TCS Daily

Holy Roman Empire USA

By James Pinkerton - March 7, 2006 12:00 AM

The Liberal-Left Establishment has never liked suburbia and exurbia, which are dismissed as "sprawl." And we know what the Liberal Left thinks of the Catholic Church. So what do you suppose Liberal Lefties think about a plan for a Catholic exurb? Talk about a bad twofer, in their eyes. Even worse, the new town of Ave Maria, Florida is being bankrolled by Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino's Pizza, the leading conservative Catholic philanthropist in the world. Yikes! No wonder it's so easy for the mainstream media to descend into name-calling -- The Times of London has mocked him as "the pizza pope," and it's likely to get worse in the future.

On the other hand, Monaghan is not without resources on his side. And by resources, I mean not only his own billion or so in wealth, much of which he has given away already. But the greater resource he has is the tradition of the Catholic Church, and its proven power, over two millennia, to create and sustain institutions. So while nobody can know the future of Ave Maria, the town, here's a prediction: It will be around longer than the Liberal-Left Establishment.

The Left's view of the 'burbs as a place of stifling bourgeois conformity is epitomized by the 1963 Malvina Reynolds folksong, "Little Boxes," which begins, "Little boxes on the hill side, little boxes made of ticky tacky." Little boxes? Ticky tacky? That's one view of the American Dream.

But of course, for the Left, suburbia just gets worse and worse. Consider these lines from a few bars later in the tune: "And the people in the houses all went to the university/Where they were put in boxes, little boxes, all the same./And there's doctors and there's lawyers, and there's business executives/And they're all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same." The horror! People got educated, got good jobs, bought houses. To repeat, the horror!

The Left has never forgiven the American working class for becoming the American middle class. Through the middle of the last century, the Left had high hopes for the Masses; Lefties hoped that Proletarians, guided by a Revolutionary Vanguard (Stalinist or Trotskyist, there was division here) would build a good Soviet United States. But even before World War Two, instead of socialism and communism, Americans embraced capitalism, consumerism, and suburbanism. Whereas the Left wanted urban renters, who could be whipped up into rent strikes and other forms of urban protest, those darn American people preferred to become suburban owners; the folks in Levittown wanted to wage war on crabgrass, not their bosses.

And while the Catholic Church has never been a free-market outfit, it was nonetheless implacably hostile to "godless communism." As a result, the godless communists, and their somewhat more subdued-hued descendants, have been happy -- in return -- to spew venom on both suburbanites and Catholics. The old overt ideology is no longer visible, to be sure; the new style is a generalized contempt for the culture of Middle America.

Emblemizing this style is James Howard Kunstler, who trashes the idea of suburbia every chance he gets -- and he gets many, because his fellow Lefties buy hardcover. A fellow traveler in the same movement is Mike Davis, who has carved out a special niche for himself by predicting, for decades now, that Los Angeles would disappear in an eco-disaster. Instead, the median home price in Los Angeles County has hit an astonishing $560,000 -- surely something is going OK out there. But the failure of reality to conform to theory has not stopped Davis from enjoying a lucrative career of epater le bourgeoisie.

So at the elite level, these are the folks, and the mindset, that will greet the debut of Ave Maria. It's bad enough that Monaghan describes the town as "a new community of uncompromising quality and boundless opportunity" -- because the left knows that "quality" is a synonym for "standards." Strike One. And "opportunity," in the Left rulebook, is an antonym for "equality." Strike Two. And of course, Monaghan is pro-life, and that's Strikes Three to Three Hundred.

So then it came: the Left's effort to eject Monaghan and his mini-metropolis right outta de game.

An article on the Lefty website tossed around the obligatory buzzwords, such as "ultraconservative," before warning that Monaghan's charitable ventures "appear to be walking a thin line between conservative organization and radical cult."

More mainstream-y publications were a bit less inflammatory, while still making their anti-Ave feelings apparent. Newsweek's understated hostility toward Ave Maria began with its headline, "Halfway to Heaven." For those not familiar with Newsweek's worldview, trust me -- the magazine intended that as an ironic joke. Reacting to reports that Monaghan might seek to prevent pharmacies in his new town from carrying contraceptives, the magazine echoed the tone of the American Civil Liberties Union, which declared itself to be "worried." Happily, according to the mag, ACLU Florida executive director Howard Simon "will be watching Ave Maria for any signs of Monaghan's requests becoming a demand." And lest any reader be too thick to see the gravity of the situation, Newsweek added, "Planned Parenthood is similarly alarmed."

A subsequent AP story was even more explicit in expressing Liberal-Left fear: Ave Maria would offer "no place to get an abortion, pornography or birth control." And the same Howard Simon was quoted again, this time more threateningly toward Monaghan & Co.: "If they attempt to do what he apparently wants to do, the people of Naples and Collier County, Florida, are in for a whole series of legal and constitutional problems and a lot of litigation indefinitely into the future."

