A potentially misleading social media post from Gavin Ashenden
He was arrested whilst filming, that does not mean he was arrested for filming. There’s a big difference here. If Rev Peter Bell had been arrested for grooming offences whilst playing golf it does not mean he was arrested for playing golf.
Gavin Ashenden needs to word his FB statements better for greater clarity in the future, he would be advised to also research the information he’s putting out before posting it. This is the responsible thing to do.
Gavin Ashenden encouraging lobbying for a criminal’s release – sinful for a Bible believing Christian?
IF (keyword for emphasis, IF) Tommy Robinson was sentenced for contempt of court* and has potentially put a grooming trial to the subject of a mistrial appeal there’s a real issue here. Even if Gavin is posting out of ignorance it’s a big issue. And to encourage supporters to sign a petition to help free somebody possibly found guilty of this crime is just mind-boggling.
Romans 13 comes into mind here:
All of you must obey the government rulers. Everyone who rules was given the power to rule by God. And all those who rule now were given that power by God. 2 So anyone who is against the government is really against something God has commanded. Those who are against the government bring punishment on themselves. 3 People who do right don’t have to fear the rulers. But those who do wrong must fear them. Do you want to be free from fearing them? Then do only what is right, and they will praise you.
4 Rulers are God’s servants to help you. But if you do wrong, you have reason to be afraid. They have the power to punish, and they will use it. They are God’s servants to punish those who do wrong. 5 So you must obey the government, not just because you might be punished, but because you know it is the right thing to do.
Again, Gavin Ashenden needs to think about what he’s putting out there for public consumption to his, what I’d imagine to be, largely Christian audience.
The same applies, if not more vociferously, to the “ministry” linked to at least one member of CJ Davis’ St Nicholas Church (Tooting).
I assume neither Rev Dr Gavin Ashenden nor Lizzie Schofield (or whoever was tweeting for DCCI) watched Tommy Robinson’s FB livestream (who claimed to have had over around 10,000 viewers at one stage during his livestream) from outside the Leeds court. I did flick through it and I can tell you there were instances where I believe some people could possibly construe as prejudicing the trial verdict [I’m not saying the trial has been prejudiced, I’m just saying it could potentially be seen as having the ability to influence jury decision making – that of course will be at the discretion of the judge]. Sensitive trials are subject to reporting restrictions (this even applies to gonzo journalists like Tommy Robinson). The alleged grooming gang (which contains people with Sikh names also) that Tommy was trying to “report” on as a gonzo journalist is a very sensitive case and thus it’s extremely important people in and around the court follow rules to avoid prejudicing the proceedings and getting themselves into legal bother.
Note: Far Right Watch meant Tuesday not Monday.
To help understand how the serious ramifications of somebody breaking reporting protocol in and around trials have a read
Gavin Ashenden’s Problemtaic Retweets
I would urge Gavin to stop retweeting conspiracy theories. The reason why Tommy’s case cannot be reported has been outlined by the court notice. Gavin would know this if he spent time seeking it out rather than retweeting conspiracies from people like UKIP’s Gerard Batten
For Gavin’s information, Tommy has not disappeared for reporting on “Muslim” grooming gangs (the grooming gang contained folks with Sikh names iinm too – (I guess Gavin believes church groomers working together in their child sex abuses/cover ups Christian grooming gangs).
