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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Of Buddha and American Flags

Last summer, some friends and I helped a young lady move her earthly belongings into a spiffy-looking Elkhorn Ranch Condo. It took a few heavy loads, but we had some wheelbarrows and a sturdy crew. As a symbol to celebrate the end of the job, the last item we hauled up her long walk was a stylish 300 lb. stone Buddha statue; which we placed with great care on her front porch, facing the pink western sky.

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The next week, as we passed through, she called and asked us to adjust ancient Buddha, as someone in the community had complained, claiming that the neighborhood covenant specifies that Buddha needed to be positioned into a less prominent place. So, we slid Buddha to a shadier spot in the quiet corner. However, that still didn’t satisfy the welcoming committee, who then decreed that Buddha should be banished to an interior room.

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This incident reminded me of last year’s much-publicized event, when representatives of Woodside’s Copper Ranch Homeowners’ association demanded that Robin Perfect remove the American flag, which she decorated her front porch with as a symbol of support for her son Sgt. Edward Nalder, who had been recently deployed to the war in Iraq.

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As with flags, traditionally, statues have been exempt from most homeowner association bylaws. However, in recent years these new small forms of government have become increasingly more powerful, so much so that some have been testing new waters and becoming pushier. As a solution, I propose that we craft a flag-holder so we may convert Buddha for a dual concept: That of an impervious statue and a world peace flag receptacle. Maybe then the newly-awakened homeowner association will capitulate, allowing the enlightened Buddha to return to outside elements and to continue sharing his good community message.

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