The Catholic Right: Tom Monaghan: The Pizza-man Who Delivers the Dough. (Tenth in a Series)
Frank Cocozzelli printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Sep 23, 2006 at 01:55:25 PM EST
In this segment, the first of a three-part overview, you will be introduced to Tom Monaghan, a wealthy man determined to change secular society to one more heavily influenced by his brand of ultra-orthodox Catholicism. In subsequent pieces, the specifics of his activities and organizations will be reviewed.
If you do not know who Tom Monaghan is, you should. He is perhaps one of the most influential members of the Catholic Right. An advocate of laissiez-faire economics as well as an ultra-orthodox brand of faith he has advanced those twin agendas by both his actions and his financial muscle.

In order to spread his religious convictions he has personally funded Operation Rescue as well as Fr, Frank Pavone's Priests for Life. Legatus, the ultra-conservative millionaires-only club he founded has reportedly done the same for Opus Dei.

On the business side he is vehemently anti-union,(i) blaming organized Labor for causing the federal budget deficit--a contradictory position to take considering that many middle-class Catholics make up a significant portion of Labor's rank and file. Monaghan has also pumped money into the campaign coffers of the likes of culturally conservative Senators such as Sam Brownback (R-Ks.), Tom Coburn (R-Ok.), and Rick Santorum (R-Pa.).

As the New York Times recently put it:

Since netting about $1 billion from the 1998 sale of Domino's to Bain Capital, Mr. Monaghan, 69, has become one of the leading philanthropists in the country and the biggest benefactor of conservative Catholic institutions.

In the past eight years, his Ave Maria Foundation, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., has donated $140 million to promote conservative Catholic education, media and other organizations, including Detroit-area parochial grade schools, a law school and small regional colleges in Michigan and Nicaragua, along with radio stations and a fellowship group for Catholic business leaders.(ii)

As of 2004, he has given away approximately $450 million to the causes he believes in. And as this sub-series will demonstrate that Mr. Monaghan prefers a society that views ultra-orthodox Catholicism as its moral cornerstone. To that end, secular law would then be subject to a Catholic understanding of Natural Law principles.

The pizza king cum power broker came from humble beginnings. His father died when he was six. Shortly thereafter his mother placed him and his brother in a Catholic orphanage after having trouble raising them. After getting kicked out of a seminary, he then did a stint in the Marines; enrolled in the University of Michigan, but never graduated. He did though acquire a desire "to save souls," a desire that was given a booster shot after reading C.S. Lewis's "Mere Christianity."

Monaghan started on the path that would lead to the Domino's Pizza empire in 1960 by purchasing a single pizzeria called DomiNick's. By the time of his sale to Bain, Domino's had 6,250 locations throughout the world.

In the next three postings of this series on the Catholic Right, Monaghan's influence will be closely examined. First, will be The Thomas More Law Center, its mission, its faculty, and most of all its legal philosophy. This will include a review of one of the center's lawsuits and how it reveals its members' very theocratic disposition towards government. As part of this review, his experiment at  creating an ultra-orthodox Catholic community from the ground-up will be examined; including the thorny constitutional issues it raises.

The following installment will take a hard look at how Monaghan and others of the Catholic Right are building their own structures of higher education, including the Ave Maria University projects. It is a system designed to educate and prepare new generation of ultra-orthodox Catholics for positions of leadership. As we will see, it is a cause for concern even within the mainstream Catholic colleges and universities.

In the final installment the Monaghan money trail will be examined more closely. This will include a good look at the various Religious Right organizations to which Mr. Monaghan and his affiliated foundations provide vital funding. As part of this overview,
Legatus will also be examined in upcoming posts. Set up by Monaghan, this association is open only to those with a net worth of $4 million or more. Having a bent that is decidedly socially conservative, it feeds money into a whole host of ultra-conservative causes, including lay organizations such as Opus Dei. An agenda that is designed to take the Catholic Church back toward a pre-Vatican II outlook as well as catering to interests of wealthier individuals.

Tom Monaghan has a grand plan to transform our pluralistic society into one that holds everyone to one subjective form of "the truth"--even if you don't agree with that version. Because of both his wealth and his access to political power, he is a man worth watching.

The Catholic Right: A Series, by Frank Cocozzelli :  Part One  Part Two  Part Three   Part Four  Part Five  Part Six   Intermezzo   Part Eight   Part Nine

Notes
(i)  Deborah Birnby, "Domino's CEO Uses Company Funds to Finance Cult"The Tech, Volume 111, Number 18, April 9, 1991, Page 5; Link: http://www-tech.mit.edu/Issue/V111/N18/birnby.18o.html

(ii)  Hansen, Susan, "Our Lady of Discord," New York Times, July 30, 2006. Link: http://select.nytimes.com/search/restricted/article?res=F30916F63 95B0C738FDDAE0894DE404482




Display:
Mr. Monoghan is a model of hypocritical thinking. He lives in a country that gives him the freedom to worship God as he sees fit. Yet, this man selfishly wishes to transform our society where his norms and his values prevail over all others--including those of many patriotic, mainstream Catholic Americans who do understand and value America's cherished heritage of pluralism.

I cannot help but thinking that men such as Tom Monaghan who claim to be "conservatives," cannot see the inconsistency of wanting government to stay out of the affairs of business yet at the same time call upon it to control our personal values.

And if Mr. Monaghan does understand that inconsistency, that makes  him all the more dangerous to representative democracy.


by Frank Cocozzelli on Sun Sep 24, 2006 at 08:44:48 AM EST


Thanks again for another excellent installment in your series. Two things-interestingly enough, Tom Monaghan's wife Marge is Lutheran, and he hasn't convinced her to convert. The second was to ask you if you read Damon Linker's new book The Theocons. This book has a lot to say about Father Richard Neuhaus, George Weigel, and their attempts to influence the direction in the American political system.

by khughes1963 on Sun Sep 24, 2006 at 03:27:50 PM EST
Thank you.

