Profile of Tom Monaghan, founder of the Domino’s Pizza chain, who is spending his fortune building a “Catholic town” in the Florida wilderness. [ABC News]


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  1. Jaysyn was banned for: says:

    This guys supports “Operation Rescue” a pro-life group who in turn quietly supports murderers who kill women’s health doctors.

    Domino’s can go to hell.

  2. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I wonder if there will be a Dominos in that town.

    Also, if he “owns” the town, can he make it that no stores in the town sell contraceptives?

  3. Steel_Pelican says:

    Note to self: the 5-5-5 deal supports fundamentalism.

    Note to self: Found competitive pizza chain to compete with fundamentalist nonsense. Introduce the 6-6-6 deal.

  4. Sudonum says:

    He doesn’t own Domino’s anymore.

    “In 1998, Monaghan sold Domino’s Pizza for an estimated $1 billion.”

  5. drjayphd says:

    @Steel_Pelican: I’ll take a dozen, whenever you actually launch.

  6. gibsonic says:

    not sure how he’s going to be able to keep the town catholic.

    seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

  7. dbeahn says:

    It’s not just a town, it’s also a University – the “hope” is that it will be the “Notre Dame” of the south.

    He’s not the only investor, either. The funny part is that this is just now “news”. The place has been in the works for a long time now.

    Oh, and while you’re all bashing Dominos, maybe you should read the first part of the article, which details:

    “In 1998, Monaghan sold Domino’s Pizza for an estimated $1 billion.”

    You’re all about 9 years too late on the bashing of Dominos.

  8. Steel_Pelican says:

    @gibsonic: These guys managed to pull it off: [] but I think they have more to offer than pizza money. More, but not much more.

  9. dbeahn says:

    @gibsonic: Not really. Private land, private school, etc. etc.

    Just like I can’t join Curve’s for Women because I’m not a chick.

  10. yg17 says:

    Never ordering Dominos again.

    Not that I would anyways, the last pizza I got from them was disgusting. But this seals the deal.

  11. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    What if there is a Catholic family, and they have a kid who starts practicing a different religion? Such as Wicca, or Jewdaism? (Not that they are one in the same…)

    Would the parents get fined? Would they get kicked out of town?

  12. Steel_Pelican says:

    @dbeahn: So every pizza I bought from Domino’s up until 1998 went to fund this monstrosity of backwardness. That takes care of the last 9 years of pizza expenditures, but I still feel guilty for the decade and a half of mozzarella-lust leading up to it.

    Isn’t Florida also the site of a Scientologist “community?” I think these guys should duke it out, Old Testament style- no survivors.

  13. CreativeLinks says:

    Sounds like the Domino’s in this town will be serving Kool Aid.

  14. Steel_Pelican says:

    @AlteredBeast: According to Deuteronomy 13:6-10, the kids should be put to death.

  15. bohemian says:

    I remember when all of this first started and Monahan was on an anti-reproductive rights tear in front of the press. I was at Lollapaloosa that summer. All the hippie and counter culture kids were stopping everyone and telling them why you should not buy dominos pizza (one of the big vendors there). It actually worked. About 75% of the people who wandered up to the dominos line left and went to the other food vendors upon being told about Dominos policies. At the end of the night there was a huge bonfire of dominos pizza boxes and people dancing around it.

    Oh, Alterbeast. I believe the standard reaction would be burning at the stake. At least according to our local fundamentalist catholic activists.

  16. gibsonic says:


    i love how people quote old testament law as something that is suppose to be carried out today.

  17. Steel_Pelican says:

    @gibsonic: I agree with you 100%. Whenever someone quotes anything from a millenia-old book as infallible guidance for today, I have to raise my eyebrows.

    Hence the Deuteronomy example.

  18. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    This whole story gives me images of a cross between a traditional, cookie cutter suburbia (ala Edward Scissorhands), and Juniper Creek from Big Love.

  19. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @CreativeLinks: OOOhhhh thats a good one, made me laugh out loud. thanks for the flash back.

