Reverberations from Dr. Tiller’s murder continue to spread, as the LA Times, Jezebel and Current.TV took notice of Salon.com’s coverage of our movie and its coverage of the Pro-Life movement in Wichita.
Not surprisingly, most of the angst is coming from the Pro-Choicers, who are devastated by the loss of one of the very few late-term abortion providers (possibly in the world, LA Times notes.) But conservatives are also stung by their association with Tiller’s murder, as exemplified by yesterday’s editorial in the Wall Street Journal: “The Religious Right didn’t kill George Tiller.”
This, of course, is the big debate: did Scott Roeder’s actions spring from a larger social movement?
We embedded ourselves pretty well in Wichita’s Pro-Life community for several years. Everyone we spoke to was aware of the potential for violence against abortion doctors and found the idea abhorrent. We believed them, and still do. The Summer of Mercy protests in 1991 were noteable for how they resemble the nonviolent Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.
However – Operation Rescue and other Pro-Life groups make a lot of use of gory imagery (like Mark Gietzen’s Truth Truck, which he has to keep moving around to forestall its destruction by his neighbors) and, more importantly, apocolyptic language. If one truly believes that George Tiller was a “mass murderer” committing a “holocaust” or “genocide” in his facility, and the authorities refused to do anything about it, why not shoot him?
Unfortunately, a lot of the commentary we’ve seen on our various posts is very sympathetic to the killer’s motives.