Monday, November 27, 2006

Sign of the Crazy

I am a renter which means my experience with homeowner's association rules are non-existent. My current building has a rule about stuff on the windows that could be considered advertising, but that it about it. But I have heard that many homeowner's associations have rules about lawn length and shutter color and what have you. And fine - since homeownership is generally considered an intentional community there are rules that can be made in that scenario that wouldn't fly elsewhere. And certainly I understand wanting to have rules about signage. But in a certain part of Colorado there have been complaints about a peace sign . Seriously?

First, I suspect that this is CYA more than anything, apparently there were complaints registered so then the association decided they should take action, yada, yada. I assume it is easier to ask this one house to take the sign down, rather than explain to other people there is nothing remotely offensive about a peace sign. You may not be for peace, but hey, I may not be for Christ but I'm not asking you to take down your creche. And here's the thing - the association board asked the committee in charge of such things to ask for the sign to be removed, and the committee refused. So, the committee was fired.

These are the complaints listed about the peace sign (from these folks in the community):

-Some residents have children in Iraq. Peace is a bigger concept than one war. And just as there are all kinds of Christians, there are all kinds of peace-niks. Some are against all war. That doesn't make them anti-military, just anti-war. Some are hoping we can get to place where war is not our default diplomatic solution, but don't think we are there yet. The sign says peace, not "Soldiers deserve to die".

-Some believe the symbol is Satanic. It's not. Just because someone mistakenly thinks that it is does not make their removal request more valid.

-Some believe the symbol is anti-Christian. It's not. In fact the Bible is sort of anti-killing people, or so I hear, which would suggest that peace is really a Christian value. Which is not to say that non-Christians aren't for peace.

-Divisive symbols are not allowed. I recognize that this is a bit of a judgement call, but it saddens me to imagine that a peace sign could ever be considered divisive.

-Someone else could put a pro-bomb sign up. So the concern is not about this view, but that an alternate view might be more divisive. I think this is flawed and even circular reasoning.

My thoughts go out to this woman who is potentially facing huge fines for putting up a peace sign on her house.