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BILL MOYERS: Welcome to our take on one of the hottest controversies of this overheated summer. My two guests have some insights you’ll want to hear on faith and politics.

Sister Simone Campbell heads the Catholic activist group NETWORK, based in Washington, D.C. A lawyer and poet, she has long been a fearless advocate for the poor and marginalized in America. So fearless she recently took on two other combative Catholics, Bill O’Reilly and his alter ego, Stephen Colbert.

Robert Royal is founder and president of the Faith and Reason Institute, also in Washington, dedicated, in his words, to “the twin strands out of which America and any good and free social fabric are woven."

He is also editor in chief of this online publication, “The Catholic Thing,” and the author of many books, including “The God That Did Not Fail: How Religion Built and Sustains the West.”

But first, buckle your seat belts. We’re going to take a road trip across America's heartland with “Nuns on the Bus.” And as you watch, remember, this cross-country journey took place two months before Paul Ryan became Mitt Romney’s choice for vice president.

SR. SIMONE CAMPBELL: Faith is like walking through a mist with your eyes wide open. Reminds me of when I was a kid in Long Beach and we’d stand out at the bus stop in the fog, and we’d try to tell by the headlights, was it a bus or was it a truck? You know, what was it? For me, looking down the road, I don’t know. I don’t have a clue. I just know this step is the right step.

BILL MOYERS: So it was that on a steamy morning earlier this summer, Sister Simone Campbell and a handful of other nuns gathered in Des Moines, Iowa to set out on a journey of faith and politics. Simone belongs to the order of the Sisters of Social Service. She is also an attorney who heads the Catholic Social Justice Lobby, NETWORK based in Washington DC.

SR. SIMONE CAMPBELL: Will we move beyond individualism back to the principles of our founding fathers, and mothers I’ve add, to be ‘we the people of the United States.’

BILL MOYERS: She found herself in a bit of hot holy water when the Vatican singled out Network for not promoting all of the church’s doctrines with equal verve. Suddenly the nuns were in the news.

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: The Vatican chastised the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, America’s largest group of Catholic nuns for caring too much about the very poor, and not spending enough time crusading against abortion and same-sex marriage.

RUSH LIMBAUGH: This small group of nuns in the Catholic church is going feminist, and the Vatican is obviously, figure of speech, slapping them down.

NEWSCASTER: on CBS Evening News: Is this a group of radical feminists teaching outside the doctrines of the church?

SR. SIMONE CAMPBELL on CBS Evening News: Oh heavens no, that’s just ridiculous.

SR. SIMONE CAMPBELL on the Colbert Report: We work every day to live as Jesus did in relationship to people at the margins of our society. That’s all we do.

STEPHEN COLBERT: That’s a cheap applause line: Jesus. You can throw Jesus into anything and people are going to applaud.

BILL MOYERS: Sister Simone seized on her unexpected celebrity and with the support of thousands of individual donors, and a sympathetic labor union, she and four of her sisters-in-alms took to the road. From Des Moines to DC they would ride in solidarity with the poorest among us.

SR. SIMONE CAMPBELL: NETWORK’s mission from its beginning is about economic justice issues. We were founded 40 years ago by 47 Catholic sisters to be the voice for and with those at the margins of society all over the country. And the thing that is utmost in our mind at NETWORK is the devastation that is being economically through the budget fight, and what will happen to programs that are so effective, that really help people and so, it seemed like a great convergence to have this notoriety used for the sake of our mission.

We know that the House-passed Ryan budget will devastate our nation. And most people don’t know what’s going on. And that’s why we decided to take to the road in our rather glorious bus.

BILL MOYERS: The primary message of their mission was to sound an alarm about the federal budget recently passed by the Republican Majority in the house. A budget titled “The Path to Prosperity,” by its author, Republican Congressman, and now Vice Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan.

SR. SIMONE CAMPBELL: What we’re doing is trying to let people know that the Ryan budget cuts social services, devastates social services, cuts food stamps. And while they’re cutting all the social services, well what are they going to do with the money? They want you to think they’re giving it to the deficit, but they’re not. What they’re doing is they’re cutting taxes for the wealthy.

BILL MOYERS: Especially galling to the sisters was that Paul Ryan, a fellow Catholic, was invoking the church’s doctrine of Social Teaching as justification for his priorities.

