Father Tim Jones is crazy

I’ve been poor my whole life, and there have definitely been times when I’ve been tempted to steal shit when I was desperate. Luckily, I’ve always had good friends to help me out, and I never made any terrible mistakes. Of course, I also never had this guy as a priest, Father Tim Jones who has recently caused controversy when he told his parishioners that it was OK to shoplift.

Father Jones is very specific when he refers to who you can and cannot steal from; big business is OK, since according to him the cost of the theft would be passed on to other more wealthy customers. I guess to him it doesn’t matter that for many people on a tight budget, ballooning costs from shoplifting might exacerbate their problems. Then again, he’s not exactly the brightest guy in the world:

He said he offered the advice “with a heavy heart”, and wished society would recognize that bureaucratic ineptitude and systemic delay had created an “invitation and incentive to crime for people struggling to cope”.

Now I admit there are some people who are really in dire straights, and perhaps to these poor people the temptation to simply take what they need is overwhelming. My worry is that this douchebag is forgetting shoplifting isn’t without consequence, and this bad advice could lead his flock astray. To you and me, Father Jones is really only an expert in nonsense, but to his parishioners he is a man with a direct line to God, and this weighty position comes with a few responsibilities. One of these should be their protection, but I guess he’s too busy “raging against the man” to worry about that.

Why don’t you entice your wealthier congregants to help out the less fortunate instead, sir? It certainly would be better advice, since no one will need to spend Christmas in jail.

Comments (20)

  • avatar


    Ask him what the eighth commandment was.

  • avatar


    “Then again, he’s exactly the brightest guy in the world”

    Um… did you forget a word?

  • avatar


    This fella is an idiot – the fact he is a religious idiot is irrelevant.
    Stealing is wrong – always has been, always will be.

    From a moral point of view his sermon is also full of holes. If its OK to steal from big business, ‘because they can afford it’, what about selling drugs? It doesn’t hurt anyone because the drug user would just buy it from someone else if you didn’t sell it to them!

    I wonder if he will suggest that murder is ok if its done with a heavy heart?!

  • avatar


    Sounds like my kind of priest. Shoplifting, ethically speaking, is entirely legitimate. It’s just against the law.

  • avatar

    Pat Farrelly

    He has the courage to enact the spirit of Christ. Why is everyone so nervous of this guy whose intentions are so clear, ie, to practise what Christianity preaches? Why are people so quick to mock? I think he’s a brave and good man.

  • avatar


    Considering that you people think Christ is the same dude who wrote the Ten Commandments, Pat, you’ve got a bit of explaining to do before I’ll buy what you just said.

    “Thou Shalt Not Steal” ring a bell?

  • avatar

    Renee Hendricks

    Pat Farrelly: Really? The spirit of Christ involved shoplifting/stealing? Clearly, I was at the wrong church as a child as I don’t recall that being one of the teachings of Jesus.

  • avatar


    This isn’t new. He’s stolen the whole idea from the Gospel of Robin Hood.

  • avatar


    If the person is starving, and they steal food, I could understand. But if he’s in a position to lead other people, he’d better learn to be specific.

  • avatar


    This vicar geezer is soooo wrong peddling his do-good message… the problem is not the system but the heavyweight scroungers with the inside info on HOW to make the claims HOW to play the systems and HOW to jump the queues..

    Exodus 20:15 Thou shalt not steal

    Survival of the fittest (or latterly evolved into ‘intelligence’) – religion just tampers with nature YET AGAIN!

    Just more cocked up PR for an outdated religion no-one is interested anymore.. whats up vic? Need a new church roof.. well go and get a re-mortgage like the rest of us you freeloader

  • avatar

    David Parsons (Rev).

    I thank God for the controversy this has aroused. Of course it’s wrong to steal and Father Jones hasn’t said it is right to steal. What many people simply haven’t grasped is the reality of poverty IN THIS COUNTRY! He has realistically stated not what in principle we would disagree with but what in reality is the state of support that the poorest in society are experiencing. Those who criticize him should ask what they would do if they had children to feed, no food in the house and no money to buy food with.
    For many people this Christmas it will be a time of shivering with cold on Christmas day with no prospects of employment and little or no food in the house.
    Those who criticize Father Jone’s intelligence have fallen into precisely the trap he has set, they criticize from comfortable positions of affluence blind to the reality of poverty in society.
    Father Jones’s statement taken out of the social context in which it was said may seem wrong (when conveniently quoted out of context) – and of course at base it is. In context it is a rallying cry to society to consider the poor.
    I challenge his critics to say what they have personally done this year to reach out to the poor.

