Posts

On the Knights’ Stand…

Picking up trash and donating school supplies used to be considered good deeds. Now, they could disqualify you from public service! That’s the absurd conclusion of at least two Democratic senators, who are holding one judicial nominee hostage for daring to help a couple of Catholic charities.

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) aren’t exactly champions of religious liberty. After skewering Amy Coney Barrett, Russell Vought, and other nominees of faith, it probably shouldn’t surprise anyone that Brian Buescher, the president’s pick for U.S. District Judge, was next on the Democrats’ hit list. During his hearing in late November, the liberal duo insinuated that anyone who’s a member of a Catholic organization is incapable of being “fair or impartial.” “[Your beliefs] don’t suddenly go away just because you become a judge,” Hirono argued.

But what are those “extreme” beliefs Hirono is talking about? Social service, for one. As the Knights of Columbus explained in an open letter to both senators, what’s so objectionable about giving away more than $4,000 worth of coats to needy children or collecting diapers to mothers in need? There’s nothing nefarious or controversial about donating pop tabs to help the developmentally disabled or providing an ultrasound to a clinic — unless you’re a U.S. senator bent on religious intolerance.

“We recently read about statements which expressed the fear that the Knights of Columbus held many extreme beliefs,” the organization wrote. “It is our great pleasure to assure you that this fear is not grounded in any truth. The Knights of Columbus in general, and O’Boyle Council in particular, are dedicated to the three fundamental principles of charity, unity, and fraternity.” The group went on to explain all of the good the Knights are doing for the local community. “We hope this list of activities help to assure you that we are simply a group aiming to do God’s work while building friendships.”

Despite those assurances, Hirono asked in a follow-up questionnaire of Buescher if he would quit the Knights of Columbus. After all, she wrote, “it was reportedly one of the top contributors to California’s Proposition 8 campaign to ban same-sex marriage.” Senator Harris followed suit, demanding to know if the Nebraskan was aware of the group’s fanatical pro-life and pro-marriage positions.

But what’s so radical about an opinion that the plurality of Americans hold? Based on last November’s exit polling (of primarily Democratic-leaning voters), man-woman marriage is still the predominate view (48-45 percent) in America! If anyone’s extreme, it’s the increasingly anti-Catholic Democratic Party, who believes that the only people who are fit to hold down a job in this country are the men and women who reject the Bible’s teachings.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who’s had enough of the far-Left’s religious tests, blasted his colleagues for trying to undermine Buescher’s qualifications with another faith-based witch-hunt. “Hopefully, in the eyes of Democrats, you are not disqualified to be a judge because of your religious affiliations and beliefs.” Later, he promised that he and the rest of the Senate majority “will not tolerate disqualifying judicial nominees because of charitable works and personal religious opinions.”

With two more senators in his column heading into 2019, President Trump has a chance to add even more solid constructionists to the bench. Let’s just hope that none of them have to go through what so many nominees already have: a bigoted interrogation meant to chase Christians out of public service. America was founded on faith predominately by people of faith. It’s time for Democrats to stop their religious test.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


RELATED ARTICLES:

Today in Congress: Nancy Drew the Gavel

Military at Ease with Trump Policy

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images by FRC is republished with permission.

Majority of Americans Say Christians Face Genocide in Middle East

marist-poll-isis400NEW HAVEN, Connecticut /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — By a wide margin, most Americans agree with the presidential candidates of both parties in calling ISIS’ atrocities against Christians in the Middle East “genocide,” according to a Knight of Columbus-Marist poll conducted this month.

Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee and Martin O’Malley have all called the situation genocide.

By almost 20 points, 55 percent to 36 percent, Americans agree that this targeting of Christians and other religious minorities meets the U.N. definition of genocide.

In addition, nearly 6 in 10 Americans (59 percent), say they have heard “a great deal” or “a good amount” about the targeting of Christians and other religious minorities in the region by ISIS.

“The American people, together with presidential candidates and elected officials of both political parties agree that Christians and other religious minorities are facing genocide in the Middle East,” said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson. “With such a bi-partisan consensus, inaction on a declaration of genocide by Congress and the State Department is unconscionable. An entire year has gone by with their silence. The time for action is now – while those being persecuted can still be saved.”

