Thursday, August 23, 2007
Catholic town rises in Florida
Domino's founder Tom Monaghan is building a Florida town based on Catholic values.
AVE MARIA, Florida -- We drove for miles and saw nothing but endless plains of green, on the edge of the lush Florida Everglades. And then there it was: a giant cathedral rising from earth, surrounded by a European-style piazza of soon-to-open businesses and restaurants. It was Ave Maria, a town built from scratch, founded and funded by billionaire Tom Monaghan. His vision: a community that would reflect traditional Catholic values.

Monaghan grew up in a Catholic orphanage, where he was raised by nuns. He found God at an early age and dedicated his life to serving the church. For a while, he considered becoming a priest. Eventually, he turned to business, opening a pizza parlor, then another and another. You'll recognize its name: Domino's Pizza.

Monaghan poured his Domino's money into various Catholic causes. He became active in the anti-abortion movement, and he founded Ave Maria University, which promises to be more conservative and traditional than other Catholic colleges. The original campus was in Monaghan's home state of Michigan, but next week, its new facilities open their doors in Florida. A new college with a new college town built around it.

If all goes according to plan, 25, 000 people will live in Ave Maria within a decade; 5,000 students will be enrolled at the university. Monaghan insists all are welcome, not just Catholics. But as I stood on the corner of Pope John Paul II Boulevard and Annunciation Circle, I wondered why non-Catholics would want to live here. It's charming, to be sure; not a Stepford community of look-alike houses. It has distinct neighborhoods and lovely landscaping. But like a medieval European village, Ave Maria is dominated by the giant church at its physical and spiritual center.

Initially, Monaghan wanted to ban pornography and contraception from being sold in Ave Maria. He soon realized that would be illegal and he backed-off. Prospective retailers have been asked to abide by community moral standards. No requirements, though.

Tom Monaghan admits he has a personal stake in this. He says he's trying to get into heaven and wants to drag as many people with him as he can. It seems like a worthy goal to me. What do you think? What do you make of Tom Monaghan's vision?

-- By Claire Brinberg, CNN Producer
Posted By CNN: 12:57 PM ET
  63 Comments
On one hand I can see that you would want to live around people with the same beliefs and wants and dreams but on the other it just smacks of discrimination to me!! I mean why would someone of a different religion want to live there? And they say everyone is welcome but are they really!!? Would they be "urged" to turn to Catholicism!? Just seems like another way to tear people and this nation further apart.

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Cindy : 1:34 PM ET
so its ok to have a catholic town, but if you go to the situation room blog, its absoluetly heinous to have an arabic themed public school...??? democracy of HYPOCRISY and I am sick of it.
Posted By Anonymous : 1:44 PM ET
Hi Claire,
Mr. Monaghan's vision probably won't be shared by all. I'm a Catholic and would choose not to live in a community like Ave Maria. But I'm just capitalistic enough to believe his venture has every right to be built.
Religion to me, is my personal business. However, I don't feel it's my nosey business either to intervere with every human being's belief or how they live out that belief.
Mr. Monaghan's vision has a green light from me..as long as he remembers to live and let live.
Posted By Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 2:08 PM ET
I wonder what would happen if this town was going to be based on Islamic values, or Jewish values...would they even have been allowed to get this far?

In theory, Monaghan can say they'll be open to all, but does anyone really believe that?

You can say that anyone who doesn't believe in this doesn't have to live there, but I wonder what would happen if this started popping up everywhere. What if towns in the U.S. began to be associated with a specific religion like this one, and we begin to be segregated in a new way? We'd lose our diversity and our tolerance. In a time when religion is such a hot topic, we should be looking towards ways to find unity, common ground, and a way to co-exist, not go so far as to completely seperate ourselves from those we don't agree with.
Posted By Nic, Lake Mary, FL : 2:26 PM ET
Good for him. I think people are genuinely tired of moral-less, inflated and down right depraved communities. He is able to do something about it. He is able to be the change he wants to see. He has a dream that he can afford and he is going for it.

