Religious Leaders Respond to the Murder of Dr. George Tiller

On June 2, 2009, the Religious
Institute issued a statement on behalf of national religious
organizations and religious leaders in the wake of the murder of Dr.
George Tiller in his church on Sunday, May 31, 2009.  The statement is
signed by religious leaders, including the Presidents of three national
denominations, who have joined to mourn for Dr. Tiller and to condemn
the violence that led to his death.  The statement and a list of
signatories – still in formation – follows.

Read Full Press Release



As religious leaders, we affirm that life is sacred. 


mourn for Dr. George Tiller.  We decry the cruel act of violence that
ended his life.  We pray for his family, friends, colleagues, and
staff, and for the untold number of women and families who have been
deprived of his compassionate care.


condemn physical and verbal violence and harassment directed against
abortion clinics, their staffs, and their clients.  We call for a
society that assures safe access and delivery of reproductive health
care services, both for the women and families who need them, and the
practitioners who provide them.

Rev. Debra W. Haffner, Director, Religious Institute

Rabbi Dennis Ross, Director, Concerned Clergy for Choice

Rev. Dr. Ignacio Castuera, National Chaplain, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Rev. Carlton Veazey, Director, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Ellen T. Armour, Director, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Program on Gender, Religion and Sexuality, Nashville, TN

Dr. Lee Barker, President, Meadville Lombard Theological School, Chicago, IL

Rev. Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock, Director, Faith Voices for the Common Good, Oakland, CA

Rev. Steve Clapp, Director, Christian Community, Fort Wayne, IN

Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune, Founder, Faith Trust Institute, Seattle, WA

Dr. Christine Gudorf, Chair, Department of Religion, Florida International University, Miami, FL

Ms. Ann Hanson, Minister for Sexuality Education and Justice, United Church of Christ, Cleveland, OH

Dr. Mary E. Hunt, Co-Director, WATER, Silver Spring, MD

Ms. Debra Kolodny, Executive Director, ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, Philadelphia, PA

Rev. Peter Laarman, Progressive Christians Uniting, Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi Michael Lerner, Chair, Network of Spiritual Progressives, Berkeley, CA

Rev. Troy Plummer, Executive Director, Reconciling Ministries Network, Chicago, IL

Dr. Sylvia Rhue, Interim Director, National Black Justice Coalition, Washington, DC

Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer, Executive, Healthy and Wholeness Advocacy, United Church of Christ, Cleveland, OH

Rev. William Sinkford, President, Unitarian Universalist Association

Rabbi Mychal B. Springer, Associate Dean, Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, NY

Rev. John H. Thomas, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ, Cleveland, OH

Dr. Emilie M. Townes, Academic Dean, Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT

Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, Director, Institute for Welcoming Resources, Minneapolis, MN

Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Director, The Shalom Center, Philadelphia, PA

Rev. Matthew Westfox, National Coordinator for Field Services, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, New York, NY

Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, President, Union for Reform Judaism, New York, NY

** Click to read full list of endorsers

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  • invalid-0

    Life is sacred? Then why mourn people that vivisect infants in utero. I don’t condone the murder of the arch-abortionist. But the attempt to beatify such an evil person is reprehensible. And I am offended that such a person could be a member in good standing of a organization that calls itself a Christian Church.

  • invalid-0

    Evil man? Talk about disproportionate. Yes, he performed abortions, but he also SAVED many lives throughout his career as a ob/gyn. And abortion is LEGAL, so whether or not you agree with abortion, he was legally going about his business. You have a problem with that, lobby your local Congressman/Senator. Don’t endorse the use of violence and intimidation against women who are already struggling with untold difficulties and the compassionate professionals that try to help them.

  • progo35

    Chinda-nothing in Habakkuk’s both WAS an endorsement of the use of violence and intimidation.

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    “Life is sacred? Then why mourn people that vivisect infants in utero. I don’t condone the murder of the arch-abortionist. But the attempt to beatify such an evil person is reprehensible. And I am offended that such a person could be a member in good standing of a organization that calls itself a Christian Church.”

    Life is sacred, and it is sad if you justify a murder.

    Abortion is your choice and you can debate for it or against it, but in the end it is your choice. If you get pregnant you go ahead and deliver, but other ppl do not have to.


  • invalid-0

    Forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term is unconscionable and creates additional hardships, both for the mother and child alike. First of all, one does not have to be a mother (I’m not) to realize that pregnancy and motherhood is not for everybody. As a pro-choice person who also supports access to adequate, affective contraception as well as choice and good reproductive rights and care, I believe that bringing unwanted children into our society and into this world at large is one of the biggest, if not the biggest crime that one can commit against humanity. Even the tiniest newborn baby can sense whether or not s/he is wanted. When a woman or girl is raped, or her contraceptives fail (which they sometimes will do), or if a condom breaks and an unwanted pregnancy results, or a mistake, why should a woman or girl pay for it by being forced to carry an unwanted baby to term, possibly impairing her physical and/or mental health, or permanently sidetracking and crippling her chances for meaningful education and employment during her lifetime, and ending up constantly dependant on Public Assistance to support her and her child? She shouldn’t, which is why guys like Dr. Tiller exist. The fact that a person without a conscience killed a man who helped save the lives of many women and helped them make choices that they felt were best for them without thinking twice, is rather heartbreaking…and disgusting, to boot. Here’s hoping Dr. George Tiller’s murderer stays in the slammer for good. She deserves it.