Friday, December 25, 2009

Thou Shalt Not Steal? - Priest tells congregation to shoplift

It may be the eighth commandment but Anglican priest, Rev Tim Jones has advised his congragation to goth forth and shoplift.
He said  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."
"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."
"I would ask them not to take any more than they need. I offer the advice with a heavy heart. 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."
He added: "The strong temptation is to burgle or rob people - family, friends, neighbors, strangers."
"Others are tempted towards prostitution, a nightmare world of degradation and abuse for all concerned." "Others are tempted towards suicide. Instead, I would rather that they shoplift."

The Archdeacon of York, the Venerable Richard Seed, said: 'The Church of England does not advise anyone to shoplift, or break the law in any way.
'Father Tim Jones is raising important issues about the difficulties people face when benefits are not forthcoming, but shoplifting is not the way to overcome these difficulties.
'There are many organizations and charities working with people in need, and the Citizens' Advice Bureau is a good first place to call.'