Monday, June 1, 2009

Tiller's Christianity and the Crusades

Regardless of what one thinks of Dr. George Tiller the fact remains that he died while serving as an usher in a Christian Church of the Lutheran variety. So this little blip of an episode that played itself out last Sunday amidst this interminable and horrid epic of abortion violence is consistent with the atheist's and anti-Christian's constant refrain, "remember The Crusades".

The words "The Crusades", it seems, are used ad-nauseum to paint all Christianity with a broad brush as a bunch of blood thirsty murderers at heart, and are normally the unthinking reflexive response by many any time the word "Christian" is mentioned. The problem however is that one of the Christians at the heart of the tragic event this Sunday past was Tiller; a defender to the death of the most sacred of all sacred cows for those who hate Christianity-abortion. This would, it would seem, make him a veritable hero-a martyr even-for the sacred cause of a woman's right to choose; while at the same time, a Christian. So it would only seem to follow that that would actually make Tiller a good Christian, one would think. So, since it is possible that some Christians are actually good Christians, who's to say that the "Christians" who purportedly inflicted the Crusades on all those innocents nearly a millennia ago were not similarly "good" Christians?

Who knows, such possibilities might recast The Crusades in a totally different and affirming light. But then again perhaps not. The Muslims probably wouldn't go for it; even though Tiller now fits even the Muslim's definition of a "good Christian".


Stan said...

I see the problem for the poor anti-Christians. What do they do with a "Christian hero"?

As for me, I have a hard time casting Tiller in the role of "Christian". I know he was active in his church and all, but the idea of a man who makes a practice of contributing to the deaths of more people than the Crusades ever conceived collides in my head with "No one who is born of God practices sin" (1 John 3:9). And I have to wonder about a church that is happy to have an active murderer as a minister (ministering as an usher, sure, but actively ministering). It's all so hard for me to think about.

Anonymous said...

Re. the Crusades: That is indeed a reflexive example brought up to criticize Christianity, albeit one that the speakers typically don't fully understand. It was not as one sided as they lead you to believe.

More importantly, I make it a habit not to apologize for things that:

1. I didn't do.
2. That happened 1,000 years ago.
3. That violated the teachings of Jesus.

Re. Tiller: The fact that he served in a church just shows how much church discipline has evaporated in the U.S.

Dan said...


My point exactly, "what to do with a "Christian hero". It's interesting, according to one account that I read, Tiller actually baptised his nameless victims before he cremated them. I'm also with you that this puts a big question mark over the top of his "church".


I agree Neil that ignorance about the crusades is definitely a convenient factor in its use in criticizing Christianity. Great points on apologizing. If there's one thing I've learned from today's crop of apology obsessed elites, it's that it is always easier to apologize for other people's mistakes than it is to admit to your own.