You are DEAD ON and you are going to get me fired up. If only leadership in this country could just GET that very simple fact. We think there are "gray areas" only because we can't all agree on "how to deal with" ANYTHING in life. Because we can't agree or can make wonderful/logical arguments about why or why not certain "deal with" decisions are good/bad it does not change the moral integrity of the situation we are "dealing with."
Stealing is wrong. In its simplest form, most people agree with this statement. However, people want to bring up "Robin Hoods." Would you steal to keep your children from starving, etc? Stealing is IMMORAL no matter the situation.
Ok, let's say that is the ONLY way to keep your child from starving (I'd doubt that is hardly ever the case, but whatever). Yes, I would steal food to keep my children (had I any) from starving. But that does not change the morality of the situation. It is still a sin (oops I mean it's "wrong"). It is still against the law. I still DESERVE to go to jail/be punished b/c I did it. No matter the morality/validity of the reason. Maybe it's a "gray area" for the judge who may or may not have the power to grant mercy, but it isn't a gray area in general. I, honestly, have no recourse b/c I chose to steal, do wrong, break the law and justice should probably be served to a) preserve the integrity of the law b) protect the rights of the victim (person stolen from). As a moral person, I should accept punishment w/o complaint.
Now, in a perfectly just world, I would hope I could find a way to work for the person who had the food or the person MIGHT be generous enough to provide charity to my children. Just b/c the person has the food, doesn't mean the person should BE FORCED to provide them food to "prevent" my crime. I am NEVER forced to commit the crime. I could let my children die, and it's on my head for not being able to provide for them. (This is extremely harsh, but, honestly it IS the way the world should work.)
Unfortunately, this world has evil people so the world can't "work" the way it should. There are some people who would hoard the food to themselves (allowing no one to work for it nor giving it away) even letting some waste b/c they don't care about starving children (hence they are evil).
There's no better case of enforced morality than me being taxed to provide welfare. Yet, an enforced charity system doesn't work either, b/c it removes the moral responsibility (remember stealing for my children was MY MORAL DECISION, regardless of punishment) of caring for yourself and your children to those who "have" b/c you "have-not," the world's mistreated you, you've been given an "unfair" shake by not having a good enough IQ to be a doctor and you don't want to clean hotel rooms, and more WHINES, perpetuating the problem.
I guarantee if some of those on welfare were given the choice of work or starve, they'd start working before starving and if they chose stealing before working, then they deserve the punishment they get. It is (should) not the problem of the person who HAS, until their morality makes it their problem.