Free speech against abortion hasn’t got a prayer

Free speech against abortion hasn’t got a prayer. Angela Shanahan exposes the simple hypocrisy of the left and its right to dissent.

When is free speech and peaceful protest in a free society against the law? Apparently only when it is about, abortion. In Tasmania, Victoria and the ACT, exclusion zones have been put in place to prevent any anti-abortion demonstration, and in NSW the Greens are advocating similar zones.

If you think these protestors were holding up dismembered and blood covered baby dolls, or graphic images, like other protestors like to do, think again.

On Wednesday, Graham Preston was the latest person to be fined for such a protest. Preston was arrested in Hobart in April last year for standing peacefully near an abortion clinic, holding a sign saying: “Everyone has the right to life, Article 3 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” The back said: “Every child has the right to life, Article 6 Convention on the Rights of the Child.” Another sign held by someone else showed an unborn child eight weeks from conception. Preston was fined $3000.

What a terrifying public spectacle. But wait, it gets worse. That was in Hobart. Just look at what those crazed Christian fundamentalists got up to in the ACT.

Kerry Mellor is part of a group that has been assembling to pray outside 1 Moore Street every Friday for 18 years. In the past they had a sign that said “pray to end abortion”, some “choose life” signs and holy pictures. They were essentially religious protests and didn’t have any material to give out. Most people wanting abortion went in the side door. A few people looked askance or spat at the group, and sometimes people joined in the prayers. But there was never any great confrontation. The group became a sort of Canberra institution, “the people outside the abortion clinic”.

After the exclusion zone around the ACT abortion clinic run by Marie Stopes International was put into place in March, Mellor was fined $750, in April. However, he was able to contest and it was withdrawn because he wasn’t in the exclusion zone but on an opposite corner. So then the ACT government changed the zone.

The zone now includes most of the street and a good portion of other streets to make it difficult for anyone to see any of the group.

However, recently on Friday morning, Mellor was within the zone accompanied by others. There were six police and three vehicles including a paddy wagon. Other members of the group moved on. Mellor claims, “I was alone … I prayed silently, the sergeant greeted me and asked me did I know I was within the protected area. Was I aware I was engaged in prohibited behaviour? I replied that prayer is not prohibited. He said it was in that area.”

Mellor continued to pray silently with his hands in his pockets. He didn’t display his rosary but they continued to ask what he was doing. Mellor asked what was the evidence of protest. Then, according to Mellor, the policeman said he saw him “bow his head and make sign of the cross” and this was evidence of his offence of protest in protected area. Prayer was the defining element of the offence. Mellor has been issued a criminal infringement notice. He does not intend to pay a fine because he feels his religious liberty, his right to peaceful silent religious expression, is being infringed. He says the only way to resolve this is in a court.

“Prayer was the defining element of the offence”.  What I find amazing is how brittle and thin-skinned our brave cultural victors are (the left has won the culture war, right Mike?) when faced merely with the image of a bowed head and a silent signing of the cross.

What does it matter if he prays, if you don’t believe in his god or his moral convictions? You won the war, you are a free secular state that bows to no god. He is one man, standing on a street corner, thinking silent thoughts.

What right have you to tell him what to think, and where to think it? If you are comfortable with your actions, your legality and your morality, why are you offended by his silent presence in our public square?

You do not have to share Right to Life’s view about abortion to be concerned about this dangerous development.

Indeed. But those who do share this view must take heed. Merely holding these views is dangerous to your legal status, security, employment and social standing.   It has become civil disobedience merely to think the wrong thoughts in a public place.

Befuddled post-Brexit Whiner

I do hope you all have better luck voting this Saturday than this poor 27 year old man-child who couldn’t manage to fight his way out of his home town to cast his vote, yet still feels the need to complain about the result. I would have thought it was pointed satire except it appeared in the New York Times.

Army Dumps Hastie

In a story beyond parody, the Australian Army has declared the only violence it is capable of committing is to cut off its own nose to spite its face. Former defence force personnel, who have already established a serious aptitude and inclination for serving their country, are apparently not allowed to advertise that fact if their new position involves also serving their country on either side of the political divide in the state or federal government.  Active defence force personnel marching in uniform in the Sydney “LGBTQAAIP” Mardi Gras is perfectly fine and apolitical, however. Just don’t criticise it or you’ll have to fund a court case to overturn your dismissal.

David Brooks created Trump

The Instapundit explains to David Brooks how Trump is mostly his fault. 

When politeness and orderliness are met with contempt and betrayal, do not be surprised if the response is something less polite, and less orderly. Brooks closes his Trump column with Psalm 73, but a more appropriate verse is Hosea 8:7 “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.” Trump’s ascendance is a symptom of a colossal failure among America’s political leaders, of which Brooks’ mean-spirited insularity is only a tiny part. God help us all.

Indeed.

Hillary Clinton and her NSA problem

I wonder what kind of global risk assessment Hillary Clinton should receive?

There are many questions here about what Hillary Clinton and her staff at Foggy Bottom were up to, including Sidney Blumenthal, an integral member of the Clinton organization, despite his lack of any government position. How Mr. Blumenthal got hold of this Top Secret-plus reporting is only the first question. Why he chose to email it to Ms. Clinton in open channels is another question. So is: How did nobody on Secretary Clinton’s staff notice that this highly detailed reporting looked exactly like SIGINT from the NSA? Last, why did the State Department see fit to release this email, unredacted, to the public?

Toddlers to be taught cross dressing in Victoria

I am so confused. According to this article (behind paywall, put title “Toddlers to be taught about cross-dressing in controversial sex ed program” in Google)

“Children are sexual beings and it’s a strong part of their identity, and it is linked to their values and respect,” she said.

But I thought gender was a social construct and your biology was not the main determinant of your sexual identity?

Doublespeak on female genital mutilation

FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION undergoes doublespeak treatment as “Doctors” published in the Journal of Medical Ethics unilaterally declare that

“De minimis procedures such as removal of the clitoral hood or a ritual nick on the external female genitalia (Categories 1 and 2) cause little or no functional harm. Therefore, it is difficult to characterize them as unethical or a human rights violation.”

These health professionals prefer to refer to the ritual mutilation of otherwise healthy women, girls and in some cases infants, as female genital alteration.  Like taking up a hem or fixing a pleat in your pants suit.

PC hypocrisy over Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS  claims another victim and shoots the progressive messenger at the same time.

Earlier this month, New York magazine science columnist Jesse Singal wrote an extensively researched piece on the destruction of the Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic in Toronto and the “show trial” of its leader, 65-year-old psychologist Kenneth Zucker, who was fired from his job at one of Canada’s largest mental hospitals last December…

What Singal documents in his column is a witch-hunt: a hasty review by people with little scholarly expertise who credited uncorroborated — and in some cases, later disproved — claims of misconduct against Zucker and his staff.

The closure of the Toronto clinic was roundly celebrated in left-of-center media. One might think Singal’s devastating report — coming from a journalist squarely on the progressive side in the culture wars — would be cause for second thoughts. Instead, it led, predictably, to nasty attacks on Singal…

How to best help kids with gender identity issues is an important, complex question. It calls for respectful debate, not dogma and witch-hunts.