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Let’s get something straight. The only money that government has, it takes from people who work for a living. The only money government has to lend, it took from you and me. In a way, when these student loans are paid back, the money should go back to the people who had their money taken from the government to make the loans. When we borrow money from a lending institution, we have to pay that money back to the lending institution. Theoretically, the people who deposit their money in a bank make interest on the loans the banks make. It’s really quite simple. Liberal theologian Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, who writes for the Washington Post‘s “On Faith” section, has written “Forgive us our student loan debt.” She bases her loan forgiveness mandate on a perverted interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer:
Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Matt. 6:12). Forgiving debt is a moral issue. Forgiving some of the worst of this student debt is crucial literally to save this American generation.
These students who voluntarily took out these loans didn’t borrow the money from me. They borrowed money that was stolen from me. They borrowed this money to pay for an appreciating asset – a college education. I’m willing to forgive what was stolen from me if one of these debtors wants to work it off. The Bible has a nifty way for thieves to pay off their property crime debts. They become indentured servants. This is a very constitutional as well as a Bible thing.
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction” (Amendment XIII, Section 1).
Involuntary servitude would be a good way to teach these college debtors some lessons about how their loan isn’t government money but the money of their fellow citizens She goes on to write:
Currently, I’m advocating debt forgiveness. It is the moral thing to do and it is the right civic thing to do. This is what Jesus actually meant; real debts, real debtors, forgiving and forgiven. This is what government is actually about — of the people, by the people, for the people. We still have a chance to show young people that democracy can work for the common good.
Forgiveness. It’s the right thing to do.
I wonder if she’ll write a similar column when April 15th, 2012 comes around. Do you think I should make a copy of her article and attach it to my tax return and underline these words?: “Debt forgiveness . . . This is what government is actually about.” I’m sure it will work. Don’t you think so?