The survey came shortly after a broad coalition of religious leaders, researchers and scholars sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, urging – based on the overwhelming evidence of their targeting in Iraq and Syria– that Christians be included in any determination of genocide made by the State Department.

In addition, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recently released a statement urging the State Department to declare what is happening to religious minorities in the region as genocide.

Pope Francis has called the situation genocide as well. During his trip to Bolivia, he stated, “Today we are dismayed to see how in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world many of our brothers and sisters are persecuted, tortured and killed for their faith in Jesus. … A form of genocide is taking place, and it must end.”

Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, in a letter has also urged Congress to pass the “Genocide” resolution, H.Con.Res. 75.

The survey of 1,517 adults was conducted Dec. 1-7, 2015, by The Marist Poll sponsored and funded in partnership with The Knights of Columbus. Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the continental United States were interviewed in English or Spanish by (landline and cellular) telephone, using live interviewers. Results are statistically significant within +2.5 percentage points.

Traditional Catholics outraged that Knights of Columbus to march in “pro-gay” Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Parade is Sunday. Take action right now, say Catholic activists!

It’s happening across America. But in Boston they’re fighting back . . .

Catholics in Boston and across the country are livid that the Massachusetts State Knights of Columbus (K of C), the prominent Catholic men’s organization, has announced that it will and have a float and also march in the newly “gay inclusive” Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade this Sunday, March 15.

Homosexual group OUTVETS will now be marching in the “Catholic” St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston this Sunday. [Boston Herald photo.]

C.J. Doyle, head of the Boston-based Catholic Action League has called it a “betrayal” and a “dishonor to St. Patrick” and is urging Catholics around the country to contact the K of C and demand they rescind their decision (See below)

The announcement by the K of C came after the parade’s 25-year landmark float and accompanying marchers from a religious Catholic school dropped out because of the addition of a homosexual group to the parade. A number of other participant groups have also dropped out.

Boston parade had history of standing firm to Catholic values

Up until now, Boston has been the only St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the country not to cave in to pressure and allow homosexual groups to march. In 1995, after a huge legal battle with the Massachusetts liberal political establishment, the Allied War Veterans Council, which runs the Boston annual parade, won a 9-0 US Supreme Court decision giving them the right to exclude homosexual-themed groups – or anyone – from their parade.

And they’d held their ground. Last year, as MassResistance reported Boston Mayor Marty Walsh put enormous pressure on the Council to relent on their own, but they refused to give in. As expected, the Mayor and his political allies boycotted the parade.

But the Mayor, a former union organizer, knows a thing or two about pressure tactics. This year the Mayor’s increased pressure on the Council leadership was successful. But even then, the Council Commander only had a minority of the members supporting this. As we reported, they had to use dishonest and deceitful tactics to exclude the majority of members when they voted to allow the homosexual group OutVets to march in December. And they used the same tacts again in January when the majority tried ro orchestrate a re-vote.

Thus, the Mayor has now announced that he would be marching in the parade, has invited his political allies to march, and has become a big supporter of the event..

Major float and band from Catholic school pulls out of parade

For 25 years, the giant float of St. Patrick from the Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Still River, MA, along with the school’s band, has been the hallmark of the annual parade. Almost immediately after the December vote to allow the “gay” contingent, the school’s principal, Br. Thomas Dalton, made it clear that the school would pull out of the parade if that happened.


The float of St. Patrick by the Immaculate Heart of Mary school has been synomyous with the South Boston Parade for 25 years. But this year the’re holding to their Catholic principles and not participating in a “gay” parade. [MassRsistance photo]

Br. Dalton later sent out a press release clearly stating his reasoning on the matter:

Catholics are forbidden to sponsor or even participate in an event which openly promotes unnatural and immoral behavior. The Church will never accept nor condone same sex marriage and the homosexual life style.

For 25 years the school has participated in the parade dedicated to Saint Patrick and believes that to have a float with his representation leading a group openly promoting and proud of its homosexual identity would draw down the ire of this great patron of the Boston Archdiocese. Saint Patrick stands with Saint Paul in condemning the sin of sodomy. The name of Saint Patrick should be dropped from the parade as he would have nothing to do with the likes of it today.”

According to news reports, several other scheduled participants of the parade have also dropped out, further dwindling the marchers. But the loss of the iconic St. Patrick float was unquestionably a loss to the Catholic character of the parade.

