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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Every Family, Every Lifestyle, Every Dream???

Previously on FUMARE, we have noted that the residential development at Ave Maria is designed without a Catholic sensibility - age restricted communities, class segregation, homes priced out of the average Catholic family's budget, etc. In this same line of analysis, Angel Queen has an interesting post in their Forum by Chelsea, a mother of a large Catholic family, about the Ave Maria residential community site and home plans:
Pulte advertises "Every Lifestyle. Every Family. Every Dream." on their Ave Maria brochures and website. I have found that while this is mostly true, there is one type of family that has been excluded from the planning. It is the large Catholic family.
Chelsea seems to be genuinely interested in moving to Ave Maria town, but as the mother of 8 and hoping for more children, she is perplexed and distraught that no homes are being built that take into consideration the practical needs of the large Catholic family.

This seems a bit too obvious of a problem to be an oversight. Is it possible that Ave Maria the town is intentionally trying to exclude Catholic couples who are having more than 2-4 children from living there? I heard they are trying to keep contraceptives out of Ave Maria but I'm wondering what their plan is for sleeping and eating arrangements for all the children who are suppose to be born. . . .

Perhaps they are intentionally building up the neighborhoods around the university for nominal Catholics who have more money than children and will reserve some distant neighborhood in the future for families with children. If that is not their intent, then someone needs to stop the building and add a few more floor plans to the mix so the families with children aren't so segregated from the University and the rest of the town.

Chelsea has figured it out, but she is urgently trying to get through to the "higher ups" to have the developers modify the plan to be accommodating to large Catholic families . . . as if the higher ups give a rat's arse what a dedicated Catholic mother of 8+ has to think. And then, there is this insight:
The biggest problem with this house plan is that every one of them is required to be built on a lot with a pond in the backyard and no fences are allowed in that neighborhood and no play structures either because it is the closest to the university and the planners want the neighborhood to look "nice." I explained to Pulte that it is negligent to have small toddlers and preschoolers with a pond in the backyard and no fence. They disagreed and/or told me that they agreed but there was nothing they could do about it. . . . Someones toddler is going to drown and I don't want it to be mine. . . . Yes, we should be stewards of the earth but we as humans are superior to mosquitoes, snakes and alligators and have dominion over them. Isn't that more of a Catholic approach than raising children side by side with Florida pond life?
Although the greatest problem is in the head of the team who have noodled all this out, from a practical perspective, this is a very serious and real turn off for Catholic families open to life.

For example, when I was a boy, my grandparents had a home just north of Naples and the development was just like this one with the back of the house having a bit of grass leading down to an open water network. My grandparents had a pool in the back yard which was surrounded by a mesh frame enclosure to keep out the creatures. We were warned not to go outside the enclosure or near the pond because alligators lived there.

Once someone left the door of the enclosure open and we came home to find an alligator in the swimming pool. On another occasion, I was chasing a lizard who went outside the enclosure, three steps out of it, I got bitten by a snake on the foot. Thank the Lord it wasn't poisonous. Maybe we visited them at that home 5 times tops . . . imagine the mishaps of living in this set up with toddlers all year round?

I bet Pulte has a clause in their purchase agreements which absolve them from any liability stemming from the death of little Catholic boys and girls who never imaged this for their family, lifestyle or dream.