  20. gibsonic says:


    i sincerely hope you are being willfully ignorant and obtuse as opposed to just being a blubbering idiot.

    how the hell did we get two religiously charged stories in the last two days. Is this a new tact to cause controversy to increase readership as opposed to actually finding and posting about like REAL consumer related stuff.

    Ok, so the ATM story was a consumerist story, but hardly new news…as is this story it would seem.

  21. Steel_Pelican says:

    I don’t think I’m being obtuse or ignorant, and I don’t appreciate the personal attack. I’m trying to point out the absurdity of building a town, complete with educational system and economy, based on the contents of a millenia-old book- or the way the contents of said book have been interpreted by a lineage of celibate, cloistered men.

    I feel that the intersection of religion and commerce is an important issue in 2007, and one that warrants discussion. As a part of the discussion of the intersection of religion and commerce, I think it’s worth pointing out some of the nonsense inherent in the religion in question. The Deuteronomy quote was in answer to a question of how to deal with religious dissent in Monaghan’s Catholic Utopia.

    So the question becomes, do Monaghan and co. get their community plans from a millenia-old book, or do they get them from somewhere else? If they get them from somewhere else, just how Christian is the community? If they get them from a millenia-old book- how are the rules relevant in 2007?

  22. raybury says:

    This is on Consumerist why? No one’s moving there at gunpoint, no child who grows up there will be forced to stay, and there don’t seem to be any actual laws against selling contraception, just a likelihood that the people who move in and invest will agree with many of the town founders’ strong beliefs.

  23. OKH says:

    No WAY! Catholic bashing??? Here??? Amazing how little people know about Catholic doctrine.

    (This is where you make pedophile jokes. Stop slacking and play by the script)

  24. gibsonic says:

    ok, so you are actually ignorant of what you are talking about. that helps clear things up.

    my point about your Deuteronomy quote is that old testament law is not binding for new testament believers.

    Christ replaced the law with his sacrifice.

    Any Christ following church does not have to live by the letter of the old Hebrew law.

    Read the new testament sometime and you will see what I’m talking about. Paul talks about this very clearly as does Jesus himself.

  25. Trai_Dep says:

    Much like Exxon/Mobile is a gas station that I avoid due to Exxon’s innate evil, regardless of a new corporate structure, Domino’s can die a flaming, sh*t-drowning death before they get a dime of mine for their cardboard/ketchup concoction they call pizza. Plus it’s a safe bet that many of those that Monaghan hired are still there.

    Sins of the father, to (cough) quote a biblical adage.

    Being that there ARE people here unfamiliar with Domino’s behind-the-scenes infamy; it’s perfectly appropriate to cover them on Consumerist. Imagine a Bill Gates article that doesn’t mention Microsoft. Couldn’t, could you? :D

  26. Trai_Dep says:

    @gibsonic: “old testament law is not binding for new testament believers”

    Almost all the fugly stuff that Conservative Xtians cram down everyone else’s throats – gays, women, despoiling the environment, murdering brown people for oil – is “supported” by stuff from the Old Testament. Ditto the anti-woman screeds (etc.) the Vatican tries to pumulgate.

    Christ says nothing in this regard – something that irks them to an nth degree, I’m sure. Must suck to be such a bad Christian.

    You’re being disingenuous. Or naive.

  27. dbeahn says:

    @Steel_Pelican: I see the concept of “Freedom of Religion” is something you believe is also outdated.

    Jesus said “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”

    Many people believe this is a fancy way of saying “live by the laws of man, but also follow the ways of God.”

    To break it down more for you: The town will run on the economics and educational system of 2007. The people that live there will have in common their beliefs and will worship together.

    Could you give us a current, relevant example where Catholic doctrine (which may be changed by the Pope to keep up with the changing world) would cause a legal problem? For example, the Catholics are pro-life and do not believe in abortion. While abortion is legal in the US, there’s not law that makes choosing to NOT have an abortion illegal. There’s no law that says every town in America MUST have an abortion clinic.

    I’m not Catholic myself, but I respect their right to live in a community where they won’t be discriminated again because of their beliefs. Your posts, incidentally, are an excellent example of how people that don’t know anything about the Catholic faith are happy to bash, stereotype and discriminate against them.

