I have already been asked several times by pro-choicers I know if I am saddened by the death of Tiller. This is a difficult question for me to clearly and concisely answer. I know my own feelings on the matter, but I also know how those emotions will be interpreted by people who are looking to find fault with those of us in the pro-life movement. I have examined my thoughts and emotions over this topic quite extensively overnight. I hope you appreciate the honesty.
Am I saddened by his death? This is hard to answer because I didn't know him. If he had died quietly in his bed at home I would not be sad. I didn't know the man. I can not grieve for him in the same manner I would for a beloved uncle or even a respected and beloved public figure. I cried when John Paul II died; I did not shed even a single tear for the death of Paul Newman. Not because one was any less human than the other, but because one held personal meaning for me and the other was simply someone whose name and image I knew. So, does his death itself make me sad? No. People die.
The more correct question, I suppose, would be "Am I saddened by the circumstances surrounding his death?" Yes. The circumstances are tragic. For a man, any man, to be murdered is a gravely evil thing. It is evil no matter the victim, no matter the circumstances. It was evil when it was Tiller doing the murdering, and it is no less evil now that Tiller is the victim. In a strange way, both Tiller and his killer are compatriots, both killing for the sake of convenience and personal political beliefs. Neither one more or less wrong than the other, they are perpetrators of the same crime.
My heart grieves today for the pain of Jeanne Tiller and her 4 children and 10 grandchildren. They have lost someone whom they loved. No matter how many times the media referred to him as "Tiller the Killer", they called him sweetheart and Grandpa and Dad. He was a human being created in the image and likeness of God and baptized into the same Body of Christ to which all Christians belong. He was theirs, but also one of our own.
Merciful Father, we humbly beg that you may have mercy upon the soul of George Tiller who was Baptized and Confirmed into the Christian faith. We ask that you grant him the same Divine Mercy which we would ask for our own sins and transgressions. Please be with his family in Kansas as the shock wears off and they must face the world without the one they love. Grant Peace, also, to the souls of those who were victims and Dr Tiller's own hands. Eternal Rest grant unto them, O Lord, and may Perpetual Light shine upon them all and give them Peace. Amen
"If anyone has an urge to kill someone at an abortion clinic, they should shoot me. ... It's madness. It discredits the right-to-life movement. Murder is murder. It's madness. You cannot prevent killing by killing." - John Cardinal O'Connor.