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    Default I Almost Put This In The Weird But True:

    Then I figured it would generate a lot of discussion. (well maybe).

    There are some interesting legal issues on this one. Be interesting to see how it pans out. While I may not necessarily agree with the concept, I think I can appreciate what his is attempting to some degree.

    New Florida Town Plans Abortion, Porn, Birth Control Bans
    Civil Libertarians Say Plan Is Unconstitutional

    POSTED: 8:06 am EST March 1, 2006

    Email This Story | Print This Story

    NAPLES, Fla. -- If Domino's Pizza founder Thomas S. Monaghan has his way, a new town being built in a quiet corner of southwest Florida will be governed by strict Roman Catholic principles, particularly when it comes to sex.

    The pizza magnate, raised by nuns in orphanages, is bankrolling the town called Ave Maria with millions of dollars, calling its construction "God's will." Stores won't sell pornographic magazines, pharmacies won't carry condoms or birth control pills, and cable television will carry no X-rated channels, he said in a speech last year to the first annual Boston Catholic Men's Conference.

    Civil libertarians say the plan is unconstitutional and they promise lawsuits.

    The town is being constructed around the Monaghan-founded Ave Maria University, the first Catholic university to be built in the United States in four decades. Both are set to open next year about 25 miles east of Naples.

    The community, developed through a partnership with the Barron Collier Co., an agricultural and real estate company, will be set on 5,000 acres with a European-inspired town center. It will encircle a massive church and what planners call the largest crucifix in the nation, standing nearly 65 feet tall.

    Robert Falls, a spokesman for the project, said attorneys are still reviewing the legal issues of the proposed bans. He said Monaghan would not comment until the issue is resolved.

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

    While Simon notes there are religiously homogenous communities across the country, from Hasidic Jewish to Mormon, none can "wield governmental power along the lines of religious principle."

    Monaghan, of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Barron Collier will control all commercial real estate in the town and could include provisions in leases that restrict the sale of certain items. Homes will range from affordable to extravagant and will be purchased outright by prospective buyers.

    Unlike some states, Florida pharmacies don't have to provide contraceptives.

    "The law doesn't say exactly what a pharmacy has to stock or sell," said Thometta Cozart, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health.

    Naples Community Hospital, which plans to open a clinic in the town, will not prescribe any birth control to students. The hospital has not decided whether it will prescribe to the general public.

    "I believe all of history is just one big battle between good and evil. I don't want to be on the sidelines," Monaghan said in a recent Newsweek interview.

    However, Simon points to a 1946 Supreme Court opinion that "ownership does not always mean absolute dominion."

    Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist said it will be up to the courts to decide the legalities of the plan.

    "The community has the right to provide a wholesome environment," Crist said Tuesday. "If someone disagrees, they have the right to go to court and present facts before a judge."

    A telephone message was left for Collier County officials seeking comment.

    Gov. Jeb Bush, at the university's recent groundbreaking, lauded the development as a new kind of town, where faith and freedom will merge to create a community of like-minded citizens. Bush, a convert to Catholicism, did not speak specifically to the proposed restrictions.

    "While the governor does not personally believe in abortion or pornography, the town, and any restrictions they may place on businesses choosing to locate there, must comply with the laws and constitution of the state and federal governments," Russell Schweiss, a spokesman for the governor, said Tuesday.

    "This is country club Christianity," said Frances Kissling, president of the liberal Washington, D.C.- based Catholics for a Free Choice, which opposes the church's bans on abortion and birth control.

    She likened the town's concept to Islamic fundamentalism and teaching intolerance.

    "This is un-American," Kissling said. "I don't think in a democratic society you can have a legally organized township that will seek to have any kind of public service whatsoever and try to restrict the constitutional rights of citizens."

    Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.


    As I see it, the only residents will be those who chose to accept the edicts as given. However, would this not somewhat contravene the "separation of church and state" concept?
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    It will stir some factions to say the least. Really it sounds like the Plymouth or Jamestown foundings with a twist. The reality is that the court system will see it as unconstitutional due to the myth of "seperation of church and state." It is an interesting concept anyway because the citizens have the freedom to leave if they don't want to conform to the ordinances of the town. I have no doubt this topic will stir some conversation on the forums!

    TF

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    Would this not be an issue of seperation between church and state? There is no way the courts would ever allow it to happen if they are referencing god but the city can create laws banning porn movies and magazines from being sold, as long as god has nothing to do with it. It is fightable, will be interesting to see the results.
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    Default A twist of the tale...

    There are those who will feel that the proposal is valid.. let me put a twist on it...