  28. OKH says:

    As are you. And full of rage. Sad.

  29. dbeahn says:

    @trai_dep: “Being that there ARE people here unfamiliar with Domino’s behind-the-scenes infamy; it’s perfectly appropriate to cover them on Consumerist. Imagine a Bill Gates article that doesn’t mention Microsoft. Couldn’t, could you? :D”

    The point is that this doesn’t have anything to do with Dominoes at all. Period. A guy that once owned Dominoes way back when is doing something totally unrelated that has no impact at all on consumers in any way, shape of form. Interesting? Yes. Newsworthy? Maybe, on a slow news day. Consumer news? Not remotely.

    “Almost all the fugly stuff that Conservative Xtians cram down everyone else’s throats – gays, women, despoiling the environment, murdering brown people for oil – is “supported” by stuff from the Old Testament. Ditto the anti-woman screeds (etc.) the Vatican tries to pumulgate.

    Christ says nothing in this regard – something that irks them to an nth degree, I’m sure. Must suck to be such a bad Christian.”

    Yes yes, and all Muslims are terrorists, all Jewish people are cheap, all atheists are psychotic thieves, all Hindus are pacifists. We get it. Now please take your bleeding heart liberal hatefest and choke to death on your Papa John’s Pizza :)

  30. OKH says:

    Wait – Consumerist posts something that’s sure to start a good ol round of Catholic bashing and deletes posts when it gets exactly what it wants? You got your hate, let people wallow in it.

  31. OKH says:

    Computer farted. Sorry Consumerist. Move along, nothing to see here.

  32. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @dbeahn: While I am neither a bleeding heart nor a liberal I dislike organized religion in general be it Catholic, Muslim Hindu whatever. Its just another reason for people to hate each other and force thier beliefs on you. There has been more violence done in the name of religion than anything else. So getting a bunch of super fundamentalists together in a tight knit community is something to worry about. Waco anyone? Or how about the whole Jim Jones party?

  33. dbeahn says:

    @Nemesis_Enforcer: I might be inclined to agree, but I missed the report that said these were super fundamentalists. There are Caatholic communities all over the United States, and they don’t seem to be causing any problems currently. Odds are there’s one in your city. Notre Dame (small little university in northern Indiana, maybe you’ve heard of it?) is also a Catholic center. They don’t seem to be causing any problems.

    The whole freedom of religion thing must be tough for you.

  34. humphrmi says:

    Monahan was an interesting fella when I worked in Domino’s management before he sold. He used to send his top performing managers free Hermes ties, because we should all dress for success, and he particularly liked that brand. One year, just after EPCOT Center had opened, he agreed to send every manager who increased sales by a certain percentage or greater to EPCOT for free. He wanted to show how we should be thinking about the future, not the past.

    I don’t agree with his pushy religious fervor, and wouldn’t even consider moving into this town. But I gotta give the guy credit, he is as good as any executive motivator I have ever met, and he has one thing that 98% of Americans lack: Vision. You may not like the vision he has, but at least he has one.

  35. Trai_Dep says:

    @dbeahn: The irony is that progressives generally believe the opposite of all the negative stereotypes you just listed. Conservative X-tians? They’re the ones urging war, disempowerment and discrimination (in Christ’s name, of course).

    Papa John’s?! You really don’t get it…

  36. Steel_Pelican says:

    @gibsonic: How do you pick and choose which parts of the Bible apply to you? When does it stop being the Word of God, and start to become an antiquated legal system? Are the 10 Commandments out the window, too? Genesis? Abraham & Isaac? Job?

    @dbeahn: I don’t recall making a legal argument, or a statement against freedom of religion. Although, I have to wonder what kind of freedom of religion would exist in Ave Maria. I also don’t remember “bashing” or “discriminating against” Catholics. Of course, you’re entitled to worship whatever deity you choose, and I have no problems there. I don’t think Catholics are any worse human beings than the rest of us. I’m not saying that Catholic dogma necessarily interferes with US law.

    I think you’re wrong to say I’m “bashing” Catholics. Of course they have a right to live in a community where they won’t be “discriminated against.” I don’t know how Catholics are “discriminated against” in America, but I’ll take your word for it that they are.

