“I think everyone should be upset about this and, again, Joe Biden is off the rails,” spouted Christian spite-witch Marjorie Taylor Greene. Biden should be impeached after the decision to forgive student loans, she huffed. Her outrage reflects the attitude of many evangelicals: “It seems outrageous to me that any President has the power or authority to cancel legal contracts with the stroke of a pen,” a representative commenter replied to a Christian Post article.
In contrast, evangelicals didn’t complain about the CARES Act PPP, the SBA-guaranteed small business loan program.. In fact, some 50% of churches with more than 200 members applied for a “loan”, with “evangelical leaders tied to President Donald Trump and megachurches tied to scandals pulling in some of the largest payouts”. COVID-19 was a financial bonanza for evangelicals. And they all knew it, replete with secret phone calls from the White House, being “walked through how to obtain emergency funding from the government. Participants in the calls prayed together and thanked officials for ‘blessing’ them with the opportunity to receive millions in taxpayer dollars, even without being tax-exempt or meeting requirements necessary for non-religious organizations.”
Joyce Meyer Ministries, was approved for a $5 million to $10 million loan; Robert Jeffress’ First Baptist Dallas, a loan between $2 million and $5 million; Willow Creek church, between $5 million and $10 million. Despite the intent of PPP to save jobs, the church decided instead to keep the money and cut 92 staff positions. James Dobson’s Family Institute was forgiven $668,549. Mike Bickel of IHOP got $2.5 million. The Crouch dynasty Trinity Broadcasting helped itself to $3.3 million. The American Family Association, a designated hate group, managed to pull $2 million. Steve Furtick wangled $3.6 million, even though his church ended 2019 with a cash surplus of $26 million. Jimmy Swaggart got $2.6 million. Even convicted felon Jim Bakker got into the act, receiving some $400K. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s all exposed – some 400 evangelical ministries and churches – and in the open on the Trinity Foundation website. What happens afterwards – what they do with the money – is locked behind IRS rules protecting churches from transparency in some very opaque finances.
Funny how all these good Christian folks, greedily sucking at the government tit, had no second thought about helping themselves to hard-earned public taxpayer money. And many of them ran some very impressive balance sheets. Along with stashed personal wealth galore. Like the late multi-millionaire and anti-vaccine televangelist Marcus Lamb’s Daystar Network, which took $3.9-million, and turned it around to buy him a multimillion corporate jet. It took an outcry generated by an investigative journalist for Lamb to cough the PPP funds back up. Not like they suffered to meet payroll like struggling mom-and-pop small businesses. Or, the black-owned businesses, which received a paltry 1.9% of loans. The design was politically maneuvered as a set-up to reward loyal Trump soldiers for their godly obesisance.
And so we return to Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose own business had loans worth $183,504 forgiven. “At the stroke of the pen”, her government indebtedness was expunged. No hypocrisy there, nosiree bob. And these are shofar-blowing zealots for the Lord who adore the Old Testament, reveling in God’s command to murder all the gays. Yet none of these ram’s horn blowing capitalists ever mention the Israelite Year of Jubilee, which came every 50th year, being a year full of releasing people from their debts, releasing all slaves, and returning property to who owned it (Leviticus 25:1-13).
The hypocrisy is palpable. It should outrage any American taxpayer. Especially a Christian, who disagrees with financially supporting a church or ministry “too big to fail” he/she otherwise shuns as heretical or sham. Meanwhile, thousands of former college students are struggling through an uneasy job market, inflation, and tuition loan repayments. One only needs point to the bait-and-switch Trump University, where “the billionaire had made enough money for himself. Now, he would put his famous brain to work for the little guy“. God cares for the little guy. For glutinous Trump and Taylor Greene, the little guy just gets in the way of the trough. Jesus instead says the little guy is too small to fail my love.
Let’s blow a shofar for student loan forgiveness!