Scott Roeder’s mystery religion

Roeder 2009 mug.jpgThat Scott Roeder is mentally unstable, a devotee of right-wing, anti-government extremism, and a fierce opponent of abortion seem to be a few of the hard facts  we have on him.

But the suspect in the killing of Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller is also being portrayed as a religious wingnut, apparently of a Christian variety. But which variety, exactly?

There are only a few hints, and it doesn’t seem that journalists are asking the question directly, or if they have, it hasn’t made the final copy.


Here’s what I can find:

–A profile in today’s Wichita Eagle quote ex-wife Lindsey Roeder as saying that when Scott Roeder (latest mug from the Wichita Eagle’s arraignment story today) turned to extremism and religion a decade ago he became “adamant about his Old Testament beliefs and observed the Sabbath from Friday night through Saturday. Nothing could get in the way of that. Not soccer games when his son was younger. Nothing.”

But she noted that last Friday night was different, and he took his 22-year-old son to see “Star Trek.” (I went on Saturday, but the film didn’t make me do anything crazy. Yet.) “In hindsight, my son said, ‘He was saying goodbye to me.’ “


–She also gave the AP a keeper of a quote: “That’s all he cared about is anti-abortion, ‘the church this, God is this,’ yada yada.” 

–A Time magazine story today also notes that Roeder’s car had was “decorated with a red rose — an antiabortion emblem — and a Jesus fish.” Not much there.

–A Monday New York Times story quotes Roeder’s ex-wife as saying Roeder was looking for a “scapegoat” to blame for his troubles. “First it was taxes — he stopped paying. Then he turned to the church and got involved in anti-abortion,” she said.


Perilous to speculate of course but I won’t be surprised if it emerges that Roeder was involved in some kind of Christian Reconstructionist group, or the Christian Identity movement, or influenced by those beliefs. These groups rarely have “churches,” per se, or broader communities which could temper (or inflame, I suppose) extremist views. That’s problem: folks like Roeder keep it bottled up, for the most part, occasionally let off some steam. So friends and family express “shock” when they go off the deep end.


For good background on these radical Christian movements, read a 1998 Southern Poverty Law Center paper here:

“The militant anti-abortion movement is driven by three different but overlapping theologies that motivate violence: Christian Reconstructionism, Christian Identity and apocalyptic Catholicism. To understand this movement’s increased militancy and its goal of instituting a theocracy — a goal that by definition means ending democracy — it is necessary to examine these three ideological strands.” <!–

Read more… 

Comments read comments(10)
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Frank Clyburn

posted June 2, 2009 at 5:58 pm's%20bench%20(bed).jpg I think that abortion is murder myself….but we all know that two wrongs don’t make a right…. There was something wrong with that fellows mind, and it didn’t have anything to do with Jesus! Fr. Andrei once told me that as Christians the New Testament is our Bible…. I can’t think of anyplace there that Jesus says it’s okay to kill anybody….

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Frank Clyburn

posted June 2, 2009 at 9:24 pm

I posted a comment earlier, but I suppose you didn’t like it as it’s not showing…..

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David Gibson

posted June 2, 2009 at 10:01 pm

Frank, not sure what happened. I didn’t do anything, but sometimes to cow-catcher on the site grabs anything for whatever reason.

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David Gibson

posted June 2, 2009 at 10:03 pm

But what’s with all the coding?

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Your Name

posted June 3, 2009 at 2:31 pm

I think that providing protection to abortion clinics is overeacting. If anyone should be protected it is the pro-lifer. He or she is more likely to be harassed by the police and or abortion advocates, than is the abortionist by the pro-lifer. Tillers’ death is a rare an unfortunate event. Harassment and intimidation are on going.

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posted June 3, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Tillers’ death is a rare an unfortunate event. Harassment and intimidation are on going.
Harassment & intimidation are ongoing? That’s terrorism. Would your death be considered such “a rare unfortunate event?”

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James Vandenberg

posted June 12, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Roeder could not have been a Christian Reconstructionist. They don’t keep a Friday night Sabbath.

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posted June 14, 2009 at 11:35 am

Donald how can you support Scott? What he did was wrong. And what Tiller was doing was wrong. Scott was no christian that’s for sure. He was evil. Dr. Tiller was also bad for killing babies.
Scott is a mentally unstable person who needs the real God, not his false God.

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A Parent

posted June 15, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Rev. (sic) Donald Spitz’s opinion on the beliefs or behavior of others should carry no weight whatsoever. He uses his own website to try to make heroes out of murdering terrorists like Paul Hill, Eric Rudolph, John Salvi, and James Kopp. Therefore, the recent designation by the Virginia State Police of Spitz’s Army of God as a domestic terrorist group is totally appropriate. He is so delusional that he thinks that he was ordained by the International Gospel Crusade, a denomination that only exists in his imagination. This makes Spitz even more of a concern.

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