A Different Kind of Blog

news and things sacred and irreverent put together by opinionated people.

Funny how some things are wrong only some of the time

Posted by 1minionsopinion on December 22, 2009

This amuses me: Priest tells congregation it’s better than robbery or prostitution. What’s better? Shoplifting, apparently. It’s okay for the poor people to steal what they need.

Right, because store theft hurts no one.

Wrong. While large centres like Walmart can budget (somewhat) for shrinkage, and grocery chains toss a lot of food into dumpsters once it’s past its sell-by date, significant loss of merchandise will hurt a company eventually, causing increased prices to make up for losses, meaning everyone who wants to shop there suffers.

The Rev Tim Jones said in his Sunday sermon that stealing from successful shops was preferable to burglary, robbery or prostitution.

He told parishioners it would not break the eighth commandment ‘thou shalt not steal’ because it ‘is permissible for those who are in desperate situations to take food that they might not starve’.

But his advice was roundly condemned by police and the local Tory MP. Father Jones, 42, was discussing Mary and the birth of Jesus when he went on to the subject of how poor and vulnerable people cope in the run-up to Christmas.

‘My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift,’ he told his stunned congregation at St Lawrence and St Hilda in York.

‘I do not offer such advice because I think that stealing is a good thing, or because I think it is harmless, for it is neither.

‘I would ask that they do not steal from small family businesses, but from large national businesses, knowing that the costs are ultimately passed on to the rest of us in the form of higher prices.

Which will lead to even more theft once the prices get high enough to “justify” it. What ridiculous advice this is. And yet, I can see why he’d peddle it as a better alternative than other ways to make money illegally. Best of bad choices, I suppose.

And, the New York Times has an article about theft too – of books.

Apparently, not everyone shares this idea. With the recession, shoplifting is on the rise, according to booksellers. At BookPeople in Austin, Tex., the rate of theft has increased to approximately one book per hour. I asked Steve Bercu, BookPeople’s owner, what the most frequently stolen title was.

“The Bible,” he said, without pausing.

Apparently the thieves have not yet read the “Thou shalt not steal” part — or maybe they believe that Bibles don’t need to be paid for. “Some people think the word of God should be free,” Bercu said. As it turns out, Bibles are snatched even at the Parable Christian Store in Springfield, Ore., the manager told me, despite the fact that if a person asks for a Bible, they’ll be given a copy without charge.

That’s interesting.

So, how are lines drawn? Is stealing a sin or not? May as well hang for a sheep as a lamb? Everything’s fine until you get caught, I suppose. I’d lose my job in a heartbeat if I got caught shoplifting.

I don’t care for the consumer culture we live in much either, but still – until you have the money to buy it, you can’t have it. And don’t think a credit card will make everything easier, either. That’s a fast track to substantial debt if you buy knowing you’ll never have the money in hand to pay it all off.

Thoughts?

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4 Responses to “Funny how some things are wrong only some of the time”

  1. 1minionsopinion said

    (top note: I’ll be away in Dial Up Land for a whole week so I won’t get a chance to be in here again for a while.)

    I think part of the trouble is want vs need. People don’t know how to budget. They don’t learn any good money skills. They hear Joel Osteen and his ilk preach prosperity (the theme of my blog of late) as if some god really can drop money in someone’s lap just because they’ve asked for it. It works for Osteen, obviously, but for the poor and not-well-off people who give him money but see no extra cash in return? How does this really help them? Why make people who are barely over the poverty line tithe?

    While I don’t want to say we should never treat ourselves, but when the treats come every day, they aren’t treats anymore, are they? If you can’t afford food or diapers, why are you getting beer and cigarettes, you know? Blows my mind.

    (Happy Christmas you lot. Be happy people!)

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  2. dorian said

    i shalt not shoplift. i’d look too guilty and would be caught.

    those who have no money to buy presents should think of the little drummer boy song -the part that goes:

    Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
    I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
    I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
    That’s fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
    rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

    Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
    On my drum?

    Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
    The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
    I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
    I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
    rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

    Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
    Me and my drum.

    ————————————————-

    anyway, best things you can give doesn’t have to cost money!

    have a happy one, minion!

    i won’t be posting much myself. maybe something tomorrow..

    Like

  3. kay~ms said

    My honest thoughts are, first, here we go again, singling out an isolated incident and attributing it to the entire group. I had heard about this Preacher and what he said on the news and I just thought that this person was going after his 15 minutes of fame.. just looking for attention. People who give any attention to it are allowing themselves to be manipulated (or taking advantage of another opportunity to critisize Christians).

    The real sin here is that anyone should have to steal in order to avoid dying of hunger. I would venture to say that any town that has a chain store would also have a place to go for those who are homeless and hungry. If it doesn’t then again, that is the sin.

    This argument that non believers like to bring up all the time is so frustrating… the assumption that the rules are the rules and even God can’t make exceptions to His own rules. Any exceptions are considered hypocrisy somehow. God cares about what is in our hearts. The commandments are a guide. We are not judged by technicalities (following the rules) we are judged by what is in our hearts.

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  4. princessxxx said

    SPEAKING OF CHRISTMAS TIME THEFT:

    ***HELP A SINGLE MOM AND HER CHILDREN THIS CHRISTMAS! SO FAR, WE HAVE ONLY HAD ENOUGH TO “SUPPORT 70 OF THE 100 SINGLE MOM’S AND THEIR CHILDREN. PLEASE PRAY TODAY ABOUT MAKING A SPECIAL GIFT TOWARDS THIS SPECIAL EFFORT.As we have the past 2 Christmas’, we will once again be helping 100 single mom’s and their children have a few presents under the tree and a nice meal on the table Christmas day with a gift of $200. At this time of year that is about giving,what better way to touch a life than thru helping me insure these 100 single mom’s and their children see the real meaning of Christmas. The testimonies, even salvations we have seen the past 2 years have touched me greatly. YOU can make a huge impact by helping me with a gift towards this special project” – bill keller

    WELL, I WONDER WHY BILL KELLER JUST DOESN’T TELL HIS SHEEPLES TO SEND MONEY DIRECTLY TO A SINGLE MOM IN NEED. EVERYBODY KNOWS ONE. SOMEHOW KELLER WANTS “YOU” TO SEND MONEY TO “HIM” TO GIVE TO SINGLE MOM’S SO “HE” CAN REAP THE PRAISE. OH FA la la la la ho ho ho. I DON’T BELIEVE FOR ONE SECOND HE ACTUALLY GIVES ANY MONEY TO SINGLE MOMS.

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