Today much of Europe is on holiday, commemorating Pentecost. Photo, candles at the historic St. Saulve Abbey, Montreuil-sur-Mer, France.
It is deeply tragic when the religious right - whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish or any other faith - decide they are above the law. For decades, religious right groups targeted Dr. George Tiller, before he was murdered Sunday morning in church. No matter one's views about abortion, the law provides this option for every pregnant woman. Dr. Tiller operated strictly within the law. And he did not deserve to die.
Dr. Tiller is the latest victim targeted by extremists or domestic terrorists. Five police officers were killed in recent weeks. And hate groups are on the rise - no doubt fueled in part by the ignorance and intolerance espoused by certain irresponsible talk radio hosts and faux "news" television commentators. Read Mark Potok's editorial in the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report about the dangerous resurgence of hate groups.
Cecile Richards at Planned Parenthood issued a statement about Dr. Tiller's murder:
"...Dr. Tiller was the epitome of high quality medical care underscored by deep compassion for his patients. While he was not a Planned Parenthood provider, Dr. Tiller provided critical reproductive health care services, including abortion services, to women facing some of the most difficult medical circumstances. He was continually harassed by abortion opponents for much of his career - his clinic was burned down, he was shot by a health center protestor and he was recently targeted for investigation, only to be acquitted by a jury just a few months ago.
"None of this stopped George Tiller from his commitment to providing women and their families with compassionate care that others were unwilling to offer.
"His death is an enormous loss for the patients who relied on him, his dedicated staff and the medical community. And it is also a loss for each of us for whom Dr. Tiller represented courage against unbelievable adversity."