I’ve had it with Christians today

I have had it with Christians today. The Christians who call themselves pro-life and who preface their statements on the murder of Dr. Tiller with ‘yes but.’ The Christians who fund a political industry called pro-life led by men who make their living inciting silly mobs and nudging others into violence.
The Christians who make a lot of money in the business of hate.

There is nothing Christian in their behavior. I do not see the fruit of the Spirit, I see seeds of division, hate, rancour, ignorance, darkness, obsession, pride, mockery, willfulness.
Scott Roeder, who was arrested in connection with Dr. George Tiller’s murder, is a diagnosed non-compliant schizophrenic, according to court documents.
He is not a ‘lone wolf’; his paranoia was fueled and fed by these so called Christians.
Are you listening Operation Rescue?
Or are you busy still scrubbing your websites?
Or trying to hit a reporter up for lunch?
Signal Hill? Paying attention?

Anyone who is believes women have a legal right to make choices is a potential target. Think about it. The security measures medical personnel in the US and Canada need may not be far off for anyone who dares tell anti-abortionists we disagree with them.
Are you listening Suzanne Fortin? Your obsession has consequences among the living.

The language of reproduction has been so deliberately hi-jacked by twisters of Roman Catholic natural law and by fundamentalists that citizens are potential targets of single issue domestic terrorists.
Perhaps mobs. It’s not an implausible scenario, but it is preventable.
It’s perfectly okay to shoot someone in church and justify the murder.

I’m sick of the ignorance and misogyny, and the money being thrown at supposed para-church agencies and self proclaimed messengers of God.

I’m a Christian. One of the ones I’m sick of today frankly. I want to go to Wichita and sit in the Lutheran Church where George Tiller was murdered and grieve with those who grieve. I cannot, so I  rant here, with gratitude to Pastor Dan who fleshed out some of the scripture rattling around my head.

The bible says You shall not murder. There is no ‘yes, but’.

Scripture does not put equal weight on a foetus and an adult.

No Christian has the right to exercise their idea of vigilantism.

As Christians we are called to love our enemies. Even when it costs us our sensibilities.

Jesus told his followers to put their swords away, not to murder unarmed men and women.

Jesus was clear about His way, His kingdom and our place within it. Good news – gospel – has no room for ignorant rhetoric, intimidation and violence against those unarmed and unprotected.

We are called to obey government, not act outside it.
That means there is no place for for even an implied ‘yes, but’ when someone believes they act for God.
That means no premeditated violence against anyone. That means no intimidation by word or by deed.
Our laws are clear, scripture is clear.

I saw an evangelical blog post today filled with comments from pentecostals mocking The Reformation (Evangelical) Lutheran Church.
God forgive you, and have mercy on you, for you don’t know what you are doing.

You are not the assistant Holy Spirit. You are not present to comfort those who have lost. If you cannot live peaceably with victims and humbly serve them, at least have the courtesy and maturity to be silent and stay away from your keyboard. Put away your childish words.

How dare someone proclaiming themself Christian use mere political language (partial birth abortion) against human beings and then justify the darkness spilling from their tongues with scripture.

Killing an abortion doctor is recognized as single action domestic terrorism. There is no ‘yes, but.’ There is no excuse for using the political language of pro-life fundamentalist zealots and neo-cons.

If Roeder murdered Tiller then the greatest punishment he can be humanely given is to be treated for his illness. Bring him back to his right mind with medication so he can comprehend what he has done, then sentence him to live the rest of his days with awareness.

Christians can stop funding the pro-life industry.
You. Yes, you.
You can stop funding and fueling faux leaders with very comfortable lifestyles peddling divine mandates and manifest destinies.

You can say stop as the rhetoric level is raised and language is hi-jacked, look at the fruit of their lives and walk away.
These leaders are not pro-life and the louder they protest the more evident it becomes they reserve their respect for themselves, not for others.
You can decry and reject aberrant ‘Christian’ behavior from those who claim God’s mantle.
You can only decry their sin if you know what is required of you. Do you know?
You can get about the business of the Kingdom, as your neighbours lose their homes, can’t feed their kids or find a job or pay the bills. 20 thousand people lost their jobs in the US today. Maybe more.
Go. Lay your obsession with sex and reproduction at the cross and care for your neighbour. Deal with your misplaced, conditioned fear and stop blaming others.
Start by listening to men and women who worked in the medical profession before laws were in place for women. They have a great deal to say.

