Like Robin Hood, the "Nuns on the Bus" show up when you need them.
First it was the social safety net-slashing House budget proposal in 2012 that brought out the sisters calling for justice in cities across the U.S. Then, in 2013, it was the need for comprehensive immigration reform.
Now, the bus-traveling sisters are back, this time fueled by the message, "We the People, We the Voters" in order to take a stand against the overpowering influence of big money on elections.
The U.S. citizenry is "fed up with a system in which the super-rich and giant corporations are effectively able to buy politicians and policy," as Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, stated this month. That influence in thanks in part to two Supreme Court decisions—Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission—which dismantled campaign finance laws.
Organized by Catholic social justice lobby NETWORK, the group kicks off its 10-state tour focused on this big-money influence on Sept. 17 in Iowa, and ends roughly one month later in Colorado.
“It’s all about ‘we the people’ standing up against big money,” Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK, told Religion News Service.
Sister Simone gained widespread notoriety—but rebuke from the Vatican—for her role spearheading the bus tours, which she used as an opportunity to call for economic justice and human rights. She has brought this message to a wide range of audiences, appearing on shows including the Colbert Report, Real Time With Bill Maher and Bill Moyers as well as penning the book A Nun on the Bus: How All of Us Can Create Hope, Change, and Community.
Asked last month by the Global Sisters Report, a project of the National Catholic Reporter, if there would be another Nuns on the Bus tour, Sister Simone said, "I say that the bus is like Robin Hood. It shows up when you need it. So if you think of an issue that needs attention or needs really a big push, the bus may show up." She added that a new tour could be a possibility this fall, and though tour funding concerns remained, she said, "Robin Hood shows up when you're desperate."