PAUL RYAN: I feel it’s important to discuss how, as a Catholic in public life, my own personal thinking on these issues have been guided by my understanding of the church’s social teaching. Simply put, I don’t believe that the preferential option for the poor means a preferential option for big government.

BILL MOYERS: Preferential option for the poor is an essential component of Catholic social teaching. It holds that the needs of the poor should always be of primary consideration, and is the foundation of the Church’s ideal that the moral test of any society is how it treats its most vulnerable members.

A test that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops says the Ryan budget fails. Declaring that it “will hurt hungry children, poor families, vulnerable seniors and workers who cannot find employment.” These cuts,” say the Bishops, “are unjustified and wrong.”

PAUL RYAN: Of course, there can be differences among faithful Catholics on this. The work I do, as a Catholic holding office, conforms to the social doctrine as best I can make of it. What I have to say about the social doctrine of the church is from the viewpoint of a Catholic in politics applying my understanding to the problems of the day […] The overarching threat to our whole society today is the exploding federal debt. The Holy Father, himself, Pope Benedict, has charged that governments, communities, and individuals running up high debt levels are, quote, "living at the expense of future generations" and "living in untruth," unquote.

SR. SIMONE CAMPBELL: I wish he would talk to us I’d like to say, “Well, how are thinking about this? What part of your Catholic Social Teaching did you miss?" Catholic social teaching is all about building community together.

BILL MOYERS: Three hours northeast of Des Moines, after stops in Ames and Cedar Rapids, the nuns stopped in the river town of Dubuque, where they visited a food pantry run by the Sisters of the Presentation. A charity already burdened by need, which would surly feel the weight of Ryan’s intended cuts to the food stamp program.

LYNN WAGNER: And we usually get anywhere from 15 to maybe 20,000 pounds of food at that time…

BILL MOYERS: Sister Lynn Wagner is the pantry’s director.

SR. LYNN WAGNER: We have the elderly who can’t make it on their social security payments or pension payments that they have. We have single-parent families; we have two-parent families. We have kids out of college that can’t get a job that pays enough to pay rent and all that. A lot of jobs are minimum wage, basic pay, and that just doesn’t cut it anymore. When groceries go up, and when milk is two bucks for a half gallon or something like that, it’s just, people can’t make it.

SR. SIMONE CAMPBELL: Most of these people that are using food stamps make a little bit above minimum wage and they still are in poverty. But the choice has been made to allow businesses to pay low wages. The idea is to keep costs down, increase productivity. But people have increased their productivity and their wages have not gone up. So from my point of view, this isn’t charity. This isn’t a handout. Whether you like it or not, these are business subsidies. We have a choice as a nation. We can either provide a real safety net so that workers can eat, or we can mandate living wage. It’s a choice. Our choice recently of late has been to do the safety net, but now they want to do away with the safety net and say it’s the people receiving the benefits fault.

TEYA SEELEY: They’re punishing you, but your children are the ones that get punished. By myself, I would be fine, but I have two little ones. It ain’t about me, it’s them. Kids can’t fend for themselves; that’s what they depend on you to do. So…

SR. SIMONE CAMPBELL: Can you imagine the struggle of that? To be able to care for your family and you can’t put food on the table? In the richest country? It breaks my heart, breaks my heart.

BILL MOYERS: Traveling east from Dubuque the nuns crossed the Mississippi, heading for the Lion’s Den – Paul Ryan’s home district in Wisconsin. They arrived at the Congressman’s office in Janesville to a heroes’ welcome.

KATE MILLER: When I was in Catholic school, nuns weren’t my heroes and I never thought I’d see the day where I forgave them and they were my total heroes, and that’s what’s happened.

WOMAN: This is really a courageous move on their parts, and the fact that they’re standing up for social justice. That’s what they’re talking about here, social justice for everybody. That is a major, courageous thing that they are doing.

SR. SIMONE CAMPBELL: This is sister Marge Clark…

BILL MOYERS: Paul Ryan was still in Washington, where Congress remained in session, so the nuns were left to meet with his staff.

