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by Abigail Van Buren

Food Stamp Fraud Leaves Bad Taste in Wife's Mouth

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are taking a two-month vacation, so we advertised in our church newsletter for a house sitter. Our 18-year-old daughter lives with us, so we wanted a female. She works full-time and goes to night classes at our community college.

A 24-year-old girl I'll call Wanda answered the ad. She, her parents and grandparents are members of our church. We told Wanda she could live here for free and save the $100 a month she had been paying her parents for rent. Wanda said that she wanted $50 a month from us. She was the best choice we had, so we agreed.

Yesterday Wanda came over with her parents, and as they were leaving, her mother dropped this bomb: "Wanda has applied for food stamps -- but you will have to sign a paper saying that you are not paying her anything to live in your house."

My husband said, "No problem -- we will sign it."

I do not want to sign that paper. I don't believe in lying -- especially to help a young, able-bodied woman to defraud the government.

My husband professes to be a Christian, and apparently these people are Christians -- as she chided me for not attending church and all that good stuff.

Abby, what do you think about people asking a fellow church member to lie so their daughter can defraud the government? Our plans are made and confirmed, and we are leaving tomorrow; there's no time to find an honest non-Christian to live here. -- DISGUSTED

DEAR DISGUSTED: Shame on those Christian churchgoers for asking you to sign a false statement in order to defraud the government. And your husband should be ashamed of himself for condoning such shenanigans.