At the New York Times, Monica Davey gives us a glimpse into the whacky world of the Fetus People. Apparently the murder of Dr. George Tiller has confounded the vocational jerks who have besieged his clinic for years . Now they literally don’t know what to do with themselves.
I take it there are people who actually moved to Wichita just so they could picket Dr. Tiller’s clinic. I suppose some of them have spouses who work to earn a living, but one does wonder if they’re being paid.
This is noteworthy:
â€œThereâ€™s so much disagreement,â€ said Mark S. Gietzen, president of the Kansas Coalition for Life. Mr. Gietzen spent his time last week juggling calls from volunteers who wondered what would come of their regular shifts outside Dr. Tillerâ€™s clinic, where they planted rows of crosses each day and tried to talk to women going in.
â€œIf you went to a meeting, sometimes you would think the enemy was other pro-life people, not abortion,â€ he said.
Not all anti-abortion advocates, he said, favored the bloody â€œtruth truckâ€ (â€œAbortion is an ObamaNation,â€ it reads) parked outside his house or agreed on what protesters should call out to women going inside the clinic (obscenity-filled insults or offers of help) and how loudly.
Even now, Mr. Gietzen said, they were not of one mind about statements many groups here have issued condemning the killing of Dr. Tiller. â€œYou canâ€™t be pro-life and go around killing people, but some people are really mad at me for saying that,â€ he said.
In other words, it’s a culture in which hate and murder are always on the table.
Some of them don’t believe Dr. Tiller’s clinic is really going to close; or, at least, there are no immediate plans to re-open it.
Despite the family announcement about the clinicâ€™s uncertain future, some here seem convinced that it will secretly reopen on Monday. On Sunday, Mr. Gietzen said some of his more than 600 trained volunteers already were organized in shifts for a new week, in case visiting doctors were flown in.
Picketing that clinic was their purpose in life. In some ways, they may miss it more than anyone else. I opened Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer at random and found this (pp. 14-15)
The burning conviction that we have a holy duty toward others is often a way of attaching our drowning selves to a passing raft. What looks like giving a hand is often holding on for dear life. Take away our holy duties and you leave our lives puny and meaningless. There is no doubt that in exchanging a self-centered for a selfless life we gain enormously in self-esteem. The vanity of the selfless, even those who practice utmost humility, is boundless.
If Dr. Tiller’s clinic really doesn’t re-open, eventually some of the protesters will drift away to other clinics. Some may eventually attach themselves to another cause — Hoffer believed mass movements were interchangeable, since they “draw their adherents from the same types of humanity and appeal to the same types of mind.” Either way, when Dr. Tiller died they lost the center of their lives. How can they go on?
The suspect, Scott Roeder, claims more such murders are “planned,” but this may be wishful thinking on his part. One anti-abortion leader called Roeder “a fruit and a lunatic.” Dude, if he’s the fruit, you’re the tree.