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George Tiller ? Pray For His Soul But Don?t Stop Speaking Out!

I was away for a few days when I heard of the murder of noted abortionist, Dr. George Tiller. Two thoughts immediately came to mind:

1. This is a reprehensible act and is in no way justifiable. Despite his record of performing late term abortions, the violent murder of this man is every bit as bad as the abortions that we speak out against.

2. The pro-life movement is going to be blamed for this and there will be a push to soften the language used to describe abortion.

While we must condemn any murder, whether it involves an abortionist or an unborn child, we cannot stop proclaiming the truth about abortion. Abortion is murder and every day babies are being legally slaughtered in their mothers? wombs. We cannot give into the pressure and euphemize this violent act. It is murder and it is wrong. The fact that this man was killed by an unbalanced individual does not change anything.

I also ask that you say a prayer for the soul of Dr. Tiller. As hard as it is to imagine, this Church-going Lutheran somehow felt justified in murdering late-term babies on a regular basis. While abortion at any stage is wrong, it takes a special callousness to be able to murder a late term infant. As Catholics, we understand the importance of praying for the dead. Dr. Tiller?s fellow Lutherans do not believe in that practice, so he is missing out on much needed prayers. We need to fight the urge to condemn him for his actions. Instead we must ask The Lord to have mercy on his soul. That is what Jesus would want.


  1. efriden says:

    Prayer for the dead is most definitely part of Lutheran Christian practises. The Augsburg Confession clearly states: "We do not wish to abolish the prayers for the dead".

    Lutherans, however, do not believe it is appropriate to ask the departed for intercession, above all since the efficacy is questionable.

  2. Gary Z. says:

    Thanks for your comment, efriden. Being a Catholic, I sometimes forget that other religions are internally divided in their doctrinal beliefs. Not being an expert in the Lutheran religion, there may be indeed be some Lutheran churches that do believe in prayer for the dead. However, the Lutheran Missouri Synod (the 2nd largest Lutheran group in the US) does not believe in the practice of praying for the deceased. From their website: (

    Q. I would appreciate knowing our official LCMS doctrinal position on prayers for, or on behalf of, the dead, specifically those who have died (as far as we know) in the faith.

    A. Question 201 of Luther's Small Catechism with Explanation (Concordia Publishing House, 1991 edition) answers the question "For whom should we pray?" as follows:

    "We should pray for ourselves and for all other people, even for our enemies, but not for the souls of the dead." Hebrews 9:27 is cited in this connection: Since individuals are judged by God immediately after their death and enter either heaven or hell, there is no reason to pray for them. Those in hell cannot be helped by prayer, and those in heaven have no need of our prayers.

    From the above reference it is obvious that Luther himself didn't believe in the practice either.

    God Bless,

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