Murdering A Killer
Scott P. Roeder of Merriam, Kansas is believed to have a violent history and is also believed to have ties to extreme right-wing groups such as the anti-government group (the Freemen) that staged a three-month standoff with the FBI in Jordan, MT in 1995-1996. This man also, in a premeditated way, took the life of a man made in the image of God. Granted that image was marred almost beyond recognition, the image was there all the same. Scott Roeder will also answer to God for his sin, which differs from Tiller’s only in number. While, as a God-fearing Christian man, I can understand why Roeder may have committed this act, I roundly and vehemently condemn what he did.
Many have already begun to come against the Pro-Life and Christian communities, making such incendiary comments as Mike Hendricks’ of the Kansas City Star when he claimed that all who ever referred to Tiller’s clinic as a “murder mill” are accomplices in his slaying. This is the ignorant rhetoric of an ideologue who dogmatically holds to a particular view and vilifies the opposition without understanding the opposition. Yes, there are those types on both sides of this issue (and any issue) but that’s no excuse. Again, as a bible-believing Christian I am opposed to everything George Tiller stood for. But I am also opposed to Scott Roeder’s actions. In the Scriptures we see that all life is sacred. The only institution that is granted by God with the right to retribution for the taking of innocent life is the State. (Interestingly enough, this stand puts me at odds with many pro-life groups who also hold that capital punishment is wrong.) There is no provision for vigilantism in God’s holy word. When the State fails in its duty to protect innocent life through the taking of the killer’s life, that duty does not then fall upon the general public to mete out as they see fit. To take the life of even the most guilty of killers outside the authority of the government is as great a sin against God as that of the killer themselves. Those who favor abortion must take this into account before they start lobbing invectives against Christians and pro-life groups in general.
So, as I said, I consider the death of George Tiller as a tragedy but I am thankful for the innocent lived that are being saved by it. It’s these opposing emotions that pull at me today and I mourn for Tiller’s family and for his soul that stands before God in judgment. I also mourn for the damage done to the reputation of our Lord through people like Roeder. And that is the greater grief.