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Priest Tells Poor To Shoplift

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the 9-out-of-10-ain't-bad dept.

Idle 86

Father Tim Jones has said to hell with the 8th commandment and advised the poor in his church to shoplift if they can't afford to feed their families. He said, "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 recognize that bureaucratic ineptitude and systematic delay has created an invitation and incentive to crime for people struggling to cope." Of course, church leaders, business owners, and the police strongly disagree with the father's moral relativism.

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huh? (2, Informative)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30525988)

I don't think that qualifies as moral relativism; the guy seems to be basically saying stealing is wrong, but not as wrong as letting your family starve. Of course slashdot is a very strongly capital L Libertarian viewpoint so I'm sure if anyone else responds to this story they'll be a lot more disapproving.

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526122)

Actually,

As a little L libertarian I have no problem with this.

I will note that there is a difference between stealing Wonder bread and peanut butter versus stealing filet mignon, but the threat of starvation is a valid excuse.

Re:huh? (1)

kbmxpxfan (1251818) | more than 4 years ago | (#30529208)

Really? If they go to church...Shouldn't their church be supporting/helping them?

Re:huh? (2, Insightful)

jayme0227 (1558821) | more than 4 years ago | (#30530398)

Most churches do quite a bit to help the poor, whether or not they are constituents of the church. The problem lies in the fact that churches are quickly fading (esp. in the developed world) so their donations are dwindling, while, at the same time, the number of poor is increasing. Even if the church is supporting them, generally it's to the tune of a couple meals a week, generally, not enough to raise a family.

There are other mechanisms in place to help the poor, but, due to the abuse of some, it can be difficult for those who truly need help to get it. Sometimes there really is no other alternative.

Re:huh? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30539502)

You imply that church charity is abused.

In fact most charity organizations abuse and mislead donors. This include churches.

Very little money donate because of mother Teresa went to the poor. Mostly it went to support nuns.

Re:huh? (1)

jayme0227 (1558821) | more than 4 years ago | (#30539738)

I meant that the "other mechanisms" were abused, namely the government. I know way too many people who were welfare lifers before welfare reform went through. Then there are people who claim unemployment even though they don't need it, who quit their jobs but find a loophole to receive unemployment, and, my personal favorite: those who sell foodstamps for booze and cigarettes.

I'm not disagreeing with you on your point, it is valid; I just wanted to clarify mine.

Re:huh? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30539762)

And the nuns did what with it? Bought recliners and PS3s?

Or did it maybe feed and keep the missions running where the nuns were? The nuns who were, you know, helping the poor?

Money that supported the nuns indirectly supports the missions they're on. It's not like the administrative costs that eat 85% of your donation to the Red Cross.

Re:huh? (1)

Millennium (2451) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543882)

You imply that church charity is abused.

You imply that it isn't. They all are, from time to time.

Re:huh? (1, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#30534984)

Churches do as much as they can... However it isn't enough overall. A wealthy church normally brings in about $6,000 a week/ roughly about $300,000 a year.

About $100,000 a year goes to paying the mortgage on the church and the priest home (which they share with an other priest) and the office.

Roughly about $5,000 goes to utilities.

About $45,000 goes to underpaid staff.

That brings us to $150,000

The priests salary for 2 $50,000

Maintenance and upkeep $50,000

That leaves about $50,000 for charitable works. So say there are 100 people who are in need... that leaves $500.00 a year per family. To feed 1 person it would be $25 per week making that $1300.0 per person per year in need. Leaving a gap of $800 that the person still needs.

Plus there are more charities then just feeding people... Including health, and wellness, and social issues the church believes to be important.

That is for a wealthy church. A lot of others make due with a lot less.

Re:huh? (1)

PsyciatricHelp (951182) | more than 4 years ago | (#30572314)

I went to a chuch for a but that had their weekly income stats on the back of their pamphlet. They averaged 15K in donations weekly. What came of this funding. I have no real clue. But, After being open for a year they needed more volunteers the pasture got a salary increase to 65K and got a new car. The Building expanded they got more gadgets and then asked for more donations in these trying times. I haven't been back. I for one say people need to make do. Shop lift if needed. I do what I can. No longer in the form of donation. I do not hand out cash. I have been knows to buy a wendys combo for a homeless person. My point is: Well taken from History of the World. "Leader of Senate: All fellow members of the Roman senate hear me. Shall we continue to build palace after palace for the rich? Or shall we aspire to a more noble purpose and build decent housing for the poor? How does the senate vote? Entire Senate: FUCK THE POOR! "

Re:huh? (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 4 years ago | (#30539890)

Really? If they go to church...Shouldn't their church be supporting/helping them?

No, a person should be doing their own shoplifting, not relying on a church or others to do it for them. Aide-toi. Le Ciel t'aidera.

Re:huh? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30529264)

If "x is wrong, but isn't as wrong as y" doesn't qualify as moral relativism, I'm not sure what would, precisely.

Still, overall, stealing food for your family is wrong, but I agree that it is not as wrong as letting them starve.