SR. SIMONE CAMPBELL: I want to talk to Paul Ryan, I want to understand what he sees, learn from that and see if there’s a way that we can be more effective, that we can claim our culture back, that we can claim our government back, that we can govern, not for stalemate or political points, but we can solve the problems, the serious problems of this 21st century, and talking to people who think differently when I can keep my patience is a really good way to do that.

BILL MOYERS: The meeting was cordial, and the confrontation the press would have loved to see never came to pass.

SR. SIMONE CAMPBELL: What we are here to do is to lift up a different point of view and to say, “Let’s talk…"

The media is used to messages of fighting, and uses sports metaphors all the time. It’s who scored points, who’s down for the count, who committed a foul, who dropped the ball, who hit a homerun. And it has reduced politics, the sacred art of governance, which is about democracy, is at the heart of democracy. It’s reduced it to making the citizens couch potatoes. Because they think, “Oh, it’s a game, I’ll watch, I’ll wear my button, I’ll wear my team’s colors, I’ll root.” And then the next day life goes on, and a big Super Bowl every four years, like the Olympics, and, “Oh, well, that’s done.” But democracy is all about the need for us as responsible people to govern ourselves.

It’s we the people; it’s not we the politicians, or we the rich people or we Citizens United. It’s we the people. And we’re losing our democracy.

REPORTER: Here in Janesville, the nuns on the bus have made one of many stops they plan to take as they travel across the country to spread their religious beliefs in politics.

BILL MOYERS: From Janesville, the nuns carried their message across Wisconsin, then south into the Land of Lincoln.

SR. SIMONE CAMPBELL: The issue isn’t that the people at the top are bad. The issue is not that this is class warfare. The issue is that we are all better when we all share.

BILL MOYERS: They called out and called on congressmen who voted for the Ryan plan while promoting their own “faithful budget.”

SR. SIMONE CAMPBELL: …that was created by the Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities coming together…

BILL MOYERS: A fiscal plan that they say is more in line with the values of a just nation. Everywhere they went, a crowd was there to greet them. Catholics and non-Catholics alike gathered to bless the nun’s journey.

SR. DIANE DONOGHUE: When we get off the bus and people see us, and they’ve got signs of support, that is just absolutely an incredible connection.

BILL MOYERS: Sister Diane Donoghue calls herself a “persistent activist.” And she’s proved it by walking alongside the poor for the better part of sixty years, from India to East L.A.

SR. DIANE DONOGHUE: Jesus talks about feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick. So it isn’t like we’ve invented something in the last 150 years. We go back to the teachings of Jesus. We are the church, the people of God. And so when you talk church you’re talking about people coming together in a faithful response, and looking at and responding to the signs of the times. And our signs of the times right now is that the people at the top, who have the loudest voice and the most money, have an incredible amount of influence in terms of priorities for people at the top to have a tax break is just totally unjust. People at the bottom need the revenue for services that really count.

BILL MOYERS: In the concrete desert of Chicago’s South Side, they come to an oasis called Mercy Housing. Built by private donations and public funds, as a home for nearly a hundred people who had been otherwise left to wander through this economic wasteland. That’s where the nuns met Shiesha Smith.

SHIESHA SMITH: I grew up on the west side of Chicago. Around my teenage years, I was placed into foster care due to my mother’s drug addiction. I witnessed a lot of bad things at an early age, but I maintained in school, I kept good grades, I was ranked 38th in my class and I went on to college. But I was pretty much just having a hard time with staying stable and I think that had a lot to do with growing up. It was kind of hard, you know, being stable so I took it on into my adulthood.

BILL MOYERS: Shiesha wound up living on the streets, seeking refuge in homeless shelters. At age 24, she was convicted of drug possession, and sentenced to two years probation. Seven years later, she has found stability at Mercy Housing.

SHIESHA SMITH: The first step in getting yourself stable is having somewhere to come to call home. A roof over your head that’s safe. An environment that’s safe. If I didn’t have Mercy, I wouldn’t be safe right now. I know a lot of us may say we need help, and we don’t. I know that. I know some of us may play the system for our own advantage. I know that too. However, I also know that there’s people out there that do need it. And we should stick together to allow them opportunity to live, and know what life is. Life is not about struggling day to day. It’s about living. Help people live. That’s what I would tell those people: help people live. Yeah.

