Poor people who are desperate for cash have been advised to go forth and shoplift from major stores – by an Anglican priest.
The Rev Tim Jones said in his Sunday sermon that stealing from successful shops was preferable to burglary, robbery or prostitution.
One can quibble with his hierarchy; I hold that prostitution is a lesser sin than shoplifting (in my eyes, not God’s), because one is at least exchanging value with a willing buyer. But what’s the matter with not sinning at all?
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’.
That’s not a condition that exists anywhere in the US, and I doubt that Britain is much worse off. Food grows wild on the sides of streets, it piles up in dumpsters, it’s incredibly cheap to buy enough food to sustain life, people are charitably giving it away. It would be hard to find a real-life situation in the Western world where to not steal would be a greater sin than to steal…perhaps if it were life-and-death for a small child under your care. But even then, sin is sin, and it’s not the job of a priest to tell people to sin.
I find it amazing that Rev. Jones thinks that the same people who are too stupid to provide food for themselves or to somehow create value to exchange for food are smart enough to gain access to corporate balance sheets so that they’ll know which stores are successful and can be ethically robbed. This looks like the usual Commie class-mongering “eat the rich” routine. Nobody is smart enough to make that decision. The Wiccans try, but nobody is objective enough to consistently evaluate “harm” in “an it harm none, do what thou wilt”. Most Witches would draw the line about where Rev. Jones draws it. And the reason I am not one is that analysis of social trends during my lifetime and of the lives of my fellow believers indicated to me that no human can generate a successful set of rules for living on their own, and that all attempts at making such rules will bend toward the desires of the rulemaker.
Did anyone at all interrupt that sermon with cries of “Heresy!”?