Disconcertingly, by some means that she refuses to reveal, Mimi from Goddahavit, New York, USA, recently obtained my private phone number. She used it to call and ask me the following question about theft:
“The other day, I was walking on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan when I spied the most darling little sequin- and rhinestone-encrusted, designer-label jacket in an exclusive shop window. It was to die for; the jacket, that is, not the store window.
“Now that I know that such fashion perfection exists, I cannot go on living without it, but with a price tag of $9,595.95, there is no way I can afford it. Considering the circumstances, would it be acceptable under the Gods’ eyes for me to steal it?”
I told Mimi that she had posed a difficult question and I would need to research my answer thoroughly before responding. I promised to provide my answer here as soon as I formulated it. The following is what I have concluded based on my research.
The Twelve Guidelines is quite clear on this, Mimi. Without any equivocation, the Eighth Guideline plainly states, “Thou shalt not steal.” Fortunately, among the exemptions that God One, in His infinite wisdom, included in the Eighth Guideline is one that will allow you to steal the jacket while still staying faithful to His teachings, not to mention His commandments and guidelines.
Theft: Exemptions that Make it Acceptable
The provisos that God One included with the Eighth Guideline state, and I quote, “Unless you donate the proceeds of the theft to the church. In addition, if you steal something you really, really want and you give a sizable donation to the church as penance, I might let you off if I’m having a good day.”
Obviously, you’re not going to give the jacket to the Church of Infinitiaty. That would defeat your purpose in stealing it, i.e., to slake you hunger for it. After all, you can’t have your jacket and donate it to. So the first exemption isn’t going to help you—at least, not directly, but more on that later.
That brings us to the second exemption. Clearly you really, really want the jacket, so you will have fulfilled that part of the loophole. So, all you need to do in order to make the theft acceptable under God One’s eyes is to steal the jacket and pay a sizable financial penance to the church when God One is having a good day.
That raises two questions. First, how sizable is sizable? That question has troubled Infinitian scholars for time immemorial. Coincidentally, just three months ago, the Chief Sage Officer of the Church of Infinitiaty convened a week-long spiritual retreat that included himself, the Chief Executive Officer of the Church of Infinitiaty and all of us Sages of Infinitiaty at one of the most expensive luxury resorts in the world. One of the purposes of the retreat was to consider this very issue.
The conclusion we reached was that “sizable” meant the lesser of $5.25-million (U.S.) or ten times the value of the theft. This is a great concession to parishioners because the wages of sins are usually expressed as the greater of two or more values, not the lesser.
Because the jacket is worth only $9,595.95, the ten-times-the-value rule would apply in your case. This means that you would have to pay $95,959.50 to the church as penance.
I assume that you don’t have that much money. Otherwise, you would have just bought the jacket and not worried about it. There is an out here as well. If you rob a bank in order to get the money, that doesn’t count as a punishable theft. Because you will be turning the money over to the church as your penance, the theft falls under the first exemption of the Eighth Guideline.
Of course, this means that if you manage to get away with more than you need from the bank you won’t be allowed to keep the difference. All of it must go to the church.
The second question is, seeing as though the penance will get you off only if you commit the theft and pay the penalty when God One is having a good day, how will you know when God One is having a good day? That’s easy. God One is an exceptionally petulant god. When he’s having a bad day he acts out.
So, keep your eyes on the news channels. As soon as you see a day when there are no earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods or any other such catastrophes, God One must be having a good day. That will be your chance.
Mimi, it hasn’t escaped my attention that you asked if it would be acceptable under the “Gods’ eyes.” By this I assume you mean under all of the Gods’ eyes, not just under God One’s eyes. Well Mimi, that’s always a crapshoot.
The rest of the Gods aren’t usually looking in on God One’s universe. And, when they are, they usually don’t give a fig about what His creations are doing. Nevertheless, with an infinite number of Gods, even if each one of them rarely takes a peak at our universe, there’s still bound to be at least a few looking down upon us and They might occasionally care what we do. If They spot what They consider to be a sin They are within Their rights to exact a punishment. In that case, you’re on your own.