British Vicar Criticized for Advocating Stealing
ASSIST News Service reports that an Anglican priest in the United Kingdom has stirred up a firestorm over his comments that poor people who are desperate this Christmas should shoplift from major stores. The Rev. Tim Jones said in his sermon this week that stealing from shops was the "least worst option" -- better than burglary, robbery or prostitution. Premier Radio says he told stunned parishioners at St Lawrence's in York that it would not break the eighth commandment 'Thou shalt not steal.'
And there you have it: a collectivist ‘clergyman’ who is willing to admit openly what his kind have advocated covertly for a long time. He thinks shoplifting would not break the eighth commandment. I assume that shoplifting is a form of stealing, so it appears that the (somewhat) Rev. Tim Jones is willing to affirm that stealing would not violate the commandment ‘You shall not steal.’ There is a technical term for that, but “stupid” will do for now.
It is interesting the victims from which the (less than fully) Rev. Jones says poor people should steal - ‘major stores.’ Why not steal from small stores? Why does the Rev so cavalierly exclude the tried-and-true technique of burglary? Why not steal from the houses of well-to-do people who have gone to a Christmas party somewhere? That way, the well-to-do could experience that famous statement of Jesus that “it is better to be robbed than to receive.”
OK, so Jesus didn’t exactly say that. But with (the almost) Rev. Jones version of the Christian faith, why would that matter?
Never mind that those hurt by shoplifting a ‘major stores’ could easily include people of very modest means who have a financial stake in such stores: workers, those who hold small amounts of stock in such stores, those who supply the stores, and others.
But beyond all that, we live in a world based on theft of the legal version. Almost every piece of legislation that comes from our government and many others around the world is founded on the idea that it is perfectly acceptable to take from some and deliver the loot to others. The pirates of Somalia are only practicing on a small level what most governments do on a massive scale.
People like the (morally not quite) Rev. Jones have advocated this kind of legalized theft for a long time. Now they have simply become more consistent and dropped the pretense of legality. You really have to admire their forthrightness.
One thing always puzzles me about people like the (perhaps not so) Rev. Jones. They often base their advocacy of theft on the fact that there are needy people in the world. But the (almost) Rev. Jones types of the world almost never take the first, obvious, and morally virtuous step in helping the needy: giving away most of what they own. My guess is that an Anglican Rev is far from impoverished. He could certainly help a lot of needy people by giving what he owns to the needy, and continuing to do so.
But instead, he comes up with ‘shocking’ pronouncements that shoplifting isn’t stealing and the needy should do it. This is where much of what calls itself “Christianity’ has come to lately. But if that’s all the Anglican Revs have to offer these days, they might as well just die and decrease the surplus population!
And with that sad note I say, “Merry Christmas, God bless us every one.” (Even the morally confused like the Rev. Tim Jones. Perhaps God will give him some sense for Christmas.)