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I worked for Tom Monaghan for about ten years, on and off. Not for him directly, I've never met him, but nonetheless for him in the sense that his vision permeated every aspect of the work there. It was a brilliant company in its time, and I learned a hell of a lot that is still with me today.

Monaghan has always had his nutty side. It showed through even then, but I vaguely remember a sense that he had gone a little off the deep end around the time he sold Domino's, which was also about the time that the company lost it's vision and irredeemably diluted it's unique position both in the market and in public awareness.

His new venture tells me that he's still a little off. He's decided to create a "Catholic only" town in Florida. It's going to have all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a theocracy: abortions banned, pornography will be nowhere to be found, the sale (and presumably use) of contraceptives will be strictly off limits. And the whole town will be centered on a Catholic university he'll build.

You can imagine the reaction of the left. They are of course planning to drown the project in lawsuits. They are already screaming about persecution, about the freedom of alternative belief systems, about the rights of the promiscuous to obtain chemical redemption and medical denial of the consequences of their actions. And just in case that doesn't fly in court, they have a backup plan. Apparently, there's an endangered species of panther nearby that won't be happy surrounded by Catholics.

What the left is really worried about is that some people might be able to live their own values without influence from the intelligentsia and political thuggery that is the usual means for the left to impose their values on everyone else. It's a genuine worry. About 7000 people have expressed an interest in buying property, and some 60% of the commercial space is either already leased or about to. Seems that people are voting with their wallets for Catholic values, and that just won't do for the left who know better, even if it is only one tiny little corner of the vast United States.

I'm as opposed to theocracy as anyone. You want to tell me how to live my personal life on my property, or on the property of those with whom my wish to interact is mutual, then I sincerely wish you an eternal stay in the worst pit hell has to offer. I'm even offended by Monaghan's vision of how he wants the people of his little town to live.

But it's not for me to say. There's one fact in the article that is in the end the only fact that matters to the rest of us who won't be buying property there:
Monaghan has bought about 5,000 acres
Case closed.


If it's voluntary, where is the harm?

What is the difference between public and Catholic schools and public and Catholic towns?

Like you, I woldn't be going there - but don't we still have a right of free association?

Posted by Peter Porcupine at Monday, February 27, 2006 02:39 PM


I thought the last paragraph was clear enough, I agree with you completely. He bought the land, it's his to do with as he wishes, and to require what he wishes of others if they wish to use it.

Posted by kylben at Monday, February 27, 2006 02:52 PM

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