Policing Our Own

The latest meme in the campaign to paint the broader pro-life movement as complicit in George Tiller’s murder is the fact that the killer, Scott Roeder, made calls to Operation Rescue’s senior policy advisor, Cheryl Sullenger, asking to know Tiller’s court dates.  This, we are told, is supposed to be outrageous because Roeder had previously made ominous comments (which, taken on their own, aren’t all that ominous) on Operation Rescue’s website—as if every individual in an organization is supposed to memorize the names of everyone who comments on their website who could be considered excessively hostile.  Please.

I don’t think much of this line of attack, but there is something else in these reports that should be deeply troubling to pro-lifers.  In 1988, Sullenger was convicted of conspiring to bomb an abortion clinic, for which she served two years in prison.  Operation Rescue’s bio says she’s been active in the movement since 1984, and relocated to Wichita in 2003, but isn’t clear on when she became officially aligned with the group (a question further complicated by OR’s muddy organizational history).

Why did Operation Rescue hire a convicted would-be terrorist?  How could they have not known about her record?  As a matter of moral principle, it’s inexcusable to give credence to someone who’s done what she’s done, and as a matter of political strategy, it’s suicidal idiocy—do they even know who their opponents are?

The current wave of character assassination is deeply dishonest, and the pro-life movement is not a bloodthirsty one (as Mark Crutcher also explains, hat tip to Jill Stanek).  But because we are an honorable, responsible movement, we have to be especially vigilant about true fanatics in our midst.  Operation Rescue is not responsible for George Tiller’s death, but they do have to answer for the employment of Cheryl Sullenger.

Flashback: When Planned Parenthood Told the Truth

One of my friends from Hillsdale alerted me to a remarkable find on Free Republic: a 1964 Planned Parenthood brochure, which in the course of promoting birth control, contrasts it with abortion, which PP says “An abortion kills the life of the baby after it has begun.  It is dangerous to your life and health.  It may make you sterile so that when you want a child you cannot have it” (emphasis added).

Today, though, they sidestep the “life” question, instead making the issue “personhood,” which nobody really has a final answer for…but “what we are all sure about is that a pregnant woman is a person.”

What a difference a few decades makes…especially a few decades in which science has made PP’s original conclusion crystal clear.

A Tale of Two Shootings

Since Barack Obama is one of the most extreme pro-abortion politicians in American history, it came as little surprise that he wasted no time issuing a statement condemning George Tiller’s murder.  It was striking, however, that the commander-in-chief of our armed forces neglected to do the same about the shooting in Little Rock, which claimed the life of one of the very soldiers serving under him, and injured another.

It took him a while, but he’s finally released a statement:

I am deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence against two brave young soldiers who were doing their part to strengthen our armed forces and keep our country safe. I would like to wish Quinton Ezeagwula a speedy recovery, and to offer my condolences and prayers to William Long’s family as they mourn the loss of their son.

It’s nice to hear the president is “deeply saddened,” but you would think that it would have “shocked and outraged” him.  Regardless of this late, halfhearted effort, the damage is done.  Obama’s perverse priorities have been made crystal clear.

Standing Up to Pro-Abortion Persecution (Updated)

Unsurprisingly, the guy campaigning for an even more liberal GOP seems to be taking the side of the demagogues using George Tiller’s murder to savage and silence the pro-life movement.  First, he uncritically links to a Gawker post characterizing Bill O’Reilly’s coverage of the Tiller case as a “holy war” and “jihad.”  Then, he and the rest of New Majority’s editors lend credence to the pro-choice hate campaign, lecturing us that “a broader self-examination is called for if we wish to claim in good conscience that our hands are clean of the next victim’s blood.”

Sorry David, but my conscience is clean.  I’m not going to accept blame for conduct that I’ve always opposed, that I’ve never presented as legitimate, carried out by a man with a history of antigovernment fanaticism and possible mental illness long before he ever saw an episode of The O’Reilly Factor.  I’m not going to pretend abortion isn’t evil just because the Left demands it.

And neither should any other pro-lifers.  This is not the time to cower in a hole and wait for it all to blow over.  Because it will never blow over.  This is what the Left is—hateful, lying, and tyrannical to the core.  Deep down, most of ‘em know better, as my rundown of their blatant double-standards shows.  They will use anything they can do delegitimize challenging speech and destroy those with whom they differ.  Appeasing them (or their enablers like Frum) is an exercise in futility.

Instead, the pro-life movement should be turning the tables on their persecutors, making an issue of how disgraceful it is to blame millions of good-natured Americans for the actions of one man.  The best defense, in this case, is a good offense, aided by the fact that we have the truth on our side.

