UK: a man in a wheelchair arrested and prosecuted for praying in a public area outside an abortion clinic suddenly has charges dropped--not enough evidence to convict him

see https://www.thecatholicuniverse.com/police-drop-praying-charges-on-christian-40431

“The authorities now seem to think that even prayer is harassment… ‘The footage of four police officers carrying a disabled man and his wheelchair to a riot van, simply for praying, is deeply disturbing.’”

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This is it. We’ve reached the inversion point. Reality is now indistinguishable from Parody.

In all seriousness though, this isn’t surprising. Abortion is Satan’s pet project, of course those who are in league with him would be driven to so thoroughly shut God out of the public square.

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Oh yes, this is the UK now. You didn’t know?

I remember there was a story, earlier this year I believe, on some politicians pushing to pass a law outlawing anti-abortion vigils by abortion clinics, on account of it bothering people going in. I mean, they are peaceful vigil where people pray, they don’t hold up banners, shout abuse at those going in or get in their faces, but it was still too much for some MPs.

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It is a relieve that the charged against this man was dropped. Obviousely a man in a weelchair cannot be a danger, unless we consider that a public prayer against abortion is harashment (which the law seems to considered as to be).

What is sad is that the same people who complain about harashment against a “free” choice don’t offer another choice than abortion…

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Satan considers public prayer to be a danger to his enterprises.

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That man should never have been arrested to begin with! This is the alarming sign of our times.

It used to be customary, when one came upon a horrible accident or other public tragedy, to make the sign of the cross for its victims. Would we dare do that in public, today? Would we be arrested for it? Bullied and harassed? Maybe. But I would do it, anyway. God is the ultimate authority.

Bear in mind that this is a UK story. There are many things that used to be considered normal public activity that are now banned there.

D

There’s a lively comments thread about it on the Archbishop Cranmer blog.

Seriously nothing surprises me anymore. Satan is in a fury. His time is short

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How do you know that? I am guessing that you must be intimately familiar with the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, part 4, chapter 2 and with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, s. 24 (as amended by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, s. 110).

Really? Such as what? I am not aware of any.

He should not be doing this.

You wouldn’t see a Priest doing such things outside a clinic ?

Is this young man more wiser than a Priest ?

We are supposed to guide one another in kindness and compassion.

This man is causing more harm than good. What was he hoping to achieve ? We welcome people not judge…

He could have been praying for the women having the abortions as well as for the aborted babies. Praying for people isn’t judging them. We let God do that.

Besides, the man was in a wheelchair. What was he going to do – storm the place?

He obviously has good intentions , that I agree with.

I just think he went about things the wrong way.

Really? I have lived in the UK all my life, and cannot name one GOOD normal public activity which is banned (obviously, I am glad that bearbaiting, public executions and the like are now illegal).

Please name what good normal public activity is now banned or rather, not just one, you claimed ‘many’ such, so please name them.

Carrying an ordinary pocket-knife. Speaking out publicly against homosexuality. Speaking out publicly against Islam. For starters.

D

You consider those ‘good’ public actions? Nobody is going to be in trouble for speaking privately against Islam or homosexuality, but provoking unrest by ranting in a public place is not good.

Carrying an ordinary pocketknife is carrying an offensive weapon. What would anyone be carrying one for in a public place if not for violence?

You’ll have to come up with better examples.

The ability to pray silently on public land is banned. This has implications for free speech and is a chilling abuse of power

While an ordinary small to medium pocket knife can be used to injure someone, it is definitely not primarily an offensive weapon. As far as why carry one, there are a multitude of non-violent uses for a relatively sharp but small blade - opening packages, cutting a strip off of a shirt to form an impromptu bandage for someone bitten by an animal, cutting a stick and sharpening it to make a handy marshmallow roasting stick, carving a wooden duck for a child. And so forth. Is there a law against broken bricks? Tree limbs? Cricket bats? Belts to hold up trousers? All of these can be used to injure or kill someone, many more easily than any standard pocket knife.

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Makes me wonder how my parish priest gets away with saying the rosary to himself while he walks in the nearest public park, then.

Please document a case where someone was arrested merely for praying silently on public land.

I specify ‘merely’ silently praying, as opposed to cases where placards were held up, or an obstruction caused.

Certainly, violence isn’t the only, or even the primary purpose for which one would carry a pocket knife. Pocket knives can be used for all kinds of useful and practical purposes.

Suppose one runs across somebody whose parachute is caught in a tree and they’re dangling hopelessly? Wouldn’t that person welcome someone with a pocket knife to cut him down and free him?

Suppose one needs to cut the bindings on a package, or remove a thorn or splinter out of someone’s skin? And suppose a pocket knife is the only instrument one has for doing that? These things could occur in public – like on a hiking trail for the latter example.

What if someone is attacked in the street, and their only means of defending themselves is with a pocket knife? What is this person supposed to do? Allow the attack on him- or herself to go undefended, and perhaps wind up dead or seriously injured for not being allowed to fight back effectively?

We mustn’t attach evil intentions to everyone who carries a basic, all-purpose item like that. A lot of pocket knife units also contain other practical instruments that might come in handy for every day living, such as a corkscrew or a bottle opener. It could be argued that these, too, can be used as weapons, but are we to assume that most people who carry them do so only for the purpose of hurting someone?

I live in the U.S.A., where we still have basic freedoms like that – including the freedom to defend ourselves if attacked. This is considered an inalienable right.

Speaking out publicly against certain groups of people or certain behaviors probably isn’t the best idea. On the other hand, if someone sees a parent abusing their child publicly, wouldn’t it be their duty to speak out against child abuse?

The laws are quite different in the U.K. But, common sense still needs to prevail, and circumstances vary.

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