Monday, June 01, 2009

Hate Speech Not Allowed - The Real Cause of Dr. Tiller's Murder?

I am horrified by the hateful comments on this morning's blog post. I generally don't allow these kind of comments, but after reading the bone chilling comments on Rev. Chuck Currie's blog, I wanted you to see these as well.

I have readers who are anti-choice, with whom I have respectful dialog about our differences. One of them posted yesterday.

But to those who equate Dr. Tiller's assassination with performing legal medical procedures for desperate women, there is no room for dialog. Shame on the NYT blog today for an article called "A Moral Murder" which provides cover to those who would kill providers and women. That some of these people call themselves pro-life is beyond travesty.

This is domestic terrorism designed to scare providers and to scare women. Frankly, they scare me. And those email addresses will be turned over to authorities just in case.

But, they will not deter me from speaking out for women's moral agency. And I'll go back to not posting hateful comments.

For those who said the culture wars are over, it's clear that a gunman in Kansas just proved how false that really is.


Unknown said...

Rev. Haffner - speaking as a pro-life reader of your blog, I totally agree with you (and with millions of my pro-life colleagues, especially Catholics who embrace a "consistent life ethic" as per Pope John Paul II) that there is no justification for Dr. Tiller's murder. I have many pro-life contacts, and I don't know anyone personally (either face-to-face, or anyone whom I "know" online only) who takes pleasure in or feels that Dr. Tiller's murder was justified.

There is no legitimate pro-life response to Dr. Tiller's murder besides utter condemnation.

The individuals who take pleasure in Dr. Tiller's murder, or believe it was justified or in any way a good thing betray the very principles upon which the belief in the sanctity and dignity of ALL human life is based.

Those who are commenting in a hateful way at Rev. Currie's blog, and here, do not represent the vast majority of pro-life people, who are peaceful, and who, along with opposing abortion, oppose war, the death penalty, poverty, racism and euthanasia.

Those people are just as shocked and horrified by Dr. Tiller's murder as those who disagree with the right to life of the unborn.

Unfortunately, only the most extreme voices will be heard in the media. Randall Terry of Operation Rescue will be heard over and over in the newspaper and on t.v. Those commentators who have blogged here will be heard, and the force of the Internet will enable them to turn up their hateful volume. These individuals do not represent me, or any of the legitimate pro-life people or organizations.

But just as after 9/11, even Muslims who repudiated terrorist violence were tarred and feathered by those who shared only the name of their religion, peaceful pro-life people (the majority) will now be villified. And there's nothing any of us can do about it. Many will say that just by believing in the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death, and working for its greater recognition (even through such peaceful means as collecting cribs for babies of low-income mothers and fixing them so that they don't pose a safety hazard and distributing them free) we deserve to be silenced. And because of the horror of the crime committed allegedly in the pro-life name, most of us who are NOT extremists or fundamentalists will remain silent, or try to speak out but be shouted down by BOTH other sides - both those who want to completely silence all pro-lifers of any kind AND those who want to implement retribution/ vigilantism ostensibly in the pro-life cause.

Legitimate pro-life people are praying and fasting for an end to all violence today, and for hatred on all sides to be overcome.

I agree with you that at this points words will fail pretty much everyone, except for hateful extremists who will gain the spotlight because of this terrible crime.

Good pro-life people will try to speak out but I have no hope of any of their voices being heard. Thanks at least for giving voice over here. I will post at Rev. Currie's blog as well.

Unknown said...

Rev. Haffner, for the record will you please print the statement of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities?

"Speaking on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, expressed profound regret upon learning of the shooting death of abortion doctor George Tiller.

“Our bishops’ conference and all its members have repeatedly and publicly denounced all forms of violence in our society, including abortion as well as the misguided resort to violence by anyone opposed to abortion,” Cardinal Rigali said. “Such killing is the opposite of everything we stand for, and everything we want our culture to stand for: respect for the life of each and every human being from its beginning to its natural end. We pray for Dr. Tiller and his family.”"

I know it doesn't help much but it is important that authentic pro-lifers push back against the extremism, especially in places where pro-choice people can hear it. Pro-life Catholics are in solidarity with those who oppose this killing.