Wednesday, March 01, 2006

American Taliban Town

Via Chuck at Just a Bump in the Beltway, we learn that Domino's Pizza founder and multi-millionaire Thomas S. Monaghan is funding a private town in Florida.

You got that. A private town.

It's going to be called Ave Maria.

And it's going to be based on (Monaghan's concept of) strict Catholic principles. In fact, Monaghan calls the town's construction "God's will."

By "strict Catholic principles," you might have been thinking that the town would be about social justice, liberation theology, ministering to the poor and needy.

You'd be wrong.

The "strict Catholic principles" that Monaghan has in mind are the ones based on hatred of women and fear of sex.

According to Managhan, town stores won't sell pornographic magazines, pharmacies won't carry condoms or birth control pills, and cable television will carry no X-rated channels.

No word yet, however, on public stonings for adultery. But we're waiting with baited breath.

And, no one is surprised that Gov. Jeb Bush has publically praised the project.

Our conclusions:

1. As Chuck points out, when your order Domino's pizza, you're paying for that town.

2. Given Managhan's vision of "Divine Right, City Hall Style*," we expect him in due time to run for Governor of Florida and then president. If we are lucky, it will be in time to run as a Ross Perot-style independent spoiler candidate for '08.

3. Howard Simon, executive director of the Florida ACLU, said that Monaghan and his congregation townsfolk are "in for a whole series of legal and constitutional problems and a lot of litigation indefinitely into the future." I'd like to nominate Mr. Simon for the understatement of the year award.

4. This proposed "constitution-free zone" is oddly reminiscent of "right to work (sic) zones" and "free speech (sic) zones." And the same crowd seems to be in favour.

5. Women will be one of the groups hardest hit by the town. And if what it takes is millions of dollars to privatize little walled off areas of America in order to carry out their war on women, American conservatives are willing to ante it up.

6. We assume that if a group of fundamentalist Wahabist Muslims move to Florida, and decide to set up a town on "strict Wahabi principles," that Governor will likewise support the idea of a community "where faith and freedom will merge."




*I wanted to say "Municipal Manifest Destiny" but that isn't really an accurate use of the term. Alas.
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