How many shootings has there been in American churches this year?
Who is it who has invaded the sanctuary?
There is no ‘yes, but.’

Words have consequences and I have chosen here at BDBO not to use the language of the pro-life industry. I will not participate in this terrible and willful politicized verbal polarization, which has a sick and twisted lust for power and control behind its loaded terms. At their core they are chosen words which are close to idolatry, as they raise the worship and veneration of sperm and ova and the very act of reproduction to god-status.
It is loaded language that fosters worship of the creation, not the Creator.
It is anti-gospel language, language of exclusion and elitism, violence and ignorance.
I have had my fill of Christians today.

Orcinus:

1. Tiller was one of the great heroes in the fight for a woman’s right to choose safe, legal abortion. Late-term abortions are a terrible business for everyone concerned. Despite anti-abortion distortions to the contrary, they are very rare* — and almost never chosen for anything but the most heartbreaking of reasons, usually having to do with the life of the mother or the viability of the fetus. It’s a life-changing choice for everyone concerned, and not one anybody takes lightly.

By all accounts, Tiller dealt with these horrific situations with dignity, compassion, and grace, helping women and their families deal with the loss and grief that always come with being faced with such a traumatic decision. He didn’t just tend to their physical condition; he tended to their psychological and spiritual well-being, too. Most of us will be backed into life-or-death corners regarding serious medical conditions (a family member’s, or our own) at some point in our lives. In those times, we are fortunate when we can find doctors with that kind of ability to understand the nuances, and help us deal with the ambiguities, and come to terms with the hard decisions we must make. Tiller was, according to his patients, one of those doctors.

2. The Terrorists Win. Tiller was one of just three doctors in the entire US who performed late-term abortions. Now, there are just two. Which means that 36 years of anti-choice terrorism is now just two assassinations away from completely ending late-term abortion in America. Violence has won out — over the will of the people, over the courts, over the horrific logic of medical necessity. And whenever terrorists win, democracy has lost — and is lost.

3. Churches. First Knoxville, then this. Sherilyn Ifill once made the point that lynchings typically occurred on courthouse lawns as a symbol that the mob had overridden the authority of the state and taken justice into its own hands. So what does it mean when right-wing terrorists start gunning down progressives in the pews of their own churches? Two events do not a pattern make — but if this keeps happening, it’ll be clear that there’s a message being sent.

*Stats Canada 2003 – 2.2% between 17 to 20 weeks, and 0.8% over 20 weeks.

About Bene Diction

Have courage for the great sorrows, And patience for the small ones. And when you have laboriously accomplished your tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
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32 Responses to I’ve had it with Christians today

  1. Bruce says:

    Wow, great post.

  2. Dave says:

    Great post, Bene!!

  3. Chere Brown says:

    How well you expressed something that I have been uneasy about for a long time. The political Christians have stared to nausea me. Regardless of their liberal or conservative stance, they have turned to the name-calling, mean spiritedness, and vain rhetoric of unbelievers. To me, it is not so much our vote that rises up a countries leaders, but it is God who rises up and brings down governments for his purposes. The role of Christians and the Church should be to proclaim the Good New of his grace. If Christians want a different government, then they must lead people to Christ, so His government will reign in their hearts. Then and only then will we have Christian government. In the mean time, we forget that we are not to battle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers of the air. You can never battle Satan by using his tactics. Because Satan is Antichrist in nature, we must do just the opposite of what he would do. Hate, anger, fear, and confusion are his favorite tools. When Christians use these tools, they have already began to fall into the devils deceptive hands and have become deceived into thinking they are protecting and glorifying God. God is quite able to protect his own reputation, and only He can really do it. Thanks for the great post.

  4. Bene D says:

    Bruce, Dave, Chere:

    Thank you.
    I’m braced for hate email and angry comments.
    Your kindness is like a deep gulp of clean air.

  5. Steve says:

    Wow. I’ve been reading through blogs and news reports since I first heard the news of this murder.

