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Author Topic: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!  (Read 2318 times)

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Offline SerephinoTopic starter

Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« on: December 23, 2009, 09:02:26 AM »
Quote
London, England (CNN) -- A UK priest has defended his comments that it is acceptable to steal from large companies.

Tim Jones, parish priest of St Lawrence and St Hilda, told hiscongregation in York, northern England: "My advice, as a Christianpriest, is to shoplift."

Jones, who according to the church Web site previously worked inCorinth, Mississippi, made his comments about what he regarded asacceptable behavior by those in need when they were desperate.

In a transcript of his sermon published in the local newspaper, "ThePress," Jones said: "I do not offer such advice because I think thatstealing is a good thing, or because I think it is harmless, for it isneither.

"I would ask that they do not steal from small family businesses, butfrom large national businesses, knowing that the costs are ultimatelypassed on to the rest of us in the form of higher prices."

Jones told CNN affiliate ITN Monday that his advice was directed atthose with nothing and who had exhausted all other legal avenues tosurvive, such as state benefits.

While it was never right to shoplift, Jones said, it was the mostacceptable alternative for those in desperate need compared withprostitution, burglary or other criminal offenses.

The Web site for St Hilda's states that Jones has served as a prisonchaplain and that his interests include international justice and fairtrade issues.

"I would say to those people that are outraged: Compare how much youare spending on yourself this Christmas compared to how much you havegiven to people in desperate situations," Jones told ITN.

In his sermon Sunday Jones called on anyone planning to steal not totake more than they need for longer than they need, saying that heoffered his advice with a heavy heart. He added that his advocacy ofshoplifting was a "grim indictment" of society and a plea for help forthe most vulnerable.

But Jones' church bosses failed to back his call. In a statement on theWeb site for the Diocese of York Tuesday, Richard Seed, Archdeacon ofYork said: "The Church of England does not advise anyone to shoplift,or break the law in any way.

"Fr Tim Jones is raising important issues about the difficulties peopleface when benefits are not forthcoming, but shoplifting is not the wayto overcome these difficulties.

"There are many organizations and charities working with people inneed, and the Citizens' Advice Bureau is a good first place to call."

. http://www.cnn. com/2009/ WORLD/europe/ 12/22/uk. priest.sermon. shoplift/ index.html

I could be wrong here, but isn't one of the Ten Commandments 'Thou Shalt Not Steal'? 

Offline Talia

Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2009, 10:14:29 AM »



*Laughs*  I guess they only apply to a select few......

Offline alxnjsh

Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2009, 11:47:57 AM »
While I in no way condone shoplifting, the Priest's point was not to go out and shoplift. I can kinda see what he means, though he probably went about it in a poor method.

The crux of his comments were that we tend to be a materialistic society and there are people that need. Not want, but need. While we go about our ways buying crappola there are still people that need.

But, I did giggle when I read the article.

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Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2009, 12:00:31 PM »
It seems to be the same situation that Jean Valjean confronted in Les Miserables - is it right for a starving man to steal a loaf of bread?

Offline SerephinoTopic starter

Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2009, 02:35:44 PM »
While I in no way condone shoplifting, the Priest's point was not to go out and shoplift. I can kinda see what he means, though he probably went about it in a poor method.

The crux of his comments were that we tend to be a materialistic society and there are people that need. Not want, but need. While we go about our ways buying crappola there are still people that need.

But, I did giggle when I read the article.

"I would ask that they do not steal from small family businesses,but from large national businesses, knowing that the costs areultimately passed on to the rest of us in the form of higher prices."

Jones told CNN affiliate ITN Monday that his advice was directedat those with nothing and who had exhausted all other legal avenuesto survive, such as state benefits.While it was never right toshoplift, Jones said, it was the most acceptable alternative for thosein desperate need compared with prostitution, burglary or other criminaloffenses.

In his sermon Sunday Jones called on anyone planning to steal notto take more than they need for longer than they need, saying thathe offered his advice with a heavy heart. He added that his advocacyof shoplifting was a "grim indictment" of society and a plea for helpforthe most vulnerable.


