Quantcast

«

»

Oct 27 2011

Trouble in Monaghan’s Catholic Paradise

The Miami New Times reports on the deep troubles in Tom Monaghan’s Florida version of the Vatican, the town of Ave Maria. He already ran into constitutional problems when he declared that his town would be free of birth control and pornography, now things have gotten even worse.

Her dream town had turned against her, she explained. Stuart, a conservative Catholic writer and blogger who resembles an aging Elizabeth Taylor, explained she felt like she was being watched from all angles. She had been banned from nearly 1,000 acres of the town for asking inconvenient questions. Now she was afraid to even step into her own church for fear of being arrested.

“You only find this in fascist regimes,” she said bitterly into a Fox 4 News microphone.

Stuart’s two years in Ave Maria had become a nightmare, she added, all because she had committed the cardinal sin of questioning town founder and Domino’s Pizza magnate Tom Monaghan. On her blog, the Chronicles of Ave Maria, Stuart had compared the place to a prison and Monaghan to its warden. She and her family had been “harassed” because she was the only one willing to stand up to the billionaire and his edicts.

“I believe that the duty of a journalist is to expose and write the truth,” Stuart said. “And I’ve written the truth.”

I could feel sorry for her, but I don’t. If you move to a town that is explicitly set up to be a mini-theocracy, you get what you deserve.

29 comments

1 ping

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    lynxreign

    This is why they can run all the commercials they want about Domino’s pizza not being crap any more, I’m still not going to order from them. I haven’t ever since I found out what Monaghan was like and that he uses company money as well as his own to fund right-wing repression.

  2. 2
    matty1

    It raises an interesting issue, what are the limits on ‘private’ communities. That is I have no problem with the idea of a club or church setting stupid membership requirements and kicking people out for disagreeing and a big problem with national governments doing the same thing.

    Somewhere in between there must be a cut off point, a town also sounds wrong but I’m less certain than I am with the government and even between the town and the members club there is a continuum in terms of the size and nature of groups.

  3. 3
    robnyny

    The article says that Monaghan sold Domino’s over ten years ago.

    It’s funny that Monaghan thought the Catholic Church would allow him to appoint his own priest to his parish. That shows an amazing ignorance of about 2000 years of Church history.

  4. 4
    Taz

    If you move to a town that is explicitly set up to be a mini-theocracy, you get what you deserve.

    What if you’re born there?

  5. 5
    anandine

    Taz said: What if you’re born there?

    Then it’s a congenital defect rather than an acquired one.

  6. 6
    Abby Normal

    I wonder why Ave Maria gets to be called a town, but when Mormons do it, it’s called a compound.

  7. 7
    Larry

    Sounds like a prototype for the rest of the country should the zombie worshipers gain power.

  8. 8
    jamesredekop

    But at least it’s not sharia law!

    I guess.

  9. 9
    bbgunn

    I think it’s hilarious that The Miami New Times News mentions that the town was built “in the middle of the Corkscrew Swamp.”

  10. 10
    abb3w

    Nice bit of background on the place.

  11. 11
    Pierce R. Butler

    robnyny @ # 3: … Monaghan thought the Catholic Church would allow him to appoint his own priest to his parish. That shows an amazing ignorance of about 2000 years of Church history.

    Maybe Monaghan’s problem wasn’t with knowledge of history per se, but with his own concept of his social ranking. IIRC, in some circumstances the Holy Mother Church would allow that authority… to kings.

  12. 12
    raven

    Sounds pretty creepy.

    How long before they go on witch hunts and start burning people at the stake? Do they have weekly heretic hunts?

    Oh well. Since this town is mostly or all Catholic, the people being persecuted should be mostly or all Catholics. I could think of worse things for Monaghan to spend his billions on.

  13. 13
    ewanmacdonald

    @12:

    Again, what if you’re born there? Or you were dragged there by your parents/husband/whatever? I think that IF there are abuses they shouldn’t be immediately shrugged off because they were ‘asking for it’ or similar.

