HOA backs down

Yesterday the Loma Linda Homeowners Association backed down from the wreath stupidity. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that the HOA has changed its mind.

A subdivision has withdrawn its threat of $25 daily fines against a homeowner who put a Christmas wreath shaped like a peace sign on the front of her home.

Homeowner Lisa Jensen told The Associated Press on Monday that the board of directors of the Loma Linda Homeowners Association had apologized, called the incident a misunderstanding and had withdrawn its request for the wreath’s removal.
Jensen, a past association president, said she was overwhelmed with hundreds of calls of support and offers to help her pay the $1,000 fine that would be due if she kept the wreath up until after Christmas.

I think this shows several things.

First, the power of getting a story like this out. Ms. Jensen would still be fighting this issue had not Channel 7 and then AP picked up the story. (Of course the bloggers did their part.) But after the official reporting, everything took on a life of it’s own. Mr Kearns and the board of directors were obviously placed in a completely untenable position by Mr. Kearns actions.

On the other hand, the overwhelming show of support for Ms. Jensen is heartening. It shows the true spirit of both the holiday/Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanzaa season and the peace movement. I suspect both motives were involved. Congratulations Ms. Jensen. I hope you have found some new friends (and perhaps rediscovered some old ones) through this disgraceful episode.

Third, although the board is attempting to spin this as a misunderstanding, that is a little difficult to swallow. The statement might be true if the board is saying Mr. Kearns misunderstood the meaning and Satanist background of the peace sign, but I doubt they are trying to tell the story that way. What I am missing here is Mr. Kearns resignation over this issue. He obviously got in way over his head, misread the political climate and tried to push through his rather narrow political and religious feelings. He failed. He is not the stuff of presidents; not even the president of a small Homeowners Association.

But that brings me to my final point. I suspect Mr Kearns has learned absolutely nothing from this. Otherwise he would have resigned. I am sure he sees this as a victory for Satan. He does not understand why people reacted so strongly to what he considered a vital part of the fight for God, church and country. An ordering I suspect he would approve.

Mr. Kearns, since calmer heads have prevailed in Pagosa Springs, I’ll save my stamp and not mail the letter I was writing. I would however like to share with you the biblical passage I had chosen to frame my arguments. I’m sure you will recognise it, it comes from Matthew.

Judge not, that ye be not judged
For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. [Matthew 7:1-5]

In closing, I’d like to mention the fact that, perhaps for the first time, Foxnews and I reported the same story with a similar slant yesterday. Of course Fox was simply passing on the AP story by Robert Weller without attributing the story directly to him (Yahoo!News did :-P). Nevertheless I’m not really sure how I feel about being on the same side of a story as Fox. Hmm.

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