Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Tiller Murder, and Moral Consistency

I am not usually a fan of what happens in the comments of blogs or in forums because they tend to degrade into flame wars pretty quickly. Halden Doerge's Blog Inhabitatio Dei tends to be a pretty lively yet civil place however. He has two recent posts on the Abortion Doctor killing which have very good discussions going on in the comments.

They can be found here and here.

He raises the issue of moral consistency in the pro-life movement. The question he poses is "if abortion really is the mass murder of innocent human beings, can we really say that Roeder was wrong for taking action?"

As I understand it, the idea behind the question is that only a pacifist position is able to condemn both abortion, and the killing of a very fringe abortion doctor (Tiller was one of only a handful of doctors who would perform late-term abortions). Added to this, what is the right response when the government fails to execute justice on its own?

There is certainly a lot more going on in the comments, with a variety of views cropping up. I highly recommend them if you have time.

As this week should be showing, I have moved to a place of total nonviolence in my understanding of what it means to live as citizens of the Kingdom of God. So, that question does hold some weight with me. Personally I am not sure that we can ever have a truly consistent moral ethic, but we are meant to strive for one which is as consistent with the example of Jesus and scripture as is possible until the time of new creation.

I am still processing much on the issue of nonviolence and peace, so my understanding of it is bound to change with time and the conversations which grow out of real life events and tragedies like these are important to that process.