Monday, 26 February 2018



COULD MEASURES TO LIMIT THE FREEDOM OF ANTI-ABORTION PROTESTERS TO STAND OUTSIDE ABORTION CLINICS BE JUSTIFIED?
    by Clifford Longley The Tablet
TwitterFacebookGoogle+PinterestMore69


Legal measures to limit the freedom of anti-abortion protesters to stand outside abortion clinics may, on balance, be justified. The Home Office and at least one local authority are consulting interested parties on whether to introduce such bans where appropriate. The right to protest and demonstrate is such a fundamental part of freedom of speech and indeed freedom of conscience, that any legal limitation on them must pass stringent tests. But I think the case here is a strong one. 
Tolerance is an essential part of the social glue that holds society together. Tolerance means respecting those who are different from us, including those who think and act differently. Respect means leaving them space to do those different things, despite our disapproval.
I’m afraid it's one of the more narrowing features of the religious mind – and almost all those who take part in such protests are religiously motivated – to lack sympathy with those who don't share their beliefs. It is beyond the scope of their imagination to see the world as others see it.
This is how the situation looks from the anti-abortion picket line: those involved in abortion, those who have them and those who provide them, are killing unborn babies. Because they are doing something dreadfully and outrageously wrong, they are entitled to upset them by telling them so, and their feelings don't matter. They cannot demand respect. Holding up a placard with words or images which confront them with the true nature of what they do is bound to offend and cause distress. So is handing out leaflets with the same message, no matter how compassionately expressed. But that is the intention. It only goes to prove that the protests are working.
But maybe the abortion protesters need to be reminded that there are other goods involved, maybe even higher goods. Respect cuts both ways. With our singular history, Catholics in Great Britain have to regard tolerance as the primary social virtue, without which the practice of the other virtues – even the worship of God, for instance – can become difficult to the point of dangerous. We must treat others with the same respect with which we would expect to be treated ourselves, including by those who profoundly disagree with us.
The evidence shows that women who seek an abortion are almost always unhappy about it at the time. It is a very stressful experience. But they have concluded that in their case it is the lesser evil. And society has decided that pregnancy termination, to use the standard euphemism, is allowable in certain circumstances. I believe that suggests that society has an obligation to protect those involved from any further avoidable stress.
Anti-abortionists are entitled to campaign to change the law. They may not agree that it can ever be the lesser evil. But are they thereby entitled to harass, intimidate, embarrass, humiliate or otherwise cause distress to those who are exercising that legal right? And are they justified because some small percentage of those harassed or distressed are actually persuaded, in the process, to change their minds? 
One further issue which is not strictly relevant to the legal argument concerns the use of prayer as part of a protest demonstration. In a quiet and dignified way no doubt, protesters who are Catholics like to say the rosary as they stand or kneel outside abortion clinics. It is true that the singing of popular hymns with a prayerful message such as John Newton's "Amazing Grace" played a powerful role in the Black civil rights protests in the United States. It was a display of solidarity in threatening situations, binding the protesters together spiritually for greater courage and strength.

The same may be said of saying the rosary outside abortion clinics, but they could just as well pray somewhere designed for that purpose. They are not at risk. They are making a public demonstration of their faith, in order to add impetus to their protest. Is that seemly, or is it discourteous? Is it an appropriate use of prayer, or is it a bit sanctimonious? And is that going to increase respect, or reduce it? Not easy to say, but I fear it is the latter.




PAT SAYS:

This issue has got nothing to do with abortion per se. 

It's about whether or not a woman has the right to visit an abortion clinic in a country where abortion is legal without being harassed by people who disagree with her actions for religious or other reasons.

Of course in a democratic society, people must also be free to protest about matters that they disagree with.

However such protests must be carried out peacefully without interfering with the rights of others.

I must say that I have never been impressed by groups standing with Rosary beads outside family planning clinics.

Many of them look like very odd people to me and I get the impression that many of them are religious nut cases.

That's why people have often chanted at them: "KEEP YOUR ROSARIES OFF OUR OVARIES".

I think that the proper way to campaign against abortion if that is what you want to do is to lobby politicians and indeed to vote for politicians you like.

Womem going into these clinics are often very vulnerable women.

The last thing that they need is to be harassed by a crowd of Holy Water Hens!

