The director of the Christian Defense Coalition told The Star News Network in an interview Friday it is crucial that the FBI release The Covenant School shooter Audrey Hale’s manifesto to the public, especially in the wake of the “scathing report” by Special Counsel John Durham that has led to a firestorm over the federal law enforcement agency’s integrity and analysis.
“There have been many stories that the local Nashville Police Department is turning much of the manifesto and detailed writings of Audrey Hale over to the FBI, for analysis, to try to get a sense of a profile, any issues that might help ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again,” Rev. Patrick Mahoney said and explained his concerns:
And here’s the struggle I think that many Christian ministers and leaders are having with that. So, if we are allowing the FBI to sort of decide, was there a Christian bias in the shooting, I mean, when you look at it on the surface, it was at a Christian school connected to a Presbyterian church, and I think it’s important, and I know many Christian leaders are talking about, we are now two months into the tragic shooting, and not one piece of information has leaked about the motivation about what was Hale thinking when committing this crime. And it’s really troubling, that the lead on determining that is the FBI and I just want to read this statement from Special Counsel Durham’s report, which I think was very telling, and I’m quoting, “Senior FBI personnel displayed a serious lack of analytical rigor toward the information they received.”
“We’re depending on that federal law enforcement agency to determine if this shooting was centered in bias, bigotry or hatred against Christians, the same FBI that is investigating Catholic churches, the same FBI that is going after people of faith, the same FBI that is going after pro-life Christians?” Mahoney questioned. “There is absolutely zero confidence, especially after the Durham report, to motivate the Christian community to believe that they will receive an objective and honest analysis of what is, what might have been, the motivation of Audrey Hale in the shootings.”
The Christian social, political, and human rights activist, who is an ordained minister in the Reformed Presbyterian Church, continued on what the Durham report has exposed and how the revelations point to a critical need to release the shooter’s manifesto and writings:
The FBI has been compromised. It’s been politically weaponized, and we see clear evidence of that against people of faith. The thing that really hit me was regarding the double standard of the federal government toward this shooting with other shootings against faith groups. When four Muslims were shot in 2022 – it ended up turning out not to be a hate crime, it was another Muslim man who shot four Muslim men and there were other issues involved, had nothing to do with their faith. But, here’s what President Biden said: “I am angered and saddened by the horrific killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque.” So, first of all, he addresses that they were Muslims. Then, “while we await a full investigation, my prayers are with the victims’ families. And my administration stands strongly with the Muslim community. These hateful attacks have no place in America.”
I am angered and saddened by the horrific killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque. While we await a full investigation, my prayers are with the victims’ families, and my Administration stands strongly with the Muslim community.
These hateful attacks have no place in America.
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 7, 2022
“Well in the Christian faith community, here’s what we would have liked to see the president say, after The Covenant School shooting,” Mahoney said. “We would like to see this: ‘I am angered and saddened by the horrific killing of six Christians in Nashville. While we await a full investigation, my prayers are with the victims’ families.’”
“Do you know that in President Biden’s comments after the school shooting, he never offered prayers for the victim’s families?” the Christian leader said. “And ‘my administration stands strongly with’ – we would love to see the Biden administration say ‘the Christian community.’”
Mahoney explained further:
This was an attack at a church complex with a Christian school. And the president does not even address that fact, or even link the possibility that this might have been a faith-based attack. So, we know on several levels, struggle with the fact, will there even be an independent and open investigation if there was a hate crime against the Christian community. And we have no trust – zero – that the FBI will provide that, so that is why the manifesto and writings of Audrey Hale have to be released to the public.
In response to the story that the parents of the students killed in the shooting have filed a motion requesting that Hale’s writings not be released, Mahoney responded:
First of all, we love you, we are praying for you, we stand with you. But while you will never get your children back, the information and data that will be gleaned from these writings may provide us insight to ensure that a school shooting like this will never happen again. And also provide information whether these students and teachers were targeted because of faith. So, I think it’s important, while we must have compassion for the parents, and all those who were so impacted by the shooting, this information is important to give us insight in to why this happened and how we can prevent it in the future. And again, there’s no confidence that the FBI or the Department of Justice, or the Biden administration will provide us with that.
Mahoney shared with The Star News Network he likes to compare how the federal government responds across similar situations:
In similar situations, this manifesto would have already been out. I mean, we’re now two months – it would have already been released. How is it possible that the highest profilers and investigative agency in America had pages and pages of a manifesto and detailed journals, and still, two months later, we don’t even have any insight into the motivation of the shooter when it was targeted at a Christian school and church? I mean, that’s where you have to look there, and then move out. If a mosque is attacked, you have to look at that, if African Americans are attacked, you have to look at that. If a church school and a Christian school is attacked, you have to begin at that place. And it seems like the government is hesitant on that and it’s very troubling.
“So, in light of the Durham report, it’s even more incumbent that these documents are released publicly, because I, and so many other Christian leaders, will have no trust if the FBI releases a report that says it was not a hate crime against the Christian faith community.”
According to his bio, in September of 1992, Mahoney moved to the Washington, D.C. area, where he assumed the position as director of the Christian Defense Coalition, “a national ministry committed to challenging Christians to live their faith out in the public square.”
In 2015, he established the Church on the Hill in the nation’s capital, “a faith community established on prayer, worship, public engagement, and justice.”
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