Monday, June 8, 2009

Congress remembering Dr. George Tiller, victim of church violence

The Hill says Congress is fast-tracking two bills this week, one to honor the Army recruiters gunned down the same day the news was dominated by Dr. Tiller's assassination, also being honored.

House Resolution 505 states:

Whereas Dr. George Tiller was murdered in Wichita, Kansas, on May 31, 2009;

Whereas Dr. Tiller is mourned by his family, friends, congregation, community, and colleagues;

Whereas Dr. Tiller, 67, was killed in his place of worship, a place intended for peace and refuge that in a moment became a place for violence and murder;

Whereas places of worship should be sanctuaries, but have increasingly borne witness to reprehensible acts of violence, with 38 people in the United States killed in their place of worship in the past 10 years and 30 people wounded in those same incidents;

Whereas these acts of violence include the murder of an Illinois pastor at the pulpit in March 2009, the murder of an Ohio minister in November 2008, the murder of an usher and a guest during a children's play in a Tennessee church in July 2008, the murder of four family members in a church in Louisiana in May 2006, and the shooting of a worshipper outside a synagogue in Florida in October 2005; and

Whereas violence is deplorable, and never an acceptable avenue for expressing opposing viewpoints: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
(1) offers its condolences to Dr. Tiller's family; and
(2) commits to the American principle that tolerance must always be superior to intolerance, and that violence is never an appropriate response to a difference in beliefs.

I'm glad we recognize the people who have died while at church. Though Dr. Tiller's assassination at church is just as mortifying as anywhere else. Yes, church is a sanctuary, but so, too, is home. So, too, work should be safe. This murder wasn't religiously motivated (though if people want to consider it so, it would be a hate crime). So why are we not recognizing the other providers murdered because they did their job?

Why are Dr. David Gunn, Dr. John Bayard Britton, James Barrett, Shannon Lowney, Leanne Nichols, a physician in Rochester, NY, and Dr. Barnett Slepian not remembered? Is abortion too difficult a subject that we don't honor a man for what he did, what he had to live with on a daily basis? We're willing to collectively ignore and forget *why* he was killed in his church? Oh, well, at least we get something; that something is the continued belief that abortion is somehow wrong.

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