Seems like only yesterday, Republicans couldn't stop shoving bishops in front of cameras to explain why women's health care is immoral. But now that the bishops have some strong words for Republicans on their immoral budget to screw the poor, Republicans are sticking their fingers in their ears and saying, "Lalalalalala, we can't hear you." In fact, House Republicans would prefer the bishops shut up and stop talking about morality:
House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) chastised Catholic bishops at a Wednesday news conference on Capitol Hill, saying they needed to look at the bigger picture after they complained that the GOP budget plan fails to meet "moral criteria."Gosh, it's not so fun when the Catholic bishops call you out for being immoral, is it?
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is criticizing the House Republican budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan for cutting food stamps and other assistance programs for the poor.The bishops sent this letter after Rep. Paul Ryan gave a rather bizarre interview, in which he claimed that he's "using [his] Catholic faith" to justify cutting, for example, food stamps. Because, he says, that's how to "help people get out of poverty out onto life of independence."
In a letter sent to the House Agriculture Committee on Monday, the bishops say the budget fails to meet certain “moral criteria” by disproportionately cutting programs that “serve poor and vulnerable people.”
The bishops disagreed:
[T]he bishops urged lawmakers to reject "unacceptable cuts to hunger and nutrition" programs for "moral and human reasons." [...] Lawmakers should "protect essential programs that serve poor and hungry people over subsidies that assist large and relatively well-off agricultural enterprises," said the letter, signed by Bishop Stephen E. Blaire.
"Cuts to nutrition programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will hurt hungry children, poor families, vulnerable seniors and workers who cannot find employment. These cuts are unjustified and wrong."
SNAP happens to be one of the programs Republicans plan to cut in order to pay for tax breaks for millionaires and to give the Pentagon more money than it even wants. If Paul Ryan, John Boehner, and their fellow Republican Catholics in Congress think we should be following the moral dictates of the Church, they might want to reconsider those Church-endorsed programs that bishops say address "the needs of the hungry, the homeless and the unemployed first" and "reflect the shared responsibility of government and other institutions to promote the common good of all, especially 'workers and families who struggle to live in dignity in difficult economic times.'"
After all, it's what Jesus would want.