Peace On Earth, Except In Pagosa Springs

Holiday time is upon us; a time for family, for friends; a time to reflect on the joys of living; a time to wish for peace on earth and good will to men (er – persons). At least that’s unless you are the president of the Loma Lynda HOA in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. The Denver ABC affiliated channel 7 reported on Saturday that the Homeowners Association in this small town in southwestern Colorado is planning on fining a woman $25 per day for displaying a Christmas wreath in the shape of a peace symbol.

“We have had three or four complaints. Some people have kids in Iraq and they are sensitive,” said Bob Kearns, president of the Loma Lynda Homeowners Association in Pagosa Springs. He also said some believe it is a symbol of Satan.

Jeff Heitz, of the association board, sent a letter to Lisa Jensen saying “Loma Lynda residents are offended by the peace sign displayed on the front of your house. … This Board will not allow any signs, flags etc. that can be considered divisive….”

The subdivision’s convenants said no signs, billboards or advertising are permitted without the consent of the architectural control committee.

When Kearns ordered the association’s architectural control committee to require Jensen to remove the wreath, they refused. Jack Lilly, chairman of the group, said it decided it was merely a seasonal symbol that didn’t say anything. Lilly also said he had received no complaints from homeowners. Kearns fired all five members of the architectural control committee.

Despite a brief attempt, I was unable to unearth either an email nor a snailmail address for either the Loma Lynda HOA nor Mr Kearns. One nevertheless hopes that the petty dictatorship of Mr Kearns and the negative publicity received by this stunt loses him both popularity and his post. This appears to be someone in a position of power trying to force his will on others.

The irony is not lost on the woman under assault. The article continues,

[Lisa] Jensen, a past president of the association in the subdivision of 200 homes 270 miles southwest of Denver, said, “I honestly wasn’t thinking of the Iraq war. Peace is way bigger than not being at war. This is a spiritual thing. I am not going to take it down until after Christmas. Now that it has come to this, I feel I can’t get bullied. What if they don’t like my Santa Claus?” she said.

If you read my blog, please repost this information.

I’d really like to get the word out on the amount of free speech some people consider allowable in Colorado. This man should be shown that his understanding of peace is not that of others and that his willingness to forbid others the honest display their of their feelings is not as important as the (in Mr Kearns’ opinion – Satanic) peace symbol.

(Hat Tip: Lizard Eater/The Journey)

 [UPDATE: The HOA backed down! Please read my follow-up here]

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5 comments so far

  1. Teresa on

    Unfortunatly, as it’s a pirvate home-owner’s association, I don’t think there is any protected free speech. So Ms. Jensen might not have legal recourse, and her best bet is the decency and enlightenment of her fellow man.

    Of course, there might be some subtlty to the contracts that I’m unaware of…

    But then again, isn’t there something about contracts where it can’t be considered binding if it contains unreasonable requirements?

    I would think that this could be considered by some to be an unreaonable requirement: to submit yourself to the petty dictatorship of one sad little man.

  2. blc303 on

    True.
    Hate it though I might, the only recourse is to mob justice. Ridicule and derision must be rained on Mr Keane’s head. If he believes the peace symbol is a secret symbol of Satan, one knows which side of the bread his Virgin Mary has been toasted.
    For those gentle readers, who haven’t found it, an excellent guide to information on almost all Symbols (new and old) is – who would have guessed – symbols.com. But for variety I will point you to the excellent article about the origin of the peace symbol.

    There have been claims that the symbol has older, occult or anti-Christian associations. In South Africa, under the apartheid regime, there was an official attempt to ban it. Various far-right and fundamentalist American groups have also spread the idea of Satanic associations or condemned it as a Communist sign. However the origins and the ideas behind the symbol have been clearly described, both in letters and in interviews, by Gerald Holtom and his original, first sketches are now on display as part of the Commonweal Collection in Bradford

    .
    The radical right and the Christian fundamentalists need to label all forms of peace to be inherently Satanistic in order to further their own brand of peace – namely hate for any other group.
    Thus make fun and snark at Mr. Keane. He knows better than a five member architecture committee. And who needs that kind of a committee anyway? Dictatorships are fun. Just ask Hitler.

  3. RC on

    Call him, write him, give him hell!

    [ed: Note I will be removing the address here and making it per e-mail available to any who wish to write Mr. Kearns.

    While I strongly feel he should get mail, I would prefer not to be the (direct) source of hate mail or worse. If you would like to have Mr. Kearns address, please leave a comment here or e-mail me at bc_news (at) gmx (dot) net and I will forward it to you.]

  4. blc303 on

    Thank you very much!

    I will.

  5. The Moderate Voice on

    Bill O’Reilly May Not Be Correct About A “War” Against Christmas

    But some people don’t sound like they’re exactly in the Christmas spirit…

    P.S. I live in a condo. Oh, they’re always so much fun…


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