Priest Advises Poor to Shoplift

Father Tim Jones of the St. Lawrence Church in York, England is getting some flack for advice he preached after his Nativity sermon on Sunday, in which he advocated shoplifting for those in desperate straits.
Delivering his festive lesson, Father Jones told the congregation: 'My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift. 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.

'I would ask them not to take any more than they need, for any longer than they need.

'I offer the advice with a heavy heart and wish society would recognise that bureaucratic ineptitude and systematic delay has created an invitation and incentive to crime for people struggling to cope.'

He added that he felt society had failed the needy, and said it was far better they shoplift than turn to more degrading or violent options such as prostitution, mugging or burglary.

Both the North Yorkshire police department and local MP Anne McIntosh hav publicly denounced Father Jones' sermon. Link -via Fark

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When I was completely out of money and trying to go to college at the time, I stole food from the supermarket a couple of times.

I don't the solution is to steal food, but I don't think anyone who has food to eat on a daily basis should take the moral high ground. There are people in real desperate situations, and sometimes you have to take drastic measures.

When he said: "I offer the advice with a heavy heart and wish society would recognise that bureaucratic ineptitude and systematic delay has created an invitation and incentive to crime for people struggling to cope."

This is not clear enough. He should of quoted quoted Ghandi, who said, "We have enough for everyone's needs, but we don't have enough for everyone's greed." It's pitiful that billions upon billions of dollars are wasted on war, entertainment, and greed while adults and children go hungry and homeless. There's no justification for it.
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@ Zaulankris:

"Aren't most poor people poor because they make poor choices?"

No. I know it's hard, but it's important to understand that we live within a complex network of forces and are not, each of us, born at the same exact level with the same exact potentials and options. Have a gander at, I don't know, India, and ask yourself if the millions of destitute people there each simply made some bad decisions in an otherwise completely open and potential-rich environment. I'm not even sure why I'm saying this; it's so stunningly obvious. Unless you're trolling, in which case, well done.
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