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One Dead, Many Spared?

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All right, I’ll be the first to admit that I find anyone who is both a church-goer and a doctor who’s willing to perform late-term abortions to have a very strange relationship with his conscience. I do not, however, think that he should be killed. I am anti-abortion myself, but I do not subscribe to the militant pro-life hypothesis that one life killed is many spared.

George Tiller was no angel, given the slaughter he engaged in. I understand that the very thought of his work is truly cringeworthy; I certainly don’t comprehend how you could have a relationship with God while tearing a person apart in the womb. It is positively grotesque.

But George Tiller needed to answer to God for that. As long as late-term abortions remain legal, he could not be tried for murder. But for Pete’s sake, take it up with your Congressman; no matter how disgusted you may be by Tiller’s profession, you are not the jury, judge and executioner in his case.

The Christian far-right whackjob who shot him was clearly in that frame of mind, and he is far from alone. These people do honestly frighten me. If they had their way, we’d be living in a theocracy, no different from that of Saudi Arabia or Iran. (Only, our God would be better than their God, and we know that to be true because we said so!) Pardon the pun, but God help us.

Ask yourself if you feel sympathy for animal rights campaigners who kill researchers and bomb their laboratories. No? They’re insane, and they’re terrorists, you say? If I am disgusted and disheartened by vivisection (which I am), you’re saying that I must work within the law to express my outrage?
Well, I agree, but tell me why, exactly, is that not also true in the case of abortion clinics and the doctors who work there?

The fact remains, Tiller was a person already out in the world, someone whose life was still technically sacred. How can anyone say that he would not repent for his crimes later in life? You cannot kill to prevent killings, except in war. And honestly, folks, is that what this whole putrid abortion debate comes down to?

At a Wichita memorial service in memory of the late doctor, one mourner’s sign read: “Tiller’s Killer Is A Terrorist Hypocrite Coward.” I wholeheartedly agree.

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About Nightdragon

  • zingzing

    best m.e.m. article ever. for once, even if i stand on the opposite side of the spectrum, i can agree with your idea whole-heartedly. clap-clap-clap for the red-shirted crisis.

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    Thanks, zing. If you wait long enough for it, there will always be a time when you will find that those with whom you stridently disagree are not quite exactly as you made them out to be. I have found that to be the case myself.

    (Crisis, by the way, is a U.K. homeless charity who sponsor a race called the Square Mile Run. I ran the race last year, whereupon I received that very shirt; and I am running the race again this Thursday evening. With the sponsorship money I earn from participating, I’m doing my bit to help out the homeless, and I’m proud to do so.)

  • Arch Conservative

    Despite all the hype and bluster that Mark and others apparently want to whip up about all pro lifers being dangerous, violent, christian fundy zealots, the the truth is quite different. Int his history of this nation there have been less than ten people killed because they were engaged in providing abortions and an even lower number of people who actually done any killing. That hardly lends any creedence to the idea that there are hordes of others waiting in the wings to follow suit to what just happened.

    Why not pause to take a look at other side and posit the questions such as why did Planned Parenthood think it was a good idea to sell tshirts saying “I had an abortion?” Why has Planned PArenthood been caught on tape numerous times advocating the breaking of the law regarding abortion? Why does PP feel it necessary to withhold evidence that protects statutory rapists?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Arch, if you look at the actual number of violent incidents regarding abortions I think the perspective changes somewhat. Add property crime, arson, bombings, threats, abuse, assault, and so forth to the list and you’ve got an interesting dynamic. I also question why this dynamic is so much more strong in the United States than up here in Canada or in the UK or other parts of the world where abortions are also legal, but that’s a whole other ballgame.

    Also, and you know this isn’t a fair charge, nobody’s said that “all” pro lifers are dangerous, etc. If you could find just one piece of supportive evidence to back your repeated claim, I’d love to give your idea more credence. Feel free to throw in some incredibly mature remark about my “panties” while you provide those facts and I’ll be sure to ignore the bizarre thoughts I have about why you’re imagining me in panties in the first place…

    Really, though, you know exactly what you’re doing and you know exactly what you’re saying.