  • avatar


    I’m with Mr Parsons on this (great case of nominative determinism, by the way).

    Father Jones’s opinions have been misquoted. The truth is that what he said is more akin to ‘think about who you are going to steal from’. He didn’t condone stealing, but he did raise the very interesting issue of charity for people in desperate need.

    He’s not talking about people stealing widescreen TVs, he’s talking about people who need to steal food to live.

    And it’s a pretty poor state that people are still finding themselves in this position.

    So, what he said is that if you steal from a big chain store they have ways of economically righting, that is they raise prices across the board to compensate… that way everyone covers the cost. Think of it as non-elective charity.

    If our benefit system was run properly, and if there was enough community charity, there would be no need for anyone to steal in order to feed themselves and so, because of our collective failure to sort these things out, I think a form of non-elective charity is an elegant temporary solution.

    As an aetheist and a humanist, I’m just a little saddened by the fact that someone with religious convictions contrary to stealing has had to break rank and state the obvious, especially when I see it as our role to highlight the flaws in rigid religious beliefs. Seriously, Father Jones is practically a humanist pin-up because of this… he’s shown he cares more about people than he does about dogma, and that takes a lot of guts and should be encouraged wholeheartedly by the non-believing community. To try and lynch him in the name of hypocrisy is both hypocritical in its own nature and very short sighted.

  • avatar

    Kevin O'Leary

    Wow, lots of Xtians having their two penneth today…

    Tim Jones is totally, totally, wrong. The answer, surely, is better welfare support, and this is what he should be campaigning for. Encouraging people to be dishonest is a slippery slope which leads to all sorts of problems, not least of which is jail.

    David Parsons says IN THIS COUNTRY, well I’m not sure which one he is referring to, but here in the UK there shouldn’t be anyone who is actually starving. Those who are though, are generally unable or unwilling to claim for the support they’re entitled to – these people also need help, although in other ways.

  • avatar

    mikey d

    This guy is a hero. Anyone who knows what its like to struggle will know that the rich owners and shareholders will never show any charity whilst the poor go hungry. Its an indirect tax if it goes on the cost on those who can afford to buy food.
    If things get much worse we will be walking in and helping ourselves.
    The poor are ready to bite back like they did with Thatcher. Watch this space Toxteth, Moss side?

  • avatar


    “Why don’t you entice your wealthier congregants to help out the less fortunate instead, sir?” What sort of weak narrow-minded thinking went behind that question? For how many decades and centuries has the Christian church attempted, mind you, to do just that?

    This website is nuts! And, its writers must be arrogant pigs. Whatever wonderful alternatives you all may think the poor have, you ignore the fact that there are poor just don’t have those however bountiful alternatives.

    I am total agreement with Father Tim Jones: “What I’m against is the way society has become ever more comfortable with the people at the very bottom, and blinded to their needs.” He is referring to the people composed this obviously sided work.

    Have a nice wealthy Christmas! But, of course, while you do don’t you dare think about those that can’t have such a Christmas, it just might give you indigestion, if you have any heart (or brains) at all.

  • avatar

    John P

    As a Atheist I have more in common with Human Beings that preach and practice Humanism like Fr Tim Jones that self-righteous people like Lord Carey or yourself. Fancy calling yourself a “Good Atheist”, but attacking Fr Tim Jones as a”douchebag”.

    I applaud Fr Tim Jones.

    Its not your ideas that count, its whether you use them for the Common Good. Fr Tim Jones, in my view, is a “Good Humanist”.

  • avatar


    What is wrong with this Priest Tim Jones? He does not know Gods truth. Nor does he follow the 10 Commandments. He has no business being a ordained priest.I would be walking out of this church and never returning. What is wrong with the churches today. I dont care how poor a person is. You just dont steal or shoplift. They need to bounce this lier right out of their church.He is living in the evils of this world.All Scripture is inspired By God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. Timothy 3:16 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear. They will reject the truth and follow strange myths.Timothy 4:3-4 Those who sin are opposed to the law of God,for all sin opposes the law of God. And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, for their is no sin in him. So if you continue to live in him,we wont sin either.But those who keep on sinning have never known him or understood who he is. 1John 3:4-6 This Priest is not of God but of the devil.

  • avatar

    j a bell

    This shitty society is based upon stealing, its called capitalism. Well done priest.

  • avatar


    You clearly didn’t read the whole sermon did you? And, as a someone who was at school with Father Jones, I can assure you that he is very bright indeed. Please try to resist spewing your hate without bothering to equip yourself with knowledge first.

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