Good for him. I hope he succeeds, and better than that, I hope he influences more people to do what they can do now and stop waiting around for some else to do it (or build it) for them.
Posted By Desiree, St. Charles, MO : 2:32 PM ET
He says he's trying to get into heaven and wants to drag as many people with him as he can.

... kicking and screaming...

Worthy goal? I don't try to force my mythology on other people and I resent when other people try to force theirs on me.

When are we going to grow up and accept that a human ethic exists independent of supernatural sky-beings, and stop hating people for not believing in the CORRECT invisible friend?
Posted By Arachnae, Sterling VA : 2:43 PM ET
Claire:

Mr. Monaghan is a Catholic business man who has a vision of a community without sin. Our Florida newspapers have been covering his proposed community for years.

My only concern would be the fairness to all individuals with regards to race, creed and sexual orienation. I would think the deed restrictions, condo restrictions or coop restrictions would try to mandate the community behaviors.

I base this belief on the fact Mr. Monaghan was the founder of Ave. Maria mutual funds. I would think his community would screen out the same issues he screens out in his mutual funds.

This means if you are gay or lesbian you may not be welcome. This would be concerning to me and my family and okay with others. This is the beauty of America. Everyone has choices of religious beliefs, housing and location.
Posted By Renee Bradenton, FL : 2:45 PM ET
Claire:

I would live in a tent in the Everglades campground with the gators and snakes before I would live there.

I fully understand Monaghan's vision. Just look at his Ave. Maria mutual funds and the screening process they do for the funds.

Everyone has a right to do what they want in America. That is why I love this country so much.

I will choose to live in a community were all are welcomed, respected and included.
Posted By Renee Bradenton, FL : 2:57 PM ET
It takes a very strong faith to do something like this and I think represents what catholicsm is all about. Today's controversies and scrutinies by the media and pop culture make it harder for many, especially the youth identify their faith and recognize their virtues. Building a community that focuses on strenghtening the teachings of the church will create a generation that will help preserve a declining culture of faithfuls and building faith for those who are lost and are in doubts.

LYKA, SAN DIEGO, CA
Posted By Anonymous : 2:58 PM ET
As long as this community obeys all the laws and regulations required of any other community in the United States, I have no problem with it.

However, I don't know why anyone would want to live in such a community. Diversity created the vibrant life and development of U.S. society and I, for one, choose to live among a diverse group of people who challenge my current beliefs.

Living among a bunch of people who think in the same way creates stagnation. A diverse culture teaches us to grow and adapt to new challenges.
Posted By Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 3:03 PM ET
Domino's pizza and religion, hmmmm, souls saved in 30 minutes or your redemption is free?

mmmmmmmm pizza
Posted By Anonymous : 3:08 PM ET
I wonder what their garbage will look like?!? Will they have recycling cans? Green/garden waste cans?? Is it going to be a "green" community?!? Or, just *green* with $$s!!! ;-)
Posted By mark, sacramento, ca : 4:17 PM ET
"Diversity" isn't all it's cracked up to be, folks. It's just a way to "discriminate against whites." Diversity creates misunderstanding, mistrust, traffic accidents, lousy/unsafe drivers, costs lotsa $$ in lost productivity due to language problems/issues, cultural misunderstanding, etc. The "blind hysteria" about the almighty *diversity* is just politically correct BS. It has weakened, not strenthened, our nation, sadly.
Posted By Stan, Seattle, WA : 4:20 PM ET
Claire/AC360:
Sounds like the mythical paradise, Shangri-La, a land isolated from the rest of the world, a wonderful happy place to live....okay.

It sounds great, but again, it is mythical. If Monaghan wants a village to have the theme of living Catholic, he has the right to do so. It is a free country.

But on the other hand, is this a haven for Catholics or a sanctuary to escape the rest of the world? By placing oneself in an "ideal" community based on Christian faith, aren't the residents communing in an unproductive way of life?

I believe as Christians we have been called to walk among all people in all walks of life, not just our comfortable community. Life is not a theme park or gated community; life is messy sometimes which means facing the realities of life in all communities, large and small, at any location on this planet.

