The May 31 murder of Wichita physician George Tiller may hold a creepy significance for militant antiabortion protesters in the same manner that Adolph Hitler’s birthday has been exploited by white supremacists to wreak racist mayhem.
Religion and politics writer Frederick Clarkson warns at Women’s eNews.com not to fall prey to the “lone nut” theory that propelled Scott Roeder to murder Dr. Tiller.
Anniversaries are important to those engaged in long-term revolutionary struggles including those on the American far right.
Tim McVeigh, for example, blew up the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995 on the anniversary of the federal assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.
It may be no coincidence that Tiller’s assassination occurred on the sixth anniversary of the capture of Eric Rudolph who was convicted of pipe bombings the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, a gay bar, and two abortion clinics.
Rudolph’s bombing of the clinic in Birmingham, Ala., resulted in the death of an off duty police officer and the horrible maiming of a nurse. (The pipe bombs were packed with nails which functioned as shrapnel.)
Antiabortion domestic terrorism, including murders, bombings, arsons and threats, are linked to the radical militia movement that simultaneously promotes “Biblical justice” rationales for murdering abortion providers while celebrating those responsible for the violent clashes as “heroes of the faith.”
Rudolph, who is incarcerated under five life sentences in the Florence Supermax facility in southern Colorado, was tied to the Army of God, an ultra-conservative, militia-inspired Christian Identity group.
Both radical and mainstream Christian antiabortion activists tend to frame their cause as a battle against a modern-day Holocaust borrowing heavily on allusion to death camps, innocent victims and an underground resistance movement.
That genocidal context also offers special significance to the abortion-is-genocide adherents — May 31, 1962 is the date the notorious “architect of the Holocaust” Nazi SS officer Adolph Eichmann was hanged in Israel for war crimes.
News reports profiling Tiller’s accused murderer Scott Roeder point to him espousing extremist militia and Christian Identity beliefs and Nazi-tinged rantings on antiabortion Web sites:
In recent years, someone using the name Scott Roeder has posted anti-Tiller comments on various Internet sites. One post, dated Sept. 3, 2007, and placed on a site called chargetiller.com, said that Tiller needed to be “stopped.”
“It seems as though what is happening in Kansas could be compared to the ‘lawlessness’ which is spoken of in the Bible,” it said. “Tiller is the concentration camp ‘Mengele’ of our day and needs to be stopped before he and those who protect him bring judgment upon our nation.”