The Kansas City man charged with assassinating abortion doctor George Tiller in his church a week ago warned Sunday that more violence is coming.
“I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal,” Scott Roeder said in one of two phone calls to the Associated Press from prison.
He also complained about the “deplorable conditions in solitary,” worried about catching pneumonia because his cell was cold and said he needed his sleep apnea machine.
Tiller, 67, one of only three American doctors who performed late abortions on women with deformed fetuses, was gunned down inside his Wichita church as he chatted with a fellow usher about taking his grandkids to Disney World.
He had been targeted for years by anti-abortion protesters and demonized as “Tiller the baby killer” by conservative TV pundits. He often wore body armor – but not to church.
Roeder, 51, a mentally ill, unemployed anti-abortion activist from Kansas City, Mo., was charged with first-degree murder.
On Friday, the Justice Department opened an investigation into whether Roeder, who had enough money to stalk Tiller for years despite having little or no income, had help from accomplices.
Anyone who played a role in the killing will be prosecuted “to the full extent of federal law,” said Loretta King, head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division.
A funeral was held Saturday for Tiller at Wichita’s large Methodist church to accommodate crowds that would not fit in his own, the Reformation Lutheran Church.
The funeral was protected by 50 American Legion Riders who roared up on motorcycles and formed a shield around Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita to honor Tiller’s Navy service.
Many wept when Tiller’s wife of 40 years, Jeanne, stood before the gathering and sang “The Lord’s Prayer.”
Dr. Warren Hern, a Colorado late-term abortion provider who was Tiller’s friend and who fears he may be the next target, was one of the pallbearers.
This morning, worshippers who watched Tiller die filled the pews at Reformation Lutheran to pray for him.
A few minutes after 10 a.m., exactly one week after Tiller was shot, the congregation began to pray: “Oh God, we are consumed by grief for what we have witnessed in our community. Come to our aid, walk with us, hold us, strengthen us and give us courage for the days ahead.”
Protesters from Topeka’s Westboro Baptist Church, known for picketing the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq, held signs and shouted outside the sanctuary.
Hello Pro-life Friend:
As you know, abortionist George Tiller is dead.
First, we should grieve for him that he did not have an opportunity to properly prepare his soul to face his Maker. Unless some miracle happened, he left this life with his hands drenched with the innocent blood of tens of thousands of babies that he murdered. Surely there will be a dreadful accounting for what he has done.
It now falls to pro-life activists like you and me to stand strong and unflinching in the face of the unjust criticism we will now endure because of his killing. And so I turn my attention to the attacks that will follow his death.
We must use this as a “teaching moment;” a chance for “dialogue” with our fellow Americans concerning this terrific holocaust of the unborn. In that light, I am going to speak clearly and without compromise. I beg you to read this entire letter, and to then watch the video I filmed.
Let us be clear: George Tiller was a mass murderer. He routinely killed innocent children who were “viable.” For the unlearned, that means that those babies could live outside the womb on their own. He specialized in killing “handicapped” children whose parents decided that they were not fit to live. He even offered photographs of the dead children and baptisms for the victims that fell under his knife.
According to God’s laws, and the laws that govern how we protect the innocent in times of peace, George Tiller was one of the most evil men on the planet; every bit as vile as the Nazi war criminals who were hunted down, tried, and sentenced after they participated in the “legal” murder of the Jews that fell into their hands.
I write all of these words with surgical precision to shore up the more timid elements of the pro-life movement. Pro-life leaders are already falling over themselves to exclaim, “We are peaceful! We deplore this violence!”
Of course we are peaceful; that is why this horrific shooting in a church has immediately garnered national attention. It is precisely because we are peaceful that Dr. Tiller’s killing sticks out like a huge wart on an otherwise flawless complexion. If abortionists were gunned down every week, it would gather no more attention than crack dealers who are gunned down every week by fellow drug dealers.
For those surprised by my words, let me tell you exactly why I am using such clear and unflinching rhetoric.
Here is what is about to happen: President Obama has already relayed his “shock.” The arch proponents of child killing such as Planned Parenthood, the National Organization of Women, NARAL, and a host of other enemies of children are going to blame the pro-life movement for Dr. Tiller’s death.
These child killers, and their allies in the Obama administration and on Capitol Hill, will attempt to browbeat the pro-life movement into surrendering our most effective weapons in this battle: our rhetoric, our actions, and our images.
Concerning rhetoric, they will blame those of us who call abortion “murder” and say that it is this highly charged rhetoric that inspires people to “take the law into their own hands.”
Concerning actions, they will say that our protests and vigils and sit-ins are responsible for the shooting.
Concerning images, they will whine that the pictures of babies murdered at the hands of Tiller and other abortionists incite people to acts of violence.
All of these accusations are lies.
Beyond that, these foolish accusations fly in the face of equally radical rhetoric, images, and images in the civil rights movement, the suffragette movement, and the abolitionist movement. If Dr. Martin Luther King had followed the advice of the timid in his day, President Obama would still be riding in the back of the bus.
Simply put: pro-lifers must not flinch, waver, or in any way alter our course in our epic struggle to make child killing illegal again.
Our rhetoric must bear witness to the truth: abortion is murder. Abortion is the brutal slaughter of innocent human beings; a vile, demonic murder of a human being made in the image of God. Those “doctors” like George Tiller who slay the innocent are hired assassins whose hands are covered with blood. As the sacred Scriptures say: “Cursed is he who receives a bribe to strike down an innocent person.”
Our actions must be equal to this crime: we must protest with vigorous (yet peaceful) actions such as have been used by every social revolution since America’s birth. The easiest picture to have is that of the civil rights activists of the 1960s. They held “illegal” marches, freedom rides, and “sit-ins” at lunch counters; they were met with water canons, dogs, police brutality, arrests, and jail. If we are going to end child killing, we must unflinchingly adopt the strategies of heroes past.
Our images must simply reflect the truth. We must continue to show the victims’ bodies that we have pulled out of dumpsters; we must not retreat a single inch from showing the decapitated heads of little boys and girls, the arms and legs that were suctioned or carved out of their mothers wombs; we must paint the picture of sewers and landfills being used as unholy graves for these holy victims.
In the days following Dr. Tillers killing, every pro-abortion advocate in the country will howl that Tiller’s death is the fault of the pro-life movement’s rhetoric, actions, and images. We must not fear, nor flinch, nor waver on any front.
Our mission is to end the legalized killing of the unborn from conception until natural birth. In this epic struggle – this “war” between the “culture of death” and the “culture of life” – there are going to be unforeseen crises and difficulties. Dr. Tiller’s death is one such unforeseen moment.
However, we must not allow the forces of death to use this moment to glorify their heinous acts. Rather, we must use Dr. Tiller’s death as a “teaching moment” to pull the veil away from the insidious murder that is happening every day, every hour, in abortion mills like Tiller’s across the country.
Wherever Mr. Tiller’s soul is right now – I know he agrees.
Be strong, be brave, and be unflinching in the coming days. We must defend the babies in the face of the death of their killer.