The British House of Commons has passed what they have called the Public Order Bill, the synopsis of which reads:
A Bill to make provision for new offences relating to public order; to make provision about stop and search powers; to make provision about the exercise of police functions relating to public order; to make provision about proceedings by the Secretary of State relating to protest-related activities; to make provision about serious disruption prevention orders; and for connected purposes.
Said bill also introduces “buffer zones around abortion clinics and hospitals in England and Wales where it would be an offence to interfere, intimidate or harass women accessing or people providing abortion services.” Concerned lawmakers worried that silent prayer in these so-called buffer zones would be outlawed, so they introduced an amendment to allow silent prayer in said areas. Such a noble effort went to no avail as the amendment was defeated 299-183. Lawmaker Andrew Lewer stated, “This section of the Public Order Bill is leading us into the territory of thought crimes and creates unprecedented interference with the rights to freedom of speech and thought in the UK.” And former minister, Sir John Hayes said, “We now have people arrested for praying, interrogated by the police, asked what they’re praying about, what they’re thinking. This is dystopian. It’s like a mix of Huxley, Philip Dick and all that. It is unthinkable that we should be living in a society where what people think has become a matter of police interest.”
Supporters argued that protests and prayer are allowed outside an abortion clinic’s buffer zone, so any complaint of displaced rights is just so much hyperbole. Nonetheless, any person within said buffer zone who is thinking about soccer, grocery shopping or trying to remember their ATM pin gets a pass. It’s only if you’re thinking about God and mentally talking to Him that you’ll get hit with a heavy fine, which increases with repeated offenses. So, if a bobby sees any person standing motionless within an abortion clinic’s buffer zone, he has the authority to ask the potential offender what he or she is thinking about. If the person says, “My boyfriend,” no problem. Secular thoughts are fine, religious ones aren’t. Ladies and gentlemen, 1984 is now.
Lawmakers could have ensured unobstructed physical access to any clinic without criminalizing prayer, but sanity cannot be expected out of religious bigots. With increasing attacks from the Left on free speech, this indicates all too clearly that leftists not only want to muzzle your mouth, they want to muzzle your brain.