Rush Limbaugh, we expect nonsense from him. But the Vatican, that's another story. When the Vatican is so threatened that it launches attacks on nuns, well, you know what they say in politics, a hit dog hollers.
In April, the Vatican issued a blistering report on the Leadership Conference on Women Religious, which represents some 80 percent of American Catholic nuns.
The Vatican determined the nuns had "serious doctrinal problems" and promoted "radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith."
Yesterday, the Vatican sternly told the nuns that they "remain under the supreme direction of the Holy See."
But the nuns are not cowering. They aren't retreating to their pews. Instead they're going on a bus tour!
Every day on The War Room with Jennifer Granholm we react to the news and put out calls to action to advance our country. I worry that people will feel disempowered and apathetic in the face of the ridiculous amounts of billionaire SuperPAC money. I fret about a system that exploits the uninformed and the vulnerable, and causes people to throw up their hands in frustration and anger.
But today I'm not worrying. I'm not fretting. Today I'm joyous -- because the nuns are here. Nuns to the rescue!
Last night on my show, I interviewed Sister Simone Campbell, who is part of the nuns on the bus tour -- you can watch that interview below -- but first let me tell you why the nuns inspire me.
Nuns have, throughout history, gently cared for the poor, the sick, the homeless.
But today, these sisters are pocketing in their rosaries -- for the moment -- and pulling on their boxing gloves. OK, maybe that's too strong a metaphor, but today I dream of the Koch brothers fighting the bus sisters. And I know who I'm rooting for.
The nuns bus tour is specifically aimed at protesting the Paul Ryan budget -- the House Republican budget that cuts services for the neediest -- a budget that harms the people who Jesus called, "the least of these."
That budget, they argue, flies in the face of the teachings of the Bible. Of course, Republicans routinely quote the Bible while simultaneously violating its teachings -- but their hypocrisy is a subject for many other rants.
Today, we celebrate those that don't just talk the talk, but actually walk the talk - or in this case, ride the bus.
Instead of being cowed by the forces aligned against them, the nun leadership are speaking truth to power. And they're not doing this for financial gain or political leverage, to get a book deal or a talk show.
They're doing this because they believe it is the right thing to do. Because they want to return morality to our nation. Because they believe in our better angels. That we are all in this together, that we can be better.
And it is precisely because they are unlikely warriors that their message has such impact. Strong words from women who have been warned by the Vatican, who are bucking the most rigid of all authorities and challenging the most patriarchal and hierarchical of all systems. On behalf of everyone who has ever wanted to speak out, but bit their tongue out of fear. On behalf of anyone who has wanted to challenge authority, to speak truth to power. Your example gives us courage. And hope.
You go, sisters!
Cross-posted at "The War Room" blog. Follow Jennifer Granholm on Facebook and Twitter and "The War Room" on Facebook and Twitter. "The War Room with Jennifer Granholm" airs weeknights at 9/8c on Current TV.