    I think it’s unfair of you to accuse me of “bashing” Catholics, when I haven’t done anything of the sort. My argument isn’t against Catholics, but against the utter backwardness of a project like Ave Maria. In today’s world, we should be working towards an environment of inclusion- not isolation. We should be pushing our faiths under the microscope of modernity, not sequestering ourselves into enclaves of homogeneity. I’d feel the same way if it was any other religion, Christian or not. Ditto for a town “by atheists, for atheists.”

    Secondly, don’t you think it’s eminently probable for a professor at the proposed university to lose his job for teaching evolution? Don’t you think it’s probable for a doctor to lose her job at the clinic for encouraging contraception? You say that the education system and economy will be modern, but if it’s an explicitly Catholic community- with Catholic schools, shops, and medical facilities, I can’t imagine incidents like the above not happening. And if discrimination is a worry- isn’t it exceedingly probable that non-Catholics will be discriminated against?

    I’m not saying that Monaghan should be legally restrained from building his Catholic dream town in Florida. What I’m saying is that the last thing America needs is more separatism.

    I think it’s nonsense, and a step backward for religion in America.

  37. OKH says:

    Butbutbut…in your rush to bash (it’s bashing) you forgot that evolution is part of church teaching. you also forgot that contraceptives that don’t interfere with fertility are OK within the confines of the marriage.

    so back to the drawing board…

  38. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @OKH: OK so you want us to belive what you say , however I have never heard of a church that teaches evolution unless they twist it somehow to include the umm theory of creationism. And uh isnt that the purpose of a contraceptive to interfere with fertility? Jackass. @dbeahn: And I don’t have a problem with freedom of religion its that everyone who says they are religious wants to cram it down my throat, and if you aren’t from said religion you are wrong and or going to hell or whatever . Freedom of religion means freedom from religion as well. Stop pushing your beliefs on me and I will stop pointing out the inherent idiocy and total BS of most religions.

  39. dbeahn says:

    @Nemesis_Enforcer: “I don’t have a problem with freedom of religion its that everyone who says they are religious wants to cram it down my throat”

    If what you say here is true, then why do you have such an obvious issue with people that want to have a small town, to themselves? It’s not like they’re saying they’re going to be founding “outreach” centers in some major cities. That’s the problem – they want to have their own place, which isn’t forcing anything on you, and still you’re attacking them.

    Freedom of Religion means that YOU can ignore people trying to force their religion on you, or tell them to go away. It also means that (theoretically) someone like yourself should be intelligent enough to not force your religion (atheist in your case?) down the throat of people that aren’t out to convert anyone.

  40. dbeahn says:

    @Steel_Pelican: “I also don’t remember “bashing” or “discriminating against” Catholics.” Really? “According to Deuteronomy 13:6-10, the kids should be put to death.”. Personally, if someone insinuated that people of my religion were capable of, and encouraged, the killing of children, I’d feel a bit bashed and discriminated against. Especially if it wasn’t true.

    The legal example went back to your question of how religion + commerce worked in 2007. As long as no laws are broken, they can live however they want. If the law allows something they don’t agree with, but there’s no law that requires whatever it is, then they’re free to ignore that option.

    “Secondly, don’t you think it’s eminently probable for a professor at the proposed university to lose his job for teaching evolution? Don’t you think it’s probable for a doctor to lose her job at the clinic for encouraging contraception?”

    Doubtful on the first – the Catholics teach evolution at Notre Dame, after all. Let’s take a look at the second example. Let’s say that Catholics still say all contraception is wrong. Why SHOULDN’T a Catholic family have the choice to go to a Catholic doctor that will respect their faith and not shove contraception down their throats? I’d imagine for someone that believes contraception is wrong, it’s just as annoying to have it offered time and again to them as it is annoying for me that Jehova’s Witnesses think it’s fun to knock on my door once a week. All that aside, I think that the Catholic Church is OK with contraception inside marriage.

