Ken Blackwell is FRC's Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance. This article appeared in The Christian Post on September 6, 2019.
Buried deep in a recent Buzzfeed News story targeting the well-respected Catholic fraternity Knights of Columbus for allegedly padding its insurable-membership roster is the real issue eating away at the left-leaning “news” organization: that the charity in recent years has given millions of dollars away in support of pro-life causes.
“Tax documents from 2014 show the Knights gave $1 million to the anti-abortion political action group Susan B. Anthony List that year, and about half that to the anti-abortion group March for Life. They also gave $1.2 million to sponsor a news show five nights a week on the popular Catholic outlet Eternal World Television Network (EWTN),” reads the piece, written by the resident abortion-rights reporter at Buzzfeed.
The reality of the situation is that the Knights of Columbus are being smeared—not because of a contract dispute with a disgruntled prospective vendor—but because the longtime religious organization doesn’t hold water for the abortion lobby.
The fact that the Knights, instead, stand in direct opposition to the left’s dream of abortion-on-demand at any point during a woman’s pregnancy—and billed to the American taxpayer regardless of a person’s religious or philosophical objections to the procedure—makes so-called reproductive-rights activists’ skin crawl.
Such attacks on the Knights of Columbus are not new. They were formed amid a period of anti-Catholic bigotry and the attacks continued through the presidential election of John F. Kennedy. This attack is the latest in a string of attempts by religious bigots and abortion zealots to undermine an organization whose kind and pious members from around the world remain steadfastly committed to acts of service, exposing the truth about abortion and defending the human rights of all—born and unborn.
Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Mazie Hirono, for example, late last year criticized then-judicial nominee Brian Buescher, an Omaha-based attorney, for his mere affiliation with the Knights of Columbus and his many religious convictions that motivate his involvement in the Catholic charity to begin with.
As my friend and Concerned Women for America President Penny Nance says, the senators’ hostility toward Buescher “reflects an alarming trend among Democratic politicians: the desire to root out any speck of religious belief that may threaten the Holy Grail of the left: abortion on demand.”
Furthermore, by targeting the Knights, Buzzfeed and its allies in the abortion industry hope to silence the very organization that commissioned the reputable Marist Poll to take Americans’ pulse on the abortion issue. The result? Most Americans oppose taxpayer-funded abortion.
“By a double-digit margin, a majority of all Americans oppose any taxpayer funding of abortion (54 percent to 39 percent),” reads analysis of the Marist Poll survey. “In addition, the survey found that three-quarters (75 percent) of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion abroad.” The survey reveals Americans don’t endorse the very programs abortion activists are pushing for, and the abortion lobby is resorting to dirty smear tactics.
I have personally worked with the Knights for decades and, as the former ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, I’ve witnessed first-hand the Knights’ steadfast work helping Christians and religious minorities in the Middle East.
Imagine the genocide that would’ve happened to the Christian population in the Middle East without the Knights’ intervention and charity work providing aid and housing to families who were being slaughtered by rogue actors in the Iraq.
Their ongoing charity work across the globe is practically unparalleled and, to list a few initiatives of many over the years, includes provision of much-needed relief to hurricane and tsunami survivors, delivery of wheelchairs for those with special needs and winter-coat drives for the underprivileged all over the world.
In all, the Knights last year gave more than $185 million to charitable causes and its members worldwide donated more than 76 million hours of their time to hands-on service projects around the globe, according to a statement.
Far from deserving hit pieces from biased activist publications and groups, the Knights deserve our abiding admiration and respect for the good they do all over the world and, at the very least, they deserve to be tolerated—not silenced.