BILL MOYERS: The bus rolled on -- from Illinois to Indiana, then into Michigan and Ohio. The nuns on the bus were welcomed as messengers of good news, like the evangels of old. Everywhere they went, they visited the places where other women of faith are the few among the desperate many.

SR. SIMONE CAMPBELL: We are called to be a bush that allows God to flame up and be a burning bush.

BILL MOYERS: Over and again, Sister Simone invoked the imagery of the Bible – stories of how faith can resurrect withered lives, despairing souls, and broken bodies.

SR. SIMONE CAMPBELL: What it does is it says is that God has heard the cry of the people…

My image is Ezekiel’s dry bones, and that these bones have been so weary and hungry for a little flesh. But flesh isn’t enough. They need breath.

SR. CORITA AMBRO: We are 150 years old, and my first reason for coming to St. Augustine's was to work with the deaf

BILL MOYERS: In Cleveland, Ohio, Sister Corita Ambro breathes what life she can into the community around St Augustine's parish where she runs the church’s hunger center.

SR. CORITA AMBRO:

These people that come into this hunger center, I love each and every single one of them and they know that. And they’ll often come to me and say, “Can I have a hug today? I need a hug.” Because, they need somebody to let them know they loved.

And I found out the hard way that a touch is really important for so many of these people. I had a gentleman that came down into the hunger center and I gave him a huge hug and just, you know, thanked him for coming. One of the homeless men came up to me and he tapped me on the shoulder he says, “you know what,?” He said, “Sister, I’m angry with you.” I said, “Well, why? Why are you angry with me?” He says, “You know, I’ve been coming to eat here for three years and never once did you receive me the way you received him.” And I couldn’t. This gentleman had lice in his hair, his nose was on his beard, he was just a mess. He had at least five to seven coats on, and he stunk to high heaven. I just said to him, “Jimmy, one of these days,” because I didn’t know how to handle it. One of these days. And I remember going home and crying because I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t hug him. And it was the hardest thing in the world. And every day, he’d come in and say, “Is today the day? Is today the day?” And I couldn’t for a while. But through prayer and pushing myself I got to the day when I could give Jimmy a hug. And that day something happened inside my heart, which opened it up to something I can never explained, and ever since that day I’ve been able to hug any one of them that walks into this hall. No matter what they smell like, no matter what they look like, no matter who they are.

REGINALD ANDERSON: Oh, Heavenly Father…

BILL MOYERS: Reginald Anderson is one of the hundreds of people a day who have come to rely on the safe harbor of Saint Augustines, while they navigate the shallow waters of Cleveland’s economy.

REGINALD ANDERSON: ...in Jesus holy name we pray, Amen.

I wish that trickle-down effect would trickle on down to us. Because everyone says that the economy is getting better, but it is I guess for those that have the money to sit back and weather the storm. For those that don’t have the economic well withall to sit back and weather out that storm, it’s kind of hard. We live in the day to day realities of life, you know trying to pay bills, trying to eat, trying to feed our families, trying to clothe our families. You know, I don’t really pay much attention to what the experts say as far as the forecasting of the economy is. I look at the people around me and I see, are they eating? Are they paying bills? Are they getting evicted? And that’s my barometer of just how well the economy is doing.

If I could, if I could just simply wave a magic wand and put all the politicians in the shoes of the average American. Let them wonder how they’re going to pay next month’s rent or mortgage. I think once they saw just how hard it was for the average person, I think they'd have a whole different outtake on governing.

SR. SIMONE CAMPBELL: Every single place that we go, the hunger for an alternative is overwhelming.

And I was feeling that sense of the apostles saying, “What is this among so many?” I mean we’re five nuns on a bus, for heaven sakes. What is this among so many? And then I realized, if we just know we’re blessed, and if we let our hearts be broken, that’s the blessed and broken, something amazing will happen.

BILL MOYERS: From Ohio, their journey took them east through Pennsylvania with stops in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Hershey and Philadelphia. Then south into Maryland and Virginia. They stopped to visit with farmers who grow produce destined for local food pantries. And celebrate mass with a congregation of immigrants in Richmond. Finally, 14 days and some three thousand miles after they left Des Moines, the nuns on the bus pulled into the nation’s capitol.

DR. SAYYID SYEED: Nuns in the bus, speak not just for Catholics, not for Christians only, not for Jews, they speak for all of us.

