Loose Lips and Big Pockets

Just in case you thought there hadn’t been adequate controversial press coverage of a Christian church or individual lately, I offer this up for your consideration.

A Church of England priest is advocating – as a last ditch option – shoplifting as a way to survive these tough economic times.

Tim Jones, in a recent sermon, indicated that he thought it was acceptable for those who are at the end of their economic rope, and who have exhausted all legitimate forms of charity or employment, to shoplift from large shopping chains.  Such losses are ultimately compensated for with higher prices to other consumers, a trade-off Jones seems to find acceptable.

His higher-ups disagree with his statement, although he’s sticking with his guns.  Come to think of it, if shoplifting were no longer an option, I wonder if armed robbery would become the next best solution in Jones’ book?

As the politician in the associated video points out, theft is against the Ten Commandments.  Then again, by some interpretations of those same Commandments, so is allowing your neighbor to go hungry.  But does one wrong counter-act another wrong?  Not likely.  It’s rather disheartening that the article concludes with Jones’ higher-up saying adamantly that theft is not an adequate solution, and then referring people to a public charity organization, the Citizens’ Advice Bureau.  Unfortunate that there isn’t any indication in this article that the Church ought to consider the Biblical injunction to care for the marginalized more seriously than simply shaking fingers at parishioners who spend plenty on themselves but give nothing to the less fortunate. 

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