Where Is The Nashville Manifesto? – OpEd


One month ago today, Audrey Hale, a 28-year-old female (who misidentified herself as a male), shot and killed six innocent people in Nashville, Tennessee. The local police said she was planning the attack “over a period of months,” and that she had studied other mass murderers. They emphasized that the attack was “calculated and planned.” Importantly, they found a manifesto that laid bare her thinking.

The Nashville police said they would make public the manifesto as soon as their investigation was completed. They have not done so. All they have said is that the Christian school, Covenant School, and the church, were targeted; she once attended Covenant. “There’s some belief that there was some resentment for having to go to that school,” said Police Chief John Drake.

So where’s the manifesto? Who’s holding it back? What’s driving this decision?

According to Rep. Tim Burchett, a Republican from Tennessee, it’s not the cops who are balking—it’s the FBI. Furthermore, Nashville Council member Courtney Johnston has said the FBI has already said it would not authorize the release of the manifesto in its entirety.

This smacks of politics. It stinks to high heaven.

We know that media outlets, such as NBC, have tried to evade any mention of the transgender status of the mass murderer. We know that Jordan Budd, who runs Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere, has said, “It [the manifesto] should not be published.” We know that some transgender activists have threatened violence. Is this what the FBI is giving in to?

Criminal justice professor Joseph Giacalone opines that the FBI is afraid that “there is something in there [the manifesto] that is truly damaging for the transgender community,” and that “they are hesitant to do it because they are afraid of a violent backlash against that protected class of people.”

He’s right. But that does not justify censoring the manifesto.

The public has a right to know what motivated Hale. If she indeed was an anti-Christian bigot, as many sexually confused people are, then we need to know it. Quite frankly, there is a violent element in transgender circles, and Christians need to know if others are also targeting them. Hale may have operated alone, but was she inspired by hate speech voiced by transgender activists?

If the manifesto were made public, and innocent transgender persons were threatened or attacked, the guilty should to be arrested and punished. But this is no excuse for not being transparent.

Unfortunately, Christians, especially Catholics, have reason to worry about the top brass in the FBI. After first monitoring traditional Catholics who prefer the Latin Mass, we recently learned that the agency was spying on mainline Catholics.

We also have to ask tough questions. Given this situation, are we to believe that if a crazed Catholic were to blow up an abortion clinic, killing six people, and law enforcement found a manifesto detailing his motive, that the FBI would censor its release? Or would it be more likely to make it public?

The ruling class is increasingly becoming the enemy of the people. We need one standard of justice for everyone. And that means, among other things, that Hale’s manifesto must be made public in its entirety, and with dispatch.

William Donohue

William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

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