    Just when I thought most of the world had lost its collective mind, I saw this. Thank you for a wonderful post, and God bless you.

  6. Lanie says:

    I feel for you. Politics and religion are both critical topics to dealt with. Thanks for sharing.

  7. ganns says:

    Wow, BD. Your post is aflame with so much passion, yet it is sensible, logical, and easy to understand. I commend you for your bravery, and respect you for your skill as a communicator of the highest order.

  8. mouthyorange says:

    Bene D – I am an entirely secular person, and I want no part of religion in my own life. And I love your post. I love your kind of spirituality. It calls out to me, and moves me, and in light of the awful things that led to and are swirling around this murder it gives me back some kind of hope. – Thank you!

  9. I’m an atheist. But I’ve always had sympathy for the good people among Christians and other faiths who must feel burdened by and deeply despairing of the pretenders among them whose paths are destruction.

    Thank you for such a heartfelt, poignant post. I wish more Christians would leave their silence behind. The pretenders threaten us all.

  10. deBeauxOs says:

    Bene Diction – merci. I know that you wrote those words for yourself, that you needed to express what you did.

    It helped a lot.

  11. Chimera says:

    Thank you, Bene D.

    But I don’t think it’s Christians of whom you’ve had your fill — it’s those who commit their hate crimes in the name of Christianity but refuse to own their own consequences who disgust you so much, I think. A disgust shared by many of us, from all religions and cultures.

    Did I say thank you?

    Thank you!

  12. toujoursdan says:

    Thank you. Thank you. That was cathartic.

  13. Thank you for this. Well said and timely!

  14. Alison S says:

    Great post. This is my first visit to your blog and won’t be my last.

    I have one comment for Chere. Your statement “they have turned to the name-calling, mean spiritedness, and vain rhetoric of unbelievers” is extremely bigoted. You are certainly entitled to believe whatever myth you wish, but people who choose not to are not mean spirited, nor is their rhetoric vain, but is founded in reason and thought. Certainly most religious people do not indulge in name-calling, but the religious right is guilty of this on a daily basis and often in the most vicious way possible.

  15. Bene D says:

    It is a form of religion Chere.

    While political roots are obvious (Patriot movement, Supremacy) the extremist politics aren’t obvious if you aren’t paying attention.

    The theology which has expediently melded with these politics since the 1990′s is a blend of reconstructionism, Christian Identity, apocalyptic Catholicism and neo-pentecostalism. (New Apostolic Reformation)
    Perfect marriage of far right politics and it’s own religion.

    As JJ noted at unrepetant old hippie, the religious leaders (Randell Terry, Lou Engle etc) blow the dog whistle and cheer lead.

  16. Allen says:

    As an atheist, I rarely find myself sided with the religious. But you are an exception.
    Jesus was like you – sane, logical, with love for all and hate for only evil. The world needs more people like you.

  17. BruceA says:

    Thank you, Bene Diction!

    I lived in Wichita for 13 years. Before moving there, I considered myself strongly pro-life. But after encountering the militant the pro-life community there, and seeing how far their rhetoric is from their professed beliefs, I’ve tried to distance myself from the “pro-life” label. I do believe firmly in the sacredness of life — all life. Sadly, I don’t think that’s what “pro-life” means.

  18. cricket says:

    You braced yourself for hate email? Where is it?

    It cannot stand in the face of truth. God was honoured by this post and darkness fled.

    They will be back of course. But not this time, not with any credibility. Not with the words they face here. This time truth prevailed.

  19. Kate says:

    Thank you for your candor, your passion and your insightful, sensible comments on this tragedy.

    Thank you for standing with me, not against me, as I fight to ensure I have the right of ownership over my own body and the right to make decisions about my own healthcare.

    Thank you for living your life with compassion, care and love.

    Thank you for thinking of all people as worthy of dignity, respect and love.

    Thank you for speaking out against bigotry, misogyny, ignorance and hate.

    Thank you, thank you, a thousand times…. Thank you.

