A Bus For Public Transformation

I turned on the Catholic talk radio station Living Bread Radio at WILB, 89.5 FM while driving in the car the other day. A Catholic spokeswoman was saying that many Catholics were praying that Obamacare was going to be struck down by the Supreme Court. The next day on the station two Catholic men were screaming like Chicken Little that the world was going to end because Obamacare was accepted by the Supreme Court. They went on a tirade against birth control and President Obama. A recent Gallop poll showed that 82 percent of U.S. Catholics say contraception is “morally acceptable,” and not a threat to their religious belief.  This just goes to show you how out of touch the Catholic Church is with their own members. If not using birth control is a big part of Catholic teachings then the churches need to hang signs in their entrances that those Catholics using birth control are not welcome. The church – from its bishops to the Pope – has been for years calling on Congress, the courts and state legislatures to end the death penalty. A 2004 Zogby poll says that 48% of Catholics support the death penalty. Will the church post a sign saying this 48% is not welcome in the church? The Catholic hierarchy’s lobbying against contraception and abortion has had disastrous effects on women’s lives around the world and especially on the lives of poor women. Now we have the Catholic Church rooting for the Supreme Court to deny the poor healthcare.

Churches, unions and a lot of other organizations have the potential to do so much good. Unfortunately the bureaucracy and hierarchy often becomes the problem and not the solution. Luckily, church and unions are made up of rank and file members. These foot soldiers are the people who need to be heard the most because they are the ones who get the job done on a daily basis. And so it was last Wednesday when the “Nuns on the Bus” tour stopped at the Youngstown Dorothy Day House on Belmont Ave. The tour is an effort led by Sister Simone Campbell to raise public awareness of the deep federal budget cuts proposed by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R. Wis. Sister Simone is not just protesting Ryan’s budget but promoting a more socially responsible budget. It is a 55-page document called the “Faithful Budget.” Its message boils down to five words, she said — “reasonable revenue for responsible programs.” The tour to raise public awareness began June 17 in Des Moines and concludes July 2 in Washington, D.C. At Wednesdays event about 150-200 local folks showed up to greet the “Nuns on the Bus.”

Sadly, yours truly was at work and missed this great event. I was filled in on all the happenings on Thursday when I attended the Dorothy Day House roundtable discussion. The discussion was on a what people thought should be in a just budget and what could be done to promote it. First off we can easily take care of the poor if we quit wasting money on war especially war for raw materials. We can lift the poor out of poverty by creating a world of dignity and humanity by establishing a democracy where people share power equally. Society needs to be based on solidarity not exploitation. A budget should include ways of saving, investing and carrying for our natural resources based on saving the life of the planet not destroying it. We need fair trade laws to help create a boil up economy. It should have been obvious to everyone decades ago that a trickle down economy does not work. In 1980 the U.S. was the #1 financial lender in the world but after 30 years of Reaganomics trickle down we are the #1 borrower of money in the world. You’ve all heard the expression that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing that doesn’t work over and over. So…..STOP THE INSANITY.

Like minded people who want to have a better world need to end their complacency. Haven’t we learned that the two-party system is bought and paid for by the wealthy and there isn’t any of it left for sale to us? We oppressed get to vote every few years to decide which “purchased” representatives of the oppressing class is going to further oppress us. How’s that working for you?  We were designed by our creator with two legs to get us somewhere, two arms to lift others up, two eyes for looking at another way of seeing the world and a voice to shout out for justice. We need to get on that bus with the nuns! While the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is lost and broke down on the highway the “Nuns on the Bus” have taken the high road and are on the right path. It’s fitting the nuns are on a bus that is not public transportation it is public transformation!

From the Youngstown Dorothy Day House  website: “Our hospitality consists of a hot meal, coffee, a safe place to relax, access to clothing, a shower, a washer and dryer, and most of all a warm welcome with the offer of friendship and the promise of respect for everyone who walks through our doors. Dinner is served Monday-Thursday from 5:00 to 6:30 PM, and free showers are offered on Tuesday evenings from 3:00 to 4:45 PM.  Roundtable discussions of social justice topics are held on the fourth Thursday evening of the month from 7:00 to 8:30 PM.  Volunteers are welcome to assist with chefing, serving meals, showers, gardening, and miscellaneous tasks around the house.”

Stop in and lend a hand to these good folks doing good work.

In my last post I talked about how Uncle Sam is using drones to spy on American citizens. I talked about how we are becoming an Orwellian society. One of my favorite readers understood exactly what I was talking about and sent me this article about how police departments have been buying up military gear. Thanks for reading and thanks for your contribution!

The Who: Magic Bus

Roger Daltrey: Wheels on the Bus

I firmly believe that our salvation depends on the poor. ~ Dorothy Day


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