"GOD WANTS SPIRITUAL FRUITS - NOT RELIGIOUS NUTS"!

70 comments:

  1. Pat, the Spiritual Fruits God wants are people who don't equivocate or compromise on the inalienable right to life of the unborn child, people who hold "sacred the memory of Jesus" by protecting the dignity and sanctity of life. Your sneering contempt for such courageous, valiant pro life people is offensive. Equally offensive is your sneering at the beautiful prayer of the Rosary. I put you in the bracket of "religious nut". Pat as a teenage creed says - "If you stand for nothing, you'll fall for anything". It's very apt for you who fall for anything.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A typical response from you Pat at 13.47. When you're beaten and intellectually challenged your comeback is to demean, label and sneer at others. I guess my request for spiritually uplifting reflections is off the agenda. To requote a phrase you used in your "Pat says" shallow mutterings - "religious nut". It aptly sums you up!

      Delete
    2. Pat finding it hard to get in contact with you any chance you could text us on Facebook as I sent you a message and your phone is ring out looking to enquirer about a wedding

      Delete
  2. Bishop Pat, just a thought: look up the word 'brevity'. Because, Jesus Christ, some of your posts are so fuckin' -long winded!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Magna 04.18: The hypocrisy is stunning. Then I notice the time of the night/morning and my hearts is saddened for you. You must be so out of your mind with substance abuse... Y9u are probably the one blogger who rarely keeps commentary short. Brevity and Magna are not companions....You, Magna, are, in your own words "f*****g long winded" beyond acceptance. And in the mix you are - offensive, rude, hateful, racist.. .Will keep praying for your healing.

      Delete
    2. 12:53, I doubt whether your prayers could move crumbs, let alone mountains, you self-righteous fool.

      Delete
  3. There is a nice little earner for providers when women go abroad for abortions. There is also the issue of the support needed and stigma when they come home. It is deeper than just a religious denominational issue. A practical and responsible approach is needed on the home front but I'm not sure how that will play out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely Sean! You're correct re/the abortion money earner etc
      And the mother saves the price of paying an undertaker the orice of a small white child's coffin by opting to kill the baby before birth or rather to pay the abortion clinic to dispose of the dismembered parts as "clinical waste".

      Delete
    2. You bring home the reality of what abortion entails in a very stark and unvarnished way, @ poster 12.16
      You are a good person.
      There is no doubt that you value the baby's life right from its earliest stages.

      Delete
  4. These demonstrations have the effect of intimidating women who are in
    no fit state to be intimidated. A ‘buffer zone’ between clinic and
    demonstration would preserve both the dignity of the women and the
    freedom of expression of the protesters.
    A less serious, but analogous situation, arises from protests outside
    court buildings which are frequently intimidating to jurors who are
    performing a stressful and unpaid public duty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's bullying vulnerable people.

      Delete
    2. Hope there are no rugby demos outside Lagan courts.!!!'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Delete
    3. 9.30: And what is abortion if not the most excessive bullying of all....taking of/killing the unborn child....Let us truly believe the reality of abortion. And please Pat - don't be such a sneering brat!

      Delete
    4. 14 .06
      It’s replys like yours that intimidate .
      Can you not make a post without the nasty comment.
      This is why you are referred to in derogatory terms.
      So please clean up your own posts before slating others.

      Delete
    5. I've no sympathy for these so-called vulnerables who kill their own babies.

      Delete
    6. The rugby "rape" case has grabbed the attention of everyone. Stuart Olding is gorgeous!

      Delete
    7. Maynooth seminarian28 February 2018 at 20:01

      Is Stuart on Grindr?

      Delete
  5. Ask Nell McC about her journey on this issue. Very much worth hearing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why don’t you ask her,the rest of us may not even know her.

      Delete
    2. 13.00: Nell has a most thought provoking reflection re: women and abortion and challenges society's attitude in what it offers women in difficulties. Worth searching out her reflections.

      Delete
    3. Nell McCafferty is an uncouth, aggressive loudmouth. Anything she has to say on the subject of abortion isn't worth taking the trouble to read.

      Delete
    4. Nell has integrity. She doesn’t defame and libel people from the safety of anonymous ivory towers.