Actually, he was telling people that they should shoplift if they were needy rather than resorting to prostitution or robbing people, which I guess isn't so awful...  The strange part is it coming from a priest.  He was telling them it's okay to sin if you're poor.  A religious figure shouldn't be doing that.   

I've shoplifted myself a time or two, and I guess if there's no other alternative other than going hungry...  It's just... I don't know...  I have to wonder what this man was thinking.  If he was really that concerned about the needy, shouldn't he have just encouraged people to give to charities, or got his butt out there to raise money himself?   

   

Offline alxnjsh

Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2009, 02:56:24 PM »
I've shoplifted myself a time or two, and I guess if there's no other alternative other than going hungry...  It's just... I don't know...  I have to wonder what this man was thinking.  If he was really that concerned about the needy, shouldn't he have just encouraged people to give to charities, or got his butt out there to raise money himself?   

People have been doing giving since private charity was invented and it doesn't solve all the problems.  ;D

Offline Mathim

Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2009, 03:10:32 PM »
About that 'Thou Shalt Not Steal' thing, I just read in numerous books that the Ten Commandments were meant only for the Hebrews. So as long as they weren't stealing from or killing their Hebrew neighbors, the Chosen People were perfectly free to kill and rape and pillage anyone not of their own tribe. So, technically, nobody is really breaking any commandments because they don't apply to more than like 2% of the people on the planet.

Offline Asuras

Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2009, 03:32:29 PM »
Quote from: Mathim
So, technically, nobody is really breaking any commandments because they don't apply to more than like 2% of the people on the planet.

Noahide laws

Offline Kotah

Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2009, 08:22:10 PM »
It seems to be the same situation that Jean Valjean confronted in Les Miserables - is it right for a starving man to steal a loaf of bread?


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Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2009, 11:19:39 PM »
Actually, he was telling people that they should shoplift if they were needy rather than resorting to prostitution or robbing people, which I guess isn't so awful...  The strange part is it coming from a priest.  He was telling them it's okay to sin if you're poor.  A religious figure shouldn't be doing that.   

I've shoplifted myself a time or two, and I guess if there's no other alternative other than going hungry...  It's just... I don't know...  I have to wonder what this man was thinking.  If he was really that concerned about the needy, shouldn't he have just encouraged people to give to charities, or got his butt out there to raise money himself?   

   


Times are hard, my friend. How much of charity money rotates to everyone in the general populace? Sometimes you gotta do watcha gotta do to get by. The priest does have valid points though, personally I do believe it is better and less sinful(even though it is still sinful) to result to petty crimes like shoplifting than going out like you pointed out in robbing people or prostituting yourself for money. I'm not really much of a religious fanatic myself, so I can't really make any comments towards how unlawful or sinful or whatever judgmental towards that Priest's views.  Personally I believe in the end, the ends justify the means. If your sins have actual merit behind them, than I don't think it makes you a bad person- which is what I believe the Priest was trying to get at as well.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2009, 11:21:32 PM by Santa Valentine »

Offline Paradox

Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2009, 01:17:09 PM »
When I was living on the streets, I shoplifted on a regular basis. My justification for doing so was "they have more in the back", which is eerily reminiscent of the priest's argument about stealing from wealthy establishments (**although it did not say so in the article in this thread, the full text of his sermon shows that he only advocated stealing from big chains like Wal-Mart or 7-11, not small places whose business would be much more severely impacted by the theft).

Whether or not it's condoned by the church is irrelevant; people have been coming up with that sort of rationalization for years to justify their behavior, and they will continue to do so as long as they live in such dire straits. That's not to imply that all poor people shoplift-- there are a number of charitable organizations that give out food and other necessary supplies. Those places were a life-saver when I was homeless, and if it weren't for them, I suspect there would be a hell of a lot more shoplifting-- but like alxnjsh said, charities can't provide everything, so people are going to seek alternative avenues to get what they need.

