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British priest: Shoplifting by poor sometimes OK

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How about swiping a few quid from the collection basket?

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You got that right, Altria.

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File this under "people who have never worked for a living giving advice to people who don't work for a living." What can we expect him to say?

The clergy must reprimand this guy. It makes them all look bad. It certainly is not doctrine... Ten commandments come to mind... and I think that the 'what would Jesus do' razor fails too. Jesus never stole as far as I know, although he did other outrageous things.

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It sounds like the land of Robin Hood forgot all about their own hero.

as long as they do it at large national chain stores, rather than small, family businesses.

Steal from the rich, give to the poor. Sound familiar?

Yes, I know some of these people are just lazy bums who could work but choose not to. But is it right to assume that they all are? I am sure plenty were doing just fine until some person's greed ruined them. And some people are just not employable. I would be more surprised at a clergyman who acted like they should just starve in the street.

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The governments of the world today are Robin Hood or pain themselves as such, but instead they steal from everyone. I'm not gonna get hyped if someone shoplifted some food or necessities, but I would be very upset if they lifted an ipod, beer, Nikes, etc.. And I would hope they would share their take and not be greedy.

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Seeing as certain Brits will knife a fella for a pair of sneakers or a cellphone, encouraging shoplifting instead might be a good idea.

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I would be more surprised at a clergyman who acted like they should just starve in the street.

I totally agree.

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Instead of encouraging shoplifting he better recommends CEOs of giant corporations with skyhigh salaries donate much more to the poor to avoid possible stealing. The way he makes his point only creates chaos, good for philosophy, bad for social order.

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Numbskull and Tessa.

And when oh when and where are starving and stealing the only alternatives? These people are too lazy to do anything but shrug and grab. I am not impressed by their morality in the least bit. Not until they have tried EVERYTHING else, and in a modern society, I am convinced that some means are still available to anyone who earnestly tries.

There is more dignity in eating from trashbins and sleeping in toilet stalls than stealing. People can grow food or live from the unimaginable waste that others leave behind. It is inconvenient, it is repulsive, but a person can keep their dignity. Being a retail merchant is very hard work and the margins are paper thin. It is terrible that someone should say that another person is entitled to take what they like at their convenience.

If that is not good enough for what passes for social moralists today, let me offer this: FORGIVING stealing is one thing, but CONDONING and ENCOURAGING it are quite another.

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I've never gone hungry but I imagine that if I were really starving & desperate and didn't see any other options I might steal an apple or some grapes or something. But for a priest to say that shoplifting is OK for people who are really in need...that's just absurd.

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Looks like someone wanted to be famous....

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Hope japanese supermarkets will take this advice positively, remove guards and cameras after holidays !

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Sounds like this priest is telling the truth and nobody wants to listen. Hes right. It is the responsibility of leaders at all levels to make sure people arent suffering and they are failing drastically.

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If I owned a shop or store I wouldn't be happy with this. Stealing should still be treated as a crime, although many people can accept the reasons behind theft if it was the theft of food by a starving person. In many cased a considerate person/shop owner would be kind enough to supply that person with some sustenance without pressing charges.

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Britain has more than enough charities and there are social services departments to take care of the needs of all social misfits, advocating shoplifting is the first step on a slippery slope. It is obvious that the church is still attracting the weakest minds, if they don’t believe in damnation they believe in total forgiveness. The man’s a cretin.

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5SpeedRacer5 : Being a retail merchant is very hard work and the margins are paper thin.

Yeah, Wal-mart really looks to be hurting.

There is more dignity in eating from trashbins

You may be suggesting one illegal act for another.

People can grow food

On what land? And store it where for future use? And what can you grow in the two weeks or so you have until you starve to death?

It is terrible that someone should say that another person is entitled to take what they like at their convenience.

Not quite what he said. He said "sometimes" acceptable for "desperate" people...Yes, I know that, just like you, some people will interpret "sometimes" as "always" and "desperate" for "peckish", but that is still NOT what the man said.

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Props, numbskull. I myself am a trendy atheist but you are a real Christian

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Christ and God will forgive those who steal from desperation and hunger rather than greed or profit.

In our rich societies it sometimes happens as some fall between the welfare net, for whatever reason. People like grafton should undersand not all poor are misfits many are "unfit" to work and their govenment aid may take a while to arrive.

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Numbskull. I understand if you are trying to create conflict. I look at this thread and see all of the usual suspects saying unusual things, and I am pretty sure I am being trolled, but hey. One more to ring out the old year, eh?

Not every retailer is WalMart. And what you are doing here by mentioning that one retailer makes your real intention very clear. Even to say that (rich) WalMart does not deserve something and (poor) people do is reprehensible. If every poor person did this, then honest people would be out of a job. Does that solve the problem? Shut Walmart down if it is such a scourge on society, but don't destroy society in the process.

Eating from trashbins might be illegal, but the harm to the victim is quite a lot less I would think. If it is waste or refuse that a person is eating, then they are not stealing value from the business owner. They are not interrupting the only process that creates value for the shop owner. If a cop arrests someone for eating from a trashbin, then that is truly a social problem. It ain't shoplifting.

If people have no land to grow food, too bad. The headline says POOR not homeless. This is not a major point, but it is what I would do if I had to. People with some foresight can take care of themselves. People who have never taken their thousands of hours of leisure time to learn how to grow food, save money, and provide for themselves do not get a lot of sympathy from me.

"Not quite what he said. He said "sometimes" acceptable for "desperate" people...Yes, I know that, just like you, some people will interpret "sometimes" as "always" and "desperate" for "peckish", but that is still NOT what the man said."

As long as we are talking about interpretation, let's let the thieves determine what is SOMETIMES and what is DESPERATE. How would that suit you? Why not let everyone here know where you live so we can decide what is yours and ours too? I feel desperate sometimes to steal your TV. How would that be? See what happens when the lunatics start running the asylum?

I would even say, "OK. Steal from me." But that is morally worlds apart from saying "Steal from that guy." Can you see that?

I agree in the spirit of Christmas that we should all do a better job of helping each other. Telling someone that stealing is sometimes OK is wrong. God did not say that. Moses did not say that. Jesus did not say that. Why is a clergyman saying that?

DickMorris. In fact, I could quote you chapter and verse where God specifically tells us that stealing is a sin. Jesus teaches against stealing. This idea of "desperation and hunger" is certainly open to interpretation, isn't it? Something makes me think that Jesus knew some desperate and hungry people when he was telling people not to steal, not 200-pounders with cellphones and bottles of fortified wine stuffing twinkies into their pockets.

It used to be that right-wingers had a moral compass, at least. What happened to you DickMorris? The whole Republican platform is based on the ten commandments. You want to bring it all down like a house of cards?

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