I plan on reading The Theocons, but I first have to read Kristen Breitweister's book, Wake Up Call, as well as a book that I am profiled in, Stem Cell Wars.

As for Monaghan, wouldn't it be ironic if, while seeking to impose an ultra-orthodox Catholicism morality upon America, he couldn't get his wife to embrace it voluntarily?

by Frank Cocozzelli on Sun Sep 24, 2006 at 05:52:18 PM EST
Parent

I thought Kristen Breitweiser's book was good at detailing the stonewalling that she and the other 9/11 wives encountered. Kristen's letter to Ann Coulter is well worth reading, and Kristen did an excellent job of replying to Ann Coulter without descending to the meanness and shrillness that is Ann Coulter's stock in trade. I was dismayed to learn that the "Pro-Life" group in Dayton had Coulter as their guest for the Viva la Vita dinner. My parish advertised it in the bulletin. Some protestors showed up to remind Ann of her own words.

by khughes1963 on Sun Sep 24, 2006 at 06:21:11 PM EST
Parent
She is as vile as they come. I thought that Fred framed her version of Christianty perfectly.

Coulter gives us an important clue as to how some American Christians think: for them it is more of an identity, almost an ethnicity--not a faith.

What they don't get is that faith should (with a few notable exceptions such as Shintoism in World War Two and before in Japan)transcend nationality. And when it doesn't you wind up with an imperialist nation such as Japan as it was until its liberation in 1945.

by Frank Cocozzelli on Mon Sep 25, 2006 at 07:27:09 AM EST
Parent





Tom's motto would have to be "The Pizza-state, C'est Moi!"

by Bruce Wilson on Sat Sep 23, 2006 at 06:36:49 PM EST
...because his pizza sure doesn't taste Italian! Actually it has no ethnic taste at all; more like cardboard with marinara jar sauce and cheese on it.  


by Frank Cocozzelli on Sun Sep 24, 2006 at 02:55:49 PM EST
Parent


Thank you so much for sharing this post here. Actually I don't have an idea regarding this series. From this article I am able to understand its importance and so I want to see the complete series. Keep sharing such posts! medical billing companies india   

by chrisadams on Tue Mar 01, 2016 at 10:43:08 PM EST


WWW Talk To Action


Mike Pence and The Roots of the Right-Wing "Political Correctness" Conspiracy Theory
The term "Political Correctness" was hijacked by right-wing ideologues in the late 1980s to trivialize and disparage concern for basic human rights for people......
By Chip Berlet (4 comments)
Mike Pence in 2006 spearheaded a mean-spirited plan to deport all undocumented immigrants
Many of us know Indiana Governor Mike Pence as a nasty homophobe with a carefully-crafted respectable demeanor. But did you know that In 2006,......
By Chip Berlet (5 comments)
What's Past is Prologue: Dominionism is Still Rising
For a half century, a theocratic political movement has been rising in the U.S.  Like any large, successful movement in history, it has a......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
For Salon.com readers - On Donald Trump and William S. Lind
For readers clicking on the first link in Paul Rosenberg's Salon.com interview with Bruce Wilson, here is a link to my recent report (first......
By Bruce Wilson (2 comments)
Education For Everyone: In Defense Of `Government Schools'
Over the weekend, The New York Times ran a story about a trend among far-right conservatives in Kansas who call public schools "government schools."The......
By Rob Boston (6 comments)
Southern Churches and July 4th Celebrations
I have noticed a growing trend that is spreading like a prairie wild fire regarding July 4th.  Churches are  celebrating the holiday as never......
By wilkyjr (11 comments)
Bitten By A Tiger: Huckabee Must Pay For Unauthorized Use Of Song
Former Arkansas governor and Religious Right favorite Mike Huckabee has not been having a good year.Huckabee won the Iowa GOP caucus in 2008 and......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Trump Meets Man Who Inspired 2011 Terror Attack Deadlier Than Orlando Shooting
"It appears that the shooter was inspired by various extremist information that was disseminated over the internet" -- President Barack Obama, June 13, 2016,......
By Bruce Wilson (2 comments)
Terrorism as a "Marketing Method"
On the same day in 2011 during which he single-handedly blew up and shot to death 77 Norwegian citizens (mostly teenagers) and injured an......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Let's Can the Name Calling about Islam
President Obama rose to the occasion in the wake of the horror in Orlando. The president made clear in a speech on June 14th......
By Frank Cocozzelli (4 comments)
50 Shades of Patriarchal Grey
In what must be one of the worst public relations disasters in university history, wealthy donors to Baylor University recently took out a full......
By wilkyjr (3 comments)
Pious Proclamation Panned: Iowa's Governor Goes Around The Bend With Bible-Touting Document
Some elected officials have a bad habit of releasing official proclamations lauding the Bible, Christianity or religion generally.We at Americans United find these proclamations......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Unreasonable Argument: Sometimes What Everyone Knows Just Isn't So
Over the weekend, a group of atheists, humanists, agnostics and others held a "Reason Rally" in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.Thousands......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
Above The Law?: Ala. Chief Jurist Demands No Accountability
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is in legal hot water again and has no one to blame but himself - but, as usual, he......
By Rob Boston (9 comments)
Thomas More Was No Patron Of Religious Freedom
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is preparing to kick off its annual Fortnight for Freedom. This year the two weeks of......
By Frank Cocozzelli (1 comment)

History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (14 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (3 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (2 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (3 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (9 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (2 comments)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (3 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (8 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (2 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (13 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.