Sunday, May 31, 2009
Terrorist Kills Kansas Doctor in Chruch: "Don't make a big deal about it!"
One time, while standing outside Madison Square Garden, I saw a guy smack his girlfriend in the face. In was a hard shot, clearly audible to me, as I stood maybe 10 feet away. The assailant had been trying with no success to scalp tickets to a rock concert. As the girlfriend grew increasingly anxious, the boyfriend, a stringy-haired loser in a flannel shirt with the selves cut off, had heard enough. All at once he grimaced, cocked back his hand and let her have it--BANG!--right across the face.
It was horrifying; absolutely sickening to witness.
Equally disgusting was the abusive boyfriend's attempt at damage control. "Don't make a big deal about it!," he insisted, clearly annoyed that she was tearing up. "I don't want to hear any shit about me hitting you."
So, this young woman is physically assaulted and the scumbag who hit her is demanding that she exercise restraint.
This horrific scene came to mind as I listened to anti-choice zealots react to the assassination of Dr. George Tiller, a 67 year old man who was the father of four and grandfather of 10. Dr. Tiller was brutally gunned down on Sunday May 31 while attending services at a church in Wichita, Kansas.
To the killer, the doctor' s crime, evidently, was that he enabled women to exercise sovereignty over their bodies--and their lives. Dr Tiller preformed abortions, including, when necessary, late term abortions. Typically, these procedures arose from tragic circumstances: A fetus dead or seriously deformed; a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. Dr. Tillman respected a woman's right to choose. To do otherwise, he no doubt concluded, would be to facilitate back alley abortions and the imprisonment of women, doctors and nurses. To deny this right is to agree that the government--and the government alone-- has jurisdiction over a women's womb. This was a man who had the rare trifecta of compassion, courage and wisdom. He will be missed.
But much like the stringy haired asshole outside MSG, those who seek to criminalize abortion have been quick to spin this barbaric attack their way. Instead of expressing outrage for the crime and compassion for those grief-stricken by the loss, we hear concern that "the other side" will "exploit" this "incident." They fear that President Obama will now have license to crack down on abortion protestors. Even when we hear people feign sympathy for the victim, their political agenda is obvious. The anti-choice machine, Operation Rescue, said it was "shocked" by the crime, as if to suggest that that is the only appropriate adjective.
Dr. George Tiller here is one tiny voice who says you died with nobility and courage--exactly the way you lived. I morn your loss. I firmly believe that if there is any good to come from this act of domestic terrorism, it is that anti-choice zealots who seek to oppress women and re-write established law, have been marginalized yet again.
RIP Dr. Tiller. You will be missed but not forgotten.