing about guns,” he said Monday.

Leach said he welcomes civil discussions with anyone who believes the Bible forbids killing an abortionist. Maybe such a discussion could change his mind, he said.

When asked if abortion providers have anything to fear from him, he chuckled. “All I want to know is what God has to say,” he said. “Some people fear that.”

Har har. I prefer Rusty Reno’s exegesis for elegance, at least.

H/T: RNS blog.

 



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Gwyddion9

posted June 4, 2009 at 5:59 pm


Roeder should be tried as a religious terrorist, as that’s what he was! A religious terrorist murdered Dr. Tiller. Why call it anything different than what it actually was. While Roeder doesn’t represent all Christians, he does represent the mindset of the RR and those conservative/fundamentalist Christians like Dobson and Robertson and their ilk. Since Bush is no longer in power and supporting the RR, i figured it would only be a matter of time before someone did something like this, in the name of god. Then Mr. Leach comes across with these statements? Sorry but justification is one of the traits that conservative Christians do to absolve themselves from their actions. The RR are religious terrorists and should be seen as such. Those who think the RR are nothing like the Taliban should rethink their position.



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C3

posted June 4, 2009 at 6:39 pm


How do you catagorize a murderer as representative of an entire population of individuals? You’re not stereotyping by any chance? To say that this individual’s horrendous actions are indicative to an entire sub class of people is well,…stereotypical..
This is typical jargon coming from people who disagree with a more conservative approach to life’s social issues and makes them guilty equally in their misconceptions as it does those they like to condemn as being closed minded. It most certainly doesn’t lead to any collaboration or discussion and is defeatist to say the least. When perpetrating the very thing that they’re promulgating to be against it doesn’t help with one’s credibility not to mention help aid their side of the issue.



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nnmns

posted June 4, 2009 at 8:00 pm


Whine about stereotyping all you want C3 but Gwyddion makes a lot of sense.
Right wing commentators like the scumbag O’Reilly have been calling Dr. Tiller a murderer over and over, inciting whoever is even more unbalanced than they are. If they didn’t realize it would have an effect they just weren’t thinking. Well that’s possible.
So the cowardly terrorist is the murderer but some of the radical religious right are guilty of inciting murder.



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C3

posted June 4, 2009 at 8:33 pm


I wasn’t aware pointing out someone’s hypocrisy was considered a “whine”.
The man is responsible for his own actions, to accuse a group or an individual of “inciting” anyone to do anything is an absurd notion. I guess personal accountability for one’s own actions is just one of them “old superstitions” that can be rationalized away as well, huh?



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freelunch

posted June 4, 2009 at 8:50 pm


Don’t worry, C3, you won’t be tried for your defense of murderous fools and sociopaths, not unless you manage to persuade one of them to do something at your direction.
Yes, it is easy for you to claim, in your self-righteous manner that others are being hypocrites, without ever considering the possibility that you may have ignored Jesus’ comments about motes and beams.



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ron chandonia

posted June 4, 2009 at 9:02 pm


David, better hurry and post this one on Commonweal too so all the Kmiec Catholics can get yet another chance to rag on pro-lifers.



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Gwyddion9

posted June 4, 2009 at 10:46 pm


C3,
This is why I said not all Christians but it is the mindset of the RR. Dobson & Robertson have said how gays and Pagans and those who support abortion should be put to death. Robertson publicly called for the assassination of Chevez but nothing was done in this country. Christian Reconstructionism, which Dobson and Robertson are both a part of, have said that the above statement.
After Dr. Tillers murder one woman who spoke on the TV said that “righteousness” had now come to Kansas.
My personal experience with conservative Christians shows that they want nothing less than the ability to run this country and everyone’s lives, based from their beliefs.
Stereotyping a specific sect, I don’t think so. Their actions and words speak loud enough for everyone.



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Gwyddion9

posted June 4, 2009 at 10:54 pm


Something else I’m seeing in society is how religions are building walls, coming off with the opinion that their way and only their way is right. I think this whole “my way or the hi-way” is related to fear and insecurity. Everything is being challenged and most people don’t like their beliefs ruffled. It’s a shame really, as uncomfortable as the whole process is, understanding and insight is worth the trouble.
Also, I expected something like this and unfortunately, I don’t believe it will be the last. As Conservative Christians and the RR lose power, I think they, some followers, will commit some very grievous crimes in the name of god and religion.



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C3

posted June 5, 2009 at 1:54 am


Freelunch
1. No one is defending murderous fools
2. No one is being self rightious, merely pointing out a discrepancy in the way people like to talk of the RR’s intolerance and in doing so do it in an intolerant way.
3. Nothing in my post shows me to have to look at my own faults(which if you ask my wife are plenty) like I said I was pointing out that exact thing.
4.Do you want chocolate or plain milk to go with the bologna and cheese?



