Yesterday on Twitter saw a Catholic GP being forced to close down his Twitter account following an episode of online bullying which resulted in his being reported to the NHS as well as the GMC, for the heinous crime of referring to the number of abortions in the UK as ‘the slaughter of babies’.
I witnessed the whole incident, having previously blocked those responsible – there is a posse of Irish pro-abortion advocates on Twitter, who swoop on every single Tweeter who dares to express an opinion upon the current state of affairs in Ireland. Over the past few weeks every single time I have said anything about abortion and Ireland in the same 140 characters, a persistent gang has appeared from out of the blue to attack with insult and invective. Yesterday’s ‘debate’ saw them swooping in with the same discredited narrative regarding the death of Savita Halappanavar, and then going on to attack me, a non Irish national for daring to defend the rights of the unborn in another country.
There’s nothing more of a disincentive in terms of engaging on Twitter to scroll down one’s mentions column and see numerous rants on the same subject, by the same few determined people, chock full of angry and impassioned hypberbole, together with personal insult. Besides which those who seek to discredit an international symposium of gynaecologists as being ‘liars’ on the basis that one disagrees with their conclusions and who decry Ireland’s outstanding maternal death rates as being ‘lies’, don’t really incline one to do anything other than block. One should note, nonetheless, that these are the same people who repeatedly attacked those who they deemed to be not medically qualified and therefore unable to comment, but who repeatedly seized on the subjective opinion of openly pro-choice expert Dr Boylan as being definitive medical fact in the Savita inquest, despite the fact that 11 other experts publicly disassociated themselves from his stance. Clearly they were obviously lying too.
I tweeted a few responses, realised this was a futile exchange, hit the block button repeatedly, switched off the phone and trundled off to the park with the children to make the most of the Bank Holiday sunshine. Yet another day, yet another Twitter spat?
Not quite. Later on that evening I discovered that one of my followers, a Catholic GP had joined in the fray, referring to UK interest in the Ireland abortion debate, as having seen almost 200,000 babies slaughtered here on an annual basis and not wanting Ireland to go down the same route. Here’s what he said.
The pro-aborts took issue with the fact he had referred to unborn children as babies and went for the jugular, causing him some considerable concern. (Apologies for the blurry images, I’ve deliberately obscured identities).
The pro-aborts reported him both to his employers at the NHS and the GMC, because they determined that referring to the unborn as ‘babies’ and by the almost 200,000 abortions that occur in the UK on an annual basis, he was in fact taunting women who had abortions as being ‘baby slaughterers’, and there was thus legitimate cause for concern that he could be taunting women patients.
What these so-called advocates of science and reason could not cope with was the presence of a medic, undermining their rhetoric about the unborn, hence they threw their toys out of the pram and decided to put his job in jeopardy or at least attempt to. On seeing that he had deleted his account, one therefore relented slightly and said that she had withdrawn all her tweets to the NHS. How very generous.
Job done. Serves him right. Hopefully he’ll think twice about expressing the fact that as a doctor he opposes abortion in public ever again. That’s another one closed down. These people need to be an example of.
Of course let’s remember that at least two of these tweeters were those who had expressed apoplexy that a UK tweeter might engage with the political situation in Ireland, yet had no compunction reporting an UK doctor to his professional body on the basis of a firmly expressed view, which was by the way, perfectly in accordance with the GMC guidelines on how medics should use social media. These guidelines specifically encourage doctors to take part in public health and policy decisions as well saying that doctors should identify themselves.
All of which went above the heads of the pro-aborts who said that he was fair game. He had no right expressing his own opinion, which was clearly religiously based.
But all of this was his own fault.
Another Tweeter joined in the fray to defend said GP. So enraged were these advocates that someone else dared to disagree with them, that they then felt compelled to hunt down this interlocutor, believing it to be the GP’s wife. I mean. How dare she go on Twitter to defend her husband who is having his professional competence and employment threatened on the basis of expressing a point of view and for stating that he was a Catholic GP in his bio. Oh the audacity, let’s find out all about her too, shall we. Let’s track down her Facebook profile.
At which point I begin to call out their behaviour.
Because this sort of probing into one’s family life and personal details is the behaviour of a reasonable and rational person.
Ben has written about this and it would seem he is right. Catholics need to be increasingly prepared to defend themselves from these sort of threats and attacks if they expound their views on a public forum and particularly if they are perceived to be in a position of influence.
These people are unrepentant this morning, claiming that this GP deserved to be reported for taunting women as being ‘baby slaughterers’ and telling others, such as @battlementclare that they would not hesitate to report her too, if she were still a practicing midwife, or indeed anyone who was involved in medicine and vocalised pro-life views.
I don’t generally like to go down the whole ‘persecuted Christians’ schtick. But not once in this entire debate, did either myself or the GP allude to God, yet it was the pro-aborts who kept bringing Him into the discussion as being a reason why we must not be taken seriously or listened to. Our arguments were wholly secular, though both of us are openly Catholic and proud to profess ourselves as such.
Losing one’s job may not seem to be in the same league as being thrown to the lions or physically tortured, beaten and killed as a result of one’s beliefs and faith. But being disbarred from a particular profession unless one agrees never ever to voice one’s own views, being sacked and unable to support one’s family, being ostracised and having one’s family targeted as a result, brings us a step closer.
Let us hope that the GP and his family take comfort from the recent words of Pope Francis. They need our prayers.
“[The apostles’] faith was based on so powerful and personal an experience of Christ crucified and risen, that they were not afraid of anything or anyone, and even saw their persecution as a badge of honor, that made them capable of following in the footsteps of Jesus and to be like Him, bearing witness with their lives,”
“… and in these times, there are many Christians who suffer persecution, a great many, in many countries: let us pray for them from our heart, with love, that they might feel the living and comforting presence of the Risen Lord.”
This is how it starts.