UK Priest Tells Church to Shoplift

In the U.K. a priest has said that its ok to shoplift, but only if you steal from a big business. This is all done as a way for people to stay away from violent or degrading actions like mugging or prostitution. Where on earth do these people come from?

Father Tim Jones is the man behind the new call to shoplift. So if prostitution and mugging were compared to heroin, shoplifting from big businesses would be the methadone that is supposed to “solve” that problem.

What does this stem from? The idea that the Christmas season has become too commercialized and everyone just feels the need to spend, spend, spend and in hard times some people just can’t.

Jones does do something good here, he’s using this issue to call attention to problems with the welfare system in the Britain, though, sadly he seems to be advocating more welfare. “I offer the advice with a heavy heart and wish society would recognize that bureaucratic ineptitude and systematic delay has created an invitation and incentive to crime for people struggling to cope.” Unfortunately that doesn’t really seem like a plea for less government involvement, instead the exact opposite. That is still not an excuse to steal. Why are people so eager to look for excuses to sin?

Jones says that it doesn’t break the eighth commandment because “God’s love for the poor outweighs his love for the rich.” What a ridiculous claim. First, I think God has enough love to go around. Second, there is no biblical proof that God has more or less “love” for the rich and the poor. The rich are held to a higher standard than the poor, that is true, but that is different than love, I don’t think God has a love-O-meter and only has a finite amount of it, the implication puts an everlasting God into a finite world and that cannot be done. Thirdly, the poor cannot simply blame the rich anytime they want to sin.

Can we admit already that the welfare state cripples the incentive for the individual, and apparently now some portions of the church, to do anything to help the poor. Jones says “Let my words not be misrepresented as a simplistic call for people to shoplift. The observation that shoplifting is the best option that some people are left with is a grim indictment of who we are. Rather, this is a call for our society no longer to treat its most vulnerable people with indifference and contempt. Providing inadequate or clumsy social support is monumental, catastrophic folly.”

The main question that we must ask ourselves here is, why is there inadequate social support? Could it be that government never does a good job at providing social support? Could it be that as the government gets more and more evolved in the peoples lives that the people become less and less apt to give of themselves? The U.K. is arguably further left than the United States, but American leftists always looks with reverence at the European system and say “that’s what we need to do!” And look at what effect it has on the people of their country.

The more the government gets involved, the less the individual gets involved. When the government is taking all of the peoples money individuals don’t have the ability or the desire to do anything about problems that rid society, because they think the government has it under control.

I’ll leave you with this in closing. The church, no matter what denomination or location, cannot keep letting society guide it. We need to adhere to sound biblical principals and not ask ourselves if society approves. Jones should have been telling the well off of his congregation to start helping the poor, instead of giving the poor permission to sin.


2 Responses to “UK Priest Tells Church to Shoplift”

  1. Well, that would certainly curb the spending problem of lots of people.

    While I think that the government should be held responsible for not helping to “fix” issues of poverty and whatnot, I think that the Church should be held even more responsible.

  2. Sorry about the late response, I took a break over the holidays.

    I do agree with your last point about the Church. But what you have in America is a state that is somewhat hostile to the Church, based on the cries of a few people.

    And it seems that when the government gets bigger and appears to be “fixing” more problems the citizens do less. But the citizens are the only people that can really do anything. The only thing the government can really do is create an environment that allows for something to happen. And the type of environment that the welfare state creates is not a good one for the individual trying to effect other people in a positive way.

    Once the government steps into the business or economic environment that it creates to such a degree that it becomes one of the large competitors or dominates certain entities, in this case the church, then those entities don’t try as hard and are forced out of the market place because of less and less customers. In the case of the church the “customer” is the person that is giving and the product is a certain charity.

    That is not to say that the government shouldn’t be held accountable. The government has a place in helping the “poor.” The only problem is that it tends to try to do too much.

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