Effect Measure

The lecherous and hypersexed pizza delivery boy might be a porn movie cliche but not likely welcome in Ave Maria, Florida:

If Domino’s Pizza founder Thomas S. Monaghan has his way, a new town being built in Florida will be governed according to strict Roman Catholic principles, with no place to get an abortion, pornography or birth control.

The pizza magnate is bankrolling the project with at least $250 million and calls it “God’s will.”

Civil libertarians say the plan is unconstitutional and are threatening to sue.

The town of Ave Maria is being constructed around Ave Maria University, the first Catholic university to be built in the United States in about 40 years. Both are set to open next year about 25 miles east of Naples in southwestern Florida.

The town and the university, developed in partnership with the Barron Collier Co., an agricultural and real estate business, will be set on 5,000 acres with a European-inspired town center, a massive church and what planners call the largest crucifix in the nation, at nearly 65 feet tall. Monaghan envisions 11,000 homes and 20,000 residents. (AP via First Amendment Center)

Wow. The largest crucifix in the nation. Maybe it will even be a tourist draw, like the Corn Palace in South Dakota. But it’s more than a ginormous crucifix. In Monaghan’s vision, stores wouldn’t sell “pornographic magazines” (he knows when he sees them), no contraceptives in the drugstores, no sex on cable. The community hospital won’t prescribe birth control for students. Problematic? When these plans were announced, the project’s lawyers reviewed the legal issues. Apparently the review didn’t go that well. Shows you how godless we have become.

“I thought we owned the real estate, so we can lease to whoever we want and put things in the contract, but there are laws and there were lawsuits out there,” Monaghan said.

Yes, those pesky laws.

The developers say that they will allow any denomination to build a house of worship in Ave Maria, and that gays are welcome, too.

In fact, the Web site for the town and university makes no mention of Catholicism at all, not even noting that the school will be Catholic.

“Ave Maria reinvents hometown living with a flourishing new community complementing a new university,” the site says. “Ave Maria is an exciting place to live, work, play and learn for every family, every lifestyle and every dream.” (AP)

If you are an atheist you needn’t worry. Ave Maria, FL (Ave Maria means Hail, Mary; but I’m sure you knew that) will be welcoming and inclusive. Why would you think otherwise?

Yes, the streets have names like Annunciation Circle and John Paul II Boulevard. The town is laid out to catch the sunrise at a certain angle each March 25, the day Catholics celebrate the Feast of Annunciation. And the Catholic university whose towering 10-story church dominates the landscape bans condoms and warns that premarital sex can be grounds for expulsion.

But Ave Maria is open to everyone, said Blake Gable, project manager for the Barron Collier Cos., which is building the new town in partnership with Domino’s Pizza founder Thomas Monaghan, an ardent Catholic. (AP via First Amendment Center)

Yes, it sounds like a real, welcoming environment. I’ve already bought a little lot there. It’s on the corner of the renamed Richard Dawkins Avenue and PZ Myers Way. Stop by on your way to Black Mass next Sunday. We’ll be the house with the cross burning on the front lawn.

Comments

  1. #1 C. Corax
    July 29, 2007

    What a great business opportunity! Just over the border from Ave Maria, build a little mall with a small hotel with very comfortable rooms and attractive, um, maids; a pharmacy; and a Bible-themed porn store. You’d never lack for clientele.

  2. #2 K
    July 29, 2007

    In order to prevent abortions without birthcontrol, Each male should announce if he wants to father one or two children. Then he should be allowed sex with his wife until those numbers of children are fathered. After that he should never have sex again. Since sex if not for procreation is bad this would accomplish population control as well as a holy life. I would like to suggest this to the “good” preacher. If those were the terms of living at Ave Maria I wonder how many residents would come.

  3. #3 Jon Singleton
    July 29, 2007

    Social engineering the “perfect society” usually is a messy business… The following letter expresses the situation I, as a middle aged gay Aussie gay male who has zero legal rights vis a vis gov-based/medicolegal violence, find myself in the here and now. I’ve been an Oz citizen since my early 20s and have never had a registered job in Ireland (when a child), and yet I’m being asked to prove my existence. In the late 90s, I was (((FORCED))) from my longterm home by those who wanted to exploit the land I lived on. These people wanted me out of the inner city Perth environment — OUT folk should move to Sydney and get the frack out of whatever it is they’ve created ie. a sick joke of a “community” in which young people abuse ICE and get infected with HIV!

    Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2007 01:38:19 -0700 (PDT)
    From: “jon singleton” Subject: Re: Thank you for your response to bmj.com [Oz Centrelink Ministerial Correspondence Version]

    To: “Centrelink International Services”

    To: “John Kobelke, West Australian Minister for Police
    and Emergency Services; Community Safety; Water
    Resources; Sport and Recreation”

    To: “Dr. Ric Chaney”

    To: “free man”

    Thursday Jul 26, 2007

    So, here I am — yet again — “dancin’ the dance” and
    contacting relevant parties…

    I have an unusual relationship with my doctor, Ric
    Chaney, given we were lovers during the 1990s and he
    was aware of the bullying violence I experienced year
    after year whilst a longterm resident of 170 Aberdeen
    St, Northbridge, Perth, WA; which saw me unwillingly
    transmute into a “puppet on a string” vis a vis local
    and state gov agencies, medical system, etc.

    For example, see the attached letter from Ric Chaney
    and this…

    Copy of a legal letter dated 16 September 1999, from
    eugene_lee@cityofperth.wa.gov.au to Scott Lovett
    (Service Manager, City Toyota) Re: 170 Aberdeen St,
    Northbridge, Perth, WA (see Google map 2007)…

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=170,+aberdeen+st,+northbridge,+perth,+wa&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=39.047881,77.695313&ie=UTF8&ll=-31.944288,115.85488&spn=0.001279,0.002371&t=k&z=18&om=1

    “Please be advised that a formal complaint [City of
    Perth resident, Jon Singleton] in respect of alleged
    excessive noise originating from the above premises
    has been lodged with the City of Perth.

    The alleged excessive noise being produced from the
    vehicle deliveries by transport trucks, in particular,
    the dropping of and dragging of ramps occurring
    intermittently during the day.

    Sound level measurements conducted on 26 August 1999
    from the complainant’s front lounge room were
    excessive and does not comply with the requirements of
    the Environmental Protection Act 1986 and
    Environmental Protection Regulations 1997.

    The adjusted measured noise level was… excessive by
    30 db(A) for this location during the hours 7.00am to
    7.oopm Monday to Saturdays. The banging noise of the
    ramp being dropped and dragged was worst when the
    vehicle was parked directly opposite the complainant’s
    house on the south side of Aberdeen St.”

    Anyway, I was (((FORCED))) from my then home at the
    end of 1999 — now worth several million dollars in
    land value — and, as the years have passed, become
    increasingly suspicious of those working within the
    West Australian mecico-legal system.

    To an educated person in my particular age bracket,
    there appears to be an almost pathological flavor to
    many Perth folk who consciously and/or subconsciously
    desire to create a “second class citizen” paradigm in
    which freethinking GenX gay men are dangerous to the
    status quo, so call them crazy and/or manipulate them
    into suiciding.

    For those who live outside the Perth environment, let
    me give a stark social example of how utterly fracked
    life is for a gay male in my age bracket, enacting an
    unpaid healthcare role — I might as well be an alien
    from some other region of our galaxy…

    SMH — Ice fuelling HIV epidemic (July 24, 2007)

    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/07/24/1185043088035.html

    Excerpt: “Australia’s [HIV] infection rates have
    almost doubled in the last seven years and new figures
    also show an increasing number – now one in eight
    young Australians – have had speed or the more potent
    ice in the past year…”

    My doctor, Ric Chaney, has written in the past that I
    have no social network due my “angry character”! I’d
    suggest the opposite, in fact. I’ve no friends in my
    age group (thirty-somethang) as a direct consequence
    of where and when we live… Perth, WA, is a highly
    bigoted and homophobic “closeted environment”!

    OUT GenX folk, such as myself, are posterqueers for
    sociopathic gov bigotry and violence. Whilst
    “self-loathing” closets gather together in secret and
    shove highly toxic drugs into their bodies and ((ACT
    OUT))) via self-destructive sexual behaviors.

    Cheers:*) and Aloha pumehana — Jon

  4. #4 Ex-drone
    July 29, 2007

    This idea is brilliant. I think we should encourage these type of gated communities for all type of fundie groups. Large numbers of submissive, anxious followers could wall themselves off from the real world as in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village. Then decades from now, a curious few might emerge from their dogmatic confinements to find a bright, prosperous nation that progressed peacefully and tolerantly in their absence.

