Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mr. Monaghan's unsafe neighbourhood

Time for another visit to our esteemed extreme right Catholic friend, Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino's Pizza ™ and the ever controversial Ave Maria University. According to, a Catholic site ever critical of Monaghan, we find the following: First, on top of a collapsing real estate market which is making it next to impossible to sell houses in this new town a monument to Monaghan's glory, a jewelry store in town was hit by an armed robbery the other day -- thus killing the notion that Ave Maria Town is a "safe and wholesome" community. Put a town in the middle of a swamp that's isolated from the outside world and this will happen sooner or later Oh yes, and naturally witnesses said the robbers appeared to be "black or Hispanic." Uh, yeah.

Second, anti-feminist and right-wing columnist Kate O'Beirne, long a hatchet woman for Monaghan (or so says another site critical of Monaghan, Fumare), was unceremoniously dumped from the university's board of directors -- with absolutely no acknowledgement of her contributions to the school. She's been replaced by Richard Klaas. (He may not be the same Richard Klaas I'm thinking it might be.) I don't exactly care for her opinions but you'd think Monaghan would show her some gratitude of some kind unless she finally got fed up with his schenanigans as much as other people formerly connected with the school.

Third, in this allegedly "100% Catholic" town, they had a fair not too long ago and among the sideshows was -- drumroll -- a psychic. Most Catholics know damn well it's wrong to seek advice from a psychic (Articles 2115-2117 of the Catechism) although many have, including me admittedly. Still, like most people Catholics tend to know their sign more than their blood type. However, this freak show in Ave Maria Town was actually a pet fair, and the psychic was a pet psychic. Oh, they also had a "massage boutique." Was it for the pets, or was it (ahem!) another kind of massage boutique?

I'll be the first to admit, I'm not exactly everyone's idea of a "good Catholic," although I am personally devout and I do what I can. But Monaghan is simply an embarrassment to conservatives as much as he is a joke to moderates and liberals in the church -- let alone the outside world.

Armed robbery? Summary dismissals? Psychics? (Along with giving the Sacrament of the Sick to those who don't actually need it?) No blanking way I'd ever want to visit the town, let alone live in it. This is not a safe town -- either from a public safety standpoint or a moral one. There are many places in Southwest Florida that are more family friendly than Ave Maria Town.

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larry's thoughts said...

I think you are confusing Ave maria University with Ave Maria, the town. The pet fair and security of the town are not under any control of the university. The town is open to all (not a gated area) including robbers.

Anonymous said...

You really don't know what you're talking about. If you're going to have an opinion, it should be an informed one. Ave Maria is the safest, most beautiful town I have ever been to. I live in Ave Maria. It is like a little piece of paradise. I can see by your photo that you're fat. A man who can't control the amount of food he puts into his mouth can't control a lot of other things as well. You should take care of your own business before judging Tom Monaghan or anyone else for that matter.

BlastFurnace said...

Anonymous: I'm on a diet and I can take care of myself, thank you very much.

My point is this: Monaghan was going around to anyone who would listen about how wonderful the town was. He was saying it in such a way that one would presume, if Monaghan didn't actually say it in so many words, that Ave Maria Town would be so holy that no police would be needed -- that the Virgin Mary would protect it 24/7.

What's going on at AMU is well documented and not just mere speculation. The rot that goes on inside academia usually spreads to the surrounding community -- the town and gown effect. Both the armed robbery and the psychic fair are reflections of this.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that Tom Monaghan never said or implied in any way that Ave Maria Town would be so holy that no police would be needed. That is a ridiculous lie that you made up. The truth is important and should be spoken, written and protected. Most intelligent people know better than to form an opinion without facts. This is far from progressive. Is this really what you want to resort to? Instead of getting your propaganda from other sites and people who live hundreds or thousands of miles away, why not get your information from the town itself. There are a lot of people in the town who have given testimony on their experience living in the town. You can see photos of the town, videos, find out what it really is. I think there is even still a live video cam downtown. You will see it is just an ordinary town, only prettier, with a lot of really great people living in it and yes, I'm wearing flip-flops. It's around 80 degrees & sunny--almost all the time. You can get true information about Ave Maria on the website or you can visit the town yourself. I know you stated you don't want to do that, but isn't that what a good journalist would do or at least want to do before writing a piece?

BlastFurnace said...

He didn't have to imply it even. But everyone knew what he was trying to do. I'll leave it at that.