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Politics & Power

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Violence and Extremism: Where Ideology Meets Murder

Violence and Extremism: Where Ideology Meets Murder While the debate over abortion is emotional for all involved it seems that on one side of the debate there is a faction who seem to feel that committing murder to prevent what they see as murder is an acceptable way of settling the argument. In a recent interview about the murder of Dr. George Tiller, Dan Holman representing “Missionaries for the Preborn Iowa” said he was “cheered” by the news of the murder. This reaction might seem horrific to most people of conscience but Holman justified his feelings saying that in his view Tillman was a child murderer who will no longer be able kill unborn children. This is by no means a mindset limited to the anti-abortion movement but the recent murder of Dr. Tiller whom the anti-abortion movement had dubbed “Tiller the Baby Killer” offers an opportunity to discuss violence and extremist rhetoric.

When we discuss things passionately it can be sometimes easy to demonize those who hold an opposing view. Demonization of people with opposing views, unfortunately, for some offers an opportunity to lessen the humanity of the opposition opening the door to treating them as less than human. When you have leaders of organizations promoting political ideologies refusing to condemn acts of violence in the name of their cause it only further fuels the ideas that made the violence seem to be an acceptable method in the first place.

So how as a society should we deal with those who promote or fail to condemn extreme and violent measures to further their political agendas? We know what we should do with the people like the alleged killer Scott Roeder who will be tried for and likely convicted of murder but what about the people who exposed him to the extremist ideas that led to the murder? At what point does the rhetoric go beyond free speech and begin to be incitement to violent activities and complicity in those violent acts? When debate turns to murder there has to be an examination of the ideologies that fueled the mindset of the murderer. In the case of Dr. Tiller one has to look little further than the moniker that the anti-abortion activists had given to him. “Tiller the Baby Killer” reduced George Tiller from being a human being to being nothing more than someone who performed a medical procedure seen by some as unethical and akin to murder. He was no longer a husband or doctor or anything but someone who performed abortions. Did the people who gave him this moniker inspire the person who killed him to commit murder? What responsibility do they have for his death?

After refusing to condemn the murder of Dr. Tiller in a church during a church service, Dan Holman of “Missionaries for the Preborn Iowa” went on to say that not only are doctors who perform abortions deserving of death so also are people like Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama for supporting funding of Planned Parenthood and other similar organizations. Basically they deserve to die for supporting a viewpoint ideologically opposed to his own. Should this be considered protected speech or is there a case to be made for this being a call to do harm to people and commit criminal acts? This man actually openly said that he felt the murder of the President of the United States would be justifiable because he supports funding for Planned Parenthood. Conspiracy to commit murder is a crime. At what point does the promotion of the idea that someone should die become taking part in a conspiracy to commit murder? If that person is killed by one of your supporters after you promoted the idea that they deserved to die should you be held responsible for your words in contributing to the death of that person?

Words have frightening power in that people sometimes give them more weight than they deserve and act upon them when they should not. When those words include the promotion of harm coming to individuals we should take a much closer look at them and consider that the founding fathers did not intend the First Amendment to be blanket protection to encourage others to do heinous things in the pursuit of your ideological agenda. Just like yelling “fire” in a crowded theater is not protected speech because it could cause people to come to harm in the ensuing panic, saying that people should be killed or deserve to die for opposing your views should not be acceptable in the public forum.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article



Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to: stories@reform-america.net



Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to stories@reform-america.net





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