Two Democratic senators, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Kamala Harris of California, recently raised questions about Omaha-based attorney Brian Beuscher, who has been nominated for a judgeship on the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska. Their main concern: Beuscher is a member of the Catholic service organization Knights of Columbus, which these Democrats insist has taken a number of extreme positions.
Since I have deep ties to Omaha, I was concerned that such an extremist organization could exist right under my nose. I decided to use my contacts and do an investigation into this mysterious, problematic group.
The first thing I learned: this group is an intersectionalist nightmare. It is made up of 100 percent Catholic men. I was not able to find any members who were Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or Sikh. Unfortunately, I learned that this lack of diversity affected every aspect of what they do.
This group likes to say that they are devoted to service. What I found, though, is that they often prey on some of our most vulnerable. One member I talked to commits to drive some elderly community members to Catholic Mass every week. Obviously, he viewed this as a way to brainwash some of our most vulnerable.
On the other side of the spectrum, the Knights participate in a number of outreach programs focused on high school students. I was not able to learn the content of these attempts at indoctrination, but one can only guess.
I tried, but failed, to find evidence of their attempts to round up LGBTQ citizens or bar women from seeking abortions. But I was able to learn about some of their more public efforts. Every year, they have a basketball free-throw competition. A minimal fee ($1-$2) is charged for admission, and 100 percent of the proceeds go to local schools.
This ableist display shocked the senses. The declared winner each year is someone able to perform an act of athleticism. They make no compromises for those less physically able.
Every week, the Knights bake and sell soda bread to raise money, again for local schools. At first I cheered the sight of these men (again, they are all men) baking, seemingly overturning gender roles. But, I soon recognized that was the result of my own privilege. In actuality, what I was seeing was men appropriating a traditionally female space.
Every week, the Knights set out a dish of Tootsie Roll candies while asking for donations. I found this perhaps the most problematic aspect of their so-called service. The disparate impact of diabetes is well-known, yet clearly means nothing to this extremist group who ply their victims with thousands of calories. Between the soda bread and the Tootsie Rolls, this reporter found no gluten-free options offered by the Knights.
In fact, their association with groups committed to poisoning our inner cities is well-known. The Knight I spoke with reported an annual pancake breakfast, the proceeds of which go to the Ronald McDonald House. While nominally a charitable group that gives homes to families of seriously ill children while these children have long hospital stays, in reality the Ronald McDonald House is nothing more than advertising for a capitalist institution peddling unhealthy products to those with few other options.
In all seriousness, Hirono and Harris are exhibiting the latest in a troubling trend. Anti-religion bigotry is becoming more and more accepted on the left. Last year, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, objected to judge Amy Barrett on the basis of her religion, saying “The dogma lives loudly within you.”
Feinstein was mildly questioned about her bigotry by the mainstream media at the time. But it is no surprise that a year later Hirono and Harris’s attack on a Catholic organization like the KOC has received little pushback from their mainstream media allies.
Here’s a quick history lesson for the two senators who like to style themselves champions for women and immigrants. The Knight of Columbus was founded in 1882 to address the United States’ prevalent anti-Catholic bigotry. Back then, Catholics, most of whom were poor immigrants, were “regularly excluded from labor unions and other organizations that provided social services.”
As a priest in a largely immigrant community, Father Michael J. McGivney saw the rest of society refuse to care for Catholic immigrants’ widows and orphans when the breadwinner of the household died, simply because of their faith. So he founded KOC to serve the most vulnerable women and children after they lost husbands and fathers.
More than 100 years later, KOC has expanded its charitable outreach to many corners of our society. In the last 10 years alone, KOC donated $1.1 billion in charitable contributions and performed more than 68 million man hours of voluntary service.
The KOC doesn’t serve Catholics only. In fact, “More than $382 million has been given over the past three decades to groups and programs that support the intellectually and physically disabled. One of the largest recipients of funds in this area is the Special Olympics.” The only thing extreme about KOC is their generosity.
Unfortunately, historical truth and charitable work don’t matter much in the eyes of the left. From the anti-Semitism of the Women’s March to the state of Colorado’s attempts to destroy cake baker Jack Phillips to the anti-Catholicism of a growing percentage of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, anti-religion bigotry seems to be the last accepted prejudice.