Religion is actually very important for a lot of poor people, as it provides hope; however, when it comes to staying alive and providing for your impoverished family, all of that "thou shalt not steal" shit goes right out the window. People in need are going to do what they have to do to get by; this priest was simply acknowledging the reality of the situation.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2009, 01:20:10 PM by Paradox »

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Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2009, 01:24:50 PM »
When I was living on the streets, I shoplifted on a regular basis. My justification for doing so was "they have more in the back", which is eerily reminiscent of the priest's argument about stealing from wealthy establishments (**although it did not say so in the article in this thread, the full text of his sermon shows that he only advocated stealing from big chains like Wal-Mart or 7-11, not small places whose business would be much more severely impacted by the theft).

Actually, the article did touch on that, although it was pretty well buried.

Quote
"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."

Offline Paradox

Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2009, 01:26:00 PM »
>.>

Thanks Oniya.

Offline Jr

Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2010, 03:06:09 PM »
People should know, above all else, that stealing from the rich is not a right. It is our moral responsibility.

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Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2010, 04:53:00 PM »
And just how exactly do you rationalise that?

Offline Jr

Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2010, 04:58:02 PM »
And just how exactly do you rationalise that?
It's just a quote I read somewhere.

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Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2010, 05:00:25 PM »
Ah, I see. The way it was written it came across more as a personal opinion, so I was curious to see why you thought that.

Offline Jr

Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2010, 05:11:52 PM »
I gave it a bit more of a personal spin because it's something I reflect on every now and then.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2010, 11:24:35 PM »
People should know, above all else, that stealing from the rich is not a right. It is our moral responsibility.

 That could be used to justify some awful atrocities

Offline Jr

Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2010, 07:37:02 PM »
Every sentence the English language can possibly form has, can, and will be used to justify atrocities. Just like a preacher advocating "lesser" sins in harsh times. But ultimately, vague sentences do not have power over us. Our job as Human beings is to choose which advice to heed, take personal responsibility for the results, and accept ourselves for what our decisions make us.

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Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2010, 03:37:53 AM »
And if everyone did take responsibility for their actions, that might be the case. However, when an authority figure tells you that something is ok, then you get the mentality of "But I was only following orders.", or a variation thereof. As for personal responsibility, "It wasn't my fault" is quite a popular refrain too.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2010, 08:44:58 AM »
And if everyone did take responsibility for their actions, that might be the case. However, when an authority figure tells you that something is ok, then you get the mentality of "But I was only following orders.", or a variation thereof. As for personal responsibility, "It wasn't my fault" is quite a popular refrain too.

 Pretty much my thought. A figure of authority is giving what some people will say, is permisson to break the law. What Jr. posted,
People should know, above all else, that stealing from the rich is not a right. It is our moral responsibility.

 ..is a mentality that could use their own morality as an excuse to commit crimes that can range from the relatively benign to the truly horrific and be said to be a moral responsibility.  It's amazing how many people seem to think that the wealthy steal the money they get. That to become rich, the rich use illegal means of cheat their customers in order to get the money. It can be a very short hop from deciding it's alright to steal from such 'cheats' because they can 1, afford to loose the money and 2, because it was gotten by theft anyways.

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Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2010, 10:55:38 AM »
Quote from: Zakharra
Pretty much my thought. A figure of authority is giving what some people will say, is permisson to break the law.
          As far as I understand, where there is policy with little compassion and great structural poverty, there also tends to be significant theft (among other issues).  Whether one decides that saying so is simply explanation or justification, does not change the fact.  If a given formal or public authority can never publicly recognize that in certain cases, theft is associated with less of certain issues than some other alternatives (and he didn't even get to things like murder or violent revolution), then policy probably will not change.  Expect more of the same.  In effect, demanding that the authorities not recognize the situation serves only to blind people to it.                   

Quote
What Jr. posted, ..is a mentality that could use their own morality as an excuse to commit crimes that can range from the relatively benign to the truly horrific and be said to be a moral responsibility.
          There are situations a little more like Somalia where the fighting never seems to stop, and then there are situations like Katrina where some people simply break into stores for things to sell for food.  I wouldn't be too quick to give the impression that they're the same. 

