Condo Owners Miffed By Removal Of Virgin Mary Statue

ROBINSON TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — The Vasko home is full of religious icons. Some of them have seasonal significance and some don’t, but all of them are inside the home for now.

“I had a Blessed Mother statue sitting out here,” Steven Vasko said.

He placed the statue just below the window of his family’s Robinson Township condominium.

“Yeah it was taken,” Vasko said. “The association – they stole it.”

He’s kind of right. The homeowners association did have someone remove the 150-pound cement statue from the spot.

The association says its common ground. No one is allowed to have anything on common ground so the statue had to go.

To get the statue back, Vasko will have to open his wallet.

“I have to pay a fine,” he said. “Would that be extortion or kidnapping? You tell me, I don’t know.”

Papers from the homeowners association indicate the Vaskos were fined for every month they violated policy by having the statue outside illegally. That fine is now more than $4,000.

There’s more. Because they haven’t paid the fine, the homeowners association is holding the statue and has just taken away the couple’s rights for them to park on the property.

“This is religious persecution. This is discrimination. Is it a losing battle to hold your ground? No.

“If you are, then we might as well all quit as Americans and say, ‘Have a nice day, bye.’”

Looks like the homeowners association plans on standing its ground. So do the Vaskos, they say, for the Virgin Mary.

“I made a promise to the Blessed Mother and I’m keeping it,” Vasko said. “And this is about her. This isn’t about me.”

The dispute will most likely end up in court.

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  • Amie

    I agree rules are rules.
    I am NOT a chrsitian and I am offended by religious persecution of ANY kind.
    However I wonder if this guy would be as open minded about someone putting a statue of Buddha up, or a very small mosque etc?

    • Midge Masters

      It’s a typo you mental deficient. People that point out typos are small minded degenerates that have no real information and contribute nothing.

      Living in a condo is the last place you’ll ever have any freedom. These places are always full of power tripping, ego maniacs that are control freaks. Sell your condo and move somewhere far away from these low grade morons.


      Boy, are you that backwards or what? Are you trying to dole out “equal” religious IN-tolerance from Christians to justify this atttack on the Madonna? “Promote Islam or you’re fair game?” It’s not about an attitude of intolerance but an act of seizure of an article of practice….. The Middle East, as the seat of Islam, treats religious minorities horrifically…Christianity has for the most part developed alongside individual freedom of expression for seevral reasons (yes, here come the little patter of rats feet…Crusades and Ireland). Islam always preaches tolerance, until the conquest, Rushdie! And I know, btw, many Catholic Buddhists (inc. a Priest)

      • Fred Ogle

        It’s not the Madonna. It’s a representation.

      • truthyou

        This is not about religion. It is about someone wanting to have rights to trample on others. A common area is not the place to store your personal property, whatever it may be.

      • David Powell

        Agreed. One has to stick with the issue and not they hypothetical.

    • Jack D Howard

      You ask, What IS a Christian? Was it Oscar Wilde who answered you? “I have no difficulty with someone who is Christian. But there’s only been One.”

      • Thomas Austin

        You do know that Oscar Wilde was a self absorbed sexual and moral degenerate, don’t you? Not the kind of person you would approach for a true comment on what or who is a Christian.

        And the get it straight, Jesus was a Jew. His followers are Christians.

      • yarply


    • Jack D Howard

      Why is it that people who say Nazi, Nazi, Nazi are usually thought police, but have no original thought? They loathe free speech. Why is that? I suspect, because they have no sense of history, outside their own ignorant sense of self. They love to listen to the sound of their meaningless voice, as though it is music…instead, they are easy prey to the new label, which sets them apart from all the errors of the apst…they are they think and tell themselves….enlightened, and only ask that others should follow them. It’s an honor to be called the worst things from such people, since they are so wholly wrong about virtually every thing. It is a badge of honor to be hated by those who have no knowledge of love.

    • Tom Menino

      Castellanos goes Derp, Derp, Derp.

    • Dutch Van Alstin

      I bet he wouldn’t care. Intolerance comes from those who quash religious expression. You have a prejudicial and closed-minded view of people of faith. And by the way…..I haven’t been to church in 25 years. Agnostic!

