By Don Klein
"Tiller the baby killer." Repeat that epithet several dozens of times a year on one of the most listened national television programs. "Tiller the baby killer." Isn’t that enough to incite some people with lopsided and untempered emotions to violence. That’s what Bill O’Reilly has done.
Yet if you ask O’Reilly he will insist that "It’s not my fault" that some kook took a gun, sought out Dr. George Tiller, a well-known abortion doctor, and shot him dead while he served as a usher in a Wichita, Kansas, church.
O’Reilly is not alone as a rabble rouser in this case. Other anti-abortion proponents called Dr. Tiller, a mass murderer on a par with the infamous Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele, of Holocaust infamy. The brutal invective combined with the inflammable, but totally inaccurate, term "baby killer" is one of the most ugly aspects of the so-called pro-life movement.
After Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, labeled Dr. Tiller a "mass murderer," he said, "We in the pro-life movement must not shrink from our duty to continue to use words that are highly charged..." Yes highly charged words that set off those who are fanatical about abortion. It is a way to attempt to frighten medical professionals from performing legal services.
Have any of these trouble-makers bothered to check the fact that abortions are legal in the United States? So the charge of murder or killer just doesn’t wash. Secondly, there are no baby victims. According to law -- and the dictionary -- a baby is a young child or an infant. Abortion, again according to law and the dictionary, is the expulsion of a fetus from a pregnant woman, not a baby.
These assassins don’t care about the law. They make their own law. They decide who is the victim, the perpetrator, and like a moonshiner protecting his illegal booze puts to death "offenders" as they view them. These are people who flaunt the law and embrace their ideals and beliefs above all others, including the government. They need to be hunted down like rampaging vipers and defanged.
There are reasonable people who believe that life begins at conception and therefore a fetus is a baby, but that is a personal belief not the law. And yet many of these same people are reasonable and accept that abortion should be a matter of choice for the woman involved. Abortion is a matter, they say, between the woman, her doctor and God, not government.
But how effective do you think a battle cry focused on "fetus expulsionists" or "fetus killers" would have on the emotions of the unstable. It just wouldn’t work, hence "baby killer" and "mass murderer" is used. This is incitement. A lure to appeal to the neanderthal’s that prowl out streets looking for a cause to exploit.
The death of Dr. Tiller is not a part of the continuing debate over abortions in this country. It is a matter of clear and direct exhortation to terror. The pro-life crowd enjoys motivating the gangs to picket medical clinics that provide abortions, they love to shout invectives at the poor women who enter the facilities.
They have been known to throw bombs and commit arson and shoot clinic workers. They do all of this in the name of God. They believe that God will reward them for their cowardly behavior. They are humorless, dismal, dogmatic and criminally bent on using violence to prove their point and usually end up with the opposite result by making heroic martyrs of those they hate.
Abortion is not the issue. Hatred and violence is.
The man arrested in the murder of Dr. Tiller had a record of being a malcontent for decades. Besides abortions, he hates government. He obviously was moved by the idiotic motto of Ronald Reagan and the GOP that concluded government "was the problem, not the solution." There are people today who still chirp that inanity as they cash their Social Security checks.
Then of course, provocateurs like O’Reilly, Terry, and others of that ilk throw gasoline on the embers smoldering in the brains of these violent people by branding the professionals who perform a legal service with inflammatory language.
There is no question that abortion is a legitimate political issue in the United States. There is plenty of opportunity for serious and calm discussion by opposing parties. We witnessed a very composed example recently when President Obama discussed the subject during the Notre Dame University commencement.
But that was at the university level where debate and serious discussions prevail. We don’t get that kind of talk from those who relish the idea of terrorizing people who do not agree with them. O’Reilly’s language is shameful. So is Terry’s. But they will never change, because they play to the lowest common denominator and engage people like street fighters.
For years medical workers providing abortion have been harassed, shot at, killed and their work places have be wracked by bombs and deliberate fires. Why? Because those on the lowest level of reason know they cannot win the battle to ban abortion legally so they will terrorized those workers in hopes of having a country which legally allows abortion, but has no one willing to perform them.
These pathetic creatures think they are doing God’s work but in reality they are dangerous simpletons doing the work of cowardly vipers who stand in the background and call compassionate medical workers incendiary and dehumanizing words. They are the real criminals in the case and should stand trial with the actual assassin.