But, of course, Father Jones might want to consider taking his example from Bishop Myriel, if he's going to tell his flock to take their example from Jean Valjean.

Re:huh? (2, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30537496)

Moral relativism is closer to saying that there is no universal "rigtht thing" to do or any universal "wrong thing" to do. Looking at the situation moraly reltavistcally, one might say that the large company isn't wrong for trying to prevent shoplifting, Society isn't wrong for not providing means for the individual to provide for themselves, and the individual stealing isn't wrong for stealing. There is no potential for Justice in that situation. No ideal solution to the conflict of interests.

Re:huh? (2, Informative)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 4 years ago | (#30539866)

If "x is wrong, but isn't as wrong as y" doesn't qualify as moral relativism, I'm not sure what would, precisely.

I don't think that term means what you think it means. It's not saying that, morally speaking, X is "relatively" worse than Y. It's more along the lines of saying that there isn't an absolute morality. For instance, Person A might disagree with Person B as to whether action X is moral or not: it's not Person A's "relative" judgment about X vs. Y. There's a Wikipedia entry on Moral Relativism [wikipedia.org] .

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30543616)

Oh My Fucking God! You uber-geeks will fight over ANYTHING!

Re:huh? (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 4 years ago | (#30594822)

WTF, man? Do I go around tweetering people about their spelling, bad grammar, shallowness and banality? Are you sure you're reading/posting in the right place?

Re:huh? (1)

10Neon (932006) | more than 4 years ago | (#30551834)

Mod parent up- this is the correct description of moral relativism.

Nope, its not relativism (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30529992)

Exactly, one may or may not agree, but it is not relativism.

It is clearly a hierarchy. And duh... Feeding your children is more important than not stealing.
Relativism would be the implication that the hierarchy itself was relative. Relativism would be something like: We believe random acts of murder are worse than random acts of theft in America, but in XXX things are different.

Relativism removes any universal ethical thinking and leave us only with historical/cultural morals.

I'd hope all of the obvious things like foodstamps and church charity were done first. I also acknowledge that some people fuck up. If one loses money and its one's one fault ... I don't think that doesn't mean they shouldn't steal to help their kids. They should do what they need to do and try and make sure they pay the price not their kids...

That is easier said than done and likely one in this situation will fail, but legality is also a separate concept from ethics. The ethical picture here is complex, the legal picture is simple.

Re:huh? (1)

robinstar1574 (1472559) | more than 4 years ago | (#30535788)

Goes to show how much we have lost it. Jesus said that he would "come" when the world went to h2l, but he must have meant something much worse then this, when priests are advising the poor to rob the big superstores.

Re:huh? (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30538268)

TFS seems very badly confused about what "moral relativism" actually means.

Saying "X is always wrong." is a trivial example of moral absolutism. However, saying "X is wrong unless condition Y holds." is precisely as absolute as the first example. There is absolutely nothing about moral absolutism that requires the absolute ethical rules to be of low complexity. Nor is there anything forbidding absolutist ethics from acknowledging competing interests(so long as there is an absolute rule about how to choose between them). The "Three Laws of Robotics", for example, are not exactly an example of relativism, and they do exactly this.

Re:huh? (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30538272)

If you followed the New Testament, the stealing is wrong, but you're forgiven for it. However, I can't agree with this guy. Maybe it's different in his city, but in mine we have bread lines who will feed anyone who shows up; I know one woman who isn't poor but goes to the bread line because she likes the food. And there are several charity food pantries that will keep a family fed easily.

Plus, there are "food stamps" (now called "LINK") and WIC. The problem with America's poor isn't lack of food, it's lack of money to pay the rent, utilities, and transportation. The sad, evil part aout it is that most of the poor in America are employed.

The only people I know who go hungry are those who trade their food for drugs.

Food for drugs (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550980)

The only people I know who go hungry are those who trade their food for drugs.

What should people with chronic medical conditions do so that they don't have to choose between food and the medication that keeps them alive?

Re:Food for drugs (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30570800)

I wasn't talking about medical use of drugs, I was talking about people who sell their food stamps to get high. I've met folks like these, have yet to meet anyone who goes hungry because of the cost of medicine.

Re:Food for drugs (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30575494)

especially when most medication is purchaseable for between $8 and $12 dollars for a 30 day supply from evil companies like Walmart.

Re:Food for drugs (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581730)

especially when most medication is purchaseable for between $8 and $12 dollars for a 30 day supply from evil companies like Walmart.

Unless the drug has been out for less than 13 years. A patent lasts 20 years, of which roughly the first seven are spent gaining approval from a national drug regulator.

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30543648)

stealing is wrong, but not as wrong as letting your family starve

Right, and it's quite a leap from that to conclude that stealing is the only (or even the preferred) solution.

What a cop-out. After all, isn't the church supposed to be helping the poor rather than building multi-million dollar convention centers?

I'm in! Let's go rob the church! (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30559120)

After all, it's not like they even earned it. And if they say stealing is okay, why not let them live by the consequences?

While we're at it, why not kidnap this priest and see what sort of money you can get for him on eBay.