    Thomah bin Mon Aga Khan wants to build a town that strictly adheres to Sharia law named Haj Mariah.....

    Stores won't sell pornographic magazines, alcohol, pharmacies won't carry condoms or birth control pills, and cable television will carry no X-rated channel or programming contrary to the teachings of Islam.

    Women will be be veiled in a chador or burlkha at all times they are outside of the home, will not be allowed to drive or be outside unless escorted buy a male family member.

    Education for the female residents will be limited at best.

    Infidels will not be allowed to visit or purchase property in Haj Mariah...


    Your thoughts/comments?
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    There's not church/state issue here because it is a private development.

    There are; however, TONS of other legal problems. When I read the headline, I thought "Is some mayor just grandstanding or really, really stupid?" Based on what the Florida AG said, they might could actually win in a sense on the drugstore if the land sale included deed restrictions but they don't have hope in the world on the TV deal. Just from a practical side, how about the dish crowd? Likewise, I don't know how it works in Florida, but once the wire is down I don't think most localities have any say at all over the content. Also, you've got many privacy, free speech, and interstate commerce issues that bring in the federal courts.

    In short, ain't gonna happen.

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    Would this be a town, city or a commune? I think some guru or whatever had something similar in Oregon at one time or maybe still does. Just what are the laws governing establishing your own town, city or whatever? Do you have to abide by State and federal laws if you are self established, governed and financially self sufficient with no outside monies from other government entities? If this could be done at the local level could a State then withdraw and become a seperate entity? Should be interesting.

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    There's not church/state issue here because it is a private development.

    That's what I was just about to write EFD

    "Towns" as a government entity aren't "built" they're incorporated or otherwise established by the State.

    This sounds like a private development being called a "town" by the press for sake of brevity if not clarity (I believe Florida does have "towns" that is just a term for a small, incorporated city).

    Within a private development, you have pretty broad rights to decide who and on what conditions you'll do business.

    They can even run their own cable TV systems. Either they have an outright right to provide service independent of the local franchise, or they say "Cable is included in the lease" and they work out a deal with the franchise holder saying, "We only want channels x, y, and z" and since their bill will be in six figures every month, I'm sure the cable company will be happy to work a deal. Dishes are easy to ban under the lease agreements.
    Last edited by Dalmatian190; 03-02-2006 at 03:15 PM.

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    lvwrench brings an interesting point to the board, which I will carry a bit further:

    Do you have to abide by State and federal laws if you are self established, governed and financially self sufficient with no outside monies from other government entities?
    My question is: What happens in oh.. lets say a hurricane or tornado hits? If this town is not in receipt of State/Federal funding to begin with, would they be entitled in time of emergency if they are classed as a separate entitiy? I know next to nothing about Florida or its politics/geographics and therefore have no background to draw on.

    I agree with Dal about muncipalities becoming "Incorporated" before receiving village/township status, which would be the normal progression in most cases. As I understand it, such things are population driven. There may be more that I am not aware of.
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    Do you have to abide by State and federal laws if you are self established, governed and financially self sufficient with no outside monies from other government entities?

    Simple Answer: Yes.

    Sarcastic Answer: Ask the Confederacy how well that worked out for them.

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    Trying to google it some more, there's nothing that is absolutely clear...

    But best I can tell the plan is similiar to what I said above -- using private ownership to regulate what is sold (of course, State "must sell" laws would over-ride such restrictions).

    There does seem to be a "Special District" created to build public infrastructure (roads, street lights, sidewalks, water, sewer etc).

    *However* a Special District doesn't have "police powers" which I assume is in the regulatory sense -- they can't establish planning & zoning, building codes, fire codes, municipal ordinances, health codes, etc...those "police powers" would continue to rest with the County.

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    Hmmm there's another thought: who do they intend to run fire/EMS/LEO, and how would they fund that? That brings the question of juristictions. Would they be self sufficient for that too?

    This place is supposed to be 20 something miles from Naples, what fire/police protection covers that area now. And if there is such, would they be willing to continue such coverage?
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    From the google searches, they plan to build a fire station / sheriffs building that will be staffed by the County.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    There are those who will feel that the proposal is valid.. let me put a twist on it...

    Thomah bin Mon Aga Khan wants to build a town that strictly adheres to Sharia law named Haj Mariah.....

    Stores won't sell pornographic magazines, alcohol, pharmacies won't carry condoms or birth control pills, and cable television will carry no X-rated channel or programming contrary to the teachings of Islam.