Such attempted legal bullying led Human Events columnist Mac Johnson to snap, "What do you bet this town will have low crime, high test scores, good neighbors, a healthy rate of reproduction, and be sued every day that it exists by the ACLU?"

Just a few years ago, given the correlation of forces -- people on one side, liberal litigators on the other -- one would have had to bet on the liberal litigators. But the judiciary has changed and continues to change, such that the Right is now winning victories, not just at the ballot box, but also in the courts. So it's possible, just possible, that the ACLU won't be able to clobber Ave Maria.

Meanwhile, deep trendlines bode well for Ave Maria. Most obviously, the long wave of suburbanization has been flowing for a century now. The Left derides it as "sprawl," others call it simply, "growth." As city historian Joel Kotkin explains, the "new urbanist" vision of densely bohemian neighborhoods may entrance the Left, but ordinary people want blue sky and a yard. And oh yes, they want safety and affordability. Which is to say, sprawl. And so while avant-garde critics celebrate the "renaissance" of funky 'hoods from Brooklyn to "LoDo" in Denver to Santa Monica, the big growth is in such unglamorous places as Rockland County, NY, Scott County, MN, and San Bernardino County, CA.

And yes, there's a partisan political angle here, too, since 97 of the 100 fastest-growing counties in the US gave their votes to George W. Bush in 2004. So now comes Monaghan, building his new town in a county that went 2:1 for W. From a Lefty point-of-view, is there anything right about this picture? Short answer, no. And ditto the long answer.

But in fact, not all of these new places are conservative. Columbia, MD, for example, was developed by liberal visionary James Rouse as a new town that would be both economically and ethnically integrated. And booming Las Vegas is a Democratic bastion in Nevada. And who can guess about the future politics of Martha Stewart's new development in North Carolina, or Robert Congel's proposed Destiny USA in upstate New York? Indeed, as the Dallas-based Rod Dreher has written, the Right has absorbed many of the values of the counter-culture; just about anywhere one goes in the US, one sees evidence of a cultural "greening" -- organic food stores, yoga workshops, New Age worship sites. And yet in many cases, "green" votes "red," not "blue."

The problem with all these places, in the view of the Left, is that they exist far away from the influence of the big cities, with their deep ideo-infrastructure of universities, institutes, newspapers, and other Lefty-content-providers. Which is to say, people will be free to experiment, i.e. to try new things, outside of the Left's tutelage.

Meanwhile, techno-trends with which TCS-ers are familiar -- telecommuting, distance learning, electronic piecework -- are easing the dispersal of the population. And if the promise of nanotechnology comes true, and we all have little factories in our homes, then it will be even easier for us to live just about anywhere, far from the once-needed grid.

But wait, there's more -- more centrifugal trends. Please answer this question as honestly as you can: What are the chances of a weapon of mass destruction, from any source, hitting a big city in the US? The WMD doesn't have to come from Al-Qaeda; it could be some other foreign power, or some creepy kid with a chemistry set. If your answer is that the odds of such a WMDisaster are pretty good, then yet another argument for exurbanization presents itself.

Here's where the Catholics can say, "We've seen this before -- and we had a pretty good response." Back in the sixth century, after the fall of the Roman Empire, one Italian, Benedict of Nursia, didn't just bemoan the collapse of the world around him, he did something about it. He created a world of his own: the monastery at Monte Cassino. In honor of his vision, he is known to us now as St. Benedict the Great, the father of Christian monasticism. For hundreds of years thereafter, through the darkest of the Dark Ages, monasteries were the chief custodians of Western Civilization, until more traditional political authorities had restored some semblance of law, order, and prosperity, thus permitting cities to flourish once again. Is this particular epoch of history due for a repeat? Let's hope not, but let's hope that some people, at least, have a plan for surviving even the worst calamity. In the meantime, it's interesting that the new Pope has chosen the name Benedict -- one wonders what he knows.

But whereas the Old Monasticism of the Catholic Church was ascetic, the Next Monasticism need not be ascetic; indeed, there's good reason to hope that it isn't. The world has plenty of childless people -- and what the West needs, in particular, are young people.

Most likely, the world will muddle through the next few centuries without a plunge into a New Dark Age. But in a world full of evil, and full of technology that can be used for evil, it can't hurt to have a few places such as Ave Maria in reserve -- just in case.

And in the meantime, Ave Maria offers all of us a great gift: the power of an alternative. Not everyone wants to be a conservative Catholic, but those that do should have a place of their own. That's the truest kind of diversity, the right to think and believe and behave differently, be it in the name of God, or of no god.

And it's worth celebrating, now and forever.

James Pinkerton is a Fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C. and a TCS contributor.