Seriously, someone should take this moron aside and tell him two wrongs don't make a right.

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30570940)

But can you be a real geek _and_ a moral absolutist?

the human heart (1)

chichilalescu (1647065) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526060)

the problem with comunism is that if you trust everybody to take just what they need, you will be eaten alive. Nature gives the same opportunities to all species, and we as humans have a choice to take what we need, or to take what we can. So now we proudly wear our mp3 players, cellphones and so on, claiming we need them.
I believe the priest is right, but naive. What we need is real education so that people to stop being selfish idiots, not to make it ok for the poor to steal from the rich.

Re:the human heart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30528430)

So what you're saying is that we need controlled communism... maybe by the army?

Re:the human heart (1)

robinstar1574 (1472559) | more than 4 years ago | (#30535834)

I wonder if it was someone who follows this "pastor" who stole my bookbag full of guess what random books. There were some pretty darn good books in their. Runescape Handbook, Pokemon Diamond/Pearl Official Pokedex, just to name a few.

Re:the human heart (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543232)

Either this is a joke, or your a 15 year old who thinks someone who steals pokemon is just like someone who steals bread, and then you have a lot to learn.

Re:the human heart (1)

azav (469988) | more than 4 years ago | (#30548334)

Spend some time in communist Cyprus, where the janitor make the same amount as the hospital administrator. But past his first sentence, the 15 year old is missing the point.

Re:the human heart (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550340)

I still have a hard time equating stealing food with stealing anything else, or with communism. Seems like straw man arguments... I mean if you were starving, and you had an opportunity to steal a loaf of bread or wahtever to eat, would you do it? I would. I would rather be a thief then dead.

Re:the human heart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30554078)

Consider that a lot of food in the grocery stores are thrown out, not given to charity or the homeless. Liability often means that perfectly good food is thrown into the general purpose garbage, and not allowed to be sold or given away.

Reduce the liability (or even create incentives) on the stores for disposing of food, and you might see less people go hungry.

Few examples:
- All bulk foods are thrown away if the customer changes their mind, not put back in the container, they end up in the garbage
- All produce is thrown away (managers discretion)
- All meat, poultry and fish is thrown away... or rewrapped (yes this happens at the cheapest grocery stores, use the sniff test, not the label.)
- All bakery items are thrown away after 1 or 2 days.
- All Dairy items are thrown away after 3 days, except processed foods.
- All snacks... well almost never wind up in the garbage, they go back to their distributors
- All sodas go back to their distributors
- Canned food stays on the shelves indefinitely

Now of those items, which are going to be shop lifted? Our church friend from the story would suggest the bakery, produce and dairy items, but in actual fact, the kinds of stuff that are really shop lifted are the cheeses, the large meat items, and many items that are not even food like DVD's, Cigarettes, iPods, batteries, razor blades, and other peoples wallets/purses and cell phones.

Imagine how much of that you can steal in a cooler that isn't checked.

Re:the human heart (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 4 years ago | (#30556132)

Who ever said that only hungry people shoplift jackass.

ALl those items you listed hungry people could care less about.. Does your grocery store sell iPods, and DVDs? (Im specifically count walmart as NOT a grocery store, they have some nasty produce.. ugg, but i digress) lots of grocery stores, also lock up Cigarettes, and razor blades and booze at the customer service counter. and who steals batteries, you cant eat them, you cant pawn them, and they arnt that expensive..

Personal items like wallets and purses, all i can say is, anyone anywhere can steal that shit from you, not just poor hungry people.

Completely Agree With Him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526138)

There's nothing funny about this. There's people starving. This isn't an idea solution, but at least it is one.

On a similar note, I know someone who distributes lockpicks and lockpicking manuals [lysator.liu.se] to the poor so they can get out of the cold at night. Where I live, there is lots of heated, unused space, and yet people are freezing outside. WTF?

I just hope they don't end up getting caught.

Re:Completely Agree With Him (2, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#30529302)

so they can get out of the cold at night. Where I live, there is lots of heated, unused space, and yet people are freezing outside. WTF?

Spend a little time as a property owner that's tired of bums pissing in the corners in your property you're going to try to show the next morning, or what happens more often, they light fires inside anyway despite of the heat, and burn the place down.

Ya, these types need to be locked out. You can't just blanket-trust every man on the street not to trash your place if you leave the door unlocked, because eventually they will trash it. It's not a maybe or a probably. it will happen in a short space of time. The average bum keeps a building he's managed to get inside about as well as the alley he was just at outside.

I don't believe you (1)

professorguy (1108737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536068)

Spend a little time as a property owner that's tired of bums pissing in the corners in your property you're going to try to show the next morning, or what happens more often, they light fires inside anyway despite of the heat, and burn the place down.

Really? THAT'S what happens more often? So you're telling us that not only have bums burned down your buildings, but they do it SO OFTEN that you can tell us it's the more common result?

Forgive me if I call you a FUCKING LIAR. I propose that no building you own has been burned down. Instead, you are a property owner who uses the FEAR of a bum burning down your buildings to justify the draconian property security that you favor.