  5. #5 kemibe
    July 29, 2007

    I hope they build a giant audio-animatronic-style statue of Bill Donahue in the middle of town, and every morning at 6 a.m. sharp it can some roaring to life like a demented rooster, flailing its limbs and screaming out racist epithets and anti-gay rhetoric — a different “devotional” for every day of the year.

    Their pizza tasted like ass warmed over anyway, but thanks to what a shitbird Monaghan has always been, Domino’s is the first corporation I actively refuse to buy anything from.

    I can’t wait to see what happens once the place is populated. I don’t know if they’ll have the equivalent of a customs station at entry andexit points, but if they want to keep the rabble out they had better turn Ave Maria into an armed compound, because helpful tourists like me will have a field day there. It’ll probably be the easiest place in the country for a young buck to get laid.

  6. #6 another
    July 29, 2007

    “Shows you how godless we have become.”

    We’ve been godless the whole time. Everyone is. There’s no god.

  7. #7 reverte
    July 29, 2007

    another: LOL. Good point.

  8. #8 M. Randolph Kruger
    July 29, 2007

    The Stepford People?

    Anyways good post Revere. Jesus spoke of zealots and how they were really not of God and really lead more for those who were in it for themselves. I agree with the lawyers on this one and if they want a town with an incorporation charter they will have to let people in. They CAN discriminate in the private, gated community as to sexual orientation, christianity, or general desire for perversions as part of the incorporation of the gated community. They can even state that if you renounce God in that community that you have to sell your house inside of “x” number of days. But not out on that street bubba.

    As a believer I often wonder where Jesus will start as ground zero when he returns in judgement rather than salvation this time around. This is a perversion of faith and is no betterh than the PTL Club (PTL as you know stood for Pass The LOOT!). Judgemental? Could it be interpreted by myself or God in any other way?

    Gated communities violate the vow of poverty and assistance of you fellow man, gay, straight, poor. Open up thine house sayeth the Lord to those who have no shelter…. Uh, not unless you got a 250G down payment on a home fella.

    I am pretty much a hardass about most things but Revere makes some of the best arguments against religion that there is. If I didnt have faith, and know that divine intervention had happened on more than one occasion in my life then I would be still sitting in the bottom of a hole all ground up by artillery and mortar shells. This is a travesty and the R. Catholics should have nothing to do with it. They can put a poor parish church on the other side of the tracks so that those who participate can drive thru there every couple of days for reflection. I wonder if there is a threshold at which a person can definitively say they are damned?

    Sheesh……

  9. #9 LibraryLady
    July 30, 2007

    Revere and MRK:
    It seems you are the only ones who might be willing to consider my words, all others on this post will eat me alive.

    I just got back from Ave Maria. It is beautiful. The developers have provided all prices of homes for all income levels. What it won’t have is slum landlords. The university is the main reason for the enterprise.

    Many of us see nothing wrong with the towns named St. Louis, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego,…
    Get my drift?

    Many of us do not get upset when we see a church spire on the horizon. I find it most comforting, maybe you don’t.

    A lot of people, especially those with kids, don’t want porn shops and strip joints in their environment and actually move away when that stuff starts moving in to their neighborhoods, or raise a fit until it leaves.

    The entire town is not gated, there is only ONE gated community within the town.

    You both are making some pretty harsh judgements against the people who, like me and my husband, are considering moving to Ave Maria. Please do not rely on biased media reports for your information.

    My husband and I would like to move to Ave Maria to get away from the harsh mid-west winters. We wanted our church close by so we could continue our volunteer activites for the food pantry and social services we are involved in. I particularly wanted to help organize help for the town of Immocalee which is 5 miles from Ave Maria. There is a Native American reservation there and the town is very depressed. I would love to help their library and children’s services as a volunteer, and my husband is very involved with United Way, Rotary, housing for students, and many other good services that help many people.

    We want to help build something good and help people–just exactly what Jesus called us to do.

    You should not speak from a position of ignorance. It makes you look, well….ignorant.

    Love,
    Library Lady

  10. #10 revere
    July 30, 2007

    LL: I hope you are right. I fear you aren’t. Conservative Catholicism, like the conservative wings of all major religions, has a tendency to be exclusive, judgmental and welcoming only to those that agree with it. My judgment on the value of this enterprise is based on what the founder has said about those he wishes to exclude and the consequences of not providing certain basic kinds of health care for women of reproductive age. I don’t want a porn shop in my neighborhood either, but I want a bookstore that will sell the books of Margaret Sanger or Planned Parenthood or Henry Miller or Richard Dawkins. Where will this town draw the line? We shall see. In the meantime, I wish you a happy and peaceful life there. It is what we wish for everone, of course, and a happy and peaceful life for me would not be possible surrounded by icons and symbols that exclude me. I am all for lovely churches. I have many in my neighborhood. But I want other things, too, and I wouldn’t have them there.