Homosexuals will be welcome
Domino's founder reverses Catholic remarks
AP, March 3, 2006

His ideas about barring pornography and birth control, he said, apply only to the Catholic university ... "I would say I just misspoke," Monaghan said Friday in an interview with The Associated Press. "The town will be open to anybody."

...The town will not allow adult bookstores or topless clubs. However, it will merely suggest, not prohibit, businesses from selling adult magazines or contraceptives.

The town would welcome "synagogues as well as Baptist churches," and homosexuals will be welcome despite the church's belief that homosexuality is a sin.

Ave Maria
There is a socialy responsable mutual fund advertised in National Review named Ave Maria that only invests in funds that share Catholic values and it seems to do well. I wonder if the two are related in any way?

Great Article
Good for them. It's nice to see someone who has been serving us all follow his dream. It's not a dream I share, but I'll glad to see him do it. It just goes to show you that with some success and a vision you can do just about anything. Unless, of course, you **** off the ACLU. :)

Katie Couric's interview
I saw Katie Couric interview the Pizza Pope, and her interview followed the line of media skepticism and attack that Pinkerton would predict.

Katie Couric
Katie Couric, exemplar of the monolithic Left. Wow.

As someone more genuinely reflecting an authentic left viewpoint, let me offer the following:

The American public has voted with its feet, and sprawl (dispersed, auto-based community plans) is what it has voted for. They also have a pronounced tendency to want to live in communities of like minded people. What better vision than to have Catholic communities and Baptist communities by design and not just by happenstance?

More power to anyone wanting to live in a focused, intentional community. This is a positive trend, and necessary to replace the anxious anomie that has taken over so much of American life in recent decades. At last, people will know who their neighbors are.

What is it that bugs you Roy? The fact that people get to choose or is it the choices they make that you don't care for?

That's one of the fundamental differences and why I tend to lean right (their stance on abortion aside):

I'm willing to let others choose and face the consequences of their choices. By the same token, I demand the right to choose and the obligation to face the consequences of my choices.

If people want to mix up class, race, ideology, and whatever artificial divisions you can think up where they live... good for them. If they don't... um... good for them. At least they've made a conscious choice and they get to face the result of that decision in the most critical of places... their children.

Cutting and Pasting from the MSM can be harmful to your credibility.
"homosexuals will be welcome despite the church's belief that homosexuality is a sin."

Leave it to the MSM to screw it up and our resident cut and paste expert to post it with the impramatur (pun intended) and nihil obstat of a URL.

Homosexuality (the inclination) is not a sin. A sin involves an action, not a temptation or emotion.

We all have inclinations that if (usually when) acted upon with full and unimpaired consent of the will, would be (are) sinful.

Sodomy or other gratifications involving the sexual faculties with a person of the same sex are sinful, as are relations relations between unmarried persons or people and animals or a myriad of other ways we abuse our faculties.

But then again, the MSM is still trying to validate the document at the heart of "rathergate'.

If I recall correctly
Mr. M was a director or advisor to that fund

Pinkerton is Clueless
This article by Pinkerton is an excellent example of how people should not think or act. In Pinkerton's world everything is black and white, Left vs. Right, Pinkerton's way vs. evil. He blames everyone except himself or his surrogates. Sounds a lot like Islamic terrorists, same type of ideology, just different methods.

Sure Pinkerton, your precious suburban people in "little boxes" have an education and good jobs, but they don't have a soul. Just like the Church prefers them- rich, conformed and brain-washed ignorant. You finally made the connection in your piece when you bring up that suburbanites tended to support GWB. The correlation is not coincidental, W likes people rich and ignorant also. Of which there is no shortage in the suburbs. Happiness comes from within, not from material things. Of course you want everyone to think and act alike, its how bigots like Pinkerton and Catholicism control people.

"What do you bet this town will have low crime, high test scores, good neighbors, a healthy rate of reproduction..."
Huh, just like Nazi Germany.

The American working class became the American middle class because of the Left's values and labor unions, how amusing to see an anti-liberal twist history to fit his narrow view. Like urban sprawl represents some victory for Pinkerton's side and conversely a defeat for anyone that disagrees with him. What a joke.

Suburbs are bad because they ARE sprawl, they're inefficient with resources, they grow the government because the infrastructure needed grows exponentially, they encroach on natural land, thus creating new threats from forest fire and floods - and the one reason Pinkerton has for valid criticism of the Left for not liking suburbs, because they are a vain status symbol for the rich. Huge houses with huge garages for huge SUV's equates to small mindedness. Throw on the statisitics that suburbanites went for GWB and its obvious there is an epidemic of stupidity in the suburbs.

By the way, I live in the suburbs, so I know. Unlike idiot Pinkerton who takes the freedom to define things he doesn't understand.

TCS should be ashamed for publishing garbage like this from a Nazi like Pinkerton.

Speaking of Ignorant...
"Just like the Church prefers them- rich, conformed and brain-washed ignorant."

