Thursday, May 18, 2006

Location, Location, Location

When Olivia Shelltrack and Fondrey Loving moved into a home in the St. Louis suburb of Black Jack with their three children, they received the shock of their lives. They found out the hard way that in Black Jack, there’s a law on the books that prohibits:

A. Unmarried couples with children living together
B. Putting out Easter decorations (specifically Easter bunnies and colored eggs) in front yards because it’s considered a “pagan” ritual
C. Allowing children to do homework or chores of any kind on the Sabbath
D. Cursing in public on the Sabbath

A: Olivia Shelltrack and Fondrey Loving were denied an occupancy permit after moving into a home in Black Jack because they have three children and are not married. The City Council has recently rejected a measure allowing unmarried couples with multiple children to live together, and Black Jack Mayor Norman McCourt said those who fall into that category could soon face eviction. The town’s Planning and Zoning Commission proposed a change in the law, but the measure was rejected Tuesday by the City Council in a 5-3 vote.

“I’m just shocked,” Shelltrack said. “I really thought this would all be over, and we could go on with our lives.”

The current ordinance prohibits more than three people from living together unless they are related by “blood, marriage or adoption.” The defeated measure would have changed the definition of a family to include unmarried couples with two or more children.

Apparently no one in Black Jack is too keen on that part Bible that reads: “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke [reason with] thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord.”
— Leviticus 19: 17-18


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