Details on Tiller’s LCMS past? (Mollie)

Since I wrote a blog post over at GetReligion about the fact that Dr. George Tiller had been excommunicated from his LCMS congregation, I’ve had a few reporters ask me for details about that excommunication. Could you let me know if you have any further information such as which congregation engaged in that church discipline and when it was done? Or any other relevant thoughts?


Details on Tiller’s LCMS past? (Mollie) — 6 Comments

  1. Mollie,

    Dr. Tiller was mentioned by Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto in an article entitled “Remembering Collective Shame.” I copied the following right from the BJS website from the date 10/18/2008. It mentions Holy Cross Lutheran Church of Wichita as the congregation that excommunicated him.

    “Down in Wichita, Kansas, there is a physician by the name of George Tiller. On his website he boasts that he has already performed 60,000 abortions, mostly late-term, and week after week he is killing 100 more unborn babies.

    “Dr. Tiller does not think of these fetuses as clusters of cancerous cells. He knows they are human because he baptizes some of them before he incinerates them in his own crematorium. You don’t baptize non- humans. Dr. Tiller knows that. He is a practicing Lutheran. His former congregation, Holy Cross of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, excommunicated him as an unrepentant sinner. But the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, which belongs to the ELCA, communes him. Did I mention that he kills 100 human beings every week and has already done away with 60.000? Sixty thousand! In Nuremberg they hanged some fiends for murdering less than 60 — zero point one percent of Tiller’s toll. Perhaps this little tale will give even non-believers pause if they have not discarded their conscience, known to Christians as the law God has written upon every man’s heart. One day, of this I am certain, this will indeed result in collective shame – and God knows what other horrible consequences.”

    Hope this helps!

  2. Why can’t Holy Cross, or Synod, say so, with dates? Excommunication is public information, isn’t it?
    And why wouldn’t lcms want to be quite clear that one church, one synod, in opposition to abortion, did attempt to call Tiller to repentance, (since that is what excommunication is all about)?

    (Of course, some astute religion writer might ask why Senator Simon was never called to task in the same fashion.)

  3. When I asked my DP to find out why Senator Simon was not excommunicated–I was told that “because he is Senator Simon.” That was it in a nut shell. This was back around 1981.

  4. …because he is Senator Simon.

    Such an excuse would be one of utter cowardice and hypocrisy.

  5. I imagine that Holy Cross and the LCMS do not want to make a statement because this is such a sensitive and painful matter, especially in Wichita. Nobody wants to be critical of the ELCA congregation when it is suffering such shock and pain; nobody wants to risk sounding like they are justifying murder. Also, it sounds like the excommunication was in the early ’70s so there may be few around at Holy Cross who remember the details.

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