I wonder what all that "Domino's Pizza" money could have been done to feed the poor, rescue children in Darfur, educated at-risk kids, aided in finding a cure for cancer, etc.

If Monaghan thinks building his paradise is the way to get to heaven, he is going to have a rude awakening when he gets to the pearly gates; God may say he would have preferred that he would have resided in the inner city serving those in need of assistance.
Posted By Sharon D., Indianapolis, IN : 4:21 PM ET
Claire,
Although I am a practicing Catholic, this seems so cultish to me.
I would not choose to live in Ava Maria under any circumstances. I don't want to live in any town that is under the direction of a religious organization. That is a too commercialized and too pontificated for me!
So much for the domino effect!!!
Posted By Betty Ann , Nacogdoches,TX : 4:26 PM ET
We are all blessed with the freedom to choose what or who to believe in. I think there is a big difference between teaching someone about God and forcing your values and morals onto someone to get into heaven. I think I'll stay where I am!
Posted By Kathy Chicago,Il : 4:37 PM ET
Riiiiight...

"Everyone" is welcome, except single mothers, those who use birth control, gays, agnostics, people sexually abused by the NUMEROUS catholic priests of their time, people who've had an abortion due to a rape or an incest and most likely anyone else with a shred of REAL intelligence who doesn't think this is at all a good idea.
We’re a melting pot people not an ice cube tray of mini-religious towns. Fundamentalists are the brick tied to the waterlogged sinking body of this nation’s consciousness.

ps: wonder if remembers this ditty: "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God"

*sigh*
Posted By Brandee : 4:52 PM ET
why cant everyone just be hindu or buddhist or something? it seems to me these religions favor non violence, they stay within their bounds, there trully spiritual, and THEY DON'T FORCE THEIR BELIEFS ON OTHERS!

fyi im no religion, Im just pointing this out in contrast to all the relgious wars and religion related death.
Posted By Anonymous : 4:56 PM ET
I live in Ann Arbor, MI where the original Ave Maria is located. I have also worked for Mr. Monaghan and he is a wonderful man. He is consistently giving to the community without asking for anything in return. While I understand how some are upset, as an American he has the right to build his community. Just as we have the right to not live there if we choose. Many cities are built around one ethnic group. Try driving to Dearborn, MI (the largest Arab community anywhere, outside of the middle east); or "Little Italy" in New York; or how about "China Town". Are we so naive to believe that these towns weren't built on the same principal?
Posted By Kimberly, Ann Arbor, MI : 10:06 AM ET
All points are valid, but for those wondering who would want to live there surrounded by Catholics if one isn't Catholic themselves, maybe people should be looking at Salt Lake City. Is that not somewhere based around a large temple? I know that there are people of other religions living there and that it is considered a major city in the US but the majority of the population is Mormon. As long as people are respective and tolerant I don't see why various cultures and religions can't live together in harmony even within a faith based community.
Posted By Jenn Lee : 10:09 AM ET
I am a Catholic and I think this town and the concept it is built upon is frightening. Good luck to those who choose to live there but to me the whole thing smacks of discrimination and repression and promotes a culture of exclusion - all of which go against the over-riding messages of Christianity as they were taught to me in my 20 years of Catholic education - from grammar school through graduate education.
Posted By Anonymous : 10:19 AM ET
Saint Peter will be waiting at Heaven's Gate for Tom Monagham and they will be wide open!
Posted By Terri in Indpls : 10:25 AM ET
Why do you say "anti-abortion" movement instead of pro-life movement, which is the more easily identifiable term? That kind of editorializing is passe now.
Posted By Mary : 10:38 AM ET
First to respond to two previous comments...

First the last one. You should catch up on your history. Buddhists and Hindus have a history just as violent as the three major religions (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam). Especially in India.

And to Desiree. You do not have to be religious to be moral and ethical. In contradiction, people of more secular beliefs are generally MORE moral and ethical then those of the religious. Especially fundamentalists and especially the Christian right.

Religion does not provide anything that a non-believer cannot obtain, except for lies and deceit.

