On Friday, January 29, a jury found Scott Roeder guilty of the murder last year of Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller. Roeder shot Dr. Tiller in cold blood in a church where the doctor was serving as an usher during Sunday services. Roeder will be sentenced on March 9.
Justice seemed iffy for a while, especially when it appeared last month that the judge might allow the jury to consider what would have amounted to a "justifiable homicide" conviction as an alternative to first-degree murder. But, fortunately, reason and justice have prevailed.
Roeder was hoping for a reduced sentence based on his belief that the murder was justified because he was "saving babies" by killing Dr. Tiller. It obviously didn't occur to him that abortion is actually legal, but that murdering an abortion doctor is very much a crime in these United States.
When the news of the verdict broke on Friday, I was spending time with a friend who is a practicing Catholic. I mentioned to her that Roeder had tried a justifiable homicide defense, because he believed that he was saving babies' lives by taking Doctor Tiller's life. Without any prompting from me, my Catholic friend shook her head firmly and noted that it makes no sense to kill the doctor simply because one believes that he kills babies. Killing is wrong, she pointed out, no matter who does it.
It's nice to be reminded that not all religious folks are as unreasonable as the more militant extremists among them.
And I suppose the same could be said of any segment of society.