I think I'll tell my parishoners to go piss on your property. On the bright side, it should make it harder to burn.

Re:I don't believe you (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 4 years ago | (#30537338)

When I worked at a family business downtown, I had to deal with the homeless urinating in any spot that they thought shielded them from view of the street. This is despite there being a maintained public restroom in the park ACROSS THE STREET.

Three nearby buildings were destroyed by fire started by transients building a fire in a trashcan within the building. The buildings were vacant, but their destruction also resulted in heavy damage to the neighboring buildings. All three buildings were historical landmarks slated for renovation. The homeless have two shelters within walking distance of those buildings, but chose not to stay there because they didn't want to stop their self destructive behavior (alcoholism, drugs).

Now I'm not saying ALL homeless have a disregard for life or property. I am saying that there are a number of them that have mental defects caused by illness, addiction, or trauma.

I accepted the conditions outside my workplace. After all, my office was next door to the Rescue Mission shelter. So even though I have personal experience with people who are homeless and dealt with the damage (and theft) that can happen to property, are you going to call me a liar too?

Re:I don't believe you (1)

azav (469988) | more than 4 years ago | (#30548320)

Homeless and injectables or smokeables don't mix. The only time I met ex girlfriend's mother, she was begging on a corner sitting on streams of her own urine. When I told her that "a lovely young woman who reminded me of you wanted you to have this cheeseburger and food vouchers" she looked at me, nodded and then turned and started asking the cars for money.

Keep the hard drugs away from the homeless - like that's possible.

Re:I don't believe you (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550998)

This is despite there being a maintained public restroom in the park ACROSS THE STREET.

In Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA, city park restrooms are closed half the year because if the city were to keep the water turned on, the pipes would freeze whenever the temperature drops below 0 deg C (32 deg F).

Re:I don't believe you (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | more than 4 years ago | (#30539360)

Forgive me if I call you a FUCKING LIAR

Where do you live? Spend just a little time anywhere near the homeless and you will see that what the praent poster said is absolutely true.

And, no, I am not a landlord. I live in NYC and see what the homeless do. And it isn't a small minority. The small minoirty are those that have simply found themselves down on their luck and need a little help.

Re:I don't believe you (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30539566)

It doesn't happen most often, but it does happen.

Trashing the place they break into always happens.
Of course most homeless have no self respect, and as such have no respect for others.

Please don't toss the recently unemployeed father homeless tail at me, they do not make up the majority of homeless.

Most are either lazy or have a mental issue. I coud argue tat lazy is a mental issue. They need help, but they also need to respect other peoples property.

We sued to do a much better job with the homeless, but then in order for Reagan to hide his massive tax increases, he need something to cut, and thus we lost medical help for mentally disabled, the metric system, alternative and nuclear research, and properly funded schools.

If yu are going to tell your parishioners to piss on something, tell them to do it on Reagan's grave.

Re:I don't believe you (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541232)

So what you're saying is that if we had universal healthcare, these people would be patients rather than randomly pissing all over everything and damaging property? And that then the few who really were down on their luck would be less likely to die in the streets?

Sounds good!

Re:I don't believe you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30543190)

So what you're saying is that if we had universal healthcare, these people would be patients rather than randomly pissing all over everything and damaging property? And that then the few who really were down on their luck would be less likely to die in the streets?

If Australia is any indication you would still have the same problems. We've got homeless like that, I have no idea what comparative rates are but universal health care and a welfare state doesn't solve it. Gun bans don't solve violence either, I'm from a state that is implementing bans on drinking glasses in pubs and clubs. When they implemented the gun laws we had no idea they would be after our schooners next but there you have it.

Re:I don't believe you (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546178)

Then the healthcare is "nearly universal". Someone who has a check waiting for them so they can live somewhere and buy food, but chooses to live in the street and beg for enough to get a burger (or beer) CERTAINLY has a mental health problem that leaves them incapable of living on their own.

That is, they have a mental illness/imparement that results in a disability. If that is not being addressed in at least a group home/assisted living facility, then the care and welfare are not universal except in name.

Re:I don't believe you (1)

therealkevinkretz (1585825) | more than 4 years ago | (#30574818)

Reagan increased taxes?

Re:I don't believe you (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543274)

Dude, there is a reason these people are called 'bums'. We don't say it to be mean, it is simply a matter of fact that someone who lives on the street is likely to be less well socialized and will not be very good at cleaning up after themselves. It is not at all 'draconian' or even unfair to try to prevent these types from coming inside a building you own at night -- it is called looking after your own property and preventing it from damage by people who will inevitably do so. If you love bums so much, why don't you just let a few move in with you? That's what I thought. Shut the fuck up and get off your high horse, asshole.

Re:I don't believe you (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#30570916)

Really? THAT'S what happens more often? So you're telling us that not only have bums burned down your buildings, but they do it SO OFTEN that you can tell us it's the more common result?

Yeah, we've got 4 garages behind the apartments I live at. They're expensive street rat traps. If we don't keep them locked up, poor people start living in them; within 2-3 months, they manage to burn it down. In all but one case, the door has buckled from the fire immediately (flimsy aluminum on a sticky track anyway) and they got trapped inside, and died.