UPDATE, 7/7/10: The old New Majority links have been fixed.  They now link to the articles at FrumForum.

George Tiller Murdered, Libs ALREADY Using Death to Smear Pro-Lifers (Updated Hypocrisy Rundown)

George Tiller, the infamous Kansas abortionist (and old pal of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius), was murdered today at his church.  A suspect is in custody.  The pro-life community is denouncing the crime, as well they should—evil though George Tiller was, he was also a human being living in a nation of laws.  Vengeance is not the same thing as justice, and we simply cannot permit people to take the law into their own hands.  His murder was un-American, un-Christian, and certainly not pro-life.

That won’t stop the propagandists of the Left from using this crime to demonize the pro-life movement—indeed, scumbags on the Daily Kos and Huffington Post are already claiming this is indicative of a broader threat of right-wing, fundamentalist terrorism (thanks, Department of Homeland Security!).

What do the facts really show?  NARAL’s own statistics on pro-life violence (PDF link) cover both the United States and Canada during the time between 1977 and 2007.  According to them, there have been:

– 7 murders
– 17 attempted murders
– 41 bombings
– 171 arsons
– 82 attempted bombings & arsons
– 574 fake anthrax letters
– 92,000 “acts of disruption” such as bomb threats & harassing calls

Assuming none of the other cases were counted among the “acts of disruption,” that’s a grand total of 92,892 acts of pro-life extremism in two countries over three decades. That sounds like a lot, but consider the following. About 99% of the acts come from the “disruption” category, and we should question exactly what constitutes a “harassing call” in NARAL’s view—I highly doubt they only counted truly violent or uncivil calls; chances are there are quite a few in that number which only consisted of arguing abortion’s morality and/or offering to pray for their forgiveness. Say what you want about the productivity or decorum of such calls, but they certainly can’t be described as malevolent in any way. Also, NARAL puts the bomb-threat number at 596, which means the overwhelming majority of the pro-life extremism in general, and of the disruptions in particular, consists of lesser acts.

As for the incidents of actual violence and genuine threat, each is inexcusable & deplorable, and no pro-lifer should tolerate them in any way. The good news is, the fanatics make up only a tiny sliver of abortion foes—consider that Pro-Life Wisconsin alone boasts the support of 14,000 families (and that many pro-lifers only belong to one of a state’s multiple pro-life groups given their differences on things like rape exceptions), and that 51% of Americans call themselves pro-life, and the serious, honorable pro-life movement easily dwarfs the unhinged.

Besides, when was the last time a liberal decided that eco-terrorism or animal-rights extremism discredited the central arguments of the environmental or animal-rights movements?  How about how Muslims who flirt with violence reflect on claims of Islamophobia?

The truth is, none of this really matters to the Left.  After all, you can never let a good crisis go to waste.

Update: Predictably, Andrew Sullivan piles on, including implying that Bill O’Reilly is partially culpable (and, incredibly, denying he did anything of the sort just hours later), and the genocide lobbyists at NARAL lecture pro-lifers on the need to denounce the murder, regardless of the fact that they already have.  To his credit, Alonzo Fyfe does the right thing.  A couple of his readers, though…

Update 2: More extremism for which the Left has a different standard:

– The Black Panthers

– The Nation of Islam

– The utterly wretched Keith Olbermann

– The hate-filled antiwar protests of the Bush years

– The most unhinged of Proposition 8’s opponents

Rhetoric about killing President George W. Bush, including an entire movie devoted to the sick idea

– Left-wing violence against American soldiers (let me be clear: I am referring to the Flashback links Michelle Malkin has compiled, NOT to the man who killed a soldier today, whose motive we do not yet know)

Slashing tires to sabotage your opponents’ grassroots efforts

– Actor Alec Baldwin’s tirade about killing Rep. Henry Hyde and his family

– Vile cartoonist Ted Rall

– Columnist Julianne Malveaux saying, “I hope [Justice Clarence Thomas’s] wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter, and he dies early, like many black men do, of heart disease

– Sen. Ted Kennedy’s famous rant about “Robert Bork’s America”

– Then-Sen. Obama’s racial demagoguery on the campaign trail

– Charming blogger Amanda Marcotte in the employ of presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards

Wildeyed intolerance of global warming skeptics

The movement to abolish slavery had its share of violence, too.  For instance, John Brown famously advocated, and participated in, armed insurrection.  Yet somehow I don’t think anybody would take that fact as evidence that the slaves should never have been freed.

And lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that President Barack Obama’s statement about Tiller’s murder, in which he reminds us that “However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence,” comes from the same man who had no problem with unrepentant terrorist William Ayers.