It will be interesting to see how Republicans vote in today's special session in Salem on Oregon's payday loan industry. With so much attention being given to the issue, perhaps they'll vote for stricter regulations, but I doubt with much enthusiasm. Republicans in this state have been reluctant to go there, despite the party's so called claim on "morality", as in "Christian morality." Ironic, isn't it? It's pretty clear where the Bible stands on usury, and Jesus definitely made a big fuss about it, but Oregon's "Party of God" has generally avoided the issue while taking powerful stands on abortion (not much about that in the Bible) and limiting the rights of gays.
I'm the last one who will claim any expert knowledge on the Bible, but I do come from a long line of traditional Scandinavian Lutherans. It was pretty clear to me growing up that borrowing money was a big NO NO. My grandfather built a bidness purely on sweat equity. In the minds of my grandparents, borrowing money and paying interest on it was just as bad as being a "money lender" because in paying interest you would be giving your money to someone who was un-Christian, or immoral because you were helping them take advantage of people in more desperate situations.
Interestingly, this kind of thinking has all but disappeared today, so much so that not only credit card companies, the sugar daddies of the "Party of God", can get away with charging 21% interest and higher rates, but payday loan outfits can sit pretty on 500% interest. What would Jesus think about that?