    I don’t understand why, without any knowledge of the faith or the project, you immediately assume it’s backwards. How is that any different than making an assumption based on a person’s gender or skin color? Notre Dame was once exactly this kind of project, funded by the Catholic Church, and if you look at some of the people that graduated from Notre Dame, I think you’ll be amazed at the advances they’ve made in a lot of fields of study.

    Based on some of your other “concerns”, I’d say you need to go look at a map. This isn’t going to be a small town out in the middle of nowhere, hours from anywhere else. It’s 10 minutes from Naples, FL. and 20 muinutes from Fort Myers, FL. It’s not like the people are going to be forced to move there against their will, or will be forced to stay there all the time. No one is hiding what the concept is, or trying to trick anyone into moving out there. The teachers still have to teach what is required by State law, etc. etc.

  41. OKH says:

    @Nemesis_Enforcer: and I’ve never heard of you. Does that mean you don’t exist? Catholics are free to believe however they please, as on many issues, but the official position of the Roman Catholic Church is that evolution is the best explanation for how we ended up here.

    Like I said, back to the drawing board.

  42. Steel_Pelican says:

    “Personally, if someone insinuated that people of my religion were capable of, and encouraged, the killing of children, I’d feel a bit bashed and discriminated against. Especially if it wasn’t true.”

    The person who’s insinuating that Christians are not only capable of it, but religiously obligated to do it, is Moses, who supposedly dictated Deuteronomy. If you have a problem with those sorts of laws, your problem isn’t with me, it’s with the Bible.

    “The legal example…”

    I’ve never tried to make a legal argument here. I don’t think that religion and law have any business together- if we look at Deuteronomy again, we see that looking to Scripture for modern law is ludicrous.

    Evolution and contraception:
    In 1950, Pope Pius XII defined the Church’s position on evolution [] He outlined that the teaching of evolution is acceptable, as long as it is given equal time with the Catholic creation story- and under the condition that the teacher accepts the Church as the final authority in such matters. If the Church’s doctrine is written into the university’s charter, professors lose their academic freedom, and do a great disservice to science.

    The Catholic Cathechism has this to say about contraception: []
    “The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).”
    Emphasis mine. Pope John Paul II referred to contraception as “an evil” and “morally unlawful” []

    Yes, Catholics have a right to go to a medical facility that understands their religious obligations. However, a business owner doesn’t have a right to fire someone for violating their religious principles. In a community built from the ground up around Catholic doctrine, I can see this sort of activity more probable than in a community that was not designed from the ground up as a religious commune.

    “I don’t understand why, without any knowledge of the faith or the project, you immediately assume it’s backwards.”

    I think my knowledge of the faith is pretty solid. And even if this wasn’t specific to Catholicism- I would think that founding any community based on a specific religion is a step backwards. As I’ve said, America needs to move towards integration- not separation.

    “How is that any different than making an assumption based on a person’s gender or skin color”

    It’s leagues apart. Gender and skin color are not matters of choice or philosophy, and do not carry with them inherent judgments about the world. Making critiques about Catholic doctrine is the same as making critiques about existentialism, capitalism, or the Republican party. The only assumption that I make about Catholics is that they follow Catholic doctrine in some capacity. Just like I assume that a Democrat follows most of the ideals of the Democratic party.

    This example might help you to understand my concerns: If Tom Cruise decided to build an exclusively Scientologist community in Texas, with it’s own school and economy, wouldn’t it raise your eyebrows? Would you have some questions about how non-Scientologists would be treated within it’s borders? What if it was an exclusively Satanist community? You’d concede their legal right to religion and assembly, but wouldn’t you have some concerns about equality and motive? What about an exclusively atheist community?

    Notre Dame is an example of how a project like this can work. But it’s important to remember that ND was founded by the Catholic Church, not a private investor. And ND is just a college campus, not an entire community.

  43. dbeahn says:

    @Steel_Pelican: Most of your question revolve around not having any information about the project itself. Likely because the news story doesn’t cover the project, just one high profile investor in it.

    I happen to live in the area this is being built. It’s got broad support from many investors and obviously without the support of the Catholic Church, they couldn’t call it a Catholic University, and they couldn’t build a Catholic church.

