The in-church murder of the notorious Kansas abortionist George Tiller happened as the congregation was about to begin its worship for the Day of Pentecost, which being always the 50th day of Easter, is a movable feast. Most other Christian feasts (Christmass and Epiphany are the most prominent examples) fall on fixed dates. As one of the most major festivals, Pentecost is able to "push around" festivals that aren't quite as, well, major. So with Pentecost falling on Sunday, May 31, the festival assigned to May 31 got a rather short shrift. In fact, the Church's practice in this sort of situation is usually to transfer the celebration to the next day. (That's what we do in the Lutheran church -- except that few actually had services of any sort on Monday, June 1.)
Over at Touchstone's Mere Comments, Robert George noted the, uh, irony of this despicable act happening on the festival called The Visitation, the day the Church commemorates the pregnant Blessed Virgin Mary's visit to her older, pregnant cousin, Elizabeth.
Dr. Tiller & the Visitation
Alas, notorious abortion "doctor" George Tiller went to meet his Maker today, the victim of a homicide. In the foyer of his Lutheran church in Wichita, Kansas. The alleged murderer has been caught, according to report. God have mercy on both.
I note what is, to me at least, a strange irony, that today is May 31. It is the fixed date for Western Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin. Mary, soon after the Annunciation, with Child, goes to meet and greeted Elizabeth, six months with child, and the babe in the womb of Elizabeth--John the Baptist--leaps for joy at the sound of Mary's voice, and Elizabeth, too, responds in wonder at the fact that the "Mother of my Lord" has arrived and greeted her. Two women with child, one a Virgin and the other past the years of child-bearing, meet, and John and Jesus are there, with John, as it were, beginning his ministry of announcing Jesus the Christ in the womb with leaping. For years friends and I have advocated that the Sunday in May closest to May 31 be observed in chuches as "Sanctity of Life," also somewhat in connection with Memorial Day and its remembrance of lives lost in war. Of course, we have a Sanctity of Life Sunday already, in January because of the date of the U.S. 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which opened the floodgates for the Dr. Tillers and other "abortion providers." It would be better to observe Sanctity of Life Sunday not only in the US but elsewhere in connection with the Gospel of the Visitation. It is a rich and significant Gospel that the churches, including Dr. Tiller's own Lutheran church, apparently, ignore.
Too much blood, too many victims. Dr. Tiller's many, many victims. His own life ended in cold blood. Roe opened this door and he went through it. I've written elsewhere about how bad laws make bad men. There will always be bad men (who of us is without sin?) but laws can make us worse, and abandoning the respect for human life in the womb cannot but make a nation worse. The children of Roe are rising up. Lord, have mercy.