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GOP Tax Bill Brings "Nuns on the Bus" to Iowa

The Nuns on the Bus are in Iowa this week to deliver a message of economic justice and express their concerns about the 2017 GOP tax bill. (
The Nuns on the Bus are in Iowa this week to deliver a message of economic justice and express their concerns about the 2017 GOP tax bill. (
October 16, 2018

DES MOINES, Iowa – Election season is in high gear in Iowa, and amid messaging from candidates and political action committees, a new group has joined the political conversation in the state this week: Roman Catholic nuns.

The Nuns on the Bus tour is driving cross country to share a message of economic justice. And a handful of Catholic sisters from orders around the country will visit Des Moines and Cedar Rapids Tuesday.

The group's leader, Sister Simone Campbell, says her faith teaches her to look out for society's most vulnerable people – and in her view, politics is an important piece of that.

"Quite frankly, the Constitution's best values are quite similar to my faith values,” she states. “And what we know is, it's about 'We the people' – we the people of the United States, forming a more perfect union.

“So the fact is, it's our constitutional mandate to create a union that works for the 100 percent."

The main focus of the tour is the 2017 Republican tax bill, which the sisters see as favoring the wealthy at the expense of the poor.

They've scheduled a visit and rally at the Youth Emergency Services and Shelter in Des Moines Tuesday at 10 a.m. and then head to Cedar Rapids for a 6 p.m. town hall meeting at Mount Mercy University.

The group is calling for budget and tax policies that invest in communities and reduce economic inequality.

Wednesday, the nuns are scheduled to visit the office of Iowa Republican, Rep. Rod Blum. Campbell says they'll emphasize the importance of building community bonds and bridging divides.

"In the scriptures, Jesus sends the disciples out not one by one,” points out. “He sends them out two by two, because he knows we can't do this work alone.

“And so, we can disagree about policy, that's fine, but let's be connected with each other and find the way forward together."

The politically active Catholic sisters are visiting 21 states on their tour, which is set to conclude just before the November midterm election at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida – a site the nuns refer to as "the pinnacle of economic inequality."

Roz Brown, Public News Service - IA