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Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:15 PM

Faith in Values: Forgive Us Our Debts


An offshoot of Occupy Wall Street has turned to ancient religious teachings to take on America's mounting consumer debt.

By Sally Steenland | December 12, 2012

In many faith traditions, forgiveness refers to more than sin. It also refers to economic debt. The Hebrew Bible teaches the practice of Jubilee, where debts are forgiven every seven years. The Koran urges compassion for debtors in difficult straits, saying their debts should be postponed until they are “in ease.” In these faith traditions and others, economic and moral behavior is tightly entwined.

That link—between money and morals—isn’t limited to the pages of ancient sacred texts, however. You can spot it in today’s news thanks to a creative new project called the Rolling Jubilee, part of the Strike Debt campaign, which are both offshoots of the Occupy Wall Street movement and are tackling a huge problem. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, about 30 million Americans are being hounded by debt collection agencies.

The idea behind the Rolling Jubilee, the so-called bailout of people by people, is simple. Financial institutions often sell hard-to-collect debt to third parties at a discount. The third parties—usually debt-collection agencies—buy up the aggregated debt and then go after those who now owe them money. Since the collectors bought the debt at a bargain—usually pennies on the dollar—they’re guaranteed a significant profit if they keep hounding debtors until they pay.

Here’s what the Rolling Jubilee does. It buys up debt at a discount but does not chase down the debtors. Instead, it forgives the debt and sets the debtors free.

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Reply Faith in Values: Forgive Us Our Debts (Original post)
cbayer Dec 2012 OP
DreamGypsy Dec 2012 #1
cbayer Dec 2012 #2
dimbear Dec 2012 #3

Response to cbayer (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:34 PM

1. It's the miracle cure.

I take my chance at each abyss
And reach more my forgiveness.

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Response to DreamGypsy (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:41 PM

2. Ah, Luka.

I spent many hours on my bike peddling to Luka.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:18 PM

3. One could hope, but most scholars IMHO consider that the Biblical concept of jubilees

was strictly theoretical and never actually took place. It obviously would poison business entirely, ergo didn't happen.

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