  20. bill c says:

    Great, having been at a pharmacy counter for nearly 50 years, I have been privy to 2 sides of abortion stories, sometimes 3 sides. For me the worst of all crimes, is bringing a child into this world who is not wanted, condemned to a life of abuse, possibly a drug addict before birth, a known victim destined to failure to thrive. This ongoing never ending hopeless future is a sin let alone a crime.
    Bash on bd

  21. As a peacemaker I think violence is a lousy way to solve any problems. I don’t condone killing, and I’m not offering any buts on the Tiller killing.

    Still I think you and I look at this issue differently

    While you and I agree on the excesses and politicization of the pro-life movement, I find the pro-choice side just as bad. If this issue wasn’t so polarized on both sides, if rational discourse was the order of the day, people wouldn’t be so extreme.

    In the article you quote the word terrorism is used a number of times. One mentally ill person kills someone and it is labeled terrorism? Terrorism? Bloody conflict arises when both sides escalate conflict. It is exactly stuff like this that provides fuel for the militant pro-life fire.

    Most Americans and Canadians think 1st term abortion should be legal, but even more think 3rd term abortions should be illegal. The common sense of our society says that if a baby could live outside the womb it shouldn’t be terminated inside a womb. By defending this practice, and decrying its critics as ignorant misogynists extreme pro-choice activism only adds fuel to the fire of extremism.

    If abortions after 20 weeks make up 0.8 % of all abortions that isn’t that rare.

    That is 7780 in Canada alone.

    Compare it to other Canadian stats.

    Drunk Driving Deaths: 981
    Breast Cancer: 5300
    Accidents: 9506
    Suicide: 3743

    In fact it would be the 5th leading cause of death in Canada.

  22. Bene Diction says:

    The Minnesota Independent:

    Tiller’s would be the eighth death in the last 20 years. In addition, there have been 17 attempted murders, 41 bombings, 175 incidents of arson, 96 attempted bombings or arson, 390 invasions, 1,400 cases of vandalism, 1,993 cases of trespassing, 100 butyric acid attacks, 659 anthrax threats, 179 cases of assault and battery, 406 death threats, four kidnappings, 151 burglaries, and 525 cases of stalking directed at abortion clinics, doctors and patients according to the National Abortion Federation.

    http://minnesotaindependent.com/35871/kansas-doctor-gunned-down-in-church

    The law in Kansas is as follows:

    “Kansas law requires that such procedures can only be performed after viability if two independent doctors agree that not to do so would put the mother at risk of irreparable harm by giving birth.”

    When a foetus dies in utero at 20 weeks the procedure is classified as abortion.
    When foetal issues gravely affecting the health of the mother aren’t discovered pre 20 weeks.

    There are cases other than medical where risk to the mother exists, there complicated moral and ethical decisions around abortion.

    Miscarriages (ectopic, uterine and cervical issues etc) and still births occur in one in every five pregnancies.

    Do we gun down the OB/GYN, GP or the mother?

    Bombs, arson, threats and murder at women and family health clinics are classified acts of terrorism because they are political acts.

    I’m not talking about abortions of convenience, pregnancy has risks.

    LT: Care to dig up the number of female deaths (Canada) from septic shock etc, pre: 1970?

  23. I still don’t think it qualifies as terrorism, because terrorism isn’t specifically targeted. One might be able to call it a politically or ideologically motivated hate crime. That would be more accurate but I’m not sure it would be any more helpful. The use of these terms doesn’t bring clarity, it doesn’t bring us closer to the truth, it just polarizes people in to extremes. Murder is bad enough, why inflame the situation by calling it terrorism?

  24. Powerful Post! The message was clear and precise! Thank you…

  25. Powerful post! The message was clear and precise! Thanks…

  26. Nathan says:

    I don’t know LT… the goal may not have been terrorism, but the result was. Terrorism seeks to paralyze by instilling fear… with or without killing anyone. The message that’s been sent is that this is what happens to people on that side of the fence. That’s the damage that’s been done. What medical professional or social aide worker wouldn’t be more fearful than a few days ago?

    Bene. I’m so blessed by this.
    Much thanks.

  27. Bene Diction says:

    LT, your point is well taken.

    How does the law define domestic political acts against a group?
    When does language cross from free speech to intimidation?
    When do criminal acts cross into domestic terrorism?

