Monday, June 1, 2009

In Memoriam - Dr. George Tiller - of Kansas

I never heard of Doctor George Tiller before yesterday. I heard on the news that he had been gunned down while in worship at Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita Kansas.

Our prayers and condolences to his wife, family, friends, co-workers and fellow worshipers who had to witness "man’s inhumanity to man”.

I see that he was an usher in his local church. He is one of those people who greet you, welcome you into the house of God and escort you to a seat. He is one of many who indirectly usher you into the presence of the Divine in a worship service.

I know there is a culture war out there. Fundamentalism and ignorance are rampant. Doctor Tiller was a licensed skilled physician who performed a necessary service to the health of women. What he did was legal and out in the open.

The stalkers, the ignorant, the paranoid that feed on the vinegar and vitriol of Hate Radio and Hate News had plenty of opportunity to locate the doctor in his home, place of business or place of worship. Signposts encouraging hatred and violence are posted all over the Internet.

This is where the media in America is a one way situation. The media is virtual and not real or local. In the old days, a reporter or a local public citizen such as Doctor Tiller, could be greeted or jeered by his real life neighbors in a real town square and not in the pitiful virtual version of stuff that now exists in our nation.

Doctor Tiller no doubt had the courage to stand up for his rights to practice his profession and under the laws of the state of Kansas. Kansas by the way has a death penalty for first degree murder. Kansas has not exercised that option since 1976.

That he was murdered in his house of worship is outrageous! This is America! Not Afganistan!

His commitment to his profession and the needs of women were more important than his own personal safety. This is the sign of a great and remarkable man.

Many of us come down on either side of the morality concept attached to the abortion issue. None of us have the right under God to judge another regarding the use or practice of this medical procedure.
Matthew 7:1-5

1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (NKJV)
Without knowing the man the personally, I must consider his last act of serving others in his house of worship.

As such I pass on his Church’s mission statement from their website which I think appropriate to the loss of this man Doctor George Tiller:
Welcome to Reformation Lutheran Church! We are a community of believers who gather to worship, learn, and share fellowship so that we can serve others and live out our faith in daily life.

P.S. June 6, 2009 Doctor Tiller's Funeral


Dave said...

Has Rod Parsley made a statement yet? He's always ranting and raving about abortion or murder as he calls it. The horror stories TBN puts out there about women and the aftermath of their abortions is just fear mongering at it's worst! It should be the last resort and usually is but I'm not sure why some women wait so late that they went to this Dr. who specialized in late term abortions. To be gunned down in your own church is horrendous.

Mike McShea said...

I heard that Dr. Tiller from listening to the TV that his abortions had to do with deformed children who would likely die after birth or whose delivery would put the mother's life in immediate danger. The other end of the spectrum is the teenage girl who is hiding the pregnancy until the fourth or fifth month and for whatever reason from the parents, that situation etc, the mental health of the pregnant teenager, it was deemed best to abort the fetus. A lot of messy details in the lives of people, No easy quick sound bite cliche answers.

Doctor Tiller was not selling a politicla agenda or Jesus in a crackerjack box like Rod. He was acting as a doctor in his profession and as the doctor of last resort for many women who desperately needed his professional services.