Sunday, May 31, 2009

Too clever by half

Preface: For reasons explained below, this post should now be read as an explanation of why National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez would make a surreptitious change in the title of a George Tiller-related post from "An Evil End" to "Very Bad News".

Dr George Tiller, the so-called "abortion doctor", was murdered while attending church in Kansas today. He had been put back in the news recently as a result of a prosecution brought by former state Attorney General Phil Kline and through attempts to embarrass Barack Obama's Health & Human Services nominee Kathleen Sebelius.

Here's how National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez headlines the event --

An Evil End

Which is just like when a strange usage would pop up in a George Bush speech and one would wonder if there is a dogwhistle going on. And apparently there is here too.

Go to the Summa Theologica of St Thomas Aquinas --

Further, a good action may happen to be ordered to an evil end, as when a man give alms from vainglory, and conversely an evil action may happen to be ordered to a good end, as a theft committed in order to give something to the poor. Therefore an action is not good or evil from its end.

If she has some neo-Thomist rationale for why Tiller being murdered is not all bad, shouldn't she just say so?

UPDATE: The Corner is now filling with the weasel words. From K-Lo --

An evil thing has happened—a man has been killed—and to jump to points of politics and media criticism is wrong. Evil begot more of it here.

Note the refusal to discuss the context of hatred for Tiller as part of the "evil thing".

And Princeton's Robert George --

The evil of this action is in no way diminished by the blood George Tiller had on his own hands. No private individual had the right to execute judgment against him.

Note that "Robby" George has compared abortion to slavery, which an unhinged individual might well construe as license to take the law into their own hands. K-Lo and Robby want the freedom to say that Tiller is a mass murderer, to have those opinions endorsed by George W. Bush, but then be surprised when a lunatic with a gun gets the wrong message.

FINAL UPDATE: K-Lo changed the title to the post. It now says "Very Bad News". The code only works when it hasn't been broken.

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