The verdict is in: the guy who murdered physician George Tiller will spend the rest of his life in jail, feeling good about what he did.
Yes, the verdict shows that the justice system works, sometimes. But this doesn’t bring back Tiller. His family only had one of him. We have very few of him. The other side has plenty of Scott Roeders.
Roeder is a suicide bomber. He sacrificed his own life and blew up Tiller. No one can defeat a culture that produces suicide bombers. Almost a decade after 9/11, the mightiest military the world has ever seen hasn’t even made a dent.
While legally inevitable given the facts, the Roeder verdict is also unsatisfying because it doesn’t change anything. The government won’t protect physicians or clinics more. The anti-choice domestic terrorists won’t be punished as a group, won’t be fined out of existence, won’t even be discouraged an eighth of an inch.
Just as Thomas Friedman wants to know where are the moderate Muslim voices decrying radical Muslim violence, I want to know where are the so-called moderate anti-choice voices decrying Roeder’s crime? True, some spoke up in the hours following his capture for stalking, murder, and violating a church in service. Some hypocritically continue to condemn what he did.
But after the obligatory “we don’t support that,” what else has the religious anti-choice community done? What responsibility did they take for maintaining a culture of long-term warfare against the legal, private choices of fellow citizens? What changes did they make in their dishonest, greedy policies operating Crisis Pregnancy Centers (which depend on government funds)? What changes did they make in their lies about Emergency Contraception—which does not, cannot cause abortion?
And what progress have they made in supporting pregnancy reduction, other than their fantasies about dissuading teens from having more sex? Until the Religious Right enthusiastically supports contraception of all kinds, its anti-choice stance will remain exposed for what it is: a hypocritical, anti-sex, cynically expedient position. These people have accumulated vast political power and wealth. There’s no crime in that. But they wield that power and wealth exactly like the immoral political interest group they are, and nothing more.
Anti-choice religious groups claim to care more about fetuses than about pregnant women, more about fetuses than about unmarried women who don’t want to get pregnant, and more about fetuses than the adults they would murder. This is a sick obsession dressed up as a moral position. There’s absolutely nothing “moral” about sacrificing living people for fetuses.
The mistake that the pro-choice majority makes is in not taking this claim seriously enough. It should be quoted and broadcast over and over again, everywhere: “They care more about fetuses than about any other living creature—including you, your children, your spouse, or your parents.”
Perhaps that’s why they’re so solidly against same-gender marriages: they simply don’t create enough fetuses to matter.