    This town also doesn’t have “it’s own economy”. No way could it in this day and age. But like any business, anyone that works there will want to respect the customers they have. Is it racist to open a clothing store that specializes in urban and hip-hop fashions in a black community? Would the owner of that store fire a person working there that pushed dockers and polo to the customers? Same sort of thing – businesses cater to it’s customers. In this case, you just have a broad base of customers who share similar beliefs. If you want to work there, you’d better be prepared to respect that. I’m MUCH more concerned in this part of Florida when someone opens a business that requires it’s employees to speak Spanish. That seems more discriminatory to me, but the truth is that if you open a business that caters to illegal and legal immigrants, then you need people that speak the language they speak. Same sort of thing here – people will need to “speak Catholic”. If someone living there needs/wants services they can’t get there, then it’s a 10 or 20 minute drive to get to somewhere they can get those services.

    There are already Catholic neighborhoods similar in layout to your typical “golf and country club” developments all over the US, and in this area. The new “Dominos Catholic College and Town” is going to be 5000 acres instead of 1000. I still don’t see it as a problem. Now, if they take over a State, or build a city the size of Tampa or Orlando and start controlling access to it, then sure, there might be an issue. But this project is wide open, everyone is welcome to visit and patronize it’s businesses, attend the school, etc etc.

    I’d be concerned about the Scientology compound for sure, but only if I lived close by – I don’t want to get caught in the fall out when Xenu sends the space armada to bomb it! ;)

  44. Steel_Pelican says:

    @dbeahn: I agree that it’s a business’s prerogative to serve their customer base, and to require their employees to understand and serve that customer base.

    However, when we’re talking about medical institutions and medical suppliers, that sort of laissez fair attitude just doesn’t apply. Asking a medical professional (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, councilor) to restrict their advice (under penalty of termination) is in conflict with the ethics of the medical field.

    I’m sure the town will be ostensibly “wide open” but the very nature of a town “by Catholics, for Catholics” is discriminatory. In Florida or anywhere else, whether or not it’s yet unbuilt, or has been there for 200 years.

    What’s the reasoning behind the exclusivity? Are non-Catholics just too sinful to mingle with Catholics? Or are Catholics worried that living next to a Protestant could infect their children with paganism? These are extreme examples, but there must be some reason why Monaghan decided that Catholic Floridians need a separate community all to themselves. It’s probably not an issue of geography, they are no nearer to the Vatican, and I’d think that prayer reception is just as good in Nome Alaska as it is in Florida. So if it’s not location, it must be people. Who are the residents of Ave Maria moving away from? Maybe potential Ave Maria residents just want to be near other Catholics. That means that being around Catholics is preferable to being around non-Catholics. What’s wrong with non-Catholics?

    I don’t expect you to answer this, of course, but these are the things that bother me- and saying “it already exists elsewhere” doesn’t make me comfortable with a religion becoming institutionalized in a town’s economy (if people can work and shop within the town, it has an economy), medical infrastructure, and educational system.

    Isolation doesn’t breed tolerance. Any town like this creates a relationship of outsiders vs. insiders, and that is inherently adversarial. True, this is a small community, compared to larger areas like Tampa or Orlando. But the attitude that makes someone carve out a section of geography just for a specific group of people is dangerous. If Monaghan could afford it, I think he would have built an entire city.

    If, as a society, we encourage this kind of thinking, and this kind of activity, we open the doors for someone with more $$ and more land to build an entire city- just for Baptists, or Methodists, or Jews, or Satanists, or Hindus, or Presbyterians, or Wiccans… It’s important for America (and the world) to stop dividing itself based on religious differences.

  45. ElizabethD says:

    Jeez, if someone wants to live in a Catholic community, they should just move to Rhode Island! The Biggest Little State is chock-full of us. (Something like 65% of total population is R.C.)

  46. mammalpants says:

    i guess this explains why they didnt do 3 pizzas for 6.66.

  47. Trai_Dep says:

    So when can I order a Domino’s Pizza w/ placenta sauce instead of yukky tomato? (Lil’ Baby Jesus crys when bits o’ fetus are wasted)