That can't be true, if it were there'd be a lot more Hollywood liberals among the faithful. As for ignorant, the last Pope spoke seven languages and contributed to the liberation of millions without firing a shot or harming a hair on anybody's head-while the secular left fawned over the evil empire at worst or gave us the the nihilist resignation of "legitimate spheres on influence" at best.

You think you are in that league?

"What do you bet this town will have low crime, high test scores, good neighbors, a healthy rate of reproduction..."
Huh, just like Nazi Germany.

You can't be serious. Actually I'm sure you are-criminality was everywhere in Nazi Germany -(especially in the Reichstag and its ubiqitous apparati) and the "good neighbors" watched people carted off to ovens. The fecundity came from programmed breeding.

If you are going to try to make a vitriol filled analogy, at least make it a little bit plausible.

Times of London-Old Habits Die Hard
We should expect more vitriol from the British Press-while Christianity in general, and the Church of England in particular has been reduced a shadow in the British Isles-the secularists have always hoped to retain the virulent anti-Catholicism that was part of its tradion.

Wonder if they'd be happier under the "pizza pope" or where they seem to be heading. Its funny, there's calls for all kinds of Islamic institutions all the time, yet you won't see any mockery of the "crude oil caliph"-but I guess they know better, especially now.

will pedophilia be welcomed?
monaghan's original idea was an entire town run according to catholic law. if you can't see why that's wrong and unconstitutional, you're beyond hope. fortunately he has softened his ideas and will now only "advocate" certain behavior, which is fine with me. but as soon as he tries to enforce "no condoms in the drug stores" or something, he will still undoubtedly run afoul of the constitution, unless he personally owns every square inch of land in the town and just rents everything out to a bunch of fuedal serfs. and how would such a town (of non-owners subject to the dictates of the fuedal lord) have any redeeming quality whatsoever?

bobjones proves Pinkerton right
Bob goes apoplectic because ta da, people are making choices he disagrees with.

People who live in suburbs have no soul. Why because they don't like things that Bob likes and actually believes everyone else must like.

Liberals are by far, the most intolerant people in the world. They make the Taliban seem friendly.

Actually, there would be nothing unconstitutional about the whole town living under catholic law. Unfortunately the Supreme Court gave up using the US constitution a generation ago.

Why do you ask?
Are you so afflicted? Or do you just want to spread the lie that there's a disproportionate number of pedophiles among the clergy? I don't defend one instance, nor the mishandling of them, but a Penn State study disproved the idea that priests were any more likely to engage in such behavior than any other clergy.

Its funny how the secular left screams for tolerance of any and all sexual deviancy, until they find one that they think will be a convenient bludgeon of disqualification.

P.S. Change your name to "97 pound weakling", as that more closely approximates your intellect.

Its only a Rant..
If it doesn't make a coherent point. You were concise and convincing.

Faith-based communities and Mr. Ratzinger
I'm a right winger. I support without any kind of hesitation the global war against Islamic terrorism. I believe in the free market. I'm agnostic, but not of the belligerent kind. I think Religion is a vital need for many people, and it is really worse when these people substitute Religion by any other thing. Beyond that, I don't think good to divide people between "them" and "us". I confess I'm deeply concerned by this kind of initiatives.

Very recently, Mr. Ratzinger called for the creation of "faith-based communities". Let me explain you what that phrase really means: they mean "tiny states within every state", where a Rome approved law would be the only acknowledged law.

Don't you believe it? Just join the dots:

1- As Mr. Pinkerton rightly says, the Vatican has never endorsed free-market. I should have made a more accurate statement: the former Pope explicitly condemned what he called "savage capitalism" and "liberalism". "Liberal", in the States, means "leftist", but in Europe, the word is still attached to its former meaning: the defense of free markets and freedom in the Hayek/Friedman sense. Ambiguity? Come on...
2- Rome has actively fought against Bush strategies in Middle East, and it frontally opposed to the liberation of Iraq. In Spain, the Catholic Church undermined the former Jose Maria Aznar government and it played a determinant role in the arrival of the new friend of Castro and Chavez, Mr. Rodriguez Zapatero, to La Moncloa.
3- Rome has again positioned in the wrong side in the crisis of the Danish cartoons. They are actively pushing for the approval of laws concerning "blasphemy" in several countries.
4- The Roman-Catholic hierarchy suffers from a deeply rooted anti-American bias. They would be happy returning to the times of the Tratado de Tordesillas (half-planet to Spain, the other half to Portugal). They are playing the ethnic card in a very dangerous fashion: they count as "theirs" the Hispanic immigration, mostly Roman Catholic, and they'll used them if possible to subvert the rule of the United States in their own territory.