    Note, however, I made no judgments about those who would wish to live there to be with others like themselves, have nice weather and be at peace. That’s normal. And I’ll say for us all, dona nobis pacem.

  11. #11 C.Porter
    July 30, 2007

    How is Revere (or any other commenter here) speaking from a position of ignorance on Ave Mary? He provided an article on the subject for the public to read and if desired to follow up on. Saying that people who never went to Ave Mary should not speak, as from a “position of ignorance”, is just as invalid as saying people who never went through military training shouldn’t criticize the War.

  12. #12 Lea
    July 30, 2007

    LibraryLady: Was wondering where you had been and have missed your occasional post. No offense taken by what you wrote.
    What is missing in a large way all around is tolerance of another’s way of living life. Now, having said that, it’s understandable when another’s way of live intrudes on revere(s), MRK’s, mine, other’s here or yours. But is it really intrusion or is it just the mind objecting?
    That’s the catch22 so to speak and quite frankly there is no solution. Greater tolerance for each other along with greater respect regardless of choices would make for a sane world. That and keeping what is viewed as radical out of sight so as to not offend anyone. Too much over sensitivity going on these days.

  13. #13 Kesh
    July 30, 2007

    Many of us see nothing wrong with the towns named St. Louis, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego,…
    Get my drift?

    I really don’t care what the town is named, at all. It’s that the entire purpose of the town is to promote a specific religious viewpoint. After all, that worked so well in Utah…

  14. #14 marquer
    July 30, 2007


    My husband and I would like to move to Ave Maria to get away from the harsh mid-west winters.

    You find Midwestern winters harsh, and so you propose to relocate to the state which is universally reckoned to be the leading candidate for climate-change induced weather disasters in the coming twenty years. The state where my own triple-A-rated national homeowners’ insurance company has announced that they will no longer write new residential policies *specifically* because of the risk of a giant hurricane catastrophe.

    (shrug) Best of luck to you two with that. Let us know how it all works out. If nothing else, you can always pray.

  15. #15 Dr. Mike
    July 30, 2007

    What do those people fear the most? Is it themselves? They prove often that THEY are what the rest of us should fear. But this whole idea raises yet another question- not “what would Jesus do?” but rather, if Jesus were alive today, “would he be a Christian”?

  16. #16 C. Porter
    July 30, 2007

    Mark Twain told us the answer to that, Dr. Mike: “If Jesus were alive today, he would not be a Christian.”

  17. #17 M. Randolph Kruger
    July 30, 2007

    If Jesus was here today it would be as the right hand of God. He comes again as judge, not for salvation. By all means LL you move down there. Revere does a great job as I said coming up with all the reasons not to be involved with religion. It is the difference between faith and fact. The facts are incontrovertible, we dont even really know if Jesus even lived, or if the story of the New Testament is a crock. Its tough sometimes to defend Revere but its all about perspective. A gated Catholic community is just groovy, if you are Catholic. It does smack of Jim and Tammy Faye though and an elitist Catholic refuge.

    Did I say refuge? May I be so bold? The simple fact is that Jesus said that we all should put others ahead of ourselves. WE (all of us) have a goddamn hard time doing that and it refers to all things in this world. Its almost though a confusing thing to do. To do it we would be stumbling all over the place trying to do something good for other people. I have found as of late that helping people will generally lead to some warm fuzzy feelings and disaster in some cases. Both have happened to me for doing just that so I am ambivalent towards the process… until the next one shows up.

    But one of the points that Revere makes very well is the HYPOCRISY with which organized religion (sounds like organized crime?) has operated for some 1900 years. I refer to the Inquisition, the PTL Club, the Episcopals and the gay priests, the gay Catholic priests who definitively chase little boys, Lutherans who abscond with the safe’s and on and on. I bring all religions into this as we all have our various stories to tell…all bad. If we dont have one, Revere provides us one every Sunday. Sometimes I comment, sometimes I dont. Shit when the guy is right, he’s right.

    I try to stay the course as much as possible because I do believe we are going to get our asses whacked when JC returns. My philosophy is that if someone is going to give in, I only bend when the wind gets mightily high and only after many before me go down. In otherwords, give it your absolute best shot.