Quote
It's amazing how many people seem to think that the wealthy steal the money they get.
          Are you saying that's not true in any way that matters?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/24/business/24trading.html?_r=1
Quote
          While the investigations are in the early phases, authorities appear to be looking at whether securities laws or rules of fair dealing were violated by firms that created and sold these mortgage-linked debt instruments and then bet against the clients who purchased them, people briefed on the matter say.  One focus of the inquiry is whether the firms creating the securities purposely helped to select especially risky mortgage-linked assets that would be most likely to crater, setting their clients up to lose billions of dollars if the housing market imploded.  Some securities packaged by Goldman and Tricadia ended up being so vulnerable that they soured within months of being created.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2010, 10:58:07 AM by kylie »

Offline Zakharra

Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2010, 07:08:41 PM »
          Are you saying that's not true in any way that matters?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/24/business/24trading.html?_r=1

Quote
  While the investigations are in the early phases, authorities appear to be looking at whether securities laws or rules of fair dealing were violated by firms that created and sold these mortgage-linked debt instruments and then bet against the clients who purchased them, people briefed on the matter say.  One focus of the inquiry is whether the firms creating the securities purposely helped to select especially risky mortgage-linked assets that would be most likely to crater, setting their clients up to lose billions of dollars if the housing market imploded.  Some securities packaged by Goldman and Tricadia ended up being so vulnerable that they soured within months of being created.

 At the risk of sounding harsh, it wasn't stealing. A lot of people who took those mortgages (junk bonds?) were borderline being able to pay them back. When you sign something, I'm given to understand at the bottom is a statement that the signer agrees and affirms that they have read and understand the contract they are putting their signature to.

 Essentially, 'Let the Buyer beware.' Everything in business is a risk. Some more than others.  It's not like the businesses are going out, breaking into people's bank accounts and vaults and stealing their money. Could the practices be shady? Possibly. That's for the courts to decide. Not people who decide to ignore the law and steal.

 The fact that the mortgages were offered to marginal buyers is something that should be looked intoi as well. Why did it happen? Why where they allowed? It could be a mix of governmental and corporate policies that brought it about. I do not think it's the fault of one business specifically.

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Re: Don't sell yourself, Shoplift!
« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2010, 12:56:22 AM »
Quote from: Zakharra
When you sign something, I'm given to understand at the bottom is a statement that the signer agrees and affirms that they have read and understand the contract they are putting their signature to.
          The laws against fraudulent banking are intended to prevent those with the information and capital on their side, from playing explicitly against the interest of those who can never understand too well what they're getting into.  Whether it happens to be called fraud or theft, someone loses cash to someone else illegally (in more common language -- by stealing).  This goes against your notion that the rich necessarily always achieve their gains by legal means.   

Quote
It's not like the businesses are going out, breaking into people's bank accounts and vaults and stealing their money. Could the practices be shady? Possibly. That's for the courts to decide. Not people who decide to ignore the law and steal.
         If your concern is for upholding the law per se, then it shouldn't matter.  Illegal is illegal.  This is not simply a question of buyers not reading the fine print.  It's more like lawyers giving confidential information to the other side, or having a casino insured under FDIC as a national bank.   Except, in the case of the rich who have conducted shady business, they are using some of the money they already stole (or should you prefer, swindled) to flee, lobby to fix the law so that they keep it, or toss up a legal defense first.

Quote
The fact that the mortgages were offered to marginal buyers is something that should be looked intoi as well. Why did it happen? Why where they allowed? It could be a mix of governmental and corporate policies that brought it about. I do not think it's the fault of one business specifically.
          I wouldn't assume it's just one either.  Although there is some point in naming the handful that owned and manipulated so many millions or billions...  It's that much more disturbing because it may have been several bands of executives and many of their numerous white-collar lieutenants, all reaping ill-gotten gains while trashing the economy to boot.  If allegations mentioned in the article are even partially on target, it's a huge example of the rich profiting by shirking their commitments to consumers.