SR. SIMONE CAMPBELL: As great and educational as this trip was, as inspirational as this trip was, it was also a journey of heartbreak and anguish. And it was a journey of hope.

For me, this trip has been totally about touching the pain of the world as real for all these people we’ve seen, and being hopeful. We have hope that the pain of the world isn’t the end of the story. And that frees our imagination to think of our world in a new place. To think of this place between the partisan politics to a center, to think of a church where everyone could be cared for. To think of a lobby like ours, where we could really be voices for the folks who are at the margins. It frees up our imagination. The bus trip was a prophetic imagination, it turns out, and who knew it? It’s fabulous.

When Nuns Get Political

Weeks before Republican Paul Ryan was selected to run for vice president, Sister Simone Campbell — who heads NETWORK, a Catholic policy and lobbying group – hit the road to protest the so-called “Ryan budget” recently passed by the House of Representatives. Sister Simone says his budget is inconsistent with Catholic social teaching; the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops agrees. In this report, we ride along with Sister Simone and some of her sister nuns across the heartland on a bus trip designed to arouse public concern over what the Ryan plan would mean for social services in America, especially its slashing of programs for the poor.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=610991984 Jason Tippitt

    As soon as your second guest — the I forget the gentleman’s name — trotted out the “50 percent of people don’t pay any taxes at all” line, he lost all credibility. That talking point has long since been debunked, and so that guest was beneath the standards of your fine shows.

  • fedupwithpoliticians

    Sr. Simone Campbell has it right. Bishop
    Robert Morlino can’t possibly make a determination of responsibility without knowing the details of the budget. He has been deceived. Sr. Simone will also probably be surprised to find out that there has been a persistent effort by Republicans to dismantle all protections of the public that were put in place after the last Great Depression. See the book Echo Chamber. Also, the wealthy have been receiving tax rate custs since 1970 that have reduced their tax rates from 80% to 25%. See Winner-Take-All Politics pages 18 and 48. Mr. Morlino needs to read the passages in the bible about the “selfish merchants that love to deceive and defraud, strip the land, and run”.

  • Roberto

    Last point re “living wage” and income disparity: neither guest addressed the fact that our global economy is eroding the US labor advantage. That a western Chinese migrant can make 10x his/her old salary by moving to Foxconn plant in the east, making Apple products so many US citizens are buying is a no-brainer. Automotive labor is a world-wide business now — do those complaining about loss of US factory jobs consider that their competitors in Asia, or Mexico, are very willing to work for a much lower wage? Without health or retirment benefits? Under a government that does not invest in social safety nets or environmental protections? That’s why US labor jobs, and remuneration, has nosedived.
    Related, what has been the local, state and US investment in REAL education been of late? Are we created the school environments to educate tomorrow’s most comepetitive labor force? Are we evaluating the teachers appropriately, and giving school leaders enough flexibility to creatively solve issues which seem to diminish returns in the classroom? Are we using enough carrots to get students/parents to do the hard work toward appropriate degrees? Even if they do graduate from High School, does everyone need a four year liberal arts degree or are we not investing enough in more vocational educations which would meet the hiring needs of our hi-tech and bio-centric (STEM) companies? Etc. Etc.
    Yes, CEOs make a gawdawful excess. We need Federal tax policy and regulations to insure a rarified few are not making outsized windfalls at the expense of others who shared in that company’s success. But the world labor dynamics and our increasiningly fractured educational system are much more responsible for the growing “hunger” in America.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beverly.veltman Beverly Veltman

    Some people read the Bible and only take from it the rules and even those selectively. Others read it and take from it compassion for the sufferings of humanity. Compassion encourages love, a willingness to listen and learn, and makes it easier for people to give of themselves. Rules without compassion encourages resentment and leads down the path to power struggles. I have a new respect for people who live their faith out of love.

  • Peter Maier

    I wonder why in al discussions dealing with societies and
    economic markets, the enormous impact of government expenditures is not even
    mentioned. May be somebody can explain
    what would happen if such activities would be eliminated or even curtailed, to achieve a ‘free market’ without any government involvement.?
    Without such activities, economic markets
    probably would shrink by 60% and I don’t think people promoting ‘free markets’ realize, how important government expenditures are for the market.

