Concerned Clergy for Choice issued the following statement on the conviction of Scott Roeder for first-degree murder in the death of Dr. George Tiller in Kansas last May:
"As clergy, we are mindful that Dr. Tiller was slain at his church sanctuary entrance, as a worship service was about to begin," said Rabbi Dennis S. Ross, director of Concerned Clergy for Choice. "Dr. Tiller was a person of faith and we recognize that many medical providers are motivated by their religious beliefs to bring healing and comfort to those in need. We are relieved to learn that Dr. Tiller's murder has been brought to justice."
Concerned Clergy affirms that people of good faith and conscience can disagree, and insists that violence is not the answer, nor is it a suitable replacement for honest conversation, and the recognition that reasonable people can hold differing opinions on complex social issues.
"Let this verdict serve as a warning to those who might consider harming someone like Dr. Tiller, who summoned compassion and faith to provide for women in need: The message is clear: You must not resort to violence. You must not interfere with any woman's access to health care, and, if you do, you will be called to account for it. The safety of patients and their providers must come first."
On a happier note, tonight is Federation Shabbat. There is something really wonderful about the fact that the Jews of Wilmington all daven in one synagogue once a year, regardless of movement, tradition or relationship with the halacha. I don't know of any other community that does this across all the denominational streams(though I'm sure they exist) and it really speaks to this community and our ability to look past both personal and institutional differences and come together as God's own children. We would all be better off if we had more opportunities like this, to engage the Sacred Together.