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C3

posted June 5, 2009 at 2:10 am


Gwyddion9, After reading your first post again I may have came across a tad bit harsh, I am seeing you’re speaking more along the lines of activist RR’s of the tv persuasion who wish to make this country a theocracy. In this I am opposed to it as much if not more than you. While I don’t necessarily think it right to paint broad strokes I will agree that to varying degrees the RR does lean toward the Robertson mindset(at least the protesters variety) even if they don’t buy in to the entire schpeal or the TBN zeal. I see alot of what my post alluded to and am quick on the draw, if it wasn’t your intent then please excuse the implication. I also am relatively new to this site so when I’m commenting on Catholics I missed the Protesting curveball you threw…my bad. For the record I think the murderer is a dink and anyone who thinks that this was justified needs to re-examine their conscience and re-read their scripture.



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Steve

posted June 5, 2009 at 2:56 am


You know, I was thinking killing Tiller was immoral, but now I see the light. And since the Catholic church also condemns executions, obviously any Catholic is a potential assassin of any governor of a state that has the death penalty.



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ann

posted June 5, 2009 at 7:21 am


Why are we giving this guy (leach) press time? Do we not see that the more attention he gets the more he feels justified in his stance? I think it is time to move on to a new topic.



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hootie1fan

posted June 5, 2009 at 9:44 am


And yet some have the audacity to act surprised at the mere notion that there are Christian fanatics?



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hootie1fan

posted June 5, 2009 at 9:48 am


Unfortunately, the Bible has been used to justify slavery, murder, subjugation of women and minorities, the abuse of children, etc, etc. Often by the very people who claim to read and revere but obviously not comprehend much of the text.



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Gerard Nadal

posted June 5, 2009 at 7:46 pm


Roeder killed in cold blood. That’s called murder. I don’t recall any exemptions from that commandment in Exodus. It’s true that Tiller murdered far more humans than Roeder. But again, I don’t see a proportionalism exclusion clause in the commandments.
This one can’t be spun away, only condemned.



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Panthera

posted June 6, 2009 at 12:55 pm


Hi Gerard!
I wish we didn’t so often meet under such horrible auspices. Ick.
I’m about to do some pontificating my self here, so anybody with a thin skin might want to just sigh, say “Teh Gays” are at it again and skip this.
One of the biggest problems confronting the Christian body – and by Christian body, I mean all of us, from the furthest right-wing (the ones who deny my Salvation) right on through to those on the furthest left (the ones who characterize me as a Born-Again Fairy) is our inability to accept that our differences are leading to physical violence.
The last week, I have read very little from the conservative side here other than apologias for the actions of Roeder. With only a few exceptions, most have said he went too far, but most have also made clear that they regard his murder of Dr. Tiller as having been a not-bad thing.
On other topics, when, for instance, one of the hypocritical Catholic priests is caught having sex with a pretty woman or one of the hypocritical fundamentalist ministers is outed by a really built male prostitute, my side gets very righteous and, finger-point-y.
OK, now, yes, right, clear – it is true that my calling the fundamentalist church in America hypocrites is not on the same level as the religious right murdering people. But in both instances, there is a joy and a delight in seeing the other side discomfited.
And this is unseemly for us as Christians.
As near as I can tell, the Christian right has very little political influence left with which to force their will upon the rest of us – see the states which now grant us human rights.
At the same time, my side of the Christian community has given up on even trying to find common ground with the other side – we tend to frown down our aquiline Roman or classically educated protestant noses and sniff: bone-headed-know-nothings.
This, too, is not what we are called to do.
In a very short time, gay marriage will be a legal reality in the US. The Supreme Court will remain moderate to liberal on abortion, congress will remain in Democratic hands and the President has made clear that he is pro-rights for women.
If the religious right is not to drift off even further into violence, we are going to have to find a means to put an end to the scorched earth policy. On both sides.
OK, off me soap box. Admitting that my side is also at fault here was enormously difficult.
Dearest Gerard, would you like to correct a few hundred final exams? I just know you’ve been honing to get back into the rat-race of teaching freshmen.



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Cindy

posted June 7, 2009 at 12:48 am


There is no justification, I don’t care what kind cherry-picking anyone does within the CCC or their own idea of Christianity and Pro-Life.
If we, the Pro-Life Community, do anything other than CONDEMN this sort of action then we are failing in our very first duty to spread the word of God through His Son. Period.
It doesn’t matter what Tiller did. That is not for us to judge – not as individuals. It is just not. Period.
Gerard – remember back when we had a discussion about using the word murder for abortion? What Tiller did when he killed babies within the allowable law is morally evil. However it was not murder under the law. We are obligated to work toward changing those laws, and changing his heart and intention to do more of that killing. But it is NOT up to anyone to take his life in vengeance – THAT is murder.
I think this is another reason why its so important to be clear and to understand that abortion, as long as it is legal in the US, is killing and evil but not murder. Because the two are different.
I also think we are in agreement here. As we probably are on many things. Take care.