Leaving unused space unattended to attract the homeless is actually a pretty effective way to exterminate the homeless, especially when they start communing in groups i.e. 3-4 of them pack together in the same tiny building to keep warm. It just costs too much to keep rebuilding garages that only rent for $80/mo tops.

Da Bible sez... (1)

anglophobe_0 (1383785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30528472)

I think he's trying to echo the truism (read: not a command) found in Proverbs 6:30-31:
Men do not despise a thief if he steals
To satisfy himself when he is hungry;
But when he is found, he must repay sevenfold;
He must give all the substance of his house.

As someone who embraces liberty religiously (by being a Christian) as well as politically (by leaning hard toward Libertarianism) and philosophically (by being both), I don't condemn the necessities thief either, although in my experience people steal alcohol and electronics far more than they do bread. I do believe, however, that it would be far better if caring individuals were to meet the needs of these people, as already happens through rescue missions, etc., rather than the person resorting to theft, which in all likelihood will only further degenerate his situation.

Re:Da Bible sez... (1)

bsharp8256 (1372285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30529090)

He must give all the substance of his house.

As someone who embraces liberty religiously (by being a Christian) as well as politically (by leaning hard toward Libertarianism) and philosophically (by being both), I don't condemn the necessities thief either, although in my experience people steal alcohol and electronics far more than they do bread. I do believe, however, that it would be far better if caring individuals were to meet the needs of these people, as already happens through rescue missions, etc., rather than the person resorting to theft, which in all likelihood will only further degenerate his situation.

Would resorting to theft really degenerate their situation? Let's see...
1. Stay on the streets and starve.

2. Steal

3a.Get away with it and have food.
3b. Get caught, go to jail with free shelter, medical care, and food. I suppose prison rape would be a small price to pay for someone truly starving.

4.???

5.Profit!!!

Re:Da Bible sez... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30533534)

He must give all the substance of his house.

As someone who embraces liberty religiously (by being a Christian) as well as politically (by leaning hard toward Libertarianism) and philosophically (by being both), I don't condemn the necessities thief either, although in my experience people steal alcohol and electronics far more than they do bread. I do believe, however, that it would be far better if caring individuals were to meet the needs of these people, as already happens through rescue missions, etc., rather than the person resorting to theft, which in all likelihood will only further degenerate his situation.

Would resorting to theft really degenerate their situation? Let's see...

1. Stay on the streets and starve.

2. Steal

3a.Get away with it and have food.

3b. Get caught, go to jail with free shelter, medical care, and food. I suppose prison rape would be a small price to pay for someone truly starving.

4.???

5.Profit!!!

Yes, jail would probably keep the thief alive.
However, humans aren't animals that like being kept in cages.
So yes, they would survive but at what cost.

You are not considering that the person in question may be stealing to feed their children and/or spouse.
In that case, if the person gets caught, their family is SOL.

Re:Da Bible sez... (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541240)

It does bring an interesting idea though. Perhaps the parents should instruct the kids to find a cop and kick his shins until he takes them in. Repeat as necessary. Mom and dad can do the same. Perhaps eventually when the stats on jailhouse families come out America will be shamed into building a decent social safety net.

Or, they could do what the longer term poor do. Form gangs, deal drugs, pimping and prostitution, etc. Much of the problems with these things si a direct result of our lack of a safety net.

Come on... (1)

bsharp8256 (1372285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30528980)

People who get desperate enough will do this [i]on their own[/i]. He's a fool for publicly saying this as it reflects bad on him and his church.

That's ridiculous.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30529268)

The costs aren't passed on to the stores, the costs are passed on to every single employee who would have received a raise, more hours, better health care, or a bonus. He thinks the bigwigs who control the stores will actually take money out of their own pockets to cover this? HA! They'll have their store owners cut hours, pay, fire people, etc. just so they don't have to. What a moron....

Re:That's ridiculous.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30543242)

Your an idiot they pass the "savings" on the the customer.

Father Tim Jones of England (1)

jeko (179919) | more than 4 years ago | (#30529820)

England, home of Jonathan Swift, who also had a modest proposal...

Sometimes orators makes shocking or controversial statements to make a point.

From TFA:

"In his sermon Sunday Jones ... added that his advocacy of shoplifting was a 'grim indictment' of society and a plea for help for the most vulnerable."

Re:Father Tim Jones of England (1)

un1xl0ser (575642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30531400)

Agreed, although Jonathan Swift was Irish. I'm American, so close enough as far as I am concerned.

Yes, he was Irish. (1)

jeko (179919) | more than 4 years ago | (#30531970)

My bad, and my apologies to the Land of Erin. Swift was indeed Irish.

My point is that if this priest had gotten up on Sunday and said,"We should be better to the poor," I doubt even the parishioners would have noticed. But since he said, "You know what? Frack 'em, go take what you need from the greedy buggers and the Lord will let it slide..." and suddenly we're talking about it half a world away...

