Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne writes about how the U.S. Senate is on the verge of passing a credit-card-industry-backed bankruptcy bill that makes it harder for consumers to pay back their debts, and turns a blind eye to predatory lending practices. He notes that Senators are expected to cynically use values language to justify their support of this bill. (For more on the bill, see this earlier ThinkProgress post).
If that’s the case, maybe Senators should review the Bible before their floor debate. As you can see from these quotes provided by Rep. Bernie Sanders office, the Bible is very clear about God’s views on the evil of usury:
If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. Take no usury or interest from him; but fear your God, that your brother may live with you. You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit.
“In you they take bribes to shed blood; you take usury and increase; you have made profit from your neighbors by extortion, and have forgotten Me,” says the Lord God.
He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.
If he has exacted usury Or taken increase — Shall he then live? He shall not live! If he has done any of these abominations, He shall surely die; His blood shall be upon him.
“If he has not oppressed anyone, But has restored to the debtor his pledge; Has robbed no one by violence, But has given his bread to the hungry And covered the naked with clothing; If he has not exacted usury Nor taken any increase, But has withdrawn his hand from iniquity And executed true judgment between man and man; If he has walked in My statutes And kept My judgments faithfully — He is just; He shall surely live!” Says the Lord God.
One who increases his possessions by usury and extortion gathers it for him who will pity the poor.
Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury.
If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.