Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Leave it as a sign on the doorways of your house

Over at Thee, Hannah!, she has an entry about an HOA that attempted to force the removal of a peace sign wreath from a woman's door, claiming that the peace sign is divisive and they'd have to allow "Bomb Iraq Now" signs if they did. That is, those neighbors not claiming that the symbol is satanic.

*Sigh* My initial response was to say they think that's bad? I'd leave the curtains to my living room open every evening and develop a habit of laying out solitaire patterns with Tarot cards, dancing in front of the fireplace during major astrological events, especially the solstices and equinoxes. (And I've studied liturgical dance.) My fireplace smoke would *reek* of incense, and my doorknocker would subtly (or not so subtly if I figured I could) suggest a Greenman. And I'd take up wearing a really blinged out star of Solomon. When I was a girl, I knew a woman who *in Appalachia* kept an upside down cross in her living room, along with some other symbols that many people think of as "occult" today. She would gleefully wait for someone to criticize them, and then point out their significance in historic Christianity. (Her favorite, though, was the St. Peter's cross.)

Heck, the peace sign for this holiday is definitely more Christian than pine wreaths which came from pagan practices. Remember that bit from Isaiah? Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace? Obviously not.

A few things disturb me about this.

1. A peace sign is considered that divisive?
2. I thought religious discrimination in housing was illegal.
3. What happened to "Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men"?
4. I can't believe we're destroying the First Amendment to protect property values.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Trigg said...

So you're aware, the association has backed down. Here's a link.

11/28/2006 8:32 AM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

That's good, but it shouldn't have been a problem in the first place.

Even in a "worst case" scenario where she put up a peace sign to inform the world that she wishes that Satan would intervene to stop the war in Iraq,(Though why he'd want to stop a situation that provides him with such a playing ground I have no clue.) even in such a case, I was under the impression that neither Satanists nor pacifists should face discrimination in their housing. If a regular wreath is permitted as an expression of Christianity, a "Wreath of Solomon" should be just as permitted, as should a peace sign wreath.

And the more I think of it, the more I think I'd choose those pagan symbols that most highlight the pagan origins of the modern Christmas celebration. "Oh, the running of the deer and the rising of the sun..."

11/28/2006 8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow,

I can't believe that. I'm glad the housing association backed down, but it's still totally crazy.

I feel like it's the kind of stuff that might have been writen into a "1984"s 50 years ago or something, except that now it's true!

It does make one want to run out and do as many pagan things as possible, doesn't it?

It also makes you want to laugh at all the people who are all worried about pagan symbolism, while their houses are absolutely smothered in it, they just think it's christian (there must have been pine trees right outside that stable, right? they just never got mentioned somehow....)

11/28/2006 11:11 AM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

I keep saying that I really don't want to live in anything controlled by an association, but the real problem is that there are two sides to them:

On the one hand, 20 houses within walking distance of such nice to share things like swimming pools, fitness centers, hiking trails, etc. is a more efficient use of resources than the neighborhoods in Phoenix that I flew over with a pool in every single back yard.

On the other hand, I really don't care if my neighbor wants to put up a 20 foot totem pole, or paint her house purple with orange trim, or grow mint in the front yard, or put up a 6 foot fence, or worship at the Church of the Space Aliens. I don't even care if her oak tree shades my lawn. We need more oak trees, and maybe the clover and dandilions in my yard annoy her.

I don't like housing rules that prohibit drying lines or solar panels, or even placement of dishes on rooftops (better reception might get some folks to do more work from home arrangements). I don't like rules that slant enforcement even more in favor of the status quo. But I do like the idea of sharing resources. *sigh*

11/28/2006 1:27 PM  
Blogger Thee, Hannah! said...

This sounds like our Homeowner's Association--mow your lawn or die! Ridiculous. I can see them not wanting burned-out cars in front yards (although I personally don't care about those, either) but the wreath thing was out of hand. I'm glad they backed off.

Our HOA is notorious (Mom calls them the Yard Nazis). We considered getting one of those big fiberglass horse mannequins you see at tack shops and putting it in the front yard just to make them mad.

11/29/2006 11:29 AM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

A f/Friend of mine was censured by her housing association for choosing to use local plants for her lawn, then had fits when her lawn was somewhat greener than her neighbors' lawns during a short drought - obviously she must be secretly watering them! (Not in the sense they meant - she was using bath grey water to water her lawn, but even so, she doesn't even do that much.)

I have sometimes wondered if eco-friendly housing associations might be done, but I haven't found many.

11/30/2006 6:57 AM  

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