    Why not pause to take a look at other side

    I’d love it if you could, sir. Why not blame the women? Why are they not murderers? Why do you appear to only blame the doctors for doing their jobs? Why not blame the women who went to the abortion clinics in the first place? I haven’t heard you provide one solid word of blame towards those individuals. For you, it’s all about the easy targets. It’s all about the big bad guys with the forceps. Is it because you honestly do think that choosing to have an abortion is far from a whim decision? Is it because you feel compassion towards those thrust into those wicked choices?

    The T-shirts weren’t a good idea and there were those even within PP that agreed it was a mistake.

    Why has Planned PArenthood been caught on tape numerous times advocating the breaking of the law regarding abortion?

    What law regarding abortion?

    Why does PP feel it necessary to withhold evidence that protects statutory rapists?

    I’m not sure what this is about. My guess is because of doctor/patient confidentiality and because they don’t want to invite more shame into the woman’s life than necessary, but I don’t know each case that you’re referring to so don’t take that comment very seriously.

  • Sonia Kermaz

    Nature slaughters both mothers and babies on a regular basis! I come from a long line of women who had neither medical care nor contraceptive options. Some died in childbirth, many lost born and “unborn children” to nature’s slaughter. The day you have a midterm spontaneous abortion in an African pit toilet, you’ll know that not every child is meant to be! You’ll also know how close to dying you’ve come. There’s nothing sacred or dignified about a dangerous pregnancy or malformed fetuses; the fact that modern medical technology can keep any mass of human tissue or severely compromised babies physiologically alive does not make it right to do so!

    Late term abortions of the nature Dr. Tiller performed weren’t a birth control choice, they were a life choice!

  • zingzing

    archie: “Int his history of this nation there have been less than ten people killed because they were engaged in providing abortions and an even lower number of people who actually done any killing.”

    the only way you could come to that number is if you remove the 10 or so nurses that were killed by pro-lifers, and maybe forget 1 or 2 doctors, and maybe think the united states was formed 20 years ago.

    you go make your list of doctors (and nurses) that have been killed. then i’ll go and find all the ones you’ve forgotten about.

    then we’ll start looking at all the other violence perpetrated by pro-lifers.

    “Why not pause to take a look at other side?”

    and then we’ll talk about women. and maybe have an honest discussion about abortion. but until you start being honest, even with yourself, i’m not sure that’s possible.

  • Baronius

    According to every pro-choice thing I’ve seen online, Tiller’s murder is the 8th of an abortionist or clinic worker in the US. Including a couple of incidents in Canada, a total of six people are responsible for the killings. These same six account for quite a few shootings and bombings, as well. If you drop the actions of those six wrong-thinking creeps, the remainder of the crime committed by pro-lifers is civil disturbance.

    The vast majority of pro-lifers are lazy people who sit at home. A smaller number get involved with political campaigns, crisis pregnancy centers, and clinic protests. A fraction of the last group get arrested. Six of those became killers.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Baronius,

    This whole argument began as a result of Arch’s misrepresentation of Mark’s article. Neither Mark nor anyone else with more than one brain cell suggested that all pro-lifers were homicidal maniacs.

    The truth is that this is mostly true of any group. I dare say, to borrow a comparison from Mark, that if you were to look at the violence perpetrated in the name of animal rights you would find that the majority of it was the work of a similarly tiny core of extremists.

  • Baronius

    Dread – This “whole argument”? Between Arch’s comment and mine, there were three posts. I think I was able to follow all the contours and curves of the whole argument. I think that Jordan and Zing painted an unfair picture, and I sought to correct it.

    It’s just frustrating. If 19 pro-lifers crashed airplanes, we’d be talking about how the pro-life movement is a movement of peace.

  • Baronius

    Dread – That first paragraph of mine reads nasty. You know that I was poking you, not jabbing you, right?

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    Arch Conservative: “Why not pause to take a look at other side and posit the questions such as why did Planned Parenthood think it was a good idea to sell tshirts saying “I had an abortion?” Why has Planned PArenthood been caught on tape numerous times advocating the breaking of the law regarding abortion? Why does PP feel it necessary to withhold evidence that protects statutory rapists?”

    I completely agree with you, Arch. I wouldn’t donate to Planned Parenthood if you held a loaded gun to my head. I find them despicable.

    I suggest you go back to the first paragraph in which I wrote, “I am anti-abortion.” I am. I just don’t like it when wingnuts get it into their heads to kill doctors.