Knights of Columbus suddenly joins the parade

On Feb. 26, three weeks before the parade date, the State Deputy of the Knights, Russell Steinback, sent the following email to the K of C members:

From: “Mass K of C State office”
Date: Feb 26, 2015 1:25:58 PM
Subject: FW: Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade
To: “Mass K of C State office” <state.office@masskofc.org>

The State Board will have a float and will march in the Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday March 15th.   This will be a way for the Knights of Columbus to be recognized.

Anyone wishing to march with the Massachusetts State Council Knights of Columbus and the State Board is more than welcome to march but we need to know exactly how many will be marching to plan on logistics.   Please let the State Office know ASAP if you or your council (please specify the number) will be able to march with us.

To many, this sudden appearance seemed much too convenient to be a coincidence. Going back decades, no one could remember the Knights being in the parade at all. It seemed to have the fingerprints of the political establishment all over it, particularly the Mayor of Boston

Catholics across the state immediately began to call the State Office – and even Steinback’s home – to complain bitterly. But Steinback steadfastly refused to relent. And he fired back that no one was bothering to get his side of the story.

So on Monday, MassResistance phoned Russell Steinback and asked him about it.

The K of C talks to MassResistance

Steinback was adamant. He told us that it was all a coincidence. “The only reason that we’re marching is that it’s a great showcase for all the great works we do,” he said. He listed the charitable causes that the Knights are involved with, and that being in the parade was a way to attract more members. “I want people in Boston to know what we do. We want to raise membership. There’s no secret agenda,” he told us.

We asked him why he made the announcement just three weeks before the event. He said he had been thinking about it since July.

We asked him if he understood why so many Catholics are angry at him. “I don’t know,” he told us.

We read him Br. Dalton’s quote, “Catholics are forbidden to sponsor or even participate in an event which openly promotes unnatural and immoral behavior.”We asked him if he agrees with it.

“They have their Catholic beliefs and I have my beliefs,” Steinback answered. He wouldn’t elaborate beyond that. And he reiterated that he wasn’t changing his mind about the Knights of Columbus being in the parade.

Sure enough, on Wednesday evening we were notified that Steinbeck had sent out another email to his statewide members, again inviting them to come and march in the parade on Sunday – and to be sure and bring their families to this “family friendly” event!

Steinback has also posted a statement on their website about their participation in the parade, apparently as a result of the pressure they’ve already received.

The Catholic Action League fires back

C. J. Doyle of the Catholic Action League sent us the following statement, which summarizes the feelings and outrage of many, many religious Catholics who have become aware of this:

Whatever their motivations or pretentions, the State Council of the K of C is objectively rendering assistance, and providing aid and comfort to Mayor Walsh, the parade organizers, and most of all, the homosexual activist group OUTVETS, by perpetuating the illusion that the parade is still a Catholic friendly and family friendly event.

More treacherously, the K of C is undermining the admirable Catholic witness demonstrated by the faithful Catholics of Immaculate Heart of Mary School, who withdrew rather than march with homosexual militants.

The overt message of OUTVETS is that homosexual relations—including so-called same gender marriage—is not only morally acceptable, but something to be proud of. Their implicit message therefore is that Catholic moral teaching is nothing more than bigotry and prejudice.

The Knights are helping OUTVETS to spread their message by pretending nothing is wrong, and pretending there is nothing morally objectionable to a homosexual group exploiting a parade in honor of a Catholic saint to promote their anti-Christian agenda. Silence implies consent.

TAKE ACTION!

The parade is on Sunday. Time is short. In this time of moral crisis across the country, it’s necessary for good people to speak up.

The Catholic Action League (and MassResistance) are urging faithful Catholics and other believers everywhere to call and email the Knights of Columbus and Russell Steinback, the Deputy Commander, right away. They need to feel the heat. They need to be told this is not acceptable, says C.J. Doyle, head of the League.

Mass. K of C web page: http://massachusettsstatekofc.org/

State office phone: 781-551-0628

State office email: State.Office@masskofc.org

State Deputy’s email: russellsteinbach@aol.com

There’s no question that something unusual is going on. Normally, the K of C are pretty well known for wanting to shy away from any controversy. Hopefully, your pressure will make a difference!

The Boston politicians want the parade to look more like this. Traditional Catholics are fighting back!
[MassResistance photo]