And Monaghan should be careful preaching it will be a community of "traditional Catholic values," since the traditional vales are the more frightening and discriminating ones.

However I understand his good attentions of morals and ethics. But many of them are misguided. Like banning contraception. Religion is not the medium to preach ethics and morals, because it is inherently discriminating to non-believers, and often is inhumane to the human race as a whole.
Posted By Bryan : 10:55 AM ET
My, What a wonderful little haven for the preists who prey on little boys. Who will ever be looking out for the children in this Catholic community? Catholic law officers? Catholic teachers? The catholic parents who's loyalty to the church is so great that they build their entire existance around it???
Posted By Anonymous : 11:03 AM ET
I was born and raised Catholic. I went through a divorce when I was 26 and dropped out of the church. I was enthusiastically welcomed back to the Lord's table within the Lutheran Faith. I have since converted completely. Building an entire town of one faith with one set of guidelines totally misses the point of Christianity. The greatest gift you can give to God is to witness to the entire world his love, strength and forgiveness. Witnessing is not isolating and encouraging segregation. Instead of building a town, they should be working within existing communities to bear witness and bring everyone to a common table, as Jesus taught us.
Posted By Anonymous : 11:04 AM ET
Excellent idea put all the superstitious fools in one place then we'll know where to send the lions.
Posted By James in Canada : 11:05 AM ET
The effort to "drag" people into heaven is in contrast with the broad understanding that you can't purchase your way into heaven (the cause of the reformation!
Posted By Anonymous : 11:08 AM ET
As a religious based community - will all be exempt from property taxes? Will retailers within the confines of the Catholic city be exempt from collecting sales tax? Here in FL we also have the international headquarters for the Church of Scientology (Clearwater, FL) where that group pays no taxes on it's property - which constitues a signifigant portion of the community.

At a time when the state faces a billion dollar deficit - can we afford this? And more importantly -if I hold bible study in my home may I be exempt from my taxes too?
Posted By Anonymous : 11:09 AM ET
I wonder how many of you who are protesting this community live in GATED condo communities. How about country club communities built around a golf course and requiring an outrageous membership fee and sponsorship to even be considered as a member?

For that matter, what about any subdivision that requires owners to adhere to specific building codes, what you can or can't display in your front yard, the number of cars you're allowed to own, etc.

This is nothing more than another form of "gated community", but perhaps not as exclusive as many country club communities. And like any other gated community, if you don't like the community DON'T LIVE THERE!

One big problem that has reared its head in this country is the spectre of "political correctness". Those without the ambition to work and attain the kind of wealth that allows them to live the lives they want to live are the first to tell those who HAVE that they should "give back" to the community. It's not like the community "gave" these people their wealth. They EARNED it by creating a product or service that the community PAID them for. It's called free enterprise, and ANY of us can embark on it in this country.

It's not like people who live in Ave Maria will be shutting themselves off from the rest of the world. Most of them will probably commute to work elsewhere. They'll still go to Orlando for their Disney vactions and to Las Vegas to gamble and New York City at Christmas time to buy their grandchildren toys at Schwartz. Ave Maria is just where they choose to lay their heads at night... much like your other gated communities.
Posted By David in Atlanta : 12:12 PM ET
I think this is great. I would live in a place like this if it were available in my home state. Once things are up and running, I hope to go for a visit. It sounds lovely.
Posted By Anonymous : 12:23 PM ET
Although I did watch A. Cooper's piece about the Catholic town, I really wanted to comment on the excellent documentary presented by Christiana Amanpour. Loved it and wish I could obtain a recording of the 3 days it showed. Tks.
Posted By Anonymous : 12:34 PM ET
Hey, look! It's Utah East! But even Utah may be more tolerant than this new city with an imprimatur. I'll take my diverse valley in Southern California any day, and twice on Sunday.
Posted By Heather : 12:49 PM ET
I do feel sorry for the children who will grow up there. They will be unprepared for the diversities that exist in today's world.

