This Simpler Living OneEarth Podcast is a co-production of Simple Living Works! and The Common Good Podcast (OneEarth Jubilee).
If you are part of a family struggling with student debt, you likely know that student debt now totals nearly $1.7 trillion, exceeding both total car loans and credit card loans. Only mortgage loans are a bigger part of economic debt. Rugged individualism holds that I must pay off the debt I incur. But that fails to recognize the structures of debt. Debt is not structured by individuals, but by powerful financial and political groups that often make repayment strenuously difficult. For many, impossible. Such debt is immoral and destroys creativity to the extent that all, not just the debtor, suffer. That’s why, in a Jubilee worldview, debt is forgiven after a reasonable period of time. Jubilee refuses to marginalize people in perpetuity because of debt. All people must be treated as kin in the human family and that disallows any perpetual separation into loan makers and borrowers.
We pray, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” And for all who pray the “Trespasses” version, remember that the greatest trespasses are the structural ones that separate people from one another, dividing us into categories like have-gots and have-nots. With either version of the prayer, we’re praying to forgive economic evils that separate us from one another and from our souls.
You can visit Jubilee USA online at https://www.jubileeusa.org.