Nebraska Family Alliance

Photo: Nebraska Family Alliance prayer gathering in May 2019

What can account for an NFA official's ardor for sober face Brett Kavanaugh?

That ye be not
Judged


Photo: Karen Bowling (lower left) at the 2018 Kavanaugh hearing while a protestor is arrested.

One of the very few people invited to attend the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was Nebraska Family Alliance (NFA) Executive Director Karen Bowling. Bowling was prepared to like Kavanaugh when she walked into the room, but after hearing him she added I'm even more convinced. Here is a gentleman who's given his life to the service of the nation.

He'd listen. He'd keep a pretty sober face, Bowling said. What I observed about him was his temperament. Not once did he get flustered, not once did he lash back with anger.

Audio: Bowling's remarks on Kavanaugh

By the end of the confirmation hearings, many Americans would not agree that Brett Kavanaugh was notable for sobriety and lack of anger. But Karen Bowling and the Nebraska Family Alliance offered only support, because Justice Kavanaugh supported their values.

Photo: Brett Kavanaugh at congressional hearing

As conservatives in Nebraska, this is our hour, because we recognize the values that we care about in Judge Kavanaugh, Bowling explained. Particularly for those of us who adhere to a faith! The values of those faiths.

Kavanaugh's anger and the widespread perception that he attempted sexual assault is not something that outwardly troubled any representative of NFA. Perhaps they were able to draw on their long history of overlooking abuse. Perhaps Bowling is simply not able to identify an abuser, or is practiced at ignoring abusers.

Federal judge appointment is not a new process to NFA. In 2017, Donald Trump appointed NFA Director L. Steven Grasz to a judgeship on the 8th Circuit of the US Court of Appeals. This is second-highest level of court in the US, placing Grasz as a potential nominee to the Supreme Court.

The American Bar Association found Judge Grasz to be gratuitously rude and marked by a lack of disclosure. He does not sound so different than what we've seen of Justice Kavanaugh, so, perhaps he'll fit in well at his new job.

NFA was quite vocal about its homophobia and support for gay conversion therapy during L. Steven Grasz's tenure with NFA. His son, Nate Grasz, carries on the tradition. As NFA's Policy Director today, the younger Grasz lead the successful effort to keep commercial conversion therapy legal in Nebraska.

The staff of the NFA may be lousy judges of character. They may be unable to judge morality, having confused sexuality for sin. But their incompetence has not stopped them from judging us. Nor has their religion's injunction to Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Call to Action: publicize the Board of Directors list by any means you have. Encourage accountability for the damage they have caused.