Tiller Excommunicated from Lutheran Church

By  Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Writer

Because the recent murder of late-term abortionist George Tiller occurred in a church, the mainstream media has been using this detail to convince the public that abortion is becoming more acceptable even to church-going Christians. However, what they are not reporting is that Tiller was attending a more liberal branch of the Lutheran church after being excommunicated from the more orthodox synod.

Molly Z. Hemingway explained Tiller’s history in the Lutheran church to GetReligion.org.

“What none of these [news] stories have explained is that Tiller had previously been excommunicated by a Lutheran congregation on account of his lack of repentance about and refusal to stop his occupation. That Lutheran congregation was a member of my church body, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.”

She went on to explain that the church where Tiller was gunned down on May 31 was a member of the Evangelic Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). Of the various Lutheran church bodies in America, the ELCA is the most mainline and has the most supportive position on legalized abortion, she said.

However, by leaving this fact out of Tiller’s church history, the media has been able to present a distorted picture of the acceptance of abortion by Christians in America.

Hemingway cites one article that appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune where the authors said that because he was killed while passing out bulletins in a church where his wife sang in the choir, “Tiller is already challenging popular perceptions of both abortion providers and the abortion-rights movement.”

The same articles goes on to quote Rev. Carlton Veazey, president of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, who said, “It shows a dimension of the movement that a lot of people don’t know about. This man was castigated for what he did — but he was a faithful member of the Lutheran church and that gives a different view of him and his work.”

Veazey went on to say that Tiller was “a martyr in the same sense that Dr. [Martin Luther] King was.”

Hemingway rightly questions how so many reporters could have failed to present this very important fact about Tiller’s history in the Lutheran church.

“How can they not mention that he was previously excommunicated for his abortion work? It’s such an interesting and significant part of the story! That’s just a huge hole.”

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