Re:Yes, he was Irish. (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30540216)

My point is that if this priest had gotten up on Sunday and said,"We should be better to the poor," I doubt even the parishioners would have noticed. But since he said, "You know what? Frack 'em, go take what you need from the greedy buggers and the Lord will let it slide..." and suddenly we're talking about it half a world away...

Ah, for want of a mod point. +1 Insightful.

stealing of that kind legal in some countries (1)

hherb (229558) | more than 4 years ago | (#30529904)

Germany used to have a paragraph in it's laws ("Mundraub") specifically indemnifying under certain circumstances people who steal for the purpose of immediately preventing starvation.
In the context of a modern social system where novdoy has to starve any more this paragraph was scrapped. For countries with a backwards or otherwise lacking social system it would make perfect sense. I think there is a human duty to help those at immediate risk of death as long as it doesn't put the helper or his family at similar risk.

Re:stealing of that kind legal in some countries (1)

aBaldrich (1692238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30532074)

I wouldn't say it is legal, maybe "not punished" is a better way to put it.

Rock On! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30530574)

I am on my way to Costco now to steal some carrot cake and a big screen tv!

The reason I disagree... (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 4 years ago | (#30537578)

The reason I disagree with the priest condoning shoplifting is that it cements a stereotype that the poor can't be trusted.

I know this story is based in York, but here in the US, the poor couldn't even follow his advice. The problem stems from corporate food chains normally do not locate their stores within urban areas ( I know they don't where I live ). If it weren't for "mom-n-pop" grocery stores, the residents would have to travel to the suburbs to get groceries.

Community leaders are trying to entice national store chains into more urban areas. The theory being that mom-n-pops charge more for food and don't offer the selection of foods compared to a national chain. If a US priest condoned shoplifting, he would actually do more harm to his community than good...

Re:The reason I disagree... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30539634)

When I was poor I stole to survive. I went on to get good work and make decent money. I will be the first to say I couldn't be trusted if you left your food delivery truck unlocked at a grocery store.

So of course they can't be trusted.

However I would say the any community where a hungry family is reduced to stealing or starving is already broken.

Going hungry, really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30539892)

Let's see. If you are low income, most children are getting breakfast and lunch free at school. You are responsible for the evening meal and weekends. For those meals you get WIC and Foodstamps AND should be working to make an income. Spent WISELY Foodstamps should keep you from going hungry. When I say wisely I mean: Rice, potatoes, vegetables, beans, fruits, etc. Meat is a luxury (if you don't believe me travel in India or China some and you will see). Soda pop, chips, prepared foods, etc. are not cost effective. Going hungry is different from not getting to eat everything you want. Parents that are given resources then don't spent them wisely are like an irresponsible teenager that tells you that their allowance wasn't big enough to cover their expenses. You would say to them: 1) you should get a job to supplement your allowance or 2) you need to spend your allowance more wisely. You wouldn't tell them to go steal to make up the difference. IMHO churches do not let their congregants go hungry. Get involved in a church, you and your children will be better off for it. In addition, many churches have food pantries that you can get assistance from until you get back on your feet. If children are going hungry with all the help available, shame on the parents. Stealing is not the answer because humans are by nature quite lazy and it represents the "easy way out". Rationalizations: I didn't study when I was given a free education because I was: lazy, arrogant, shortsighted, so I'll just steal. I don't want to work, so steal. The work that is available is beneath me, so steal. I have made a long line of bad decisions in my life and it is someone else's responsibility, so I'll steal. We agonize when people arrive at the situation they are in, but why don't we every ask: Do you bear any responsibility for your situation?
 
I suspect the priest is falling into the liberal trap of looking at the final situation and feeling sorry for the individual (he probably wouldn't be much of a priest if he wasn't quite empathetic). He genuinely cares but is genuinely wrong. Stealing is wrong because it goes to the very fabric of our souls and God knows this. It temporarily solves a problem but leaves a bigger problem the thief's psyche that tends to drive them even further down the rabbit's hole until there is no right or wrong whatsoever.

Re:Going hungry, really? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541276)

If you're going to play the get a job card, you need to be prepared to offer those jobs. To do it properly, they shouldn't be of the minimum wage that won't pay the rent anyway for working harder than the manager ever does variety. Unemployment is rising, not falling.

Let's stop firehosing the Rich with Free Money (2, Interesting)

jeko (179919) | more than 4 years ago | (#30542042)

If the Government can be the "Lender of Last Resort" for the Wealthy,
If we can pony up seven to eight hundred BILLION dollars because the banks got greedy,
If we can bail out any Fortune 500 company with it's hand out,
If we can provide every form of corporate welfare imaginable to shield the Rich from the harsh realities of the market,
Then why can't the Government be the Employer of Last Resort? We've got infrastructure falling around our ears, we've got social problems galore, why not simply take every unemployed person in America and put them to work fixing problems far too long neglected?

And yeah, let's put tax rates back to where they were in 1950 to pay for it, and ask any who complain why they hate America?

