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Commentary: Abortion opponents lost their moral stand with Tiller's death

By midafternoon Sunday, authorities had a 50-something man in custody in connection with the murder of Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller, killed while serving as an usher at his church.

So far, we know little about the suspect, other than that he was driving a blue Ford when the cops stopped him outside Gardner.

However, the motive for the crime we can all surmise, given the vitriolic rhetoric aimed at Tiller these past couple of decades by anti-abortion activists.

And if we're right about that, then we know the identities of his accomplices.

They include everyone who has ever called Tiller's late-term abortion clinic a murder mill.

Whoever called Tiller "Tiller the Killer."

Groups that fomented hate toward a man who, rightly or wrongly, believed he was serving a noble purpose by being one of the few doctors in the country who performed late-term abortions.

Hate. Not heated opposition. Not strong disagreement.

But blind hatred.

The kind of hate that would prompt some maniac to take a gun into a church and shoot a man to death in front of friends and family.

His accomplices know they have blood on their hands, which might explain why they were quick to issue statements expressing disapproval of Tiller's murder.

Among them, the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, whose words drip with hypocrisy: "We are shocked at this morning's disturbing news that Mr. Tiller was gunned down. Operation Rescue has worked for years through peaceful, legal means, and through the proper channels to see him brought to justice. We denounce vigilantism and the cowardly act that took place this morning. We pray for Mr. Tiller's family that they will find comfort and healing that can only be found in Jesus Christ."

Shocked? Are any of us really shocked that it would come to this after the many years of demonizing one man? Certainly the group's founder, Randall Terry, didn't seem shocked when he issued this statement on Sunday:

"George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God

Those who slaughter the unborn are murderers according to the Law of God. We must continue to expose them in our communities and peacefully protest them at their offices and homes, and yes, even their churches."

If anyone is in need of salvation now, it's the anti-abortion movement in Kansas and across the nation.

As Terry's statement makes clear, the bullet that killed George Tiller also shattered the moral underpinnings of the movement that inspired its firing.

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