On Dr. Tiller and Editorial Comment

If you haven't read about it already, Dr. Tiller, a Kansas doctor that performed abortions was gunned down at his church yesterday. (More information here or here. Warning: Some of the comments in that 2nd one will make you want to cry. The stupid ones are just trolls.)

So far the people on both sides are acting predictably. The pro-choice side is mostly horrified and some are angry, and the pro-life side are standing up and declaring that this behavior is unacceptable.
And by "declaring this behavior is unacceptable", I of course mean "removing the pages on their websites that openly called for his death and referred to him as a nazi and murderer of christian babies." and "openly condoning the act/declaring the murderer a hero/insisting the doctor is burning in hell."

At what point does editorial comment become an incitement to violence?
How much can you dehumanize someone before you're asking for someone to kill them?
At what point do people like O'Reilly become a conspirator?
Isn't working crazy people into a froth so they'd go kill "enemies" what Manson is in prison for?
Isn't working religious fanatics into a frenzy and sending them to kill the "enemy" the reason our government is after Bin Laden?
What's the difference in telling someone "Abortion is murder and the bible says 'An eye for an eye!'" and "Go kill that guy."

I'm certainly not promoting the clamping down on freedom of speech, but don't rights in a society come with certain responibilities to that society?
Shouldn't freedom of speech be tempered by the responsibility for what that speech causes? If not, why is conspiracy a crime? After all, the conspiracist doesn't actually kill anyone, they just talk about killing them in such a way that might cause someone to do it. What about their freedom of speech?

Edited to add: This is the kind of stuff I'm mostly talking about. Warning: Not safe for work. It isn't good for your sanity, either.

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Comment by Billy Deaton on June 2, 2009 at 7:05pm
What's the difference between what O'Reilly's done and say THIS
Comment by Mel on June 2, 2009 at 6:08pm
Comment by Luke on June 2, 2009 at 7:17am
That's it FG. They fostered the irrational hatred and the eternal bliss in afterlife. They may as well have handed him the gun and drove him to the church. Why would counselling someone to commit murder not be a crime. Isn't that what bin Laden is accused of? Both crimes were faith based initiatives.
Comment by SBrooks on June 1, 2009 at 1:59pm
I understand the confusion and anger. Unfortunately rational thought just doesnt apply to these people.

They are pro life but support murder, WTF but it gets better most are also pro life and pro death penalty or pro life and pro war. Its just sickening.

I also wonder why they care so much about a fetus but refuse to help the kid once it comes out. They are willing to murder or support murder for this fetus but then they tell the kid to pull himself up by his own diaper straps or poot straps if you prefer. Its just one more way in which religion is used as an excuse for people to act crazy.

I do think that the websites that are keeping these kill list should be held responsible in some way. These right wing zealots are pandering to the crazy in the hopes that one of the readers is desperate or devoted enough to actually murder people.



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