06/09/2009 05:38 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Tolerance is Always Superior to Intolerance

Today, the House of Representatives unanimously passed my resolution condemning the murder of Dr. George Tiller who was shot to death in his church in Wichita, Kansas on May 31, 2009 and offered sincere condolences to his family.

This tragic event, during which one man with a history of animosity towards women's right to choose ended the life of another man who dedicated his life to helping others, serves as a stark reminder of the raw emotions surrounding the right to reproductive freedom.

While violence is always deplorable, it seems to me that this event was particularly wretched because it took place in a house of worship, a refuge for those who seek serenity in times of turmoil and safety in times of hostility.

To promote hateful beliefs is objectionable and to commit violence is abhorrent and wrong, but to do so in a house of worship, a symbol of peace, marks an egregious violation of our social code and breaks the limit of what we, as a society, will endure.

As we grieve for Dr. Tiller, we must come together to clearly and unequivocally denounce violence against any individual because of his or her ideology, faith or perspective. We must affirm the sanctity of places of worship, and remind ourselves of the merits of tolerance. Today, this legislative body passed my resolution and loudly issued this message.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Tiller's family, friends, colleagues, and congregation.