    I personally believe that God will judge the actions rather than the words of man. If that be the case then PH Revere will make it to heaven long before me, and likely you will too LL. God bless you both. Live where you want to live LL. Just be aware that living in (“The Village”) can also make you a prisoner of policy. What happens if you get some nutcase priest who tells you that you will go to hell if you buy a Hustler magazine? Or if someone visits you? We have the thought police already in not necessarily GWB but certainly his minions. But those minions are no different than Hillary and Bills minions.

    Apostates, Heretics, agnostic, atheist….. What will we do if God comes back and only takes Revere….. Now wouldnt that be a kick in the butt?

    Hey Revere, dont forget who your friends are…. OK?

  18. #18 LibraryLady
    July 31, 2007

    Dear Revere, MRK and all:
    You still did not understand my main point that you are basing your opinions on media reports that are biased against the establishment of a new Catholic university and seek to ridicule the founders, the developers, and anyone who would like to live there.

    Revere, I admire you for not including the part of the article that quotes an annonymous “critic” likening Ave Maria to a “Catholic Jonestown”. You show a sense of fairness. As an academic exercise someone should try to trace the source for that quote in the Wall Street Journal.

    MRK, read my post again. The town is NOT gated. The developers have planned low-income housing there, not segregated, but mixed housing prices.

    I am an educated woman who also is Revere’s “conservative Catholic”. I have no desire to exclude others based on my religion or anything else. My criteria for deciding if I want to associate with someone resides on RESPECT. I want to be respected and I try to be respectful to others. I feel respected here.

    My best chance to show how serious I am about my faith is to do what Jesus told us: “Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.”

    Perhaps I’m naive, MRK, but I believe that good, sensible, fearless people almost always prevail.

    I mentioned the name of the town because Revere translated the Latin for us, just in case we didn’t know already. Revere is correct, words are important. He takes issue with the names of the streets. In my town we have Martin Luther King Boulevard, Washington Ave, St. Mary’s Drive (near the hospital of the same name), St. Mark’s Drive (near the Lutheran church of the same name), streets named after the developers’ children, college benefactors, founders. Street names are meant to be descriptive place locators which are often used to bestow honor, familiarity, enculturation, tradition.

    I have yet to encounter any street named “Pornography Boulevard”.

    Marquer, yes the insurance is an issue. The builders are designing new homes to exceed all new Florida building codes. We have yet to check into how the new standards may help us with homeowners insurance premiums. We live in tornado alley right now, so I’m not panicked…yet.

    C. Porter, my “position of ignorance” comment refers to the comments made based on scant sourcing. Two or three newspaper articles does not satisfy my personal requirements for educating myself on a subject. Revere is as deliberately provocative on his Sunday Sermonette as he desires to be, and often all he needs is one or two articles that support his point of view to really get a head of steam. That’s OK, it’s his blog, but even Revere reserves the right to edit the content of his blog.

    Lea, thanks for the welcome back. I am around, but I read more than I post. I have always enjoyed sitting at the perimeter of a room and watching how people interact. Same here, with Revere.

    Love,
    Library Lady

  19. #19 Sister Blister
    July 31, 2007

    If you are going to preach tolerance to others, you need to be tolerant yourself. That means that if you expect the folks at Ave Maria to tolerate all different kinds of people (which they say they will) then you need to tolerate what they are doing. To paraphrase another “I don’t agree with what you are doing, but I will defend your right to do it.” I found your remarks about burning crosses unnecessary. So people want to build a utopian community. So their idea of Utopia is different from yours. Ave Maria certainly won’t be the first community designed and run on religious principles, and I doubt it will be the last.

    http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/amana/amana.htm

    And it will not be the first to fail when the kids who grew up there look for a more vital place to live.

  20. #20 revere
    July 31, 2007

    Sister: This is not a private utopian community. It is a town in the US, open to everyone. If there is true tolerance there, no problem. But note that their concessions to all kinds of people are forced on them by law, not their own choice. I think history justifies a jaundiced view of this project. We shall see.

  21. #21 M. Randolph Kruger
    July 31, 2007

    http://www.avemaria.com/

    Uh…. the poor of Beverly Hills thing LL. Sorry but shit, I live in 4000 square feet on ten acres in the burbs of the County and its nothing like this. I live right next door to a Jack Nic. golf and country club and its nothing like this.

    Piety is also defined as humility. I dont want to get into the efficacies of whether someone should live there or not. But their own web page says, “Now open to the public.”

