The rise of the Jeebustopia

30 04 2006

For a side of politics that claims to eschew utopianism, conservatives (in the US at least) seem hell-bent on building a few utopias of their own.

There’s Domino’s founder Tom Monaghan’s Catholic-only town, Ave Maria, taking shape in Florida.

There’s Jeebusland, of course.

And then there’s Black Jack, Missouri:

Imagine you’ve bought your dream house. And you’ve moved in. Now, imagine being told you can’t live there because you — and your children — are not considered a family. That’s the situation facing Olivia Shelltrack, Fondrey Loving and their three kids in Black Jack, Missouri.

They moved from Minneapolis to the St. Louis suburb a couple of months ago. I visited them recently at their five-bedroom home. They told me Black Jack requires all homes to have an occupancy permit, but that they were denied one. They said they were told that because there are more than three people in their house, and not all are related by blood or marriage, they don’t meet Black Jack’s definition of a family.

As Black Jack’s mayor, Norman McCourt, put it recently at a city council meeting: “It’s overcrowding because it’s not a single family. It’s a single-family residence and they’re not a single family.”

Olivia and Fondrey aren’t married and had two of their three children out of wedlock. The third child is Olivia’s from a previous relationship. They appealed to the city’s Board of Adjustment for an exemption, figuring it wouldn’t be hard for anyone to see they’re a real family. But they were denied. Olivia and Fondrey told me they came away from that meeting feeling like they were given a clear message: Get married or move.

Via Morons.org.

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