    Women will be be veiled in a chador or burlkha at all times they are outside of the home, will not be allowed to drive or be outside unless escorted buy a male family member.

    Education for the female residents will be limited at best.

    Infidels will not be allowed to visit or purchase property in Haj Mariah...


    Your thoughts/comments?
    Will this be in the U.S.? If so then I have two feelings towards this. Let me explain best I can.

    First, I personally do not agree with it, this is not the middle east, it goes against everything we have worked for and built this country to be.

    Second, it is a religion and the things we have worked for and built this country to be includes freedom of religion. Technically speaking, if the "Catholic town" is approved then it would only be fair for this one to be approved. Now the part about keeping infidels out will not happen if this town is in America.

    Now in response to my second paragraph, freedom of religion means people may practice what they wish or build any church they wish, not devote entire towns to it. The town can be prodominitly muslim, but many restrictions will not fly. Very confusing situations and I am sure many months will be spent in court rooms.
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    This is the first I've heard of this proposal.

    There may well be many legal issues that must be ironed out, but as a life-long Roman Catholic that tries to live by my Church's teachings (all of them), I am 100% behind this!

    If some people are unwilling to adhere to the communities policies, don't build or buy a house or business there. It's that simple.

    This is not someone trying to convert an existing community, it's someone wanting to build a community from the ground up. I don't see many liberal lawyers suing home-owner's associations for not letting their residents paint their houses pink, or communities for restricting the sale of alcohol on Sundays. Yet, when it is someone proposing a community that wishes to abide by their Christian faith, they are all over it.

    Conservative moral values apparently threaten many people. Usually it is only those that choose NOT to uphold or abide by them. Oh well, I guess they'll just have to live somewhere else.

    This proposed community may, or may not come to fruition, but I hope it does. It has my support and my prayers!




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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalmatian190
    Ask the Confederacy how well that worked out for them
    You just had to go there, didn't you...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dalmatian190
    Trying to google it some more, there's nothing that is absolutely clear...

    But best I can tell the plan is similiar to what I said above -- using private ownership to regulate what is sold (of course, State "must sell" laws would over-ride such restrictions).

    There does seem to be a "Special District" created to build public infrastructure (roads, street lights, sidewalks, water, sewer etc).

    *However* a Special District doesn't have "police powers" which I assume is in the regulatory sense -- they can't establish planning & zoning, building codes, fire codes, municipal ordinances, health codes, etc...those "police powers" would continue to rest with the County.

    You've got a good point about the dish as the technology is implemented today, but one just has to look at XM radio to see that the mini-dish will soon head the way of the old 'ET phone home' dishes of the 1980s.

    All the following comments come with the disclaimer that I don't know one lick about Florida law regarding the police powers of counties and municipalities. I'm speaking using what I know about my state and assuming Florida is similar...

    As far as hard-wired utilities go, if they plan on dedicating the roads to the city or county as public streets (so that they can be maintained with public money), then that local governing body will become the authority to negotiate and grant any franchise agreements with cable, phone, power, etc. If the streets stay private to be maintained by a homeowner's association, somebody's going to get a utility easement - the phone company or power company is going to put up poles or dig trenches and once the easement is granted the others will co-locate on it. Even casting aside any probable legal challenges, I don't see a practical way to enforce restrictions on cable TV channels.

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    That is a good question about the roads and whether you could be your own private cable company, or if it would have to be a public "franchise."

    If the whole development was all one company's private baliwick it's one thing; if the wires are being run along an easement granted on a public highway, and going to individual privately owned houses / condos we probably have a different set of issues.

    Never mind the mini-XM dishes...wait till you start to see WiMAX roll outs.

    Think "WiFi" with range measured in miles.

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    Dal, did you ever serve in public office?

    I know lots of elected officials that could learn a great deal from a conversation with you.

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    I like the idea of if you dont like it, dont live there

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    Dont we already have something simular here in Fla?? Disney.....
    They have their own security/fire/postal/utility/subway/ and been
    doing it for years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JHR1985
    I like the idea of if you dont like it, dont live there

    That's what I was going to say.
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    OK on a serious note what about running it as a business instead of
    a town? the old company store concept. One company owns all. you
    dont buy your house you by your shares in company stock. you dont
    buy your sevices you credit them to the company store. You would only
    be able to buy the things that the company store carried, or would order
    for you. only watch the channels that the company provides. Taxes would
    be paid by company to cover things like mutual aide and fed relief.
    Im not sure but I might have something here. Dal whatda think?

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    This has been done in NY by members of the Satmar Hassidic group:
    http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...&q=kiryas+joel
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