I’M gratified that finally our civic authorities have found the courage to clamp down on the scourge of delinquent praying by silent mobs of anti-abortion activists outside medical facilities. 

These gatherings are mainly comprised of elderly Catholic women – some of them brandishing rosary beads – and may look innocent enough. 

They don’t shout at anyone, there is no questionable signage, and there is no attempt to damage property. Don’t let this fool anyone, though. 

It’s the fact that they insist on being silent that is so chilling. For who knows what they’re saying to themselves? 

It might look as though they’re merely bearing witness to their faith which holds that all human life – from conception to death – is sacred. And that this is a protected characteristic of the Catholic religion. 

But what if they were actually praying about really dodgy stuff: like overthrowing the government in an armed uprising; forcing everyone to eat meat on Fridays; or compelling schoolchildren to learn Latin? 

And that’s just the problem right there: no-one will ever know what these elderly misanthropes are actually thinking. 

It would be far better if they were to begin marching up and down accompanied by drums and whistles. At least we’d know what they were about. People wouldn’t be so alarmed if they were to wear masks and call for the eradication of entire nation states. 

The Herald:

In happier times, Scotland had laws against the overt and persistent practice of Catholicism. 

This might not have seemed very liberal and democratic, but it certainly ensured that there would be no illegal gatherings of vengeful crusties praying in an intimidating manner about God alone knows what. 

It’s high time that these people were cleared off our streets. In modern, progressive and enlightened Scotland, there can be no room for irresponsible praying, suspicious contemplation, troublesome vexilla, and the deeply questionable refusal to be unpleasant and troublesome. 

Living on a prayer
REPORTS have also reached me that some of the more belligerent religious codgers have been witnessed mouthing prayers such as the Our Father and the Hail Mary. 

This has been confirmed by lip-reading experts. To the untrained and unsuspecting eye, these prayers might suggest nothing more than outdated, sentimental supplications that you sometimes see being muttered in gangster movies. 

In reality, however, they are sinister incantations that can cause mental trauma to the unwary. And don’t even get me started about how they promote outdated gender stereotypes. 

In almost every line there is a hidden meaning that poses a clear and present danger to modern, secular Scotland, and none more so than “thy Kingdom come”. What is this if not an incitement to overthrow the state? 

“Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven” – really? So, not only do they want to overthrow the state (probably violently), they want to replace it with a medieval dictatorship run by an invisible godhead. It’s actually very troubling that thousands of vulnerable children are being made to chant these vile runes in the nation’s schools.

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Aye right! Do you see what they’re doing there? This is little more than a crude exercise in passive aggression, aimed at making people feel edgy and anxious. “Deliver us from evil” – who are you calling evil, sunshine?  

Curtain calling
CERTAINLY, I’ve been known to dabble in Catholicism’s esoteric rites from time to time. But in modern Scotland I’ve learned to do so sparingly and in a controlled environment

I always ensure that the curtains are closed so that no-one can be troubled by the sight of me praying. And, besides, I can assure you that I only pray for things like peace in the Middle East and peace in Ukraine. Peace! Peace! Peace! 

Occasionally, I pray for the departed souls of loved ones and that I may be granted the fortitude to turn the other cheek to all the b******s and f*****s who disagree with me. 

And when I go to Mass, I always seek out churches set well back in their own grounds so that passers-by don’t become unnecessarily alarmed.

Food for thought
IN the same vein, I was also delighted that the Scottish Government have begun to take steps to stop poor people eating unhealthy food.

They’ve drawn up a list of errant comestibles like steak bakes and crispy pancake rolls, and all those other dodgy foodstuffs pedalled by the likes of Greggs. 

The Herald:

And don’t give me any of that nonsense about how meal deals are often the best way of low-income families to make ends meet. 

I’d be in favour of applying a sort of minimum unit pricing measure to make these types of foods expensive. 

This could force some people to abstain from eating for a few days. That would solve the obesity crisis and no mistake. 

And let’s not stop there. I’d be inclined to fit all fridges in areas of high deprivation with little devices that emit a mild electric shock if the fridge door is opened too many times in a 24-hour period. 

Come to think of it, you could fit CCTV devices in the homes of people known to be devout Catholics and connect them to the police mainframe. 

That way we could check that people are not praying in a disreputable manner.