In response to Randall Terry’s statement on Scott Roeder’s murder of George Tiller , Gregg Cunningham, of the Center For Bio-Ethical Reform, replies as follows:
You chide me for not “picking up the phone” to “check the facts” before condemning your attempt to minimize the murder of George Tiller but what facts would have rebutted published newspaper photos of you displaying signs which argued that Scott Roeder’s motives in killing George Tiller made his crime less than murder?
When you tell The New York Times (January 28, 2010, “Doctor’s Killer Puts Abortion on the Stand”) that you are not “condemning Mr. Roeder’s actions,” you are expressing support for violence against abortionists.
When you tell The Wichita Eagle (January 30, 2010, “Reactions to the Scott Roeder verdict from both sides of abortion debate”) that “If we condemn him [Roeder] too severely it undermines the premise of everything we stand for,” you are expressing support for violence against abortionists.
When you issue a press release (January 25, 2010) in which you say it is “a farce” to “pretend that this trial has nothing to do with child-killing by abortion,” you are suggesting that Mr. Roeder’s murder of George Tiller was justified by George Tiller’s abortion practice and you are expressing support for violence against abortionists.(http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/7566412845.html).
When you issue a press release (January 27, 2010) in which you quote scripture which says in reference to George Tiller’s murder, “For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning” and that “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous” and that “the Lord our God will bring other destructions upon them” and add “their innocent blood cries to God … for vengeance,” you are expressing support for violence against abortionists.(http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/8209412876.html).
When you hold a press conference (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqGwuOwdZ7U) during which you say testimony by former Attorney General Phil Kline could have “validated” Scott Roeder’s motivation and “brought a level of credibility to Scott’s frame of mind,” you are expressing support for violence against abortionists.
When you argue at a press conference (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqGwuOwdZ7U) that Scott Roeder, who bought a handgun, practiced with it, studied George Tiller’s daily habits and visited his church three times before finding him there and blowing his brains out, should have been charged with “voluntary manslaughter,” you are expressing support for violence against abortionists.
When you argue that Scott Roeder’s motivation for killing George Tiller entitles him to a slap-on-the-wrist sentence of less than five years in prison (the minimum sentence for voluntary manslaughter under Kansas law) you are trivializing premeditated murder and expressing support for violence against abortionists.
Against this background, your press conference claim that “I don’t even agree with what Scott Roeder did” is absurd. It is the sort of self-serving fig leaf which thoughtful listeners will rightly reject. You are either being intentionally deceptive or wildly negligent.
You have every right to bring discredit upon yourself and the organization you represent. But when your self-promotional excesses discredit the entire pro-life movement with reckless theatrics, it would be irresponsible for the rest of us to signal indifference, or worse, agreement, by our collective silence.
When you attempt to rationalize, justify, or minimize violence against abortionists, you don’t speak for those of us who condemn anarchy without equivocation. Be assured that when you jeopardize the fragile progress we have all worked so hard to achieve, we will anathematize and isolate you.
There is much more I could say but to the extent that one believer can properly exempt another from the prohibition against lawsuits found in 1 Corinthians 6:1-8, I do so with this rebuttal. Sue me.
I am more than willing to submit for judicial review my conclusions concerning your outrageous remarks. But in the mean time, be assured that many people are praying that you will abandon the erratic, destructive extremes toward which you seem increasingly inclined.
You greatly underestimate the injury caused by ill-considered remarks which encourage further violence on both sides of this volatile issue. You say “the sky is not falling” but it fell indeed on CBR volunteer James Pullion when he was murdered by an abortion rights extremist whose defenders will attempt to make his trial about the public display of abortion photos in the same manner you tried to make Scott Roeder’s trial about abortion. It is clear that you don’t begin to understand the forces you are unleashing here.