Podcast #55 – Assassination of George Tiller

We look at the reactions of various anti-abortion groups to the assassination on May 31st of Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas.  Wikipedia has a good summary of the fast-changing developments in the case, including statements from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Family Research Council, the National Right to Life Committee and Operation Rescue.  Less measured were responses from the Eye of Sauron (who called Dr. Tiller a “serial killer”), former Operation Rescue head Randall Terry (who called Tiller a “mass murderer,” then seconds later invited reporters to join him for Guinness and chicken wings), and–believe it or not–PETA, who has decided that now is a good time to buy complementary “Pro Life” and “Pro Choice” billboards in Wichita.  Finally, reformed right-winger Frank Schaeffer openly apologizes for creating “the climate that made this murder likely to happen.”

Meanwhile, bioethicist Jacob M. Appel has written an insightful essay that looks at the  rhetoric versus the actions of 99.9% of anti-abortionists.

And in this outing of Holey Scripture we look at what the Bible says (or doesn’t say) about abortion, murder and the punishments thereof.

Plus, updates on people and things we’ve talked about in previous episodes:

  • From Episode #2: Randy Olson (writer/director/narrator of the documentary Flock of Dodos) has a book coming out–Don’t Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style, to be published in trade paperback in September by Island Press.  You can pre-order it now and/or check out the associated Facebook page.
  • From episode #25: The Georgia Guidestones (a public curiosity outside Elberton, Georgia) is the subject of a lengthy article at Wired.  The Guidestones have been vandalized twice, but have been cleaned up almost as good as new.  The local sheriff is keeping a eye on things.
  • From episodes #30 and #41: Father Reginald Foster, the Vatican’s Latinist who appeared in the documentary Religulous, and famously scoffed at such “old Catholic” teachings as the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection, has been moved from Rome to his native Wisconsin.  Father Foster has been gravely ill for over a year (and nearly died), but it now looks like he has a fair chance at recovery.  Well-wishers may send get-well cards (preferrably in grammatically correct Latin) to:
Rev. Reginald Foster, OCD
Clement Manor
3939 S. 92nd Street
Greenfield, WI  53228
  • From episode #31: Reversal of Fortune!  Dentist and rabid creationist Don McLeroy is out as chair of the Texas Board of Education; meanwhile, Dr. Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education (whom we interviewed about the situation in Texas) has been awarded the first annual Stephen Jay Gould Prize from the Society for the Study of Evolution.
  • From episode #54: New Hampshire joins Maine and four other states in legalizing same-sex marriage!

Finally, more great listener feedback!


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David is podcasting new episodes of Secular Nation.  AtheistAlliance.org/podcast.

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Theme music by Body Found.

Recorded June 9, 2009.  Hosted by John C. Snider and David Driscoll.

To listen to this episode click here.

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