Mr. Ratzinger, besides, is a man with a really big ego (in a couple of months, we knew more from Mr. Ratzinger private life than what we knew about John Paul II's life in twenty years, including how the brand new Pope spends two hours each day playing the piano after lunch), and worse: it's an aged impatient man. He feels tempted to accelerate God's plans in the Earth.

Make no mistakes: the enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend.

Freman, Madrid

I thought I was being pro-choice
Scott-- In light of your critique I've gone back over my comment pretty carefully-- and I don't see anything there that could be construed as my being bugged about the right of people to choose what kind of a place they want to live in. In fact I said I was very much in favor of it.

So go back and read what I said again. And then do me the favor of pointing out just where I showed myself to be intolerant, hateful, deluded, grumpy or plain objectionable. I'd take your thoughtful criticism to heart-- if only you could illustrate the merit of your argument.

Blake Gable: Homosexuals welcome
Pizza magnate modifies plans for Fla. town
AP, March 3, 2006

...The town is being DEVELOPED THROUGH A 50-50 PARTNERSHIP WITH BARRON COLLIER CO., an agricultural and real estate firm. Barron Collier and Monaghan will control all commercial real estate.

"The MISCONCEPTION WE'RE TRYING TO CLARIFY is that this is not going to be a strictly Catholic town. ... I think it would be boring if in fact it was all Catholic," Marinelli said.

...Barron Collier EXECUTIVE BLAKE GABLE SAID HOMOSEXUALS WILL BE WELCOME despite the church's belief that homosexuality is a sin.

The Constitution trumps Christianity
No government -- Federal, State of Local -- can force American citizens to abide by Catholic Law even if the town was founded by Catholics. Should non-Catholics choose to live in 'Ave Maria', they will still be free to live their life according to their own beliefs.

A person's right to discriminate ends where it infringes upon the rights of another. That's FREEDOM.

On the Contrary
The prior pope addressed "savage capitalism", not capitalism in general. The modifier is separate from the subject. Like everything else, free markets can be abused. The true reality is, the prior pope had no use for socialism.

Your vacant inferences are either void of substance "a man with a really big ego" -if the Pope weren't open about himself, he'd be portrayed as impersonal or more likely imperious (here's a tip: if the guy tells you he plays piano-he's open-if he tells you "boxers", he's an egomaniac) or hyperbolic (faith communities "Rome approved law would be the only acknowledged law".

Actually its not the Catholic hierarchy that suffers from a deeply rooted anti-American bias-its the American hierarchy that suffers from a deeply rooted anti-Catholic bias.

No better observation about that-the author escapes me at the moment (tIMOTHY gEORGE/cHARLES cOLSON?)- fact than in 1960, American Protestants were afraid that Catholic politicians would listen to the Pope-today they are afraid they won't-because in order to acheive political acceptance they've had to actively oppose their faith.

The constitution says that congress can make no law.
If you can show me where Ave Maria is being set up by the Congress of the United States, then your point would stand.

Maybe I misunderestimated you :)
Your tone struck me as sarcasm, but it's sometimes hard to tell in the written word.

Particularly your question about vision at the end of the 1st paragraph. If I'm wrong, we're in violent agreement and I'm sorry if I offended.

Basic Constitutional Law
The Constitutional even trumps local law, otherwise we'd still have White communities prohibting African-Americans from sitting at the lunch counter or attending college.

Only two remarks...
The prior pope addressed "savage capitalism", not capitalism in general.
Any attempt to constrain and adjectivate "capitalism", i.e., economic freedom and property rights, is at the same time an attempt to restrain our liberties, and a well-known road to serfdom. I have never known about any "savage" and "civilized" capitalism: there's is capitalism (and freedom) on one side, and several fading shades of gray, a mix of authoritarianism and socialism on the other.

The true reality is, the prior pope had no use for socialism.
You're right on this. John Paul II was a great man in many senses. I have no trouble to acknowledge this.

Actually its not the Catholic hierarchy that suffers from a deeply rooted anti-American bias-its the American hierarchy that suffers from a deeply rooted anti-Catholic bias.
:) Perhaps. But I'm on the American side (despite I'm not American).



that was my point
The Supreme Court stopped using the US constitution a generation ago.

14th Amendment, circa 1868

Discrimination was made ILLEGAL when the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified on July 28, 1868 -- one hundred and thirty-eight years ago.

Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. NO STATE SHALL MAKE OR ENFORCE ANY LAW WHICH SHALL ABRIDGE the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; NOR DENY TO ANY PERSON TO ANY PERSON WITHIN ITS JURISDICTION the equal protection of the laws.

Have you ever been to Buena Vista, Florida?
Have you ever been to Buena Vista, Florida (a.k.a Disney World)?

The similarities between the Disney owned and run town (with full municipal authority) and the proposal for Ave Maria are strikingly similar.

Don't be surprized if Mickey Mouse files lots of friend of the court briefs in any lawsuits, because most arguments against Ave Maria being a church town would also argue against Buena Vista beig a company town.