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Gerard Nadal

posted June 8, 2009 at 11:26 am


Hi Panthera and Cindy,
I’ve been off caring for a very ill elderly relative, so I’ve not been around for weeks.
Panthera- Yes it’s tragic that we meet under these topics. Let me know when you’re coming to New York and we can solve the problems of the world over a good dinner. Sure, I’ll grade your exams. I take your offer as either high praise or the desperation that hits us faculty members in May (Or both :o) )
Cindy- Yes, we’re in agreement, except that my use of ‘murder’ vis Tiller’s actions deals with the objective reality of what he has done and not the verbal and social engineering that has twisted our society into a pretzel. I find it incredulous that some pro-lifers could do anything other than condemn Roeder’s behavior. The news stories have chronicled well his descent into madness and the free will choices he made along the way to facilitate that descent.
God Bless you Both.



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Cindy

posted June 8, 2009 at 12:32 pm


Hi Gerard – so sorry to hear you have an ill relative, I hope things improve … or at least that there is some peace in the process.
God Bless.
Cindy



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Panthera

posted June 9, 2009 at 6:39 am


Dear Gerard,
I hope things have gotten better for both your relative and you. In every family there is always a care-giver and you are obviously the go-to person in your family.
I think we are seeing a bit of deconstruction in the religious right these days. The extremists – murderers like Roerder, for example, are feeling themselves “called” and others, like Ed Whalen believe they now may act unfettered.
It’s scary. It’s also a clear illustration of what those of us on the human-rights side of the culture wars have been saying for some time: You folks claiming the moral high ground on denying gays and transgender human status, you folks demanding that all women submit themselves to the will of any man, any time, have a group among you who are violent and will stop at nothing.
Literally.
We have prominent people on the far religious right – crunchycon here on beliefnet is an example – who welcome racists on their site. If that is not a clear sign of just how far the “by any means” mentality has become acceptable among conservative Christians, than the stars no longer trace their baths through the heavens.
If we are going to survive as a Christian body, then the religious right are going to have to come to terms with the violence, murder, torture, rape, beatings done by those in their midst. It is no longer enough to say “well, those are just extreme examples.” No. They are of your creation and driven by your faction in the culture wars.
Not even Erin Manning and Rod Dreher have been able to find an example of the pro-woman’s rights or pro-human-status-for-gays and transgender movement who has murdered or beaten or raped or tortured a conservative Christian. And we all know how much they try. False witness is obviously not considered a sin for one who belongs to the religous right.
All the violence is from the religious right. And it is up to all of us, as Christians, to ask ourselves: How do we end this?



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Norris Hall

posted June 9, 2009 at 11:38 am


There is very little difference between the Taliban and radical pro right to lifers.
Once you believe that God is on your side, there is no end to the crimes you can justify to accomplish your goals.
Pro lifers have constantly labeled pro abortionists as “baby killers”.
If pro lifers believe that, killing abortionists to save lives is the next logical step



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pagansister

posted June 9, 2009 at 3:09 pm


The Bible or any other piece of religious works are not justication for killing human beings. Killing Dr. Tiller won’t halt doctors from performing abortions. Roder is an extremist, and unfortunately probably believes he has done the “right” thing, done in the name of GOD! Let’s hope that he isn’t considered a “good guy” by the RR who feel that the murder of Tiller was justified, because he performed abortions. I’m sure there are those who feel that what he did was fine.
Gerard:
Just read about you caring for your ill relative. Certainly hope she/he has improved and is doing better. You are in my thoughts.



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Gerard Nadal

posted June 9, 2009 at 3:47 pm


Hi Pagansister,
Thanks for the good wishes. Ditto to Cindy and Panthera.
Sick stuff with Roeder. I could write a small book detailing all of the checkpoints that he blew through on the way to becoming a murderer. Ultimately it comes down to narcissism and hubris. Time for Christians to get back to learning about the seven deadly sins.
Roeder didn’t stop any abortions from happening. He just stopped Tiller from doing them. Now the state will condemn Roeder and murder him in turn. Madness begetting madness.
Roeder is obviously anti-abortion. It’s a shame he never became pro-life.
God Bless.



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seamus

posted June 15, 2009 at 8:14 am


Biblically, you can probably justify about anything.



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