ACLU and Property Rights

Tom Monaghan, the self-made millionaire who went from Catholic orphanage to founding the Domino’s Pizza chain, is involved in a mixed-use real estate venture in Florida. The “town” of Ave Maria would consist of the first new Catholic university in the United States in 40-plus years, residential property that would be sold outright to the homeowners and commercial property which would remain in the hands of Monaghan and his partners. The leases for the commercial property would not prohibit the businesses locating there from violating Catholic principles by offering birth control, pornography and abortions, but the developers would “suggest” that businesses not offer them. The Florida ACLU is showing its true colors.

“If they attempt to do what he apparently wants to do, the people of Naples and Collier County, Florida, are in for a whole series of legal and constitutional problems and a lot of litigation indefinitely into the future,” warned Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida.

CNN.com – New Florida town would restrict abortion – Mar 2, 2006

The American Civil Liberties Union is outraged that 20,000 residents will have the opportunity to freely practice their religion and that Monaghan will freely control his own property as he sees fit. The far left has an interesting definition of liberty – the liberty to do what they want you to do and their liberty to sue to make you.

So long as the developers don’t violate fair housing laws, either in their sales, their advertising or the restrictions placed on residential lots, there’s not a lot of room or reason for complaint. (I suspect that they won’t be advertising “Catholic only,” because of those fair housing laws.) The solution if ACLU members or non-Catholics want to abort babies or otherwise live lifestyles inconsistent with the new community is much simpler than going to court – don’t buy a house in Ave Maria.

“The misconception we’re trying to clarify is that this is not going to be a strictly Catholic town. … I think it would be boring if in fact it was all Catholic,” Marinelli said.

He said the town would welcome “synagogues as well as Baptist churches.”

Barron Collier executive Blake Gable said homosexuals will be welcome despite the church’s belief that homosexuality is a sin.

Also contrary to Monaghan’s earlier statements, the town will not restrict cable television programming.

Pizza Magnate Modifies Plans for Fla. Town

Update: The Amateur Economist had this to say:

It’s a prime example of liberty, the freedom to choose where you would like to live and whom with. Anyone that doesn’t agree with Ave Maria’s principles is certainly free to not move there. I can’t really imagine an arrangement more fair, or free.

Monaghan,Ave Maria Florida

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