Re:Let's stop firehosing the Rich with Free Money (1)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30548314)

If we can pony up seven to eight hundred BILLION dollars because the banks got greedy, ...
Then why can't the Government be the Employer of Last Resort? We've got infrastructure falling around our ears, we've got social problems galore, why not simply take every unemployed person in America and put them to work fixing problems far too long neglected?

And yeah, let's put tax rates back to where they were in 1950 to pay for it, and ask any who complain why they hate America?

700,000,000,000 *1
  / 100,000 *2
  / 452,000 *3
gives,
15 *4

  15 years of a $100,000 job would really turn things around for this country. It would allow them (including myself) to probably buy that house instead of renting that they have been wanting to. But right now, they are out of work. They could also buy the car that they need. (Even a green efficient one!) We wouldn't need to raise taxes either; anyone who tells you so is either a liar, or under a delusion. Doing the (simple) math just now has told me that Obama, and the whole entire government has sold us out to the bankers and to whoever ultimately controls them.

*1 - Seven hundred billion in bailouts which may be conservative as a Google search of "Total cost of bank bailouts [google.com] " gives links indicating up to 4 trillion in Jan. and up to 23.7 trillion in July.

*2 - One hundred thousand dollars, which is a comfortable salary anywhere in America, or should be.

*3 - Four hundred and fifty two thousand reported 9 hours ago are unemployed right now according to Google search (news).

*4 - Fifteen years is how long the currently unemployed could be paid one hundred thousand dollars a year.

Oh, I like this plan. (1)

jeko (179919) | more than 4 years ago | (#30548488)

Just off the top of my head...

Four hundred fifty two thousand people fixing bridges.
Four hundred fifty two thousand people on standby for the next inevitable Natural Disaster.
Four hundred fifty two thousand people building public access broadband.
Four hundred fifty two thousand people fixing schools.
Four hundred fifty two thousand people beefing up Police Departments so that cops on the street don't have to panic and overreact to every incident like they're the last man in the zombie apocalypse.
Four hundred fifty two thousand people preparing for the coming demographic wave of retirement.
Four hundred fifty two thousand people trying to get to Mars.
Four hundred fifty two thousand people addressing the root causes of gang enlistment in Los Angeles.
Four hundred fifty two thousand people building free public colleges.
Four hundred fifty two thousand people investigating corruption.
Four hundred fifty two thousand people enforcing enviromental laws.
Four hundred fifty two thousand people investigating OSHA violations.
Four hundred fifty two thousand people auditing the IRS.

Can you imagine the good we could get done with an honest-to-God army to address the issue?

Re:Let's stop firehosing the Rich with Free Money (1)

jasonditz (597385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30551010)

452,000 is "new claims" not the total number of unemployed in the US.

America has unemployment over 10%, that amounts to 5+ million people receiving benefits and several million who didn't qualify or whose benefits have run out.

Re:Let's stop firehosing the Rich with Free Money (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 4 years ago | (#30562930)

Yup. I'm not sure I'm a big fan of make-work, but if I wanted an economic stimulus I'd rather see the money going into roads, bridges, trains, airports, buildings, etc, than in payments to megacorps.

That megacorp probably tires to outsource overseas any chance it gets, and it avoids paying taxes any time it can do so.

The infrastructure makes it a lot cheaper to do business INSIDE the US, and it benefits lots of small business who only hire locally and who generally can't afford massive tax shelters.

Nothing against overseas labor or anything like that, but US tax dollars should be spent making life better on the US taxpayer - not on a multinational corporation.

Oh, God, no. I don't mean make-work. (1)

jeko (179919) | more than 4 years ago | (#30569192)

I mean the work that's way, way past overdue. I mean the "Let's fix the bridges and levies the civil engineers have been screaming about" work. I mean the "let's bring electricity to rural America" work. I mean the "Let's build an interstate highway system" work.

Have you seen public schools in America? There are two elementary schoold within a ten-minute drive of my place. Both of them have leaks in their roof. They actually had to cancel classes twice this week when the main line to the school flooded the place. My fire department has been complaining for years they can't cover their area of responsibility without more men, and sure enough, a house about two miles from here just burned to the ground waiting for the trucks to arrive. We had a very suspicious police shooting in my city last year, and the cops all came out crying that they don't have enough men to handle potentially dangerous situations.

There's an overpass in my city that's been condemned. Politics got the condemnation lifted so traffic is flowing again, but everyone knows it's not IF, it's WHEN, it falls. When it goes, it's going to take a bunch of office buildings with it. Everyone I know avoids that route.

These are all problems I see first-hand in my city, but I'll bet it's the same story elsewhere. Forget makework. We've got enough real problems to keep an army busy for years.

Re:Going hungry, really? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30553582)

Not to mention he is leaving out one little BUT VERY IMPORTANT "fact"--any and all help depends on whether or not you have EVER been busted for drugs, which most homeless will have one or more drug convictions.

With a drug conviction it is pretty much "steal or deal" because housing assistance, medical and food assistance, all that shit pretty much dries up and blows away like a fart in the breeze if you EVER have been busted for drugs.

