Monday, November 27, 2006

Colorado Homeowner To Be Fined For Peace-Sign Wreath

While the overwhelming Democratic victory in the midterm Congressional elections gives us huge reason for hope, we still receive signs on a daily basis showing just how much work we have to do in repairing our country. One piece of evidence today comes from Pagosa Springs, Colorado, where Lisa Jensen is in deep trouble with her homeowner's association for having the gall to hang a holiday wreath shaped like a peace sign on the side of her house.

"I just wanted to put a message of peace out there," said Jensen, who put the wreath up about one week ago, not intending it to be a statement against the Iraq war. "I was really trying to be in favor of something - peace."

But she's found out that such a radical sentiment may not fly in Archuleta County, which the Bush-Cheney ticket carried easily, with 62 percent of the vote in 2004, and she has been threatened with a fine of $25.00 per day by the Loma Linda Homeowners Association until the wreath is removed.

According to Bob Kearns, the association's president, three or four residents have complained and at least one believes Jensen's decoration is a symbol of Satan.

"The peace sign has a lot of negativity associated with it. It's also an anti-Christ sign. That's how it started," said Kearns. "Somebody could put up signs that say drop bombs on Iraq. If you let one go up you have to let them all go up."

Here's a look at Jensen's holiday decoration:

Kearns ordered a committee in the homeowner's association to require Jensen to remove the wreath and, when the five-member panel refused -- saying they saw nothing wrong with the festive decoration -- Kearns fired all five members from their posts.

The association has strict rules prohibiting "signs, flags etc. that can be considered divisive" but says nothing about general holiday decorations.

Here's my take on a sign that I'm betting would be just fine with Kearns:

I'm sure this one would pass muster as well:

And you just know there would be more than one of these around:

Meanwhile, despite risking up to $1,000.00 in total fines, Jensen says she's sticking to her guns and will not take the wreath down until after Christmas.

"Peace is way bigger than not being at war. This is a spiritual thing," she said. "Now that it has come to this I feel I can't get bullied. What if they don't like my Santa Claus?"