Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Domino's Founder to Build Catholic City

Story here.

"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."

Those wacky Catholics, with their whole "take religion seriously" thing. And of course, people are upset:

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

It's an odd threat for two reasons. First, while you wouldn't know it by the state of Massachussets today, America was actually founded in large part for the purpose of establishing religious enclaves. And in the mid-1800's, a whole bunch of Mormons went to Salt Lake City and started a whole state as a religious enclave. I can't think of any other examples off the top of my head, but it's not as though Monaghan's plan is without precedent.

Second, and I think this is more to the point, the word "unconstitutional" does not really apply to private citizens disposing of their private property in the manner in which they see fit. The "civil libertarians" who are upset might have a case if Monaghan were taking a pre-existing city and trying to force the residents thereof to comply with his Catholic sensibilities. But Monaghan is building a new city from scratch. Anyone who wants to avoid the city planner's strict rules can simply not move there. It's not even a case of saying "if you don't like it, move," because no one is there right now. You actually have to take the affirmative step of moving into the neighborhood in order to live under the neighborhood's rules.

That's a bit like walking into an adult book store, which you knew was an adult book store, and complaining loudly that there are pictures of naked people everywhere.

"Frances Kissling, president of the liberal Washington-based Catholics for a Free Choice, likened Monaghan's concept to Islamic fundamentalism."

Kissling is -- what's the word? -- ah yes, an idiot. The reason this is different from Islamic fundamentalism is that the Islamists want to export their views and force them on others. Monaghan wants to attract like-minded people, of their own free will and choice, who see the community as a good thing.

Oh, and the other difference is that Monaghan hasn't threatened to behead the infidels and make women wear burqas.