  14. 14
    Aquaria

    This place is going to be a sociology/social worker gold mine within the next 10 years, although I pity the children who will grow up there. ALL of the children who will be–and there will be a lot. That, or the residents will sneak into a nearby city to get their birth control or abortion fix, like they always have.

  15. 15
    democommie

    Guys like Monoghan are “humble” as the pharisees of old. He eschews the highly visible trappings (or at least some of them) so he can dress up in sackcloth and ashes. Meantime, he’s a dictatorial piece of shit who likes to fuck with people who disagree with him.

  16. 16
    tommykey

    or the residents will sneak into a nearby city to get their birth control

    Aquaria, it’s like in some states that have “dry” counties and “wet” counties. If someone lives in a county that goes dry, they just drive to the nearest county to get their booze.

    Apparently, there even used to be Baptist and Bootlegger coalitions, in which purveyors of alcohol in one wet county would fund preachers in a nearby wet county to push to make it dry, which would send more business his way.

  17. 17
    Larry

    I think it’s hilarious that The Miami New Times News mentions that the town was built “in the middle of the Corkscrew Swamp.”

    He built a town. It sank into the swamp. So he built another one. That also sank into the swamp. So he built a third one. That one burned down, fell over, and then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one, ah, that one stayed up.

  18. 18
    Aquaria

    The comments on that article are so obviously astro-turfed that it’s a wonder anyone who reads them doesn’t get chronic turf toe.

  19. 19
    invisibledragon

    As I recall, the wise man built his house on a rock, the foolish man built his house on sand, but what does that make the guy who builds his house in a swamp? Besides beyond stupid.

  20. 20
    Aquaria

    Apparently, there even used to be Baptist and Bootlegger coalitions, in which purveyors of alcohol in one wet county would fund preachers in a nearby wet county to push to make it dry, which would send more business his way.

    I unfortunately know exactly what you’re talking about. I grew up in East Texas, after all. I learned to despise hypocrisy by watching the preachers and other religious type rail against booze, but you’d find them across the county line during the week, slipping out of a liquor store when they thought no one would be looking, or they’d be enjoying a good Scotch at a restaurant in Dallas–again where they thought no one would see.

    You can bet your booties that there are a lot of contraception-lovin’ Catholics in Ave Maria.

  21. 21
    Reginald Selkirk

    Calling the place a ticket to Heaven

    Maybe it’s just me, but the appeal of that phrase seems questionable.

  22. 22
    robnyny

    I should have added that the lack of public libraries may be a feature, not a bug, as it has historically been in Ireland.

  23. 23
    LightningRose

    What is it with assholes and cheap, crappy, pizza?!

  24. 24
    robnyny

    If you are aluding to Herman Cain, I have always said that we need a president with more junk food experience.

  25. 25
    robnyny

    Consumer Reports rates about fifty fast food chains, including eight pizza chains (sorry, behind a subscription wall), but not Godfather’s. I wonder why?

  26. 26
    Draken

    Are all those Cuban refugees in Miami and their offspring catlick conservative nutters yearning for the days of yonder? In that case, I hope for you Fidel dies soon so they can return.

  27. 27
    d cwilson

    As I recall, the wise man built his house on a rock, the foolish man built his house on sand, but what does that make the guy who builds his house in a swamp? Besides beyond stupid.

    A member of the Legion of Doom?

  28. 28
    d cwilson

    Moaghan’s biggest mistake was trying to build his fascist town in America. He obviously hates the concepts of freedom of speech and religion. Why is even in this country?

  29. 29
    dingojack

    robnyny (#24) – “… I have always said that we need a president with more junk food experience.”

    What, Bill Clinton wasn’t enough?
    :) Dingo

  1. 30
    Online accountancy courses

    Online accountancy courses…

    [...]Trouble in Monaghan’s Catholic Paradise | Dispatches from the Culture Wars[...]…

Leave a Reply

Switch to our mobile site