The death of George Tiller is a tragedy

Abortionist George Tiller was shot and killed Sunday while at church. From the story by the Associated Press:

 

Prominent late-term abortion provider George Tiller was shot and killed Sunday in a Wichita church where he was serving as an usher, his attorney said. The gunman fled but a city official said a suspect is in custody.
The city official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the case. The official did not provide additional details.
Long a focus of national anti-abortion groups, including a summer-long protest in 1991, Tiller was shot during morning services at Reformation Lutheran Church while his wife was in the choir, his attorney Dan Monnat said. Police said the gunman had fled in a car registered in Merriam, a Kansas City suburb nearly 200 miles away.
Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services clinic is one of just three in the nation where abortions are performed after the 21st week of pregnancy.

Prominent late-term abortion provider George Tiller was shot and killed Sunday in a Wichita church where he was serving as an usher, his attorney said. The gunman fled but a city official said a suspect is in custody.

The city official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the case. The official did not provide additional details.

Long a focus of national anti-abortion groups, including a summer-long protest in 1991, Tiller was shot during morning services at Reformation Lutheran Church while his wife was in the choir, his attorney Dan Monnat said. Police said the gunman had fled in a car registered in Merriam, a Kansas City suburb nearly 200 miles away.

Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services clinic is one of just three in the nation where abortions are performed after the 21st week of pregnancy.

This is a tragedy, plain and simple. George Tiller did not live a life that glorified God. Like the countless babies he saw in his work, his life was ended abruptly but, unlike them, he will be held accountable before God. Hopefully, there was some realization of that in whatever time he had before he died and he repented before God. For the person who did this, they did not honor God with their actions. Robert P. George, who holds strong pro-life views and teaches law at Princeton University, speaks well when he talks about Sunday’s events:

Whoever murdered George Tiller has done a gravely wicked thing.  The evil of this action is in no way diminished by the blood George Tiller had on his own hands.  No private individual had the right to execute judgment against him.  We are a nation of laws.  Lawless violence breeds only more lawless violence.  Rightly or wrongly, George Tilller was acquitted by a jury of his peers.  “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord.” For the sake of justice and right, the perpetrator of this evil deed must be prosecuted, convicted, and punished.  By word and deed, let us teach that violence against abortionists is not the answer to the violence of abortion.  Every human life is precious.  George Tiller’s life was precious.  We do not teach the wrongness of taking human life by wrongfully taking a human life.  Let our “weapons” in the fight to defend the lives of abortion’s tiny victims, be chaste weapons of the spirit.

Timing is everything: The foolishness of U.S. law

This is the world in which we live. A Florida woman, who was seeking an abortion as an 18-year-old, sued a doctor, a clinic and its staff because her daughter was born alive and then put into a trash bag. The murderer, who was not present at delivery but later “cleaned up,” had his license to practice medicine revoked because he falsified records by saying he was present for delivery.

There are no heroes in this tragic story, where a matter of minutes changes an action, in the eyes of the law, from legal and “safe” (for the mother, not the child) to shocking and harmful (to the mother’s mental health, apparently). From the report, which points out, “(t)he state attorney’s office …said its criminal investigation into the incident is ongoing and no charges have been filed. A fetus born alive cannot be put to death even if its mother intended to have an abortion, police said when the incident occurred in 2006.”:

The baby’s mother, Sycloria Williams, sued [doctor Pierre Jean-Jacques] Renelique, the clinic and its staff in January, seeking damages.

She alleges in her suit that “she witnessed the murder of her daughter” and said she “sustained severe emotional distress, shock and psychic trauma which have resulted in discernible bodily injury.”

“This is not about a pot of gold,” said Tom Pennekamp, her attorney. “What this is about is right and wrong and making a statement, making sure it doesn’t happen to other young women.”

According to the suit, Williams, then 18, discovered while being treated for a fall that she was 23 weeks pregnant. She went to a clinic to get an abortion on the morning of July 20, 2006, after receiving medication and instructions the previous day.

Renelique was not at the clinic, however, and Williams was told to wait for him. She was given two pills and told they would make her ill. When she complained of feeling ill, clinic staff members gave her a robe and told her to lie down in a patient room, the suit says.

Renelique was still not present when Williams “felt a large pain” and delivered a baby girl, according to the suit.

“The staff began screaming and pandemonium ensued. Sycloria watched in horror and shock as her baby writhed with her chest rising and falling as she breathed.”

A clinic co-owner entered the room and used a pair of shears to cut the baby’s umbilical cord, the suit said. She “then scooped up the baby and placed the live baby, placenta and afterbirth in a red plastic biohazard bag, which she sealed, and then threw bag and the baby in a trash can.”

Staff at the clinic did not call 911 or seek medical assistance for Williams or the baby, the suit said.

Renelique arrived at the clinic about an hour later and gave Williams a shot to put her to sleep. “She awoke after the procedure and was sent home still in complete shock,” the suit said.

Police were notified of the incident by an anonymous caller who told them the baby was born alive and disposed of.

The best news: What can you learn from a lying, murdering, rapist?

A lot about what it means to have a tender heart for God. Consider David in Psalm 51:

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. “Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem; then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

What has led David to this lowly state of remorse? Turn back to 2 Samuel 11:2-5 to see where it started:

It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. . . . Then she returned to her house. And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.”

And not only does David do this, he compounds his sin by bring Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, back from battle so he can sleep with his wife and thus cover up David’s sin. It doesn’t work and so David has Uriah killed in battle. It is only when the prophet Nathan confronts him that David repents.

And what is God’s response? “The Lord has taken away your sin; you shall not die.” (2 Kings 12:13). From here, John Piper picks up the story and why it matters that we should care why God answers in this way:

And, Piper goes on to show that David’s response to his sin is a good example for us to follow. Piper lays out four ways in his sermon, “A Broken and Contrite Heart God Will Not Despise.”