    I am not tarring all pro-lifers with the same brush here. You, on the other hand, would probably have no qualms about doing so with animal-rights activists even though only a small minority of them are violent nutcases.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos-/ Christine Lakatos

    Mark, I am a Conservative and a Christian and I totally agree with your first paragraph of this article. Couldn’t of said it better myself! Great Job!

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    Thank you, Christine. :-)

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    Sonia Kermaz: “There’s nothing sacred or dignified about a dangerous pregnancy or malformed fetuses; the fact that modern medical technology can keep any mass of human tissue or severely compromised babies physiologically alive does not make it right to do so!”

    I understand what you’re saying, Sonia. I believe that, with all our technological advances, we are playing God and/or trying to beat nature at her own game. Not wise. This kind of insouciance — the refusal to let nature take its course — will be mankind’s downfall in so many ways.

    I agree with you that some things are meant to be — and that includes aborting dangerous pregnancies or malformed babies who will suffer many maladies throughout their life, as you’ve said.

    Regarding late-term abortions, I just cannot abide by perfectly healthy babies being destroyed. I agree with the pro-lifer’s sentiment towards protecting and respecting life, but that can be taken to extremes, as you noted with your reply and as I noted with this piece.

  • zingzing

    mem: “I believe that, with all our technological advances, we are playing God and/or trying to beat nature at her own game. Not wise. This kind of insouciance — the refusal to let nature take its course — will be mankind’s downfall in so many ways.”

    there he is. that’s the mark edward manning i know. how 19th century of you.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    The sad thing here is that no one seems to care about a man being killed over the practice of giving people a choice. He wasn’t forcing abortion upon people, he was helping people who, as Sonia & Mark have stated, possibly needed it.

    Honestly, even if a woman has a late-term abortion because she just didn’t want a child, that should be her right & her choice!!

    I personally don’t see mankind’s technology as detriment to the world & human life. I see the fictional fairytale of religion with their over-breeding,mass population mentality causing irreversible damage to the Earth.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “the refusal to let nature take its course”

    Does that mean you don’t see a doctor when you are sick?

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    “the fictional fairytale of religion with their over-breeding,mass population mentality causing irreversible damage to the Earth.”

    Spot on, Brian.

    I believe in a Higher Power myself, but I do not believe for one second that this “go forth and multiply” means that there should be 50 billion of us on this relatively tiny planet.

    Unfortunately, nationalism and religion will always ensure that population in most places across the Earth remain high: Another one of mankind’s undoings.

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    Zing: Don’t make me out to be a Luddite. It’s insane concepts like “spare parts” humans that I’m referring to. Technology is making people out to be commodities rather than individuals and this is not a good thing.

  • zingzing

    “It’s insane concepts like “spare parts” humans that I’m referring to.”

    frankenstein?

    “Technology is making people out to be commodities rather than individuals and this is not a good thing.”

    terminator? the day technology starts treating humans like individuals is the day i’m fearing.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I do not believe for one second that this “go forth and multiply” means that there should be 50 billion of us on this relatively tiny planet.

    Nail on the head, Mark.

    Indeed, there is a briefer and pithier way of phrasing God’s instruction to Adam which may, if you think about it, be closer to his intended meaning…

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    “Unfortunately, nationalism and religion will always ensure that population in most places across the Earth remain high”

    Most definitely! Especially with those people that think it’s great if illegal immigrants have babies on US soil, those kids instantly become citizens. Talk about promoting over population!

    IMHO, I think being able to grow/make human parts will be freaking awesome. Too many people look at it negatively…I hope I get to see this AI/Humanoid shit while I’m still kicking around. Maybe one day they could extend my life with new parts.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Indeed, there is a briefer and pithier way of phrasing God’s instruction to Adam which may, if you think about it, be closer to his intended meaning…

    Like what? “Move forward while doing some times tables”?!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Think about it some more, Brian…

    ‘Go forth and multiply’…

  • zingzing

    go fuck yourself?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Almost there, zing.

    Now, considering what a godalmighty bollix Adam had managed to make of things, what advice might his Creator have given him?

  • zingzing

    go to hell?

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    I thought it was Eve that fucked shit up??

    “Go forth & multiply”. Hmmm, maybe, the Mormons got it right…. Fornicate with a bunch of women in public??