Feminist reporter Jill Filipovic took to Twitter to lambaste the Catholic organization, the Knights of Columbus, as extremist.
Tulsi Gabbard is accusing female senators of anti-Catholic bigotry for (rightly) questioning a judicial nominee’s membership in an extreme right-wing anti-choice anti-LGBT all-male organization. Gabbard is not a progressive, she’s a fraud. https://t.co/Be5uHYTxp2
— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) January 9, 2019
Here’s a little more about the Knights of Columbus. “Extremist” may have been too far but they are indeed pretty extreme – and totally out of step with American law. That’s a legitimate thing to as a judge-member about. https://t.co/OC2c49vfd4
— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) January 10, 2019
Filipovic attacked Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gubbard, who accused her fellow Democrats of “religious bigotry” following their questioning of President Donald Trump’s nomination of Brian Buescher to the U.S. District Court in Nebraska.
Gabbard wrote in an op-ed in The Hill on Tuesday, “While I oppose the nomination of Brian Buescher to the U.S. District Court in Nebraska, I stand strongly against those who are fomenting religious bigotry, citing as disqualifiers Buescher’s Catholicism and his affiliation with the Knights of Columbus.”
“You reported that you have been a member of the Knights of Columbus since 1993. The Knights of Columbus has taken a number of extreme positions. For example, it was reportedly one of the top contributors to California’s Propisition 8 campaign to ban same-sex marriage.”
Hirono would then ask if Buescher would terminate his membership with the Knights of Columbus, “If confirmed, do you intent do end your membership with this organization to avoid any appearance of bias?” Hirono would follow that question up, asking, “If confirmed, will you recuse yourself from all cases in which the Knights of Columbus has taken a position?”
Buescher responded, “The Knights of Columbus does not have the authority to take personal political positions on behalf of all of its approximately two million members. If confirmed, I will apply all provisions of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, including Canon 3(C), regarding recusal and disqualification.”
Hirono would not be the only Senator to question Buescher on his membership in the Catholic organization. Kamala Harris of California would describe the Knights of Columbus as an “all male society” before asking, “Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed a woman’s right to choose when you joined the organization?”
“I joined the Knights of Columbus when I was 18 years old and have been a member ever since. My membership has involved participation in charitable and community events in local Catholic parishes. I do not recall if I was aware whether the Knights of Columbus had taken a position on the abortion issue when I joined at the age of eighteen.”
Harris then questioned whether or not Buescher agreed with the statement made by Knights of Columbus leader Craig Anderson where he described abortion as “the killing of the innocent on a massive scale.”
Buescher would once again point out that he would be bound by the precedent of the United States Supreme Court, “I did not draft this language. If confirmed, I would be bound by precedent of the United States Supreme Court and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and would not be guided by statements made by others.”
Kathleen Blomquist, a spokesperson for the Knights of Columbus, spoke to Catholic News Agency regarding the senators’ questioning of Buescher’s membership in the Catholic organization. She denounced Hirono and Harris’ line of questioning, insinuating their behavior was “anti-Catholic bigotry.”
“Our country’s sad history of anti-Catholic bigotry contributed to the founding of the Knights of Columbus, and we are proud of the many Catholics who overcame this hurdle to contribute so greatly to our country. We were extremely disappointed to see that one’s commitment to Catholic principles through membership in the Knights of Columbus—a charitable organization that adheres to and promotes Catholic teachings—would be viewed as a disqualifier from public service in this day and age. We believe that membership in the Knights of Columbus, which helps everyday men put their Catholic faith into action, is worthy of commendation and not something a nominee for public office should be asked to defend.”
While Blomquist called out Democratic senators, Filipovic would be roundly rebuked for her own comments.
There is nothing about the Knights of Columbus that varies from the teachings of the Catholic Church. If being a member of @KofC is disqualifying, so too, is being Catholic. And that is bigotry. https://t.co/OyVtT1JPSO
— Ellen L. Carmichael (@ellencarmichael) January 9, 2019
She is talking about the The Knights of Columbus.
A mainstream organization that many Democrats are members of, including Senators and Governors.
The hate and bigotry from the far left against religion knows no bounds. https://t.co/swzrZNT6bW
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) January 9, 2019
Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D) is on the Knights of Columbus’ board of governors.
Here are some members:
Gov. John Bel Edwards (D)
Senator Joe Manchin (D)
Former Congressman @JohnDingell
President John F. Kennedy
All members of this “extreme right-wing organization.” https://t.co/swzrZNT6bW
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) January 9, 2019
Labeling the Knights of Columbus “an extreme right-wing anti-choice anti-LGBT all-male organization” sounds pretty anti-Catholic to me. Are you upset the group of 2 million men donate $186 million each year to charities that help the poor and downtrodden? pic.twitter.com/u2ISgQaHn7
— Steven of The Sub…Beacon EU? (@SFlipp) January 9, 2019
Knights of Columbus mostly known for Coats for Kids, blood drives, financial support for AIDS orphans and food drives for impoverished families.
Anyway, this is one of those debates where I’m not sure critics want to invite a moral comparison. https://t.co/Tr5wmK44js
— John Noonan (@noonanjo) January 9, 2019
What do you make of Filipovic’s comments? Do you think she is being anti-Catholic? Do you think Senator Mazie Hirono and Kamala Harris’ line of questioning was anti-Catholic bigotry?