Columbine Memorial-Pro Life Connection Missed?

Much is being made in Denver media about the dispute between Brian Rohrbough and the Columbine Memorial Committee over his message for the tile memorializing his son.

Rohrbough apparently won his battle this week after threatening to sue.

But a review of reporting about the dispute over Rohrbough’s message indicates the Rocky Mountain News, the Denver Post, the Associated Press and local television stations have failed to mention Rohrbough’s role as president of Colorado Right to Life. It’s a role that gives a hint to what the father’s message might be, based on his previous statements.The disagreement centers on tiles commemorating each of the Columbine victims. Danny Rohrbough, 15, was among the dozen students and a teacher killed by two fellow students on April 20, 1999, in what was then the worst school shooting in United States history.

In reporting on the dispute on June 7, the Rocky Mountain News only notes that Rohrbough’s message includes a Bible verse, which wasn’t considered objectionable by the committee:

Rohrbough would not disclose the contents of his writing. He, like all of the families, agreed that the inscriptions will remain confidential until the memorial is dedicated.

Later in the article: “Some people will hate it and think it’s inappropriate,” Rohrbough said, “and many more will look at it and like it, and even more will look at it and consider what it has to say – and 50 years down the road what it has to say will be more valuable.”

Although no one’s talking about it (or reporting about it), it seems possible that the quote includes a reference linking abortion to the Columbine shootings. Rohrbough made that assertion publicly in 2006, first in a radio commercial and an interview on a local radio talk show.

He reiterated the connection in a “freeSpeech” segment on the CBS Evening News last October after the Amish school shooting in Pennsylvania:

This country is in a moral free-fall. For over two generations, the public school system has taught in a moral vacuum, expelling God from the school and from the government, replacing him with evolution, where the strong kill the weak, without moral consequences and life has no inherent value.

We teach there are no absolutes, no right or wrong. And I assure you the murder of innocent children is always wrong, including by abortion. Abortion has diminished the value of children.

Rohrbough was elected president of Colorado Right to Life last fall and enacted a no-compromise stance that led to his criticism of Focus on the Family leader James Dobson. National Right to Life subsequently severed ties with the Colorado chapter.

While the local media included Rohrbough’s Columbine connection in reporting that dustup, Rohrbough’s role in Colorado Right to Life goes unmentioned in the stories about the Columbine memorial. It’s possible that connection will have to be made when the memorial is dedicated this fall.

has covered government and politics in Iowa, Florida, Colorado - swing states, baby! She has worked for newspapers large and small. sandrafish@comcast.net | @fishnette

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