Monday, November 21, 2005

Whatsoever you do for another you do for Christ, and its relationship to the zoning authorities

Terrence linked to me a couple of days ago. Don't know why to me, when I haven't posted specifically Catholic Worker things for months, and wasn't due to until this coming Saturday. But he googled or leap-blogged around, and found out how a home of a Catholic Worker becomes a Catholic Worker House --- and seemed a little shocked at just how not an institution it all is. Especially that the tradition is against tax exemption, that many Catholic Worker communities have no more insurance than their sisters and brothers whom they serve, and that someone would actually write that the zoning laws should be studied, in case anyone might want to make trouble, but that how one follows them is a matter of conscience.

My response was: what in the world would a zoning authority have to do with houseguests and dinner companions received as Christ? As of last night, that wasn't answered in Terrence's combox, but I've had some time to noodle on that too, and have some idea what's up.

As a radio amateur, I receive regular warnings from the ARRL and other radio societies about the dangers of "CC&R's", a kind of addition to an house's deed that can out of all conscience restrict perfectly legal, proper, and nondisruptive activities in one's own home, like having antennas. And, in speaking to elders, occasionally I've met one having grief from landlord/developer/condo association/other quasi-legal authority over whether they can cook aromatic ethnic specialties, fly an American flag, or have their grandchild visit overnight.

So, if the neighbors get upset somehow, they might go looking for some pretense. Along the lines of, Ooooh, there are four people living in that 4-bedroom house. Or, Me Oh My, craftworks are sold by the people there! (which would be no problem at _my_ home, which is zoned light industrial!) It would be wise to take a good look at the zoning, the CC&R's, any obsolete unenforced laws that might suddenly get resurrected, and avoid condos, before finding a home where one can live this past Sunday's Gospel, just to have a head's up and, if possible, avoid possible headaches.

But sometime one just has to do what has to be done --- then offer up the headache.

And, if you offer your guestroom to the Lord, He will send you the guest.


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