I know this is true because I have seen it happen to former HS friends. One drug bust and they can't get so much as a job flipping burgers, any state help is pretty much nonexistent, pretty much the state's attitude is "all junkies can go fucking die". So no shit the poor are gonna steal. If I was in that situation I probably would too. What would YOU tell a former addict that can't even get treated for his Hep C except in the ER(which he wouldn't have gotten if needle exchanges weren't treated like it would cause kids to want to shoot up), he can't even get a job flipping burgers because everyone runs a background check, and the state won't help with shit because he has a record? It is pretty much "steal or deal" at that point.

Re:Going hungry, really? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#30560034)

That is a dreadful state of affairs. If the legislators want to make sure none of them ever kick drugs or in any way ever stop causing problems for society, then they're doing a fine job of it.

If they really want people to clean up, they should offer X amount in aid and add Y amount more on passing a drug test. Meanwhile offer treatment programs and harm reduction.

Re:Going hungry, really? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#30574032)

Meat is not a luxury. If I don't eat meat for 3 days I lose my ability to heal, to the point that cuts just start forming and opening on my skin. After a week my immune system fails, I start getting sick all the time. Vegetables make me sick in quantity; the rough fiber on the outside of broccoli and apples seems to lay on my stomach, beans on the other hand seem more easily digestible but will also make me sick after a large enough intake.

I feel horrible if I'm not eating meat. I'm sensitive enough to it that I'm fine eating like... McDonalds food, eggs, processed foods like breakfast sausage, etc; but when it comes down to it, a good steak actually makes me feel better. I'm not sure why. It's not like if you freeze it it's so horrible because the meat's been frozen and it's not a brand new fresh fillet mingon; cheap cuts of steak, fresh or frozen, not processed with a billion preservatives and nitrites, are freaking awesome. Mind you a top-quality Ribeye cut is amazing, cooked nice and rare, with salt, pepper, garlic, and butter; but it doesn't seem any more or less healthy for me than a cheap cut fried on an iron pan. I'm pretty sure decent quality ground beef works the same way.

Methinks I'll just shoot one of the too-many-deer we have overpopulating this place, with a PSE Recurve Bow. Mind you, no rare deer steak; but I should gather way more food than I need. If I can do it efficiently maybe I'll dump the excess on other people and drop a bunch off at a poor shelter; whatever I can't freeze and store I'm not throwing out, the cheap cuts can get stewed either by me or by a kitchen.

He deserves to be beaten (1)

azav (469988) | more than 4 years ago | (#30548296)

What about "though shalt not steal" does he not understand?

Re:He deserves to be beaten (1)

f8l_0e (775982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550282)

What about "though shalt not steal" does he not understand?

Deserves to be beaten?! What part of “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” do YOU not understand?

Re:He deserves to be beaten (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#30574146)

Beating people is more fun. Also that particular incident involved someone relatively harmless being sentenced to death by hurling rocks continuously. Jews....

old testament says steal only what you can eat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30553140)

cause thats not really stealling, you're just tresspassing and eating your fill, but you're not supposed to steal more than you can carry in your belly

Re:He deserves to be beaten (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#30557778)

Probably the part that was mistranslated in the king james bible.

Of course? (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 4 years ago | (#30553718)

Of course, church leaders, business owners, and the police strongly disagree with the father's moral relativism.

Why "of course"? Church leaders, and even business owners and governments all encourage rampant over-breeding among the lower classes, along with a healthy dose of ignorance and reliance upon so-called moral "authorities" like this priest.

More poor people means more churchgoers, more recipients of government "services", and more "consumers". The negative externalities of overpopulation, crime, unemployment and needless warfare are passed on to the rest of society.

In modern civilization, when shocking numbers of people have no idea where food even comes from [manchester...news.co.uk] , they might as well steal it from grocery stores. It's not surprising that a priest would suggest such a solution. Crusades have gone out of fashion of late. And it is equally unsurprising that the church's solution would basically entail passing the problem onto others.

Food is literally cheaper than dirt in the US (1)

message144 (1246846) | more than 4 years ago | (#30575228)

You can get a loaf of bread and a dozen eggs at Walmart for $2.50. A typical beggar could earn that in less than an hour of begging in front of the store. Here in the US, we have subsidized farms, put entire villages out of business, and monopolized entire agricultural sectors so that food can be extremely cheap. Even the poorest of the poor can afford a meal if they are willing to work or beg a little.

Furthermore, anything small enough to shop-lift is most likely not going to be nutritious.

Oblig. Simpsons Quote: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30580482)

Bart: Uh, say, are you guys crooks?
Fat Tony: Bart, is it wrong to steal a loaf of bread to feed your starving family?
Bart: No.
Fat Tony: Well, suppose you got a large starving family. Is it wrong to steal a truckload of bread to feed them?
Bart: Uh uh.
Fat Tony: And, what if your family don't like bread? They like... cigarettes?
Bart: I guess that's okay.
Fat Tony: Now, what if instead of giving them away, you sold them at a price that was practically giving them away. Would that be a crime, Bart?
Bart: Hell, no.

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