Political correctness
I'm really slow to take offense (if that weren't so, what would I be doing here?) so no harm done.

I'm very much in favor of intentional communities. That way people don't get on one anothers' nerves. Of course it's tough on the kids, growing up in little islands of isolation, with the most outlandish ideas being taught them about what outsiders are like. Kids grow up a lot better in places like NYC, where your neighbors are either cross dressing vegetarians or Soka Gakkai break dancers. You're unable to hold illusions about what the demonic followers of other ways of life are like, because you know those people. You hear them through the walls at night.

But when other people just get to be too much you should be able to retreat into a planned community, where the outside world can't get to you so easily. Hippies did it forty years ago. I'm suprised more evangelicals don't do it today. Their tendency seems to me to be toward communitarian living, a collective approach to attitude adjustment and a tad of team spirit.

I would support the video stores of Ave Maria hanging out large signs proclaiming "Absolutely no copies of the Da Vinci Code will be carried at this outlet". After all-- is it not a free country?

My personal choice is to live in kind of an unplanned community. Around here public profanity, for instance, is a chargeable offense. But an adequate defense is to say "The guy really made me mad", and apologize.

The faucets are dripping in old New York City
A better example of the left's use of blinders would be that song, where Melvina bemoans "the reservoir's drying because it's supplying the faucets that drip in New York."

And why are the faucets dripping? It was cheaper to let it drip than to pay the cost of a union plumber to change the faucet washer. But the left, (especially the song writers,) were solidly behind the unions, no matter what.

Truth can be painful
I went apoplectic because Pinkerton presented a warped view and false analysis of reality. It was cheerleader crap for people of the foolish mindset.

I was equally foolish with my response. I was vitriolic and stereotypical and unfair with my rhetoric. I know that, I recognize it. Does Pinkerton? Do you?

The difference is, when you boil it down, is that I'm right. Religion is a crutch, an escape, a manufactured answer to fill the gaps when the truth is too painful. Religion wants to be the answer when the awful truth is that we don't know. Thats the truth. As long as people are too scared to face the truth, religion will plague us. Religion does achieve some good things, there are good people that are religious, but we can do those good things without the prosthelytizing and guilt and crusades of organized religion. And the bad far outweighs the good that comes from religion in the big picture. Religion is a personal thing, it has no business in politics. Pinkerton is like a modern day terrorist, using religion, fusing religion and politics to gain advantage and power. People like that should be shunned as pariahs, not published, not elected to Congress or President. Its a free society, even bad ideas should be shared. But this country is swirling in the toilet bowl as we speak because these people have gained power. I'm talking about America's position as the center of power in the world, ambasador of goodwill, etc.

How typical for the fools in here to label me intolerant for being critical of intolerance.

You're absolutely right Joanie
Everyone's entitled to live wherever they want. And when their house burns down because they're surrounded by forest or it washes out to sea with a hurricane, they should bite their lip and deal with it.

Suburbs are a reality. But that doesn't mean we should celebrate them. We should recognize what they are, the purpose and reasons they exist. They are not good, for the reasons I gave earlier, but they're not going away so we should address the reasons and do what we can to make them more beneficial. Like vehicles that are more fuel efficient and pollute less.

ANYONE, liberal or conservative, who drives an SUV has a character flaw, in my opinion. Its ultimately a sign of selfishness. The overwhelming presence of SUV's in suburbs is a big source of my criticism. And all of this ties into wealth, big home, big vehicle, for what? To feel important, to show others you have value, to show off, to feel power. Including liberals who fit that description. People like Pinkerton celebrate all this, I oppose it because its my values, hence I rant in response to idiots like Pinkerton. You made good points.

What is the fictional "left wing establishment"?
Who is this typical left winger Pinkerton talks about? (That's rhetorical, we all know its just a canard weak writers use....a ad hominem where there is no hominem). I'm in NYC, and catholics are liberals, so why does he say the liberals hate the Catholic Church? Crazy untrue idea. Unfortunately, his credibilty goes downhill from there. He says the liberals have hated the suburbs since the '60s? Laughable. So, where does one go to buy this book of made-up Americana? Folk music is his left wing paradigm!!! That's pretty trite. Merle Haggard asked why Fords and Chevys are such crappy cars. He hates American cars!! What a crazy, far left crooner that guy was.

I hope Ave Maria is successful, because we should all have a place to call home, even those of us whose primary concern is vigilance over the personal lives of our neighbors.

The truth
The problem is that you have accepted a lie, relabeled it the truth, and you hate everyone who disagrees with you, all the while crying that other people aren't more tolerant towards you.