    Since we cannot return to the ‘free market’ conditions as
    they existed in the middle ages, any solution to our economic problems should
    involve government activities in the market, but since they are paid for with
    taxpayer’s money, they should be efficient and socially just.

  • Jim

    Roberto, are you willing to work at a job with no benefits, low pay? These developing countries, don’t forget, had no work for the populace, which have meager living conditions. The workers in China, for example, are demanding better wages etc. even though there are more jobs available, than ever before. The problem in America is a lack of knowledge of how we became the most powerful country on earth, and the lack of willpower to maintain that position. Unions and tariffs on imports helped us to attain the ” American Dream”, not free trade, or trickle down economics. Our biggest problem is a lack of respect for each other !

  • Anonymous

    I welcomed the conversation between thoughtful, caring people about how best to help those in poverty – with Robert Moyle saying it’s to fix a system so that free markets can innovate locally, while Sister Simone points to a lack of acceptance of attention to community and care about each other. Quiet conversations are so needed. I believe our language and concepts are too broad, outdated, rigid, opinions defended that were formed far from actual struggles, leaving those struggling more isolated. The limited rigidity of science and academic studies add confusion, for many assume these entities are the best experts, while I have seen so much poor planning and implementation not responsive to the personal issues and improvements made, among different cultures with different histories, gaps in societal preparation. Meanwhile the public and politicians have too many prior judgments, using a defensive conversational style that throws blame that demoralizes, adding depression to people’s struggles to build up. Leading conversation is an important role for government – giving people a sense of “we” the whole American family, who need to learn more about each other, not rush to theoretical economic defenses.

  • Gene Koch

    I blew a gasket when Mr. Royal put out the old “the richest pay 70% of (all) taxes” claptrap. I had hoped either Bill or Sister Simone would correct him and not let him get away with that but alas no such correction. In any event read David Cay Johnston’s ’9 Things The Rich Don’t Want You To Know’ and pay special attention to items #1#2 and #3

    http://wweek.com/portland/article-17350-9_things_the_rich_dont_want_you_to_know_about_taxes.html

  • Thinking Woman

    Sister Campbell made me proud and I believe her Savior would be proud too. Sadly, Mr. Royal is misguided in his belief that MARKETS can solve all of society’s problems. We do not enjoy FREE markets in the U.S. Government intervention in the form of subsidies, tax policy, R&D, insurance and other programs provide advantages and disadvantages to market participants. Mr. Royal did not site a single market-driven program that feeds and houses the poor. But Sister Campbell told us about the reality of underserved poor in our cities and towns. Who do you believe?

    Thank you Bill Moyer for your program that helps us understand and evaluate different points of view! I am on the Bus with Sister Campbell and her supporters.

  • Cane Kostovski

    I just finished watching the 20 something minute Catholic commercial. It hasn’t been too long since I discovered Mr. Moyers’ program, but I have not seen such a spectacle on his program. It seems to me to be very supportive of these “Nuns on a Bus”. I wonder about people who wear jewels (the bus) and preach about the poor. Some of their words are nice, but most of them are suspect. I am going to finish the rest of the program which promises to be similar to the previous programs I’ve seen. The other day, I was saying that I love Mr. Moyers’ program and that he has not disappointed me in the least. Today, by some coincidence, he did.

  • Cane Kostovski

    I hope all the people heard what I heard in the Paul Ryan interview in which he talked about Federalism. He was repeating over and over again the idea of small government, but what I heard very loudly is the idea of small government and big church. I wonder how many of you would be happy if you had to accept the decisions of your religious leaders. If the religious leaders succeed in what seems to me an attempt to remove the power of the people and replace it with the religious leaders’ interpretations of God’s will that they want to use as a way to be the governing body. I don’t know much about the history of when the Catholic Church was the sole power in most of Europe and the kings and other royalty were their puppets, but much of it was gruesome. If you don’t know what the common peoples’ lives were like in that time, I suggest you find out because what the Catholic Church did back then, they are trying to do again.

    I hope you are ready to see the day when we start burning people for their guilt of being demonic or some other supernatural malady. Just imagine if I don’t like you and I tell the religious leader that I saw you worshiping the Devil. You are probably thinking of the best case scenario in that hypothetical instance. But if you learn about the Catholic Church when it was at its highest power, you will see that the worst case scenario was the most common scenario.

