Roeder has been active in the Sovereign Citizen Movement and is a tax protestor. The Sovereign Citizen Movement is a fringe movement of people who claim that under common law principles they are unaccountable to Federal Law.
Daily Kos is claiming that Roeder was an active member in Operation Rescue, citing an alleged posting on the OR message board under his name that read:
Bleass everyone for attending and praying in May to bring justice to Tiller and the closing of his death camp. Sometime soon, would it be feasible to organize as many people as possible to attend Tillers church (inside, not just outside) to have much more of a presence and possibly ask questions of the Pastor, Deacons, Elders and members while there? Doesn’t seem like it would hurt anything but bring more attention to Tiller.The post at Daily Kos implies that Operation Rescue should be ashamed and tries to direct anger in that direction. According to LifeSite News, the National Organization for Women is similarly trying to direct blame beyond Roeder to unnamed Pro-Life groups.
Let me first say, for the record, that I don't support Operation Rescue's tactics. I think that it's ineffective to rely on major creating spectacles to win the abortion battle and that only reinvigorating our culture with virtue, love, and respect will do the trick.
That said, we must be very clear where the blame for the murder today lies... with the murderer. While the hateful hacks at Daily Kos and with the NOW would like to manipulate these events for their own political gain, doing so is completely illegitimate, and they should be ashamed of themselves for the attempt.
Very soon after news of the shooting broke today, Operation Rescue released the following statement:
"We are shocked at this morning's disturbing news that Mr. Tiller was gunned down. Operation Rescue has worked for years through peaceful, legal means, and through the proper channels to see him brought to justice. We denounce vigilantism and the cowardly act that took place this morning."However one may feel about Operation Rescue's methods, they have never advocated violence. Blaming them for today's violence is a lie. Trying to pin the events on "the Pro-Life movement" is also illegitimate. It would have been absurd to smear the civil rights movement due to a few violent acts in the 1960s and 70s. Similarly, the several acts of anti-abortion violence that have occurred over the past decade are not representative of the Pro-Life movement and should not be used to smear the many good people working to protect the rights of the unborn and to provide aid to women in need.
And, to the Pro-Life movement, now is not a time to back down in shame. We have no reason to be ashamed of being a witness to the dignity of human life. We need to continue to affirm the dignity of all human life, from conception to natural death. We need to clarify for any who may be confused that this dignity extends even to those who stand against us. And, we need to take this opportunity to remind all of our own that at the core of our own beliefs must be a genuine sense of love. For the many of us who are Christian, we need to remember that our God IS Love and commanded us to love each other. This, of course, should also be the cue to reach out to the Tiller family... not to disrespect them by trying to politicize their family tragedy (we should show more class than NOW) but through an honest outpouring of the Love Jesus modeled for us.
Now, on a related note...
I think this is as good a time as any to plug something I've been urging for as long as I can remember. I implore the United States government to STOP demonizing the pro-life movement, the gun ownership movement and conservative Christianity, and I ask that while they are at it, they drop the focus on the so-called "radical right," which is difficult to define. Instead, law enforcement really needs to look harder at Christian Identity, a radical white supremacist "Christian" group. Nearly every act of domestic terrorism committed in the past several decades in the US have been linked to this movement, and while I don't want to jump the gun and assume Roeder's guilt before the evidence has even been presented or the man has been charged (though, I don't sense much doubt out there on this one), I can't help but note that the Sovereign Citizen Movement, of which he is a part, is largely a child of Christian Identity.
So, while I doubt anyone with real power on these matters is reading this, please urge those in power that instead of a large scale politically motivated crack down, and instead of repeating the debacle at Ruby Ridge or at the Branch Davidian ranch in Waco with a continued witch hunt against the amorphous "radical right," law enforcement in the United States needs to hone in on the group who's always tied to the violence... Christian Identity.