Of George Tiller's soul, God is now the judge; though I have no doubt that from a human perspective his enthusiastic practice of child murder for profit will forever deserve our unequivocal condemnation. This of course implies no approval of the apparently deranged act that took his life. The aim of all authentic pro-life people is to restore respect for innocent human life. We rightly condemn and lament an action that harms the good we seek to achieve.
The diverse reactions to Tiller's violent death have highlighted the moral chasm that now divides the American people, and indeed perhaps the whole human race. The rabid proponents of the view that people act with some right when they kill their innocent children seem ready to build worshipful temples in memory of a man most pro-life people regard as a mass murderer. Their praise of his unswerving fortitude and courage, and his supposedly sincere Christian faith, remind me of Himmler's speech to the SS officers at Poznan, Poland, in 1943:
"Most of you will know," he said, "what it means when 100 bodies lie together, when there are 500, or when there are 1,000. And to have seen this through, and – with the exception of human weaknesses – to have remained decent, has made us hard and is a page of glory never mentioned and never to be mentioned." Of the extermination of the Jews Himmler went on to say, "We have the moral right, we had the duty to our people to do it, to kill this people who wanted to kill us." Can the proponents of the right to child murder assert even so specious a lie as this against the slaughtered innocents whose only offense was to come to life in answer to the same Divine vocation that called every one of us into existence?
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There is no doubt, however, that Tiller's eulogists believe in the justice of child murder. During the recent events surrounding Notre Dame's scandalous celebration in honor of Barack Obama, I recall a group of women proudly chanting their mantra of justification for so-called "abortion rights": "Without abortions rights, women cannot be free." Clearly they see the right to murder their helpless and dependent offspring as an indispensable element of the definition of freedom.
What harmony is there between this understanding of freedom and the one articulated in the American Declaration of Independence, which makes the obligation to respect the unalienable right to life an indispensable requirement of justice? Between the right to the murder of helpless children God has entrusted to our care and the obligation to respect their innocent lives, there would appear to be no common ground.
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Once again, it seems, America is what Lincoln observed it to be in the years before the Civil War – a House divided against itself. Our law mobilizes swiftly to apprehend, try and punish the malefactor responsible for Tiller's death, while abdicating in the name of right our responsibility to render an account to God for the thousands of innocent human lives Tiller destroyed. Because we patiently wait upon the Lord, sincere pro-life advocates rebuke and condemn those who take into their own hands the execution of justice. We rightly believe it is on the whole more justly done by the institutions of government. But in our times government ever more defiantly abandons the obligation of accountability for the unalienable right to life, though it is foremost among the prerequisites of its legitimacy. The institutions of government are now in the hands of a rabidly pro-abortion faction, which ever more openly prepares to persecute those who labor by peaceful moral and political means to correct this malfeasance. Thus we tragically approach a time of reckoning such as in his day Thomas Jefferson saw coming on account of slavery. He accurately dreaded the consequences of government support for the supposed property rights involved in slavery, when he declared, "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever."
Just as the supposed right to property in another's body could not supersede the rights of human nature, so the woman's supposed right to property in her own body cannot supersede her natural human obligation to respect the unalienable right to life. From its founding through all its years of growing unity, increase and success, the United States of America drew strength from its declared commitment to respect the rights and obligations entailed by God's authority upon the existence of our humanity. Now there has suddenly come a upon us a period that threatens on every front our consistent history of progress. Our economy trembles on the brink of disaster; our political institutions tremble at the brink of factional dictatorship; our unity and sovereignty as a people tremble at the brink of dissolution and surrender.
Are these the birth pangs of expectant "hope" and "change," or the justice of God, awakening?