      Delete
    5. 19:37, Nell has 'integrity'? Ha ha

      Delete
  6. It's so cold and there's not a cut of bread to be got in the shop.
    I hope this cold snap doesn't last.
    Stay warm, folks and be sure to look after your elderly neighbours-

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's freezing out there.
      I called on a retired couple this morning to see if they are ok and I'm glad I did.

      Delete
  7. Well there is an empty parochial house in Hilltown ...it prob very well heated...surely the homeless could go there...but best scrub it out first.
    We could always ask Mc Areavy to bring his scrubbing brush.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Actually it’s only slightly frosty....big freeze tomoro on the way.
    Don’t forget to call the same retired couple again, they might be good for a few quid too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They gave me £20 which was nice of them. I’ll call to see them Friday again to make sure they’re ok and maybe see if they need a lift to collect pension and some food. I would need another 20 for diesel but they are kind and always give.

      Delete
    2. 14.59: Your charity is suspect - taking money from elderly and houseboud! That's very wrong. Dserves scrutiny and answers. You should not take money for your charity to the elderly.

      Delete
    3. @14.59 is having a laugh.
      I am the poster of 8.34.
      14.59 is trying to get a laugh out of people

      Delete
    4. Please would you call on the the 84 year old Clogher Vocations Director in Maguiresbridge?

      Delete
  9. Just saw the story that was referenced on yesterday's blog of the Orange man walking his daughter down the aisle.
    I was really inspired by it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just don’t understand why anyone wd be inspired by a daddy taking his daughter to her big day.
      Most Orange men are just as ordinary as the rest of the population.
      It is the paramilitaries on both side who intimidate .

      Delete
    2. Surely as a good Orangeman he marched her up the aisle, none of this walking nonsense. Up the Orange!

      Delete
  10. Sad news about the family that died in fire in Derrylin.
    My heart goes out to them.
    May they rest in peace.

    ReplyDelete
  11. How is Fr Paul keeping?
    I hope you are giving him plenty of work to do, Pat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doing well. He and I in Budapest this week meeting groups of people.

      Delete
    2. You both are going to Budapest. Well I’m on the couch roaring with laughter!

      Delete
    3. 13.03: Hope and trust you are both in Budapest for good motives! Evangelising/proselytizing or looking for soft converts??

      Delete
  12. Glad the contributors today are calling fir "compassion, help, support and caring" to be given to the elderly and especially those who live alone. These qualities keep "the memory of Jesus Sacred", not the awfulness of hate-filled and nasty comments. Let's keep it this way. Pat, you have been requested before to dedicate one day during Lent (Fri) to only reflect on nourishing and uplifting issues. Why have you not accepted this invitation? But today and for the next few days let's be faithful to the memory of Christ..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have decided that from now on I will include such items on posts.

      Delete
    2. Yes reflect on how Finnegan was still at large as Smyth was under fire.
      Is our catholic faith in shreds????????
      Are Mc Areavy and Brady the only 2 culprits so far.
      What about the monsenior who gave Smyth a few days grace at Christmas...only for him( Smyt) to travel to Belfast and molest a girl.

      Delete
    3. Thought you did the blog Pat, and we do the posting.

      Delete
    4. Who is Fr Paul.?
      Is he the new “little brothers’’ boss?

      Delete
    5. Are you going to give an update on ‘Spotlight’ Pat?
      Empty parochial house in Hilltown D and C

      Delete
  13. Pat can I forward you substantial information on the disappeared 3rd Divine Seminarian, who is on the run

    ReplyDelete
  14. Pat the disappeared 3rd Divine Seminarian was known as the General. The lifestyle of this specific seminarian was something out of Bond movie. This seminarian commenced and directed all activity from the Oak Alley cocktail bar.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I wouldn't give much credance to anything published by The Pill.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Pat Maynooth would fall in a day if you investigate the missing 3rd Divine Seminarians.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Spotlight on the underground activity of the missing 3rd Divine Seminarians. Where to start.

    ReplyDelete
  18. In case it's not clear to other readers, parishioners in Hilltown, Co. Down (Dromore diocese) are refusing to enter the parochial house there, as it was one of the locations in which Fr Finnigan abused. Clergy are no longer staying there overnight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. +Pat will decide its future.

