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IRA Sypathiser and Apologist Tries to Force South Armagh Victims into Forgiveness and Reconciliation

It has come to the attention of FAIR that the so-called “Rev” Andrew Rawding continues his propaganda, in which he apologises and forgives IRA killers. His feelings on IRA terrorism first came to light in the Autumn of 2004 and after the press highlighting his outrageous statements, he apologised for what he had said. Unfortunately it would appear that he is not sorry for these initial statements as he continues to spout the same abhorrent lies about IRA killers, as recently as yesterday (Remembrance Sunday).

In a previous radio interview he described the murderous terrorists of the IRA as “soldiers” and said “he would not use the term enemies with reference to them.” The following is an extract of his apology after his statements in 2004:

"I never intended to hurt anyone. In fact, I was hoping to contribute to a healing process," said Mr Rawding, now an Anglican curate. "If the perception was that I was con- doning kllings, that was never the case. "God opposes murder whether the perpetrator is Irish, British or whatever, but He also reaches out to changepeople's hearts. He loves the sinner but hates the sin. "Many former English soldiers think of the IRA as a professional and deadly army. "Hence, I still think of them as soldierswhich, as an ex-soldier myself, is whatI can identify with. "I still reach out in peace to buildbridges with south Armagh as it has hadsuch hostility to England. "For English soldiers on short tours,it often seemed like a battle fought frombarracks against a foreign army. "In contrast, I know local securityforces lived with the constant threat ofdeath throughout their civilian livestoo. "I acknowledge my limited understanding of the Troubles but hope for afuture of healing and respect between the communities."

Given the Republican propaganda this man has soaked up, we wonder what other elements of republican folklore he will come out with in future. As a so-called “Reverend”, he apologised for his previous comments, but now continues to dispense the same comments for which he has already apologised for!

As “Rev” Rawding should know, the Bible forgives those that are repentant. The IRA scum who carried out mass murders in South Armagh have never repented, or handed themselves over to authorities for their crimes.

The definition of terrorism is as follows: - The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons. In light of this definition, it is quite clear that the threat of terrorism is still being used by the very same IRA men that Rawding forgives, to terrorise people and security personnel in South Armagh. Therefore the implications are that we cannot forgive such men, that still retain the right to use terrorism to their political ideological ends.

Rawding was to preach at a remembrance service yesterday for those killed by these same “soldiers” (IRA terrorist scum) and many of the families in attendance were completely disgusted at his attendance, never mind having him preaching. Some of the families actually opposed him preaching. His mindless statements and misguided views on the theological doctrines of forgiveness left many victims feeling appalled and sickened. They are an insult to the innocent lives that have been lost due to IRA terrorism and the sacrifice made by victims who served our country in South Armagh and all over Northern Ireland.

We at FAIR, will continue to call these IRA men what they are, which is a bunch of bloodthirsty killers and we call on the UDR Association to make their views known on the issue of the IRA killers being soldiers, the same as themselves and their comrades who gave their lives over the last 35 years. If it is the case that the service organisers support Rawdings’ comments, then a number of the families of the victims will have to reconsider the organisation of the Remembrance service in future.


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