Since the Catholic church is still so rigid in it's beliefs, I'm afraid they will be less tolerant and accepting of others.
Posted By Jan from Wood Dale, IL : 12:54 PM ET
As a "yankee" (non-practicing) Catholic living in the South, I often feel as though I'm living in someone else's religiously-oriented community. The name of Jesus is often invoked in the workplace and strangers as well as casual acquaintances have asked me if I "know" Jesus. I'm in the minority, but I try not to get too hung up on it. With that in mind, I can't really see any non-Catholics seeking out Ave Maria. They'd probably feel as I do in my current situation.

Someone mentioned the injustice of not having Arabic-themed public schools - the obvious difference is the separation of church & state. Just as you wouldn't financially support Mr. Monaghan's endeavor, I'm sure many people don't want their taxes paying for the teaching of religions they don't espouse.
Posted By Colleen, Columbia, SC : 1:03 PM ET
What's to stop him? It's like a tv channel - if I don't like it, I can change the channel, or in this case avoid visiting.

A bit structured, yes, but it is what it is, one man's vision. Nothing illegal yet, from what I can see.
Posted By Walleye from Duluth, MN : 1:13 PM ET
I find myself agreeing with Betty Ann -- while I wasn't alive when Jim Jones created Jonestown, and there are marked differences between Jonestown and Ave Maria, there's still something that doesn't feel quite right. I could be wrong -- I'm not Catholic, and my religious belief could be characterized as "Hi, God. How're you?" -- but it's a bit strange.

Now, Mr. Monaghan earned that money with effort, so he's entitled to spend it however he wants. If he's funding the entire community, that's great. I'm not sure how public schools are going to work there, but first and foremost, it's his shiny toy, and he gets to decide the rules, as long as they comply with the state and federal governments.

I will say, however, that while he says that people are welcome, I'm sure the screening process will eliminate those who won't "fit in". Other than that, good luck to him, and who knows? Maybe it'll turn out to be a good thing.

Also, as something of an aside, the person who mentioned the Situation Room Blog about the Arabic-themed public school -- public schools are the domain of the government. People can create whatever kind of private schools they want -- there's certainly more than enough of them around here in Savannah -- but the public schools are supposed to be across the board for every child. Asking a public school to become Arabic-themed means that the government would have to change everything across the board.
Posted By Bianca, Savannah, GA : 1:29 PM ET
It is interesting that people against this idea are so worried that someone is trying to force their (ie Christian) values on them. It seems the idea behind the town of Ave Maria is to prevent other people's values from being forced on us. I can't turn on the TV, open a magazine, go to the mall, etc, without having the values of modern materialism forced on me from every side. Good luck to Moynahan. I hope his experiment works!
Posted By Anonymous : 1:30 PM ET
Claire,
While I think Mr. Monaghan is trying his best to promote what he believes in (while he still can!!!), there is a difference between imposing a certain faith to a whole "village" and simply showing God's love whereever we are. So why doesn't he use his means for the less fortunate? I grew up in the Catholic church and stayed there till my late 30's, until the day I got tired of their doctrine. I am now part of a church for which buildings are not important - the church being by definition the gathering of believers, not necessary in a physical building as we know it. It's all very nice to want to live in a perfect world but come on - do we need to raise a compound and only let the worthy in, in order to access heaven. As the song says: We need to be lambs that roar, we need to be eagles that soar, we need to be salt, we need to be light, we need to BE Jesus in the world; We need to take love into the streets...not in a physical buildling or a ghetto! for this is not the way we are going to "save the world"
Posted By Lyne, Laval, Qc CANADA : 1:37 PM ET
i wonder where they get their "holy water" from?!? the Everglades?!? hehehe
Posted By Cynthia, Atlanta, GA : 1:46 PM ET
Man, that big church is kinda intimidating!
Posted By Cecile, Mobile, Alabama : 1:47 PM ET
If people of other faiths, moral or sexual choices wouldn't feel welcomed there, then thankfully in this country, they don't have to choose to live there! They have the choice of going somewhere else! As a practicing Catholic, I myself am not sure I would want to have my children's experiences limited by living in a same-faith community without exposure to what the rest of the world has to offer.

