Catholic Advocate: Ryan Budget Not Pro-Life

Convention speaker Sister Simone Campbell says Paul Ryan's budget hurts society's most vulnerable.

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Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, speaks during a stop on the first day of a 9-state Nuns on the Bus tour in Ames, Iowa.

GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's budget may not address the topic of abortion, but it still runs counter to his pro-life principles, says a prominent Catholic activist.

"We look at the Ryan budget, and they want to cut benefits for women, infants, and children," Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Catholic social justice organization Network, tells U.S. News. "It's not a pro-life stance."

[See a collection of cartoons about Paul Ryan.]

Campbell is referring to the section of Ryan's plan that would convert low-income safety net programs like SNAP to block grant programs, which could mean benefit cuts.

Campbell has enjoyed a meteoric rise to political celebrity. Earlier this summer, she led the "Nuns on the Bus" nationwide tour, traveling with other nuns around the country to promote "economic justice." On that tour, she and her fellow nuns garnered national media attention and rallied Catholic Democrats. Wednesday night, she spoke in front of a national audience, delivering a convention speech that lambasted Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan's policies, drawing roaring applause in the process.

Romney and Ryan, as well as many other politicians, often invoke God in their political rhetoric. Campbell says that the language often rings false.

"Some people bring God into the discussion just to use it as a soundbite because it's politically appropriate," she says. "That annoys me."

However, she understands that for many politicians, the religious references are sincere, and that she shares a god with them, if not political beliefs. Understanding this point and communicating on the most divisive issues, she says, is the key to helping parties come together when divided by belief.

Campbell references a biblical passage that characterizes all Christians as part of one body to illustrate her point.

"If we're one body, I'd better make peace with my gall bladder if i'm the stomach, because you gotta get along," she adds. "One of you might be oozing a little acid, but it's essential for the working of the whole."

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