    Sounds like DisneyWorld. Uptopian refuge in the boonies of Florida? Breathtaking for sure but as I come from humble military beginnings I dont think I can take it with me.

    Wow!

  22. #22 M. Randolph Kruger
    July 31, 2007

    One other thing LL…..Its America…Live your life where and the way you want to. I might question it a bit but thats what we are all about in the USA. As long as the Catholics dont start hanging people from trees for owning a Playboy then its okay by me…

  23. #23 LibraryLady
    August 1, 2007

    MRK, Your input means a lot to me. But now you’re being goofy. “Now open to the public” means the streets are completed, people can drive through, model homes are open to look at, and realtors are ready to sell homes. What else were you implying, you little stinkweed, you! :)

    About your Playboy/hanging worries, I think you’ll be OK.

    Four thousand square feet in your home, on ten acres? Good grief!

    Your comment about humility reminded me of a debate I saw for our local elections. When asked what qualities the candidates would bring to office, one candidate replied (I’m not kidding) “My humility, people have told me that I am humble.”

    No one has taken up my challenge about the “Catholic Jonestown” quote. Hope somebody’s working on it.

    Love,
    Library Lady

  24. #24 M. Randolph Kruger
    August 1, 2007

    LL-Hey, its their web page and now open to the public didnt mean that apparently a couple of months ago.

    Anyways, its the old class war-FEAR thing again. I am sure you want to live wherever you want. You choose your home based upon certain things… If you had said W. Palm Beach then I wouldnt have batted an eye. We KNOW whats going on that little village at any given time.

    My insinuation was this, enclaves are just fine by me. I live in the boonies with the Jack Nic. golf course that was put in after my house that I built with my own two little hands and two very small children. We moved to get away from the disaster that is Memphis. Now there is a use for a tactical nuke….

    Everyone who works/lives in these places has the right to do so and each and every time one goes up there are people that move in their that have spent one hell of a lot of money… But its class warfare. Those that have, those that have not. This one though has the “Liberty U” stamp on it type of thing and it bugs the non believer part of the community. It bugs me because this is opulence at its finest and I have to wonder how this came to be. Pizza? Bernie Ebbers kind of thing?

    Live where you want LL and how you want to.

  25. #25 LibraryLady
    August 3, 2007

    MRK,
    I worked in a public library for 17 years and I just didn’t sense any “class warfare” around me. I guess I was insulated in that everyone who came in the door was treated equally and fairly. You have a need, I’ll help you with it. I’m sorry, I just don’t see it where I live.

    Yes, there are people who need help at the food pantry. My husband helped establish student housing at the local university because the state wouldn’t fund it, I’ve worked for Kiwanis projects and my husband works on Rotary projects, public television and radio, the hospital foundation, and another private foundation. All these works we do are to try to help people find health, security and opportunity in their lives.

    My husband has a favorie quote, “He made money the old-fashioned way, he inherited it.” Well, my husband and I come from very poor backgrounds, but somehow we were able to come up through that and make a good life for our kids.
    You wouldn’t know that as a young wife I used to cut up old t-shirts of my husband’s to make pajamas for my son.

    In defense of Ave Maria, I must tell you that my husband and I have been reserching retirement communities in Florida, and many of these communities are age-restricted and income-restriced (due to the cost of the homes), and many are gated. I don’t want to live in these places–we have already rejected them as possibilities.

    Please explain the “opulence at it’s finest”. The university campus looks about the same as most public universities in my state. Is it the town facade? Have you been to Seaside, or Watercolor, Fla., on the panhandle? Do you really expect brand-new planned communities to be ugly? Who would move there? Is it because it is near Naples, one of the most opulent communites we have seen in Florida? Naples will have nothing to do with Ave Maria.

    In fact, one realtor who worked with us refused to call Ave Maria by it’s name. She refered to it as “up there by Immocalee” to give us a sense of undesirability. I’ve been to Immocalee so I know what she was doing, but that town is poor through no fault of its own. Where do you think the housekeepers, gardners, maintenance, and other service people who work in Naples live? Certainly not in Naples. Maybe there is class warfare in Naples and it has to do with the immigrants who are filling these jobs.

    MRK, I think we are really both on the same page, we just don’t know it because of the limitations of this forum. I can always count on you, Revere, and a few others to keep it interesting and keep it fair.

    No one’s come up with the “Catholic Jonestown” citation yet.

    Love,
    Library Lady