Thursday, March 15, 2007

Kansas: Yet more on Phill Kline, ministers & the Ahab-like pursuit of Dr. George Tiller

[corrected number and location of ministers 3/16/07]

By Diane Silver

I've been involved in one way or another with Kansas politics for 22 years now, but I've never seen anything like this.

Ousted Attorney General Phill Kline and a group of about 40 Wichita- area ministers are trying to get the Legislature to force new Attorney General Paul Morrison to prosecute abortion provider George Tiller. Morrison's office says he is investigating Tiller, but apparently that isn't enough for these folks.

They're trying to invoke a little known (as in... never heard of before) law to get the Legislature to get the AG to do exactly what these 36 people want him to do. (Heck, I'd love to get the AG to do exactly what I want him to do. I've got a couple of folks I'd be happy to get him to prosecute.)

Even Rep. Lance Kinzer, the newest Republican darling of the religious right, doesn't this will work. Actually, even the ministers may not think this has much chance of working. Although they called today for Kansans to flood lawmakers with appeals, none of the ministers said they paln to lobby in Topeka to pass their, ah, what do we call this? An action? Proposal? Resolution? Fit?


Anonymous said...

Frankly, Phill has the absolutele right to pursue this agenda on his own time and on his own initiative. (yawn) My impression is that the individuals identified in the article don't expect this tactic to have any sucess beyond keeping the topic of abortion in the publics eye. (stretch)

And I would propose that few of us could stand up to the public scrutiny that Kline is exposed too. The man lives with a target on his back. (eyes wide open)

That said, we are all marked to some measure by the company we keep and certainly by the things we say. Kline has personally put that target in place. To wit: The two pastors identified by name in the news article are far from mainstream, one of them even lost his ordination as a result of his myopic and unrelenting anti-abortion crusade.

But again, we do have a legal right to associate with those with whom we choose.("Birds of a feather... Hey, who do you expect Kline to hang with?) More concerning to me is the specific quote credited to the former states attorney general and the current Johnson Coundy district Attorney,

“I think you measure — in government and in life — by doing what is right, not whether there is an earthly measurement of success,”

My understanding is that in government and in public office, perhaps no place more significantly than a position supposedly committed to the enforcement of the laws and prosecution of its offenders, the concept of RIGHT is clearly and vitally a more earth bound concept.

The legal concept of right is based upon established laws. And it is Klines, (and Moores) obligation to enforce the law of the land. The manner by which that obligation is pursued is certainly subject within the law, to the individuals style and discretion. But the obligation to "state laws" is unavoidable.

My problem with Kline is that he does not practice from a position that could remotely be described as discrete. He has, I believe, a clear and unrelenting ambition to use his enforcement authority selectively in pursuit of a focused personal agenda. Sure he can site his enforcement of other laws, but that IS afterall his job. If he didn't make some effort to do his job he would quickly lose his platform. And he desperately needs that platform as he is attempting to use (abuse?) his enforcement authority as a legislative authority.

I think he lost that authority in a public vote.

Gary Bachman

Diane Silver said...

Gary, it's great to hear from you again. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

I'm curious as to which of the two identified pastors lost his ordination. The ministers named in the article are Rob Rotola, pastor of World of Life Church, and Mark Holick, pastor of Spirit One Christian Center in Wichita. I'm afraid that I don't know much about either.

Anonymous said...

Holick. He may have subsequently obtained ordination though some other congregation however. His original one was from a group in Oklahoma that I'd never heard of before.

It is amazing to me just how many different Christian demoninations exist. Denominations with legally established tax exempt status that I suspect most Christians might learn of and utter the question, "Huh?"