    I hope God shows you how dangerous this idea of small government and big church can be. The Bible is one thing, but people themselves are another and religious leaders are only people.

  • Cane Kostovski

    One last comment. The Founding Fathers of these Untied States would not have made it so hard for all the people, who came before us and including us but after them, to make their church the community “leader”. They had the idea that the Church should stay out of government. The Founding Fathers were very much closer to when the Catholic Church was at its highest power. The Founding Fathers had their reasons for making it so hard in this once new country. Most religious people are good judges of peoples’ motivations. I ask you what were the Founding Fathers’ motivations for making it so hard for the Church to gain power here. You might leap to greed, lust for power, but I put to you that those most certainly played a role, but if they were the sole reasons, they would have become Popes. I put to you that they also feared religion as the governing body.

    Who is really out there fighting for the poor without asking the poor for anything in return? Is faith in God a requirement to not be poor?

  • farhorizons

    It’s very nice to see David Cay Johnston cited. He is an amazing tax expert and Congress should be listening to him.

  • Anonymous

    I’m afraid such interviews can cause many more conflicts
    concerning the complex socio-economic issues facing us. And of course adding
    all the moral language can only accentuate the conflicts.

    As well, a Liberal meme continues to thwart progress in all
    these areas. We are constantly reminded that imposing particular sets of moral
    values is wrong. This conversation with Mr. Moyers comes replete with
    impositions and moral demands, including expectations about economic justice
    and moral taxation policy, as well as conclusions about the morality of the
    free market to the categorical statement that Sister Campbell makes that “our
    Bishops firmly say this (Ryan) budget is immoral.”

    Again we’re told when a person makes such absolute moral
    claims they are imposing moral preferences. Curiously when it’s done from the
    Right it gets categorically denounced. Yet when moral condemnations are handed
    down by the other side, there are countless reasons for their moral
    justification. Somehow those moral absolutes are simply accepted as legitimate.
    Why?

    This inconsistency (and in some cases gross hypocrisy) will
    continue to inflame that which Sr. Campbell condemns: a polarized political
    class of talking heads. Clearly both sides think their moral values are right.
    They just know this and just seem to assume their opponent’s values are in in
    fact wrong.

    It’s clear Sister Campbell doesn’t see how subjective
    her own moral values are and as a result it doesn’t give her pause as she goes
    about imposing (and wanting to legislate) her moral values on all of us. I wonder
    why she doesn’t see this.

  • Anonymous

    I’m afraid such interviews can cause many more conflicts
    concerning the complex socio-economic issues facing us. And of course adding
    all the moral language can accentuate the conflicts.

    As well, a Liberal meme continues to thwart progress in all
    these areas. We are constantly reminded that imposing particular sets of moral
    values is wrong. This conversation with Mr. Moyers comes replete with
    impositions and moral demands, including expectations about economic justice
    and moral taxation policy, as well as conclusions about the morality of the
    free market to the categorical statement that Sister Campbell makes that “our
    Bishops firmly say this (Ryan) budget is immoral.”

    Again we’re told when a person makes such absolute moral
    claims they are imposing moral preferences. Curiously when it’s done from the
    Right it gets categorically denounced. Yet when moral condemnations are handed
    down by the other side, there are countless reasons for their moral
    justification. Somehow those moral absolutes are simply accepted as legitimate.
    Why?

    This inconsistency (and in some cases gross hypocrisy) will
    continue to inflame that which Sr. Campbell condemns: a polarized political
    class of talking heads. Clearly both sides think their moral values are right.
    They just know this and just seem to assume their opponent’s values are in in
    fact wrong.

    It seems clear Sister Campbell doesn’t see how subjective
    her own moral values are and as a result it doesn’t give her pause as she goes
    about wanting to impose (and legislate) her moral values on all of us. I wonder
    why she doesn’t see this.

  • jojomom

    Again no one corrected Mr Royal when he said 50% pay no taxes. YES THEY DO! Even if they pay no income taxes they pay payroll taxes and at a much higher rate than those with high income because of the cap of about $110000.

  • Richard Pinaire

    I hope they come to Kansas.