    You made another point I agree with, it doesn’t help by to adding to the complexity when incorrect and inflammatory language is used.

    The term political violence is acceptable and thank you for using it.

    If the law used single action terrorism, would that be acceptable?

  28. Paul says:

    I find it very hard to understand what motivated anyone to kill. I find it abhorrent that someone thinks they have the right to call down judgement and to take a life without the permission of the law and without the agreement of a jury.
    Such craziness does not happen in my country so, it is a weird and warped culture that produces such madness.

    But what right do any of us have to take life?
    What right do we have to play God and to play judge single handedly?

    So this politically violent murderer acted in hate and should be punished.

    But does this crazed act of violence somehow vindicate the actions of the abortionist? That would be just as crazy a premise.

    Please allow yourself to be as measured as you would have the madman be.

    Let us not take leave of our senses and think that we can openly condone abortion. Of course you have the chance to qualify your stance on this.

    It would be worth pointing out that your reference to Leviticus was completely out of context and has nothing to do with taking life.

    All life is sacred. The life of the doctor was sacred. The life if the babies he killed were also sacred. We don’t have the right to take either.

    Guess I’ll sit back and wait for the hate mail.

  29. Bene D says:

    Tomorrow Mrs. Tiller, George Tiller’s four children, 10 grandchildren bury their husband, father and grandfather.

    Another man sits in jail, he has a son and daughter he abandoned and siblings and relatives who have to deal with the shock and consequences of his act.

    There is not going to be no hate mail from here.

    Maybe we can pray for these families.

  30. JCF says:

    Paul, see re Numbers 5. If you look underneath the euphemisms (in most translations) it’s all about *inducing a miscarriage* (i.e., chemically-induced ABORTION) in a woman suspected of adultery. That’s The Law!

    So you see, BD is absolutely correct: the Bible does NOT count a fetus as equal to a human being!

    Other than that, I’ll leave it at “What BD Said”. Preach it!

  31. Paul Kube says:

    JCF and anyone else who would defend the act of abortion please read what I have to say.

    I had no idea that this would become a pro-abortion argument. I had interpreted this post as denouncing the violent acts of a madman. But am I to believe that many of you are in favour of abortion?

    It is a big stretch to say from Numbers 5 that God does not care about the fetus. Scripture should always be read in context. What of the Jeremiah scripture that talks of God knowing and forming Jeremiah in his mother’s womb?

    The Numbers 5 scripture talks about a miscarrying womb from that point onwards. It does not say that a baby inside of her will die. Miscarriage in itself is often the miscarriage of an embryo that is already dead, because it did not form properly. But to stretch this to say that scripture allows abortion is just foolishness.

    How about this for a scenario: The mother will die if she carries the child to full term. Therefore wait until such a time as the mother is still safe and the child has a good chance of survival if removed with a caesarean section. (Say 30 weeks into the pregnancy. A child can even survive after 26 weeks, and there is a 20% survival rate at 22 weeks.) The mother lives and the baby stands a good chance of survival.

    When is it really acceptable for an abortion to be carried out? The only time that I could possibly think of is if the mother’s life is in clear danger. And if this can be avoided through a caesarean at an appropriate point, then that would greatly decrease the instances when abortion is needed. It would certainly remove all need for late term and partial birth abortions. For Christ’s sake!

    I am not for one iota of a second defending the actions of murdering an abortionist. That would be to condone murder. But don’t a single one of you think that you can defend the actions of late term abortion, or you too are condoning murder.

    Hate evil and cling to what is good.

  32. Bene D says:

    Good Paul, thanks, then you’ll also speak up when the next doctor on the hit list is murdered.

    This is not going to be a debate on whether life is sacred, it is.

    I believe women must be recognized as full moral agents in society and we aren’t getting into a debate about foetal medical viability.

    I appreciate the civility of the conversation, and it’s a discussion that can be had at another time. My thanks to all of you for your respect to each other and to the topic.

    The Tillers are grieving a murder of a husband, father and grandfather, a church community is dealing with a shooting in thier church. The Roeder family has their shock and sorrow to go through.

    I have a medical emergency in my family – my twin collapsed and is in hospital, so I think it’s best I close off this thread for my sanity.

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