Thou shalt not kill*

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The publisher of the anti-abortion newsletter that suspected murderer Scott Roeder subscribed to told the Des Moines Register on Tuesday that killing abortion doctors is biblically justified. The publisher, Dave Leach of Des Moines, told the paper that did not condone the shooting death Sunday of Dr. George Tiller, but he wouldn’t condemn it. “Based […]

  • Mr. Burke, I am appalled by the framing of your last question in reference to the cold blooded murder of Dr. George Tiller at his church this past week. It implies that the murder of a physician might be justified because he performed safe and legal abortions. Surely you know that religious traditions have different beliefs on the value of fetal life, but most religious leaders and traditions believe that the health and life of the woman must take precedence over the life of the fetus. What part of “Thou Shalt Not Kill” do those who advocate murder of doctors not understand?

  • Daniel Burke

    Thanks for your comments, Rev. Hafner.

    My question is framed around Leach’s claim and is intended to evoke responses to that claim. I strongly disagree that I imply that Tiller’s murder was justified. I am asking whether the Bible — not religious traditions — condones killing in certain circumstances.

    Is this not a valid question?

  • The Bible prescribes death for any number of activities that today most of us find normal, not to mention the exhortations for Israel to commit genocide on its neighbors. It isn’t much of a stretch for someone who reads the Bible literally and/or out of historical context to find justification for killing anyone and everyone they don’t like.

    In most people’s minds “thou shalt not kill” only applies to “us”, to people who look like, act like, and believe like me. Everyone else is “them”, and as we all know, it’s OK to kill “them”.

  • I appreciate the apparent open mind of the author of this blog, who actually closes with a question rather than an emotional statement.

    The Bible is not some magic slate so ambiguous that what it means changes from church to church, from generation to generation. It can be interpreted with enough precision that the issues that divide churches are on the periphery of anything important. Your accusation of ambiguity applies very well to a culture based on relativism, by definition. So if a relativist says that about the Bible, I guess I should take that as a compliment.

    If God loves all, why is it hard to grasp why Bible verses like Pro 24:10-12 would call us to rescue those being unjustly slaughtered? How can the innocent live, unless those who murder them are stopped? Should we have no police? No courts? No laws?

    Laws mean to protect good and restrain evil. It would be absurd for any law to expressly intend great harm. Mark 3:4. In situations where enforcement of the letter of a law would cause harm, the spirit of the law would be violated by enforcement, which is rightly suspended by the Necessity Defense.

    This is Scott Roeder’s defense. It would be absurd to interpret Roe v. Wade as expressly intending genocide. Yet Roe said “the judiciary…is not in a position to speculate” on whether the millions of unborn slain at its direction are human beings. Roe said if triers of fact determine that they are, Roe should “collapse”.

    Lower courts violate Roe by deciding the fact question which Roe said no judge is qualified to decide: the judges say they can’t recognize abortion as harming human beings because it is “legal”. Besides that, judges decide this fact question by themselves, before the trial begins, and order defendants not to say a word about their defense, and the only contested trial issue, to the jury, even though they tell juries they are judges of the facts. Attorneys are used to this system, but most Americans would not call this a “trial by jury”. They would call it a “trial by a judge”.

    Nothing can be more illegal than what courts have done all these years to keep abortion “legal”.

    Our goal is an end to violence against abortionists, and against babies, through restoring the Constitutional Right to Trial by Jury, even in abortion prevention cases.

    Abortionist attorney Lee Thompson’s successful intimidation of eBay is aimed at denying Roeder access to the counsel of his choice.