      Delete
  19. Pat I saw the snap chat story pictures of this 3rd Divine Seminarian from his vacation in Romr last October. Lets just say he was not idle in Scholars Lounge, pent hse apartment and fond of the women.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Check out Jack Byrne (the artist formerly known as “Gorgeous”) on Facebook. He has now morphed himself into 007 lol.

      Delete
  20. As for protests outside abortion clinics, while I am totally opposed to this outrageous practice, I am opposed also to the intimidatory behaviour of some protestors and accept that there needs to be restrictions imposed on their freedom to demonstrate.

    ReplyDelete
  21. 18.28: I disagree with you on protesters. The pro life argument, principle and belief in the sanctity of the unborn child and the right to life (of the unborn child) sadly, has to be expressed strongly and powerfully. The right to choose have too many powerful lobbies drowning out the pro life argument. I admire those people who d3fy the critics and who will not compromise or equivocate on their beliefs. Sometimes the truth requires strong protests in its defense!

    ReplyDelete
  22. One of the things that motivates people to continue praying outside clinics is that over time they have saved many babies directly and they often carry photos of the same given to them by their mothers now relieved that they didn't go through with an abortion. No doubt somebody will come up with a ban, for the light needs to be quenched at all costs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That’s why social workers were invented...to help and advise, not hol6 water hens

      Delete
    2. Abortion is most certainly a matter for every decent civilised person to be concerned about. All it takes for evil to flourish is that good men do nothing. This is a serious matter for all society and cannot be palmed off on socual workers alone. Far from it...

      Delete
  23. I have stood reciting the Rosary outside an abortion 'clinic'. We were led by a priest who went there alone sometimes. One night he was kneeling in the rain praying and went home. The next day a young woman came to see him, she was a Catholic who had attended his church as a child and had seen him praying. She left the 'clinic' and had come to him to thank him for persuading her to have her child by his presence. He later baptised the child, a girl.
    We used to stand just doing our thing on public space without saying anything to anyone coming or going but often received foul and obscene comments usually from male drivers after they had dropped someone off. The police attended around one session in four having been informed that we had 'harassed' some woman or group of women. It was, I promise, always untrue. I queried the minibuses that would drop off a group of women and was informed that they were prostitutes, usually foreign, who were brought in on a 'contract' basis by their employers (pimps).
    If you want to know who is being 'harassed' why not just go and watch, you don't need to get involved. It will be an education.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Surely a miracle...ha ha ha
      People will now be touching your garments in the hope of a cure.

      Delete
    2. A cynic! Not my garments, I had nothing to do with the little miracle. Glad that you're glad that she's alive.

      Delete
  24. Pat any recent information on the young kerry seminarian in first Divine.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Any update on the dysfunctional kerry seminarian called the scout.Dark past and continuing to enage in illict behaviour patterns.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Why can’t you just pray at home like normal people?
    Much the same as those who run to Lourdes regularly ....why can’t they pray at home?
    Is it because they like the Pharisees?
    If you want to pray with others, there are chapels around...mostly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps it's because Our Lady asked that people go there. If you don't believe that she did, don't go but leave those in peace who believed Bernadette's words.

      Delete
  27. Please remember that the Church is a COMMUNITY of followers of Christ and praying together with others is an essential part of that as well as our personal prayer on our own. People should be encouraged and strengthened by praying together both giving and mentally receiving. "Where two or three are gathered, there am I in the midst of them" were Christ's own words

    ReplyDelete
  28. I was always bothered when I read little known historical accounts that took place in Germany a few decades back. People would protest outside legal places of work, just because they disagreed with what was taking place there, namely, genocide.

    Now, this issue had got nothing to do with genocide per se. 

    It was about whether or not a German citizen had the right to do the work they were paid for in a country where genocide was legal, without being harassed by people who disagree with his or her actions for religious or other reasons.

    Of course in a democratic society, people must also be free to protest about matters that they disagree with.

    However such protests must be carried out peacefully without interfering with the rights of others to legally earn their wages.

    I must say that I was never been impressed with those groups standing with Rosary beads outside the camps.

    Many of them photographed looked like very odd people to me and I get the impression that many of them were religious nut cases.

    I do hope history doesn't repeat itself.

    -Paddy

    ReplyDelete
  29. Major new scandal emerging from Maynooth.

    ReplyDelete