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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.
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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.
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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.
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