There’s a reporting ban on reporting the details of his sentence because it may prejudice the trials of the alleged groomers who are yet to receive their verdicts, the court seems to have thought putting a reporting ban on Tommy’s sentence until the remaining trials of the alleged groomers are concluded will help the administration of justice in those verdicts. This is not difficult to understand and his whereabouts are actually reported in newspapers and the same applies over his arrest (for perfectly understandable court restrictions his sentencing and details of such have not been reported).His whereabouts have been passed on via social media accounts with links to Tommy (Stephen Yaxley Lennon) Robinson. So much for the conspiratorial tweets about him disappearing, his location being unknown and whathaveyou yet you’re retweeting this stuff TODAY, Gavin? Come on, Gavin is meant to be an academic (he is!) but this is what he’s been reduced to after leaving the CofE and his job working with the royal family. Poorly thought retweets of conspiracy meat which the Far Right lap up in their echo chambers. Come on Gavin, you’re better than this! If this is the level of the conservative wing of the Anglican community then there is little surprise why they come across as impotent in society and why many Christian folks prefer to follow the likes of Michael Curry, Justin Welby and, let me troll a little, Joel Osteen! 🙂
Co-opting the battles of the Far Right and less right-wing nationalist movements is not going to make the conservative wing of the Anglicans appear robust and muscular. It’s going to deflate your credibility amongst the rest of the Anglicans and the rest of normal society. It could have the very likely effect of dividing the Anglican community further on racial and cultural lines.
You’re a grown man of some accomplishments and standing in your community. This is truly embarrassing for the Anglican community. Slaps wrist (metaphorically).
I’ve got to ask, CJ Davis, do you or St Nicholas Church support the freeing of Tommy Robinson? I would also ask you to be alert to the fact there is a purported screenshot of an old tweet from Tommy Robinson joking that all Pakistanis smell and he’s on record saying he wants to stop Polish immigration. Those are two large immigrant populations in London. Just be alert to the fact you and your church, if you do decide to come out and publicly support him, could be offending these two immigrant groups and others. I would strongly recommend you look into the way Tommy, essentially, demonises anybody who follows Islam as a potential grooming gang criminal (we’ve demonstrated to you and your flock or associates of your flock that grooming gangs have nothing to do with Islam – this has also been explained to Gavin Ashenden recently in an effort to get him more up to speed on Islam rather than falling in the pit of “Christian” anti-Islam mud slinging) if you are thinking of supporting Tommy Robinson (somebody found guilty of criminality) publicly – do you really think Jesus (even the Trinitarian church version of Jesus which I your church has traditionally believed strange things about Jesus such as he allowed the severe beating of female slaves and allowed the torture of women suspected of being unfaithful via the bitter water test) would want you to do that?
*Tommy is *speculated* (J) to have repeat-offended seen as he was previously spared jail for contempt of court (in Canterbury, Kent), and thus, had a suspended sentence over his head when he was arrested again outside a court (this time in Leeds, Yorkshire) for what was either breach of peace or another contempt of court charge (the footage shows the policeman saying breach of peace at the time of the arrest to take him into custody, stop his live feed and remove him away from the court – but that does not mean he was not sentenced for another contempt of court charge given his livefeed and his hounding of folks he believed to be defendants going in to the court). He was summarily given an immediate sentence (speculated to be 13 months – probably meaning he will serve about 6 and be put on parole for the rest if he behaves in prison). Very silly, Tommy! To risk something like that whilst having a suspended sentence hanging over you is just plain stupid. Tommy has a number of properties on rent and is well paid for his media and book sales. He will be OK financially. His followers, who aren’t as well off as him despite contributing to his donation drives, should certainly stop putting themselves in danger of being arrested. Hopefully Tommy can spend time self-reflecting in prison and come out as a more balanced person. Muslims should pray for Tommy Robinson, he needs love. For Tommy’s previous case and conviction (suspended) please see here
One last thing here for consideration for Christians is the cult of personality around Far Right and Islamophobic leaders. Hatred and antagonism to minority communities who are subject to malicious propaganda and portrayed as a fifth columns in Europe can grow cult like followings. A liberal (not the person behind the comment below) at CJ Davis’ church may even think Tommy is more moral than the church version of Jesus.
The Right Wing are a weird bunch at the best of times but if more Christians began jumping into that bed of unpleasantness I think we could see a stranger concoction develop than the current bunch of misfits in the Right Wing.
Muslims Condemning Grooming Gangs in Britain
Tommy Robinson on Islam and Muslims
Essential Reading for St Nicholas Church, Lizzie Schofield and Hatun Tash