Monday, June 01, 2009

Ending a "sabbatical" to comment on a horrendous crime

I've been on a sort of sabbatical leave from blogging over the past three weeks as my wife and I have gone through the logistical discomfort of moving back to our New Jersey home from our winter residence in Florida. I often wonder how people like Sen. John McCain and his wife, who reportedly own eight or nine houses, handle such residential moves.

I am still awed by the fact that I now own two houses. I was raised during the Great Depression of the 1930s and early 1940s when my father was frequently unemployed. During those years, I never knew anyone who owned a single house. My psyche has been framed by my boyhood experiences, much to the annoyance of my wife and two children who are distressed over what they regard as my excessively frugal disposition.

I have been impelled to now return to this blog to comment on the horrendous murder of Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kan. on Sunday. Dr. Tiller was one of the few American doctors who still perform late-term abortions. He has thus been exposed to continuing violence and harassment by so-called "pro-life" advocates who oppose women's right to have an abortion.

I have always been enraged by the hypocrisy of these alleged protectors of "life" who have tormented women who want to choose to have an abortion. No pregnant woman casually decides to have an abortion. It is a traumatic decision invariably based on personal tragic circumstances. And in the case of late-term abortions, these are very rarely performed and only because of critical medical factors that threaten the mother's health or the viability of the fetus.

I am unimpressed by the leaders of the anti-abortion organizations who have denounced Dr. Tiller's murder. It is their hysterical, extremist efforts to block a woman's right to choose to have an abortion that emboldened a fanatical crackpot like Dr. Tiller's murderer.They created an atmosphere with the hateful rhetoric that encouraged this so-called "pro-lifer" to take another man's life.

Dr. Tiller was murdered during religious services in a Christian church. It is an extraordinary irony that anti-abortionists base their opposition to abortion on their own religious beliefs.

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Blogger Peggy said...

I find the hypocracy tough to take. If abortion is wrong, then certainly gunning somebody down IN CHURCH is wrong as well.

The decision to have an abortion, especially in the case of late term abortions is NEVER taken lightly and there is often tears before and after. Now there is one less doctor who will perform them and scores of doctors who are frightened away from even thinking about standing up to these terrorists to provide health care for women.

Monday, June 01, 2009 11:54:00 PM  
Blogger Hoots said...

Thank you for this. There are too few voices of reason and intelligence participating in this inflammatory discussion.
I put up a post intended to be more neutral than it turned out to be. The more I read the more I realized that Dr. Tiller's work was both rare and compassionate.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009 1:53:00 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

I am so glad that you wrote on this subject, Mort. I get so angry that I am not rational when I try to discuss it.

When a religious view becomes fanatical we have the Taliban, Osmama bin Laden and now the Christian (?) right. Can't they see that they are no different than the rabid terrorists with their suicide bombers?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009 2:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Good for you, Mort for writing about the hypocrisy of it all.

Can you imagine one of our esteemed Pro Life Senators having something growing inside his body that could easily kill him; and him asking permission of politicians to have it removed? And them saying "NO"..And him accepting that? PLEASE!

What do you think of former Vice President Darth Vader coming out the other day in favor of gay marriage? See, it's HIS family involved now. And the same for abortion. If it was HIS daughter who needed an abortion to save her life,he would be all for it.

As you said,Mort."Oh! the hypocrisy."

Tuesday, June 02, 2009 8:37:00 PM  
Blogger Ron Southern said...

Does extremism lead to insanity or does it just ferret out and enable the loonies? I fail to see where Pro-lifers of this ilk are in favor of ANYONE'S life except their own.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009 8:54:00 PM  
Blogger Sylvia K said...

You always say it so well, Mort, and I'm glad you spoke out on this. It is this insanity which makes no sense whatsoever. How can these people claim to be "religious"? I thought churches, God, religion were based on love, forgiveness, acceptance. It is indeed, extraordinary irony!

Hope the move back to New Jersey went smoothly -- well, as smoothly as is possible.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the person who murdered Dr. Tiller was so proud of his act and thought it was the right thing to do, why did he flee?

This site has women's stories about late term abortions:

Monday, June 08, 2009 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Vagabonde said...

We came back yesterday from an 11-day trip and I had not heard about the doctor’s murder – I was in the Yukon on Sunday, far from any news. It is hard for me to put into words the feelings I have for this sort of act. I am getting less and less patient with the uber-religiosity of the Far Right and supposedly Pro-Life people in this country. On one hand they stand up and chant that this is the country of freedom for all, and on the other hand, they will kill people to stop the freedom of women to chose. So, I cannot put into words the loathing this brings into me, and can only think that these ignorant people are like robots, they are the True Believers who will bring this country down, sooner or later, unless the rest of the country starts to move away from their lethargy and demand that freedom indeed be given to all. The US should be as scared of Christian terrorists as they are of Muslim terrorists – both kill innocents.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 5:45:00 PM  
Blogger Norma said...

Murder is never right, whether murdering a man ushering in his church who took money to kill the unborn or killing thousands of helpless babies who couldn't even struggle to get away from having their limbs cut off. Nor is it right to smear an entire movement who tries to save the next generation and their descendants.

Thursday, June 11, 2009 5:16:00 PM  
Blogger joared said...

Tragic consequences have occurred for centuries when some religious groups under misguided self-righteousness have tried to force their beliefs on others. Members of such groups rarely offer more than crocodile tears when one of their number commits and act of violence to which the group claims opposition.

Too many often refuse to accept that some of their number are responsible for having provided the fuel that incites violence. Their failure to speak out en mass condemning their offending cohort and clearly repeatedly repudiating others of the same disposition from future senseless acts condones what they would have us believe they condemn.

Sunday, June 14, 2009 7:16:00 AM  

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