Reactions keep coming on shooting of abortion doctor

I came in this morning to find my in-box filled with statements condeming the murder of “abortion doc” George Tiller (that’s him in 1994).

The Wichita Eagle has comprehensive coverage of the shooting.

First, from the anti-abortion side…

Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life says this:

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I am saddened to hear of the killing of George Tiller this morning. At this point, we do not know the motives of this act, or who is behind it, whether an angry post-abortive man or woman, or a misguided activist, or an enemy within the abortion industry, or a political enemy frustrated with the way Tiller has escaped prosecution. We should not jump to conclusions or rush to judgment.

But whatever the motives, we at Priests for Life continue to insist on a culture in which violence is never seen as the solution to any problem. Every life has to be protected, without regard to their age or views or actions.

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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops just released this:

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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.

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Operation Resue’s Randall Terry, who led protests against Tiller, says:

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George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God. I am more concerned that the Obama Administration will use Tiller’s killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions. Abortion is still murder. And we still must call abortion by its proper name; murder.

Those men and women who slaughter the unborn are murderers according to the Law of God. We must continue to expose them in our communities and peacefully protest them at their offices and homes, and yes, even their churches.

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Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, says:

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If the perpetrator of this violence proves to be someone who was acting in the name of the pro-life movement, everyone in the pro-life community must swiftly and soundly repudiate him and his actions.

The murder of Dr. George Tiller is a human tragedy. Murdering someone is a grotesque and bizarre way to emphasize one’s commitment to the sanctity of human life. People who truly believe in the sanctity of human life believe in the sanctity of the lives of abortion providers as well as the unborn babies who are aborted.

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The Traditional Values Coalition, says, in part:

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The Traditional Values Coalition condemns the murder of late-term abortionist George Tiller during a church service on Sunday.

The pro-life movement is non-violent and does not encourage vigilante justice against abortionists. We seek to bring about an end to abortion through peaceful and legal means.

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And now, from other positions, come these voices…

Interfaith Alliance Board Chair the Rev. Dr. Galen Guengerich says:

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Today’s despicable shooting at a Kansas church is profoundly disturbing. The abortion issue evokes deep passion from people on all sides, but resorting to murder should never be an option. The fact that it happened at a church is all the more distressing. Our houses of worship should be places where people find comfort and solace, not where they fear for their lives.

The solution to reducing the number of abortions in this country is not murder; it is for all sides to work together towards a common ground.

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Catholics United says, in part:

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In the wake of Dr. Tiller’s death, we call on all sides of the abortion debate to commit to charitable dialogue and pursuit of common ground solutions. It is only through this sort of respectful communication that we can find real solutions to abortion and avert tragedies like the one that occurred in Kansas today.

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A group of religious leaders, including people on both sides of the abortion debate, issued this statement:

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We were shocked and saddened to hear that Dr. George Tiller was murdered at his church yesterday morning. Such violence is an affront to the teachings of all faith traditions and an attack on civil society. Houses of worship have served as sanctuaries providing a safe harbor even in times of widespread violence for millennia — that this act took place in Dr. Tiller’s church where he was serving as an usher on Sunday morning only underscores its abhorrence. We condemn it, and we pray for Dr. Tiller’s family, church and community.

As people of faith working to create civility and common ground on abortion, this reprehensible attack reminds us of our moral obligation to respect the humanity of those on both sides of this issue. Wherever we stand, this act offends us all.

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AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Dave Williams