Wednesday, February 5, 2014

#904: Patrick J. Mahoney

Patrick J. Mahoney is the director of the D.C.-based Christian Defense Coalition, an organization that is – as the name implies – devoted to the really important issues, addressing them with reason, deep thought, and sensitivity to other perspectives. “Sadly,” says Mahoney, “we are seeing an erosion of expressions of faith from the public square” – which is, of course CDC’s primary concern – and he takes the fact that other people aren’t expressing their religious faith with deep emphasis at every opportunity to mean that his First Amendment rights are being violated. That is, disagreeing with Mahoney is a violation of Mahoney’s freedom of speech – after all, he is deeply religious, and the First Amendment means that you are legally obliged to agree with him and, especially, not ignore him. Mahoney and the CDC have hence for a long time been involved in various campaigns to force religion into the public sphere. In 2005, for instance, Mahoney and Reverend Rob Schenck visited the ACLU headquarters to hand-deliver more than 20,000 petitions demanding that the left-leaning liberal attack group back off of terrorizing communities and individuals who seek to affirm America’s Judeo-Christian values. “The ACLU is this generation’s Ku Klux Klan,” said Schenck. There are people in the US who actually nod in agreement to that assertion.

Another pet topic of CDC is politics. Mahoney and his gang were, for instance, rather miffed about Obamacare, and during the Supreme Court treatment of the issue in 2012 Mahoney were calling for “people from all America to come to Supreme Court and ‘encircle it with prayer’ […] as we cry out to God for justice, human rights and religious freedom.” (Keeping in mind how he understands “freedom” one may also approximately derive how Mahoney understands “human rights” and “justice” as well.”) In other words, Mahoney was praying for Obamacare to be unconstitutional, suggesting once again that he has a rather dim understanding of how the Constitution is supposed to work, even over and above the fact that he takes the Constitution and his personal religious beliefs to be equivalent and interchangeable.

It is worth pointing out that Mahoney’s disappointment with Obamacare means that his original ploy didn’t work: when Obama (whom Mahoney claims is lying about his Christian faith) was elected, Mahoney and Schenk anointed the door through which Obama would pass when he took the stage for his inauguration in order to magically prevent him from doing anything Mahoney/God didn’t like (also here).

This is pretty illuminating with regard to how Mahoney deals with situations where the evidence doesn’t line up with his beliefs.

Diagnosis: Fully unable to discern the possibility of a distinction between “I believe that p”, “p is a fact”, and “Christianity entails that p”. The results are predictably silly, though Mahoney possesses sufficient influence to be able to use those results to consequences of real nastiness.

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