What the priest really said about shoplifting

Let my words not be misrepresented as a simplistic call for people to shoplift. The observation that shoplifting is the best option that some people are left with is a grim indictment of who we are. Rather, this is a call for our society no longer to treat its most vulnerable people with indifference and contempt. When people are released from prison, or find themselves suddenly without work or family support, then to leave them for weeks and weeks with inadequate or clumsy social support is monumental, catastrophic folly. We create a situation which leaves some people little option but crime.

Sometimes the demand for headlines can betray true meaning. This transcript of Fr Tim Jones’ sermon puts his comments in context. To me it says “Don’t steal from the poor ….. and if we fail to lift them up don’t condemn them if they steal from us …. let him that is without sin cast the first stone”

The Vatican’s Playlist on myspace music

Starts with Uprising by Muse …. and it’s perfect – what else would you expect from The Vatican?
“This playlist is a perfect mix of classical, world and contemporary music. The genres are very different from each other, but all these artists share the aim to reach the heart of good minded people.”

DJ Fat Roland – from Autechre to eternity!

Refresh FM Manchester: how I was stopped from presenting because I was gay.

I worked with Ian Eyan at Greenbelt FM and was shocked when I read an article in The Guardian’s Comment is Free today that he had been sacked from presenting on a community radio station because he is gay.

I was not stopped from being a radio presenter because I was turning up drunk. I was not stopped from being a radio presenter because I was saying offensive things on air. I wish it was that clear cut, because Ofcom have clear guidelines on that.

I was stopped from being a radio presenter because I am homosexual.

I don’t need to go into a long explantation because Ian explains it all very graciously on his blog. He and others like him who have been treated unjustly should be supported, listened to and valued.

Ian Eyan starts presenting on another radio station on Sunday – I wish him all the best.

Dealing with beggars

Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.

This is from Matthew 5. It challenged me this morning because I normally ignore beggars on the basis that giving them something only feeds a bad habit. If they didn’t get anything they wouldn’t sit there – and if they didn’t just sit there they may do something about whatever it was that brought them this low in the first place. I also suspect that many of them have just found a way of tapping gullible people for cash – easier than working.
So what do I do about the words of the gospel?

Origins & Lemons review

A review of Origins and Lemons by Riding Lights Theatre Company. Still on tour – find out more http://www.ridinglights.org/sub_sites/o&l/o&ldates.html