That being said, hasn't anyone visited the state of Utah?! Faiths other than Mormon aren't exactly welcomed with open arms. Mormon churches are seemingly on every street corners; even public schools are infused with Mormon principals. Retailers keep their hours around church activities. How is this any different than what what Mr. Monaghan is proposing?
Posted By Teresa- Newport, KY : 1:53 PM ET
i wrote a paper on utopic city planning this spring, based around Ave Maria, and the thing that remains disturbing was Jeb Bush's involvement in getting the legislation for the town's zoning similar to DisneyWorld DESPITE the fact that it will bring FL no revenue. ahh church and state remarried...
Posted By Anonymous : 1:59 PM ET
I'm confused by the comments of people who think Monaghan is forcing his beliefs on anyone. People who move to his town will do so of their own free will, and whether they stay or leave will be their choice. How is that forcing anything?

I'm a practicing Catholic, but I would not choose to live there. However, it's not my right to tell others where they should live. So long as they aren't hurting anyone or breaking any laws, I fail to see the harm in this.

Re: the diversity issue - I attended a Catholic college where, in fact, a LARGE portion of the student body was not Catholic.
Posted By Anonymous : 2:02 PM ET
Good for him. It's nice to see someone who is living according to his values, and someone who makes a lot of money who is (a) spending it on something other than himself, and (b) trying to do something good with it.
Posted By Anonymous : 2:13 PM ET
This man is just something else. I personally believe should continue making pizza and back off from religion. If he was raised by nuns, which no doubts there, he should know that being greedy and selfish to the fact that he wants to use his money to get into heaven, is nothing less than a sin. I guess Pizza Hut will start opening countries preety soon.
Posted By Anonymous : 2:25 PM ET
Oh, how kind of him to want to drag me (and you) with him to heaven! All according to his rules, I'm sure. And it's laughable that I should believe this self-righteous ____ has some sort of special 'powers' that will allow him to give us these oh so special privileges! Bet it only requires separating us from our wallets.

Anyone gullible enough to fall for his garbage deserves what they get. Please take yourself and your followers to a segregated town so the rest of us don't have to suffer thru your BS--Amen!
Posted By Dave S. Tinley Park, IL : 2:27 PM ET
I have read the article and have reached this profound conclusion:

It's his money and he can spend it any way he chooses provided it ain't illegal.

I realize pope bashers and pseudo intellecutuals will disagree, but Monaghan is doing something others have done before him. I find it slightly irritating, however, that because he is Catholic, and the town will attract primarily Catholics, there is such a fuss. Do I detect a whiff of liberal bigotry? Could be!
Posted By Anonymous : 3:09 PM ET
Catholic values huh? You mean like turning a blind eye to thousands of pedophile priests and that little thing called "The Inquisition" and "Witch Burning"?

Sounds like a real fun place to live
Posted By Anonymous : 3:31 PM ET
Well, I'm Catholic, but I don't think I would want to live in this town. If I had a quarrel with a neighbor over some trivial issue such as the yappiness of my two pups, it would DEFINITELY spill over into my social life at church. If some elderly fellow parishoner wished to engage in one of those septic senior whinges on the order of "Father moved the candlestick to the other side of the sanctuary. I've been going to St. Vidicon of Starfleet Church for 80 years now, man and boy, and it has always stood on the right side" etc., I would have to listen to this nonsense seven days a week. If my kid went to Ava Maria U and engaged in dumb teen behavior, I would probably have to sell the house and leave the parish in humiliation as opposed to just ranting and disciplining her. No, the University is probably a good idea, but all this closeness is an error. I doubt the housing will be popular although the University might be.

BTW if anybody thinks that Hindus and Buddhists have had a peaceful and nonviolent past, they have clearly read little or no history.
Posted By Anonymous : 3:35 PM ET
What is all the hysteria for? Our country has a rich history of religious communities going back to Rhode Island and Georgia, followed by the Quakers, the Amish and the Mormons to name a few.

There have been parochial schools and colleges for hundreds of years.

There are many communities/condos, i.e. senior citizens, where children are not allowed to reside - visit, yes, but not live. That is a rule by consensus, not discrimination.

