The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Tiller's shooter convicted; congregation prays for peace

A Kansas jury took 37 minutes to convict Scott Roeder, 51, of first-degree murder in the shooting death of George Tiller, a member of Reformation Lutheran Church, Wichita, Kan.

One of the few physicians in the country who performed late-term abortions, Tiller was ushering at his church May 31 when Roeder entered the building and shot him in the head. According to news reports, Roeder testified that he shot Tiller to protect unborn children and had no regrets in doing so. He was also convicted of aggravated assault for pointing his gun at two other parishioners as he tried to leave the scene.

Tiller's family called the verdict "just."

The congregation is praying that houses of worship be places of peace.

"While these proceedings will obviously not bring George back, we trust in the promise of the resurrection and move forward in that hope," Lowell Michelson and Kristin Neitzel, pastors of Reformation, wrote in a statement. "We pray that all places of worship will be sanctuaries — places of reconciliation, peace and hope, setting the pace for a fractured world that so desperately seeks unity with God and one another."

Michelson and Neitzel said the thoughts and prayers on the church's behalf since Tiller's murder "have been a source of strength for us as we navigated the process of restoration."

This is the second high-profile murder trial that has placed a Wichita ELCA congregation in the spotlight. In 2005, members of Christ Lutheran Church were stunned when one of their members, Dennis Rader, was arrested and convicted of being the city's BTK (bind, torture, kill) serial killer.


Patty A.

Patty A.

Posted at 2:59 pm (U.S. Eastern) 3/2/2010

  While I don't personally condone abortions except in certain circumstances, do we go back to the days of having women go to the "doctor" in the alley and dying because they wanted to rid themselves of an unwanted pregnancy? Before the legality of abortions, a friend was forced by her parents to undergo a  backstreet abortion as a teen.  When she married years later, she was never able to become pregnant.  Who are we to judge what someone does with their own body?   We blame women for the unwanted pregnancy.  What part did the man have in making the child?  Why isn't he condemned for doing his share of causing the pregnancy in the first place?  George Tiller, murderer?  Or assistant to those in desperation?  Walk in someone's else's shoes before you judge them?



Posted at 8:45 pm (U.S. Eastern) 3/8/2010

Will the ELCA attend to the spiritual needs of Scott Roeder?  And when/if it does, will it give him the Law and the Gospel, or just the Gospel (in the narrow sense of the term)?  What did Dennis Rader & Dr. Tiller receive? 

Stephen Miller

Stephen Miller

Posted at 3:09 am (U.S. Eastern) 3/9/2010

Patty A.,

I think you should  go to some of the abortion websites and take a look at the little arms and legs in the trash can before you defend "what someone else does with thier own body".  What about what someone does to an unborn baby's body?

Besides...it is NOT our own body.  The Bible says we were bought for a great price and are not our own.



Posted at 9:57 pm (U.S. Eastern) 3/9/2010

This event - in concert with the CWA 2009 actions - caused me to leave the ELCA last year.  Yeah I know, Dr. Tiller shouldn't have been killed - it breaks all standards of Christian ethics.  At the same time, no Christian church should have allowed this pathetic baby killer to be in a leadership role of any sort.  That he was speaks volumes about my former denomination.

Beyond that though, I find it truly ironic that the ELCA hails Dietrich Bonhoeffer as a near saint even though it was proven that he was conspiring to kill Adolf Hitler.  He conspired in order to protect the innocent (i.e. Jews, Gypsies, etc.) from the Nazis.  In Scott Roeder's twisted mind, he apparently shares Bonhoeffer's twisted passion to protect the innocent. 

Yet, unlike the obvious importance of Jews, Gypsies, etc., the ELCA seemingly could care less about the unborn that Roeder is trying to protect.  In this regard, the ELCA seems to be a worthless, hyprocritical denomination that is simply the "tool" of the pro-abortion, feminist left.        


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