Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nuns on the Bus

A group of Catholic sisters are travelling across the Mississippi to the Potomac, across the rustbelt to the citadel of government. The bus approaches a church on West 14th in Cleveland, Ohio. The journey started at Des Moines, Iowa on June 18th, and they will continue to the nation's capital. On the second day, there was a stop at Janesville, Wisconsin. Janesville is the home of the Republican budget guru, Rep. Paul Ryan. Ryan has abandoned all Catholic social ethics for the selfish, atheistic, materialism of Ayn Rand. Ryan may become Romney's ballot mate, and may one day run for the presidency himself. The sisters are stopping at some of the meanest, craziest, and powerful of Republican [Steve King (Io.), Ryan, Joe Walsh (Ill.), John Boehner (O.), Eric Cantor (Va.)] congressmen's offices. They are also stopping at many places of charity, such as St. Augustine's Hunger Center.
parked bus
Sister Corita Ambro of Saint Augustine gives a quick tour of the parish church to the visiting sisters. Saint Augustine is locally famous for its outreach to the poor, the hungry, the deaf, the blind, the ill, and the homeless. No matter how much they do, there is more to do. It is a rather poor, urban parish.
People converge in front of the main steps to hear the gathered event. It is a press conference.
Sister Simone Campbell, of the social justice 'lobby' NETWORK, argues for a 'Faithful Budget'. It is meant to be a counter to the current Republican proposal. Ryan lies about deficit reduction. His plan, which is the Republican party's plan, will increase the deficit. It is meant to starve the poor, and fatten the rich. It is meant to further concentrate money towards the extremely wealthy. Under gwbjr's cut the taxes for the rich, a severe economic recession has occurred. Ryan, and his party, want more of the same.

Much what religious institutions help the poor with comes from government funds. The federal government does much directly. Certain economic royalists, and other political extremists, begrudge any help for the poor. Some perform some disingenuous rhetorical gymnastics to separate governmental (taxpayer) help from private help (including communal religious), as if red raspberries in the belly of the hungry, are fundamentally different from black raspberries. The first sentence of the US Constitution reads:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
This is not satisfactory to the disciples of Ayn Rand. Many 'conservative Catholics' also reject Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Some American bishops are upset with nuns devoting their time on such things.


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