The story is a feature story; take it or leave it LOL It is not a fire a brimstone alert LOL

The man has the money and the vision, let him be. Yes, due to laws, Ave Maria is *open* to all, but most likely only committed Catholics will be interested.

Leslie Thompson
Huntsville, Texas
Posted By Leslie : 3:45 PM ET
Good for him! If he wants to use his money to create his own Catholic friendly town, so be it. From the hostility I hear in all these other comments, it sounds like a Catholic town is needed and people aren't as "diverse", or "open-minded" as they think they are. In today's society everyone rushes to defend people of other "exotic" faiths, yet scoff at Chrisitians. "Exotic" is used for lack of a better word, and by "exotic" I mean anything that's not originally from a Judeo-Christian mindset, which is what our country was founded on and what most people in our country still base their values on, whether they're religious or not. That in my mind is being the opposite of "open-minded" and those people should stick their foot in their mouths.

Mr. Monaghan is not forcing his values on other people. No one is being forced to move there. And no one NEEDS to move there for any reason, economic or otherwise. Really, why would you move to this town if you are not a Catholic and feel like you'll be an outsider? There are tens of thousands of towns in our country and in Florida to choose from.

Having said all that, and as an active gay Catholic who still practices and loves his religion, I would not choose to move there. But why throw stones just because you're not of that certain religion or don't even have a religion? Let by-gons be by-gons and cut the criticism. Please.
Posted By David from Virginia : 3:50 PM ET
Well, guess I will not be eating Dominos again.
Posted By Anonymous : 3:58 PM ET
When I read the article, it immediately reminds me of Utah when it was first settled by Mormon back in 1800's but look at Utah today, there are more diversity in Utah now. (Thank God!) I'm Catholic and living in Utah. And I won't like or want to live in Ave Maria but I am sure some people would want to. That's their choice.
Posted By Jarom : 4:03 PM ET
What is the big deal. Hasn't anyone ever noticed that people tend to move into areas where there are others like themselves? Go for a ride with me through the city I work in and I can show you the parts that are predominantly black, white, hispanice, Jewish, etc. So what if there is now an area where they are Catholic? It is human nature for people to congregate with others who are like them.
- Carol
Posted By Anonymous : 4:12 PM ET
A religious city? been there done that...perhaps you have heard of Salem, Massachusetts??
Posted By Anonymous : 4:17 PM ET
Why would any non-Catholic care about this town?
Posted By Anonymous : 4:25 PM ET
I have been following the Ave Maria story since it began. I am happy for Mr. Monaghan's idea and wish it good look. Perhaps if we went back to respecting Christian and Catholic values the world would become a better place. At least a more God-fearing world.
Posted By R Navarro : 4:49 PM ET
To Mr. M.--what goes around comes around. When you face the man upstairs
you shall surely reap what you have sown. Hope it goes well for you.
Ypsilanti, MI
Posted By Anonymous : 4:54 PM ET
I can't see many non-Catholics jumping at the opportunity to move in here. Imagine a kid being raised in such a homogenous environment like that. They'll be in for a culture shock.
Posted By Lauren, Cincinnati OH : 5:12 PM ET
I am by no means a Catholic. However, this cant do any bad! Our society used to be guided by religion and it seems that Monaghan
is trying to bring that back. Honestly though it should be very legal to ban porn from a religious community
Posted By Anonymous : 11:35 AM ET
If a legal abortion hadn't been available to me, I would be dead along with my baby. She wouldn't survive in any case. I've boycotted Dominoes for years because of his vocal anti-abortion stance.
Posted By Donna : 11:41 AM ET
I just Visited the Ave Maria website and looked through the pictures and I didn't see any Latinos, isn't Latin America one of the largest Catholic regions in the world? Also The only black people I saw were in very contrived pictures, but everyone is welcome right?
Posted By Anonymous : 12:56 PM ET
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• 08/12/2007 - 08/19/2007
• 08/19/2007 - 08/26/2007
• 08/26/2007 - 09/02/2007

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