Knights of Columbus, Free Masons and Other Orgs
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09-10-2012, 11:04 AM
Knights of Columbus, Free Masons and Other Orgs
A little back story:

I recently decided to become more involved in my son's education and joined the PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) and the SAC (Supply Acquisition Committee). I attended the first meetings of the year at the school a few weeks ago. I've never really been in meetings like this before, especially the SAC meeting which was very formal with people proposing motions and other people seconding them and formal addresses and whatnot. Aside from all that was going on I noticed an elderly gentlemen standing at the back of the room not saying anything during either of the meetings. I would describe him as sort of a fatherly figure and noticed people who seemed to know him gave him a significant amount of respect. He was wearing a suit and tie with several lapel pins, one of which was a prominent silver cross and another I recognized as some sort of fraternal order emblem. Anyway this guy just caught my interest. Why was he there? Who was he? Obviously someone important.

I later found out that this guy is a school board member and a "proud member of the Knights of Columbus" according to his bio on the school board website. So, I started looking into what the KofC are. An internet search finds many pages published by KofC assemblies. They seem to be a fraternal order of the Catholic Church with 2 main goals: providing financial support to charity and "defending religious freedom." On the surface it seems like a, I won't say good, but at least a somewhat noble organization except for the whole Catholic Church connection. But there's something about this and other organizations like it that just seems "off" to me. Something's not right, and I mean beyond the obvious and deliberate religious motivations of the organization. This school board member has no and has never had children in this school district. That does not disqualify him, but it makes me question his motivations a bit in light of his membership in this organization that quite frankly makes me uncomfortable... especially as an atheist.

What do people here know about these Kinds of organizations and what they really do and stand for? I'm not looking for conspiracy theories, but any information would be welcome.

TL;DR
A member of the Knights of Columbus is on my school board and is involved in my son's school meetings and others in the district. What do people know about the KofC beyond what I can find on the internet published mostly by other KofC assemblies?
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09-10-2012, 11:21 AM
RE: Knights of Columbus, Free Masons and Other Orgs
My interaction with TKoC is limited to a convetion they had in my town at the hotel I work part time. They had workshops about "how to make Catholosism more 'hip'" and those sorts of things, and they spoke very ill of non-catholic christians and atheists. I remember feeling very uncomforable with the entire situation and went to my supervisor to request not being in the rooms with them. He raised a brow at me and told me to get over it, but when my Pagan co-worker asked the same thing, he quickly reasigned her.

They made me very uncomfortable, and while they talk about 'helping,' what they really mean is how to make everyone think like them. It is a bunch of rich white men that call themselves 'knights' to feel good about themselves and look down on others. Maybe they give their money to good causes, but the entire thing is very culty and unsettling to me. I agree that it seems odd that a man with no stake in the education of the children in your area, other than to influence what they are taught for the benefit of his religion, would participate as a board member.

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09-10-2012, 11:29 AM
RE: Knights of Columbus, Free Masons and Other Orgs
It is a bit weird that someone without a child in the system would participate but if someone is concerned and helpful that is good. The KoC do a lot of charitable activities but are a male only society. Associated with the catholic church, they are certainly a mobilizing group for the catholic agenda.

If he wields lots of power, depending on how involved you want to be, I'd tread lightly to see what he is about and his agenda. If he is just someone who likes to help and be involved in his community, great- don't cause an issue where none is. If, however, he has a catholic based agenda, you'll need to see how much support he has and if anything can be done.

Do you live in a catholic majority area?
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09-10-2012, 11:41 AM (This post was last modified: 09-10-2012 11:49 AM by ibanezerscrooge.)
RE: Knights of Columbus, Free Masons and Other Orgs
(09-10-2012 11:29 AM)devilsadvoc8 Wrote:  Do you live in a catholic majority area?

No, not at all. I would say that the area is most definitely protestant, though there is a large Catholic church in the city, most others are methodist and baptist. I guess I'd need to do some digging to see if I can find out what kind of record of actions this guy has while on the school board. I'm going totally off my gut feeling on this right now. Like I said there's just something that feels wrong about it, but I could just be atheistcally paranoid, LOL. Maybe it just IS the fact that the KofC has deliberate religious motivations.
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09-10-2012, 11:46 AM
RE: Knights of Columbus, Free Masons and Other Orgs
Quote:but I could just be atheistcally paranoid, LOL.

I think this is a reality most of us have to live with everyday. Just stay on top of things and do what you feel you need to. Maybe start a conversation with the guy and just get a feel for him as a person.

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09-10-2012, 11:50 AM (This post was last modified: 09-10-2012 12:01 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Knights of Columbus, Free Masons and Other Orgs
Well, they have better get-ups than Shriners. Shriners just require white shoes.
I do like their fluffy hats.
It appears some extra pounds are required as well.

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09-10-2012, 12:07 PM
RE: Knights of Columbus, Free Masons and Other Orgs
Your feeling may be accurate, but it might not be a KofC thing. He could have something else entirely going on.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
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09-10-2012, 12:27 PM
RE: Knights of Columbus, Free Masons and Other Orgs
(09-10-2012 11:50 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Well, they have better get-ups than Shriners. Shriners just require white shoes.
I do like their fluffy hats.
It appears some extra pounds are required as well.

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Spiffy! I've seen these guys at many a parade. "Fat white guys" seems to be a common theme amongst those who first encounter them.
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09-10-2012, 12:29 PM
RE: Knights of Columbus, Free Masons and Other Orgs
(09-10-2012 12:07 PM)Chas Wrote:  Your feeling may be accurate, but it might not be a KofC thing. He could have something else entirely going on.

We have a meeting tonight and I intend on maybe trying to strike up a conversation or at least a greeting with him tonight, as I'm sure he'll be there. I'll figure this dude out.
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09-10-2012, 12:30 PM
RE: Knights of Columbus, Free Masons and Other Orgs
(09-10-2012 12:29 PM)ibanezerscrooge Wrote:  
(09-10-2012 12:07 PM)Chas Wrote:  Your feeling may be accurate, but it might not be a KofC thing. He could have something else entirely going on.

We have a meeting tonight and I intend on maybe trying to strike up a conversation or at least a greeting with him tonight, as I'm sure he'll be there. I'll figure this dude out.

Have fun, ibanezersherlock. Big Grin

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