For those who were shocked by Obama "faith" advisor Harry Knox knocking the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic men's group, as an "army of oppression," he is not alone. Gay activists are now taking pride in getting Knights charity drives crushed at supermarkets.
Metro Weekly, a D.C-based gay "news" magazine, honored a man for his "Storefront Stand" -- he harassed Knights of Columbus volunteers raising funds for the mentally disabled (usually with Tootsie Roll candies) outside a Safeway store in northern Virginia. Allison also succeeded in getting other Knights thrown off one Giant supermarket's property. To passers-by at Safeway, Brad Allison compared the Knights to the Ku Klux Klan: "It is a bit of an extreme point to be making, but I thought it was effective."
That's an especially uneducated taunt, considering the Klan was viciously anti-Catholic. Allison also lied to the public by claiming the Knights don't do charity work. Here's Will O'Bryan's account in Metro Weekly:
Whenever his Knights of Columbus counterpart made his plea to passersby on behalf of "needy children," Allison would counter that $1.4 million of the group's money did not go to help children, but to support Proposition 8.
But that's not how Allison described his pitch on his own blog: he said they were not a charitable group at all:
Each time the Knights of Columbus man would say, "Would you like to help disabled children?" I would speak up and say, "They are not helping disabled children. They gave $1.4 million to Prop 8 last year. Not a penny of that $1.4 million helped a single disabled child. They are a political group pretending to be a charitable group in order to get your money."
Again, over and over this worked. People put their dollars back in their pockets.
Allison did not have the facts on his side. Here's how the Knights recently explained their charity work in 2007, which far surpasses the million-four they gave to the initiative fight in California:
The results of the Order’s annual Survey of Fraternal Activity for the year ending December 31, 2007, show that total contributions to charity at all levels reached $144,911,781 – exceeding the previous year’s total by more than $1 million.....
The survey also shows that the reported number of volunteer hours by Knights for charitable causes grew to 68,695,768 hours, up more than 400,000 hours from 2006.
There were 393,030 Knights of Columbus blood donors during the year, and Knights made more than 5.5 million visits to the sick and bereaved.
Cumulative figures show that during the past decade, the Knights of Columbus has donated nearly $1.28 billion to charity, and provided in excess of 612 million hours of volunteer service in support of charitable causes.
Metro Weekly also reported that Allison's complaints to a manager at a Giant supermarket at Greenbriar Town Center in Fairfax County were immediately successful in ending the Knights charity drive at that store:
Jamie Miller, public affairs manager of Landover-based Giant, a past Capital Pride sponsor, says that his company considers the exterior, storefront sidewalk to be public space, generally allowing nonprofit groups to occupy it as long as they're not disruptive.
But it was Allison who was disruptive and spoiling for a fight, not the Knights. Perhaps next Allison will get the Boy Scouts kicked out while they try to sell popcorn.
Metro Weekly honored Allison with text of his quote: "I don't consider myself an activist, but it's just that something snapped." Something snapped, all right: Allison's grip on the facts -- not to mention his confusion over who's engaged in "hate."