Where does it say 'Blessed are the bullies'?

Following a long campaign, Green MSP Gillian Mackay’s Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) (Scotland) Bill, which will create buffer zones around health care settings where abortions are performed, was passed by the Scottish Parliament last week.

Read our report here 👈

The new law incensed one of our correspondents, who fumed that it “would criminalise free assembly and public prayer for a couple of dozen pro-life Catholic grandmothers”.

Read that letter here 👈

Today, however, a reader takes issue with that viewpoint.

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Alistair Easton of Edinburgh writes:

"It was inevitable that the vote to set up buffer zones round clinics providing abortions should be met with over-the-top outrage by a small, but vocal, section of society. Christopher McLaughlin writes that the move will 'criminalise free assembly and public prayer for a couple of dozen pro-life grandmothers'. The tiny buffer zones will take up a miniscule percentage of Scotland’s land area. Grandmothers, and anyone else wanting to pray in public, will have the rest of Scotland to pray in.

I have always understood that those who choose to believe in the Christian God also believe their God to be omnipresent. This surely means that there is no need for the pro-life grandmothers and other anti-abortion campaigners to travel to the buffer zones to pray. They can pray where their demonstration will not intimidate or upset a clinic’s staff and patients. That they want to pray in the buffer zones can only mean that they are not bothered that their actions could, or rather would, cause distress.

As a schoolboy I was made to learn by heart the Beatitudes. I must have been taught an abridged version as, while I remember 'blessed are the meek', I have no memory of 'blessed are the bullies'."