Theft and Sensibility

It's tough to ignore the tragedy in the south in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I've never seen such widespread devastation on American soil in my lifetime. It's time's like these that I love to see the church [universal] mobilize and reach out to those in need. It's a great testimony of Jesus.

I'm not sure how this might come out but I find it interesting that, with so much destruction and death around, the media have chosen to devote so much coverage to the looting going on in New Orleans. They're basically saying, "we can't believe that someone would take advantage of this situation and steal from stores." If you haven't seen it yet, I think Fox News is showing it on a loop.

You might think me crazy [apparently it's going around] but let me step out on a limb and defend these looters. I know all the arguments as to why their thievery is wrong, in addition to the obvious Ten Commandments reasons. Yes, the stuff isn't theirs in the first place. Yes, it's against the law. Yes, it's unfair to the store owners. Yes someone has to pay for it [we'll all be paying for it in higher insurance premiums and federal aid, whether or not these people steal]. But, then again, it's pretty easy for us to judge them while watching it on cable tv, lounging in our [dry] recliners.

But I find this situation somewhat different than others; this is not your normal looting situation. They're in the midst of a national disaster. Just check out the film they keep showing of the looters: they're not swiping TV's and stereos, they're taking food and clothes. After losing everything of the little that they had [25% of families there live below the poverty line] they're trying to survive.

So before you get all holier than thou and begin to pointing a finger honestly answer this question:

What would you do?

If your kids were starving, their clothes were ruined and it will take days for aid organizations to help you out, would you steal for them? Friends, I'm a minister. It's my job to take the moral high ground. But if all hope was lost and it was a situation between life and death for my family, I'm not sure I wouldn't be joining that mob.

So go ahead and rip me as a bleeding-heart liberal, but with all that's going on down there, you're telling me that this is the major problem? I'm not saying it's right, but I have a hard time saying it's wrong.