Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Catholic Ghetto

Ave Maria, Florida, is just one more planned community in the making, with one subtle difference: it will be a town, complete with a Catholic university as its hub, that will openly espouse traditional moral values.

If that sounds novel, that's probably because it is. And if my description makes its sound quasi-subversive, that's because that's exactly what the Extreme Media thinks of it.

Just listen to the shock and horror of Today show reporterette Michelle Kosinski's introduction to a segment on Ave Maria:

"Ave Maria w[ill] be a town without condoms or birth control pills, no porn shops or strip joints, or premarital sex...."
Understand that Ms. Kosinski things these are bad things.

But her outrage was just the appetizer. Host Katie Couric - yes, that Katie Couric - had all the bigoted Christophobic cliches at the ready for her guests, Domino's Pizza founder Thomas Monaghan and community developer Paul Marinelli:

[I]t was Couric herself who seemed most offended, chastising her guests...for building a community that "people will see . . . as eschewing diversity and promoting intolerance."

"Does [Ave Maria] follow the tenets pretty much, Mr. Marinelli, of the Catholic church?" Couric worried. "In other words, pharmacies in this community can't sell contraception, correct?"

Not true, the developer responded - explaining that the sale contraceptive materials will be discouraged but not banned.

"You would welcome Jewish residents?" Couric queried, sounding like she expected to get a no for an answer.

"Definitely," Marinelli explained. "We anticipate that there would be synagogues as well as [a] Baptist church."

"What about gay couples?" Couric pressed, appearing confident she'd finally ferreted out the bigoted streak in the traditional values town.

Foiled again.

"We will not discriminate against anyone," Marinelli explained.
I wish Marinelli had said something like, "Well, of course we have to keep the queers out, you have to draw the line somewhere," just to have some fun with the "perky one." Heck, she'd already slimed them both as bigots and anti-Semites anyway.

The funniest part is that after the selling job Couric did for Ave Maria, I doubt any homosexual couplings will be beating down the door to get in on the ground floor of the new town anyway. For that matter, if the attitude of the sexually retrograde individuals I've known is indicative, there probably weren't any Patrick-Fits-Henry/Henry-Fits-Patricks headed toward an avowedly upright community even before Katie buried it as redneck/skinhead ghetto.

You'd think that she would recognize the advantages of letting all the "holy rollers" segregate themselves from her "reality-based," "progressive" types, at least until President Hillary imposes martial law and has the religious Right rounded up and shipped off to the Alaska gulag. Until then her attempts to force her corrupt values on the morally enlightened will come across as the caustic condescension it is.

"Who can turn the world on with a sneer," indeed.