So why does he say the liberals hate the Catholic Church?
Because its true. Anybody who's ever heard the drooling vitriol of the say your average abortion (on demand and government provided without consent) advocatesrip off one of those idiotic retorts "if priests could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrement" at screeching pitches with contorted faces-can see the hatred. As an aside, everytime I see these so-called "reproductive rights" advocates-I notice most are long past the time when pregnancy was a big concern.

As for Catholic liberals- Ted Kennedy and his ilk have NEVER let his putative Catholicity affect his behavior, whether it was engaging in the gluttony (yes, I know its uncharitable to judge another but Teddy's physical appearance and exploits speak for themselves), calumny, licentiousness or lust, let alone the formation of public policy. There's a lot of people in every possible human affiliation who want the benefits of that affiliation-but not if it gets in the way of their whims. Anti-Catholicism is the last respectable prejudice in America.

You are beyond hope.
if you can't see why that's wrong and unconstitutional, you're beyond hope.

No, you are-you presume that "Catholic Law" is intrinsically opposed to the cvil order. Based upon your initial post, its clear your understanding is based upon two important linchpins- fear and ignorance.

As for "no condoms in drugstores"-exactly what provision in the Constitution entitles you to purchase condoms at drugstores-and please don't quote Griswold to me-I have no use for the bizarre inferences of the last few decades the SCOTUS has given us. For two hundred years, municipalities enacted a variety of vice crimes that weren't found to have any conflict with the constitution until lunacy became a requisite requirement for judicial temperament.
They restrict or nullify the clearly spelled out provisions and extrapolate or amplify rights that either don't exist or that exist only when one tortures the meaning of words so badly as to render them meaningless.

I'm sure you'll be able to tell me you don't want to be subject to unaccountable theocrats- but you already are subject to unaccountable atheocrats and are apparently quite happy with it.

Then why do I have to move to the back of the line for a variety things, based on the fact that I'm a while heterosexual male, with no substantial physical impairments. My ancestors (arrived in early 1900's) were deprived of a great many things because of their faith and ethnicity.

Discrimination IS still legal-you just call it something else.

Drooling vitriol
Don't hold back, Super. Say what you feel.

In what line have you been moved back because you are a white heterosexual male, Superheater?

How would we all feel about a Wahabi Islamic suburb?
All open & aboveboard...

So, Superheate: if your daughter were raped and became pregnant...
You'd insist that she have it no matter what?

Is abortion the only issue you know?
Another one-issue-Oscar huh? Contrary to rightie lore, most people don't base their entire lives on the abortion issue. Most people have open minds when it comes to politics. Arlen Spector is pro-choice, does he hate the church also? Grow up and see the world, there's more out there than the abortion debate. So, to say that liberals hate the catholic church is to say that the fastest growing segment of the leftie party (hispanics) hates its own church. Makes no sense, none whatsoever.

It was a simple question
We had a long screed about abortion. It was a simple question directly bearing on that screed to Superheater. It didn't particularly even have anything to do with the Church.

Religious Communities & Intolerance
America has a well established tradition of religious communities establishing physical communities. That was the original vision of the pilgrims who colonized New England. It was the vision of a "peaceable kingdom" that motivated William Penn. The Shakers established communities like Sabbath Day Lake.

Somehow, some of these experiments have become the focus of hate and violence by outsiders. That was the case with the communities established by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS, or "Mormons") in Missouri, then in Illinois, and even in what they thought would be their sanctuary in the desert West. The Mormons hoped to establish a "Zion" of people who were "pure in heart" and covenanted to live Christ's gospel and live with charity toward others, so that there would be "no poor among them".

The enemies of the Mormons, however, could not tolerate their establishing communities that grew in population, wealth, and political and economic power. The governor of Missouri ordered the militia to drive the Mormons from the state or "exterminate" them. A militia in Illinois attacked a county jail where church founder Joseph Smith and his brother and others were being held after they volutarily surrendered to answer transparently false charges of "treason against the State of Illinois" (Exactly how does one do that? Was Iowa attacking Illinois?), and murdered Joseph and his brother Hyrum.

Later, Illinois militia used cannon to attack Mormons who had not evacuated their city of Nauvoo with sufficient alacrity to satisfy the attackers.

In 1857, President Buchanan, relying solely on the lying claims of Federal appointees who had left their posts in Utah territory, sent a force of one third of the standing US Army to suppress an alleged rebellion of the Mormons, who were innocently holding a Fourth of July celebration of their American heritage when word came of the Army's march. In subsequent years the Federal government progressively imprisoned the church's leaders, denied voting and other civil rights to Mormons, and confiscated the church's temples and chapels. Every one of these attacks, from 1833 to 1890, was excused by the claim that the Mormons were just too different in their beliefs and behaviors to be allowed to exist within any American state or territory.

