A Band of Nuns Campaigns against Tax Cuts...and the Unborn

There's a bus full of Catholic nuns tootling around the country – final destination: Mar-a-Lago and a "Fiesta for the Common Good" – spreading the social justice gospel that individualism is "an unpatriotic lie."  Detroit News columnist Bankole Thompson reports that "NETWORK, the Catholic social justice group in Washington, D.C., led by Sister Simone Campbell, has long been answering the call of prophet Amos" about the widening gap between rich and poor.  Sister Simone's Nuns on the Bus tour is now making its way through 21 states, calling attention "to policies that are hurting the poor including tax cuts that end up benefiting the wealthiest, not the neediest in our nation."  In other words, it's a Democrat publicity stunt.

Sister Simone had this to say to Thompson about Nuns on the Bus's stop in Detroit on Saturday: "At a time when partisanship and anger are running rampant in our nation, Nuns on the Bus is taking to the road to challenge the unpatriotic lie that our nation is based on individualism and to lift up the truth that we are best as a nation when we act on the Constitutional obligation to be 'We the People.'" 

Sister Simone's anguish over "partisanship and anger" rings awfully hollow, the way she limits all her criticisms to Republicans, and can she really be unaware of how Democrats (the party she's clearly rooting for with extreme partisanship) have been the living embodiment of the word "anger" ever since November 2016?  Not much "We the People" togetherness being offered by congressional Democrats or leftist flash mobs.  Nor do her comments on taxes and the economy suggest she's bothered to update her opinions since she first acquired them during LBJ's Great Society.  As she sees things, Republicans "do not see the connection between the tax law and the issues of poverty ... our families need federal programs to survive."  (My emphasis.)

True, Republicans don't see the connection between high taxes and reducing poverty, because there is none.  Republicans see different connections, like the one between lower taxes and a healthy economy, which increases the number of families sustained by employment rather than federal programs.  But like those Japanese soldiers marooned on remote Pacific islands, the ones still fighting World War II decades after V-J Day, Sister Simone's still fighting the War on Poverty, invincibly ignorant of how that war was long ago catastrophically lost.  In Sister Simone's childlike eyes, there's no reason high taxes can't still be redistributed through federal programs to "cure" poverty.

Even the current crop of Democrats can't be bothered with that worn out agenda; they never talk about ending poverty anymore, not since they figured out that it's better to just keep poverty going with subsidies in exchange for votes.  Democrats today prefer to promise the middle class free everything through socialism, and then to race-bait the poor and threaten them with annihilation and death if Republicans get elected. 

So you might wonder why someone with Sister Simone's Flying Nun-era viewpoint rates any attention at all.  There's hardly a shortage of younger, more tuned in social justice warriors who can spread the earthly gospel of therapeutic collectivism and intersectional victimhood a lot better than she can.  When you've got Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez showing up everywhere, why would liberals care about 35 nuns on a bus rambling toward Donald Trump's Florida mansion?

Because they're nuns.  Because they're useful idiots meant to convince the Democrats' vast Catholic constituency that God, the pope, and the Church are all on board with the Democrat platform.  People like Sister Simone provide the Democrats the double value of assuaging the consciences of Catholics who know better but want to support the abortion party anyway and fooling the Catholics who don't know any better that she speaks for God.

Now, if you happen to be Catholic, or any other kind of Christian, it's hard not to be aware that the left reserves its most venomous hatred for Christians.  Obama insulted Christians as bitter clingers; Hillary was surrounded by anti-Catholics and said publicly that once she took power, deeply held Christian beliefs were going to "have to be changed"; and Obama's HHS secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, a pro-abortion Catholic who protected the infant-slaughtering George Tiller in Kansas, went out of her way to needlessly persecute the Little Sisters of the Poor, with the Obamacare mandate forcing them to offer contraception coverage.

There are still millions of Catholics, most of whom have little idea what their Church teaches after more than 50 years of progressive drivel from bishops, priests, and religious sisters like Sister Simone, who are willfully blind about what's behind the Democrats' shameless posturing as advocates for the poor.

No one who supports on-demand killing of the unborn has any right claiming to be an advocate for the poor. 

I can well believe that Sister Simone is a political naïf, especially when her talking points are such depthless clichés.  When she was prodded at the 2012 Democratic Convention to comment about abortion and Obamacare (again, because she's a nun), she seemed genuinely, if inexcusably, unacquainted with the fact of Obama's absolute commitment to unrestricted abortion to the extreme of infanticide.  "What's been going around is he's in favor of abortion," she said.  "I have never seen him act in that way."  She was even impressed with how Obama had "worked so hard" when passing Obamacare to ensure there was no federal funding for abortion – which, of course, was never true.  If she's this blind, let's hope she's not driving the bus.

In 2016, Sister Simone rationalized her pro-abortion views to Amy Goodman this way: "I think the shock of our nation is that we claim to be pro – some claim to be pro-life, but they're really only pro-birth.  They don't do what's necessary to support women in carrying a baby to term, in providing paid child – paid family leave, in providing maternity leave or, you know, parental leave, providing reasonable-cost child care.  I mean, the litany goes on and on." 

Yes, the litany does go on and on: the endless lists of false choices between public policy matters on the one hand, like assistance for expectant mothers (what does Sister think crisis pregnancy centers are doing?), and, on the other, taking a human life.  She went on to defend the choice for abortion itself, saying, "The challenge is for women striving to care for their families, the urgent necessity of being able to feed children means that you're going to make tough choices sometimes."  If Sister Simone, who is described as a religious sister, lawyer, director, poet, executive director, and public policy advocate, genuinely cannot envision any other alternative for an impoverished mother with children to feed than to make the "tough choice" of killing her children's unborn sibling – who is also her child – then she's really not qualified to be making suggestions that affect human lives. 

Sister Simone can't possibly be unaware that her pro-abortion position gravely contradicts unambiguous Church teaching, not to mention the Gospel of Christ she's supposed to be committed to.  I don't judge her spiritual state – that's between her and God.  But what I can judge – and you can, too – is how far she represents authentic Catholic social teaching, her perceived representation of which is the only reason the Democrats have any use for her.  Judging that is easy.  She can't be taken seriously.

T.R. Clancy looks at the world from Dearborn, Michigan.  You can email him at trclancy@yahoo.com.

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