Re: CHRISTIAN COHOUSING III
From: Gorwydd (Gorwyddaol.com)
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 1997 22:20:34 -0500
Sorry, folks I need to rant some on this one.

Al More writes:

>It seems that I've ignited a small firestorm wrt the Christian cohousing
>issue.  Although I am new to the list, I have done some research and asked
>the question on Christian cohousing only when I found no information on the
>subject anywhere. There seems to be lots of information on Christian
>intentional communities, but nothing on Christian cohousing, specifically.
>The reason, it appears, is that  Christian cohousing is nonexistent  or
>underground.  You may be interested to know that there are many, many
>Christian neighborhoods throughout the country. Informal cohousing if you
>will.

There is an ongoing misuse of context here, or a missed understanding of word
choice.

Religions are special interest groups. They hold to specific codified beleif
systems  usually accompanied by a degree of regulation or enforcement of
behavior patterns.

Cohousing is also a special interest group, but in the oposite way. the CO on
cohousing is specifically intended to mean an openness, it literally means
"together". The only enforcement is apon CO-habitating, and seeks
"difference" to accomplish this.

Religious communities, for all the wonderful things they may become, are
still discriminatory if they actively restrict themselves to initiated
"memberships" of the same or even related religions. 

Cohousing, evolving out of communal living experiments combined with far
older notions about being a community, is about bringing different people
together to prove that they can cohabitate in spite of... rether because of
their differences... and overcome human shortcomings (at least in theory).

Religion and Cohousing simply cannot exist side by side. They negate each
other: inclusion + exclusion = 0. They two words just don't fit.

No one questions the rights of religious groups to form their own planned
communities, but they will never be cohousing communities as long as they say
no to anyone based upon "who" that person is. They need to stop using the
word "cohousing" simply because it is becomming trendy, and sounds cool, and
will "buy" members...... something that even cohousers need to be wary of.

Same goes for vegetarian cohousers. Same goes for specific economic levels
based on the prices of units (if the poor can't live there side by side with
the rich... and I happen to be a starving artist... it's discriminating). 
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*
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This makes cohousing to me a very complicated issue. Are there REALLY any
truly all-inclusive cohousing communities out there, or have all of them at
one time or another said no to someone for some reason or other that might
have sounded ligit... but was it really? How strong are we when it comes to
getting what we wish for or practicing what we preach? I've only been to
visit a few communities thus far, but most of them in some fashion or another
couldn't help looking me up and down and making their own decisions about me,
and were distrustful (even if just a wee bit) until they got to know me...
it's just human nature.

I imagine I could open up a can of worms with this one (free speech versus
censorship, good acceptible behaviors versus unnacceptable ones, etc) How far
does it go? How far will your community take it? I guess someone always has
to play the Devil's advocate and ask the questions people are likely to
ignore when they are too bussy spin-doctoring some heavy-on-the-idealist
cause or another in order to "sell" it for profit of one form or another in
our market economy/society.

doesn't mean we shouldn't keep trying... that is also human nature.

phew

-Allen Howell

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