Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:December 21st, 2009 11:38 EST
Priest Advises Poor To Shoplift

Priest Advises Poor To Shoplift

By Robert Paul Reyes

"A clergyman has been criticised as `highly irresponsible` after advising his congregation to shoplift following his Nativity sermon.

Father Tim Jones, 41, broke off from his traditional annual sermon yesterday to tell his flock that stealing from large chains is sometimes the best option for vulnerable people.

It is far better for people desperate during the recession to shoplift than turn to `prostitution, mugging or burglary`, he said." Read more


I rarely darken the door of a church, but If I lived in the UK I would go to hear Jones preach for the comedic value. This dude is funnier than a comic, and there`s no cover charge.

I`m not a theologian, but doesn`t the Bible admonish us "Thou Shalt Not Steal"? There are no qualifying phrases in this commandment, it doesn`t read: Thou Shalt Not Steal, unless you don`t have enough money to buy those Victoria`s Secret panties for that skank you`re trying to seduce.

The wacky priest argues that it is better to shoplift than to t urn to prostitution or mugging. It`s not like shoplifting, mugging and burglary are the only ways that a poor person can earn income. How about mowing lawns or delivering newspapers, there are many honorable ways that a person can make a few extra bucks.

The minister does have his standards, he advises his flock not to steal from family-operated business, but from national chains. Huge chain stores have loss prevention officers, and cameras to nab shoplifters. The folks who get away with shoplifting are career criminals who work in teams, poor folks who steal out of desperation almost always get caught.

is the Man of God going to bail these poor suckers out of jail when they eventually get caught? Will he pay their legal fees, and provide for their families while they are behind bars?

As a columnist I`m tempted to tell my readers to steal from Walmart, undoubtedly the most evil corporation in the world. But it would by highly irresponsible on my part, it would reflect poorly on the publications I write for, and I would be placing myself at risk of prosecution for advising people to break the law.

This preacher has embarrassed himself and his denomination, and he is doing nothing to seriously address the issue of poverty. He should be defrocked, and shunned from polite society.

Follow Robert Paul Reyes on Twitter: http://twitter.com/robertpaulreyes