By Lena Garrettson on 07/03/2012 @ 01:24 AM
We began our week with three cheers for the nuns! The "Nuns on the Bus" came back to Washington, after a nine state tour of educating the public about the devastating cuts the Ryan budget proposes, which FCNL also strongly opposes (Click here to read Jim Cason's response to the Ryan budget). A crowd of supporters welcomed the sisters of faith back to our nation's capital with posters reading "Sisters, you speak truth to power," and quoting Gandhi: "Live like Jesus did and the world will listen."
The Nuns on the Bus tour has spread awareness of many proposed cuts that endanger vital social programs -- the work the nuns and social workers across the U.S. depend on. The sisters' message is supported by a broad coalition of faith based organizations, including Christian, Muslim and Jewish groups. FCNL is one of the Interreligious Working Group on Domestic Human Needs members which have been part of creating the Faithful Budget with the Washington Interreligious Staff Community (WISC). These faith based organizations argue that the budget is a moral document and reflects where the nation's priorities lie. The coalition has drafted a faithful alternative to the proposed budget which keeps the funding of critical programs such as food stamps and the State Workers' Insurance Fund (SWIF), which would be severely cut by the Ryan Budget proposal.
In November, Congress will have to make crucial decisions on the budget. Facing these upcoming decisions, Sister Simon Campbell proclaimed, "We cannot in good conscience stay silent!" FCNL couldn't agree more, which is why we have been urging members of our grassroots network to speak out for a more faithful budget. We advocate cuts to the pentagon budget that would free up funds to save basic but crucial social programs.
The nuns have been a beacon of light, bringing the importance of a moral federal budget closer to the public. Now, they are taking their stories and experiences to the halls of congress to teach the members of the House and Senate what the American people have taught them.
One of the nuns shared the story of a second grader she met on the tour: "I am a shining star - called to be the light for others on the journey." The moral of the story as the sister put it is that "responsible programs enable its recipients to discover the light within them, to potentiate it and then to accept the responsibility to share it." This is why the nun's five word mantra to sum up the 50 page document is "Reasonable Revenue for Responsible Programs!" These programs must survive the chopping block of austerity!
Sister Simon Campbell recalls a banner welcoming their bus on one of the many stops that read "Question Austerity!" We join the nuns in questioning the choices made in the name of austerity and call on Congress to maintain moral integrity when the budget comes up for a vote. Join FCNL and our coalition partners in calling for a more faithful budget.
On the subject:
Katherine Philipson's Blog: "Starving the Hungry to Feed the Pentagon"
Jim Cason's Blog: "House Leaders Budget Would Grow Pentagon, Cut Everything Else"
FCNL Newsletter March/April 2012: "The Federal Budget: A Moral Choice"
The Faithful Budget Campaign Website
Washington Post article: "The Nuns on the Bus tour promotes social justice — and turns a deaf ear to the Vatican"