‘Justified’ or ‘criminal’ depends on the act and the vantage point

George Tiller, M.D., was murdered recently in the foyer of the Lutheran church he attended in Wichita, Kan. He was handing out bulletins and his wife was in the choir when he was shot by a man who got away.

Someone at the church saw the shooter get in a blue pickup registered to Scott Roeder, who in 1996 seems to have posted online about bringing “justice to Tiller and the closing of his death camp.” Roeder was also a member of the Freemen, a group that claimed in the 1990s that they were their own nation more or less and weren’t subject to laws and taxes and whatnot except their own. I don’t know if they had any. Probably not. Regardless, the cops stopped Roeder on his way home three hours after the shooting and eventually arrested him for murder.

Judy L. Thomas writes in the Kansas City Star that people who know Roeder were not surprised, calling him a “fanatic” and saying that “[H]e believed in justifiable homicide, that he “very strongly believed that abortion was murder and that you ought to defend the little ones, both born and unborn.”

That last bit is important because George Tiller, M.D., was one of the few physicians left in the United States who performed late-term abortions—after the fetus looks like a baby and abortion seems wronger to some people—and had been shot in both arms in 1993 because of it.

All of the principals approve of deliberately killing a human being. They just have to hear the right story. Although Bill O’Reilly said, “This man will terminate fetuses at any time for $5,000,” that wasn’t quite true. Tiller performed third-trimester abortions only in cases of “severe fetal abnormalities” when he judged an abortion would be “therapeutic.” Tiller had a “therapeutic” story.

The killer, not satisfied with leading his very own good life, wants everybody to be as good as he judges they ought to be, and if they’re bad enough, he’ll kill them. The killer, who may or may not be Roeder, has a “righteous” story.

I can understand how killing one elderly man you see as a mass murderer of babies might seem like a good idea, but only if you’re god—better make that God.

The doctor judged the fetuses, and the killer judged the doctor, and now people with much better things to do with their friends and family or even their gardens will judge both of them or you and me and anything else corporate media thinks will help them deliver our eyeballs to advertisers, when none of it’s any of our business.