Similar intolerance continues to exist toward Mormons from many who claim to be Christians. It is ironic that they claim that Mormons are NOT Christians because, while they believe in the Christ of the New Testament, as the Son of God who atoned for the sins of mankind and was resurrected, their rejection of the Nicene Creed as an anti-Biblical formulation based on pagan philosophy that describes God as being without body or passions, even though Jesus clearly had both, renders Mormons "non Christian". On the other hand, people who tell lies about Mormon beliefs and actions, and blame Mormons for the persecutions heaped on them by the people of the United States, claim to be "Christians" despite their lack of truth and charity.

The attacks by Katie Couric and the ACLU on the Ave Maria community are motivated by the same kind of intolerance that led to the repeated attacks on Mormons during the 19th Century, by arms and through legislation and lawsuits.

Persecution of distinctive religious communities is not new in America. What is new is that many of the intolerant hypocrites no longer claim to be Christian themselves, but rather to be followers of what they claim is a more praiseworthy secular doctrine, of tolerance for sexual deviancy and utter intolerance, up to and including murder, of those who believe that the hedonists are wrong in the eyes of God.

The persecutors of both the Mormons and Catholics act violently because they feel threatened by any example of people actually living in accordance with Biblical standards of sexual morality and integrity in compliance with the Ten Commandments. The hedonists cannot protect the illusion of their claim to a superior way of life when there is another community that demonstrates that humans can in fact live in accordance with the Sermon on the Mount and Paul's sermon on Charity.

The hedonists are right to fear, because their ethic is based on the claim that humans cannot be asked to restrain their sexual instincts, including from the youngest age, and that therefore any restraint on sexual activities, including traditional marriage with its vows of fidelity, is a violation of Nature, which is their deity. Communities dedicated to living the standards of Jesus, Paul, Peter and John are living witnesses that the hedonists are wrong. Therefore such communities cannot be tolerated.

The litigation tactics of the hedonists are simple: Any voluntary religious covenant is considered a denial of the freedom of those who hate their way of life, specifically the freedom to require everyone to live like hedonists. Teaching the words of Paul against the rampant homosexual sin of the First Century Roman Empire is called "hate speech" and criminal. The refusal to cooperate in the slaughter of innocent children, like the murders committed by Herod and by the Pharoahs, is called a crime and a denial of "reproductive freedom." Sexual freedom is elevated above religious freedom, because hedonists view religion as concerned with unreal categories of existence (God and the resurrection) and mythical events (such as the miracles of Jesus and visions of God and angels) and therefore lacking any claim on the protection of the law.

For hedonists, no rights exist in husbands or parents concerning the question of abortion, because the right of sexual autonomy obliterates not only any duty to the conceived entity (the baby) but also any duty to family, to parents, to spouse. Radical autonomy, without social obligation to any other human being--in other words, utter selfishness--is the rule of law from the US Supreme Court, and the recognition that it has no root in the Constitution nor in the true beliefs of the majority of Americans leads to the campaign of the hedonists to obliterate any dissenting voices who might point out that their deity is naked, defrocked of true faith, true hope, and true love.

Two Points: Already Exist and...
1.) They are already exist; I'm not sure if they ever got it through (something makes me think they did), but in some Michigan,Muslims were demanding that GOVERNMENT MONEY be used to call people to prayer 5 times a day (can you imagine how the MSM missed that-how come Katie don't have her panties in a bunch).

2.) Carmelite nuns don't fly planes into buildings or stap bombs on themselves.

Yes How does aborting the child change the fact she was raped.
A woman being raped will not change if she kills the child and actually, I fail to see how she's better off by having her most intimate places invaded by a self-interested stranger (usually a man) AGAIN.

As an aside, rape is a tough way to impregnate a woman. The stress hormones released during flight or fight response is very hostile conception.

You "feel", we think.
Big difference between us, beaner- the secular left indulges its every visceral indignity and desire with intoxicating fantasies like Marxism. Therefore-the great fantasy of the perfectable man despite millenia of "man's inhumanity to man".

Actually, when it comes to Specter
He made his feelings on Christianity quite clear in a failed presidential bid. He's a classic putz, from the word go-check out his connection to Ira Einhorn.

Held Back
1.) Educational Aid wasn't available to me because I wasn't a (recognized) minority.

2.) Employment in both the public and private sectors is biased against white men, regardless of the fact that my ancestors (and others) were considered something above a dog. When they died in the mines to keep the rich WASPS warm- the bodies were brought to the house and left there. They were the East Coast equivalent of "coolies".

If your going to ask an open ended question as a punctuating zinger, at least make it difficult.

SUVS totally off topic-and you are absolutely wrong. NO SUV character flaw
I have an SUV (a Subaru impreza) which is HANDS DOWN the best vehicle I've ever owned. I bought the vehicle because I need to go to work, to pay my taxes and support my fellow citizens that live off my efforts.

If you live where it snows and you don't have an SUV you have a character flaw-you're lazy-looking for an excuse to say "I can't come in today".

Keep your hands off my car!

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