      • joev

        As much as I condemn suppression of free expression of all kinds I must side with the Home Owners Association here. The statue was not even on the mans own property and the Assoc rules clearly state what he did was wrong. Not because it was a religious statue but because it was on common area, where no one may place statues or anything else.

        Let him place it on his own property or if he is unhappy with the rules of the Assoc then he should move.. All homeowners are given a book of all the rules of the assoc, when they move in.

      • Shawn P

        Home Owners Associations are out of control; and quite frankly I think could easily be challenged in a court of law.

        Just because a group of individuals banded together to form an HOA, and enforce their own pet peeves and desires over the rest of the population, does not make them legit, nor I question even legal.

        The day you pay my mortgage, is the day you can tell me what kind of flowers I can plant on my property.

      • Mari D

        I agree… Homeowners Association’s are out of control. Unfortunately if you live in a property that is governed by a Homeowners’ Association, they can and will tell you what to do regardless if you pay your mortgage.

    • Bad Santa

      A christian is a person who eats lots of apple pie with ice cream. Rudolph told me this when I was walking him.

      • Buck Ofama

        >A christian is a person who eats lots of apple pie with ice cream. Rudolph told me this when I was walking him.

        Did your reindeer god tell you this before or after you licked up his sh|t from the ground?

    • Benny Lauden

      I didn’t take it.

    • Reuben

      There is a difference between a statue of the Virgin Mary and a Mosque, and a big difference between Christians and Moslems. The statue is not a place where people go to pray, if he were to put up a Church, I can see that its a problem. Now as for the moslems, when is the last time a Christian suicide bomber blew up a bus? or a plane? Yeah, I cant remember it either. Islam is a relegion of peaces, a real blast. Dont forget that the Christian God died for his people, and the moslem god asks his people to kill for him. And dont go cry about the Crusaides, the Christians didnt invade, the went to liberate the Holy city from the religion of the sword, which had captured it. Educate yourself before you speak please.

      • JRHowosso

        Have you forgotten about the crusades????

      • Rob

        The crusades happened some 800 years ago but Islam continues persecuting Christians today, big difference.

        I love the Virgin Mary Statue but if this man agreed to the rules when he originally signed the lease or ownership papers then he should obey the contract. Some Home ownership groups are too strict and act like they paid for the property. This H.O should have confinscated the statue before it allowed them to incur a $4000 fine.

      • Jack

        Thank you Reuben for telling the truth. The general public’s view of the Crusades is so different from the actual history. Yes, some crusader activities went way to far and atrocities did happen, but the crusaders didn’t start the conflicts. The Byzantine Empire was ruthlessly invaded repeatedly by Islamic forces. Only after decades of trying to avoid war did the Catholics come to to the aide of Orthodox Christians in Asia Minor and the Holy Land.

        The reality is that 9/11 was hardly a unique event. It has been happening for over 1000 years.

        Of course, this has nothing to do with the actual news story above…

      • Nadadhimmi

        Islam built their mosques over the remains of pre-existing Christian Churches and Jewish Tenples that were conquered and destroyed by moslem murderers. Then, when Christians and Jews protest that fact, they are branded as intolerant by the very perpetrators and their western dhimmi’s.. The Jews were there first, the Christians second and the moslems last. The moslem cult teaches death to ALL non moslems unless they convert or pay tribute and live as 2nd class humans. Anyone that denies that simple chronological fact is an idiot or dhimmi. Case closed

    • Tim Baker

      I am a Christian and I am offended by ignorance and an inability for patience. Education may be difficult for you, however, remember how small you are in the grand scheme of things. For the sake of Christ and yourself and others around you – try to learn. God Bless you.,

      • 1972Patriot

        Offended by ignorance and inability for patience ? ? ? These homeowners are breaking the rules that they have agreed to. They aided and abetted in their so called kidnapping of the Virgin Mary.

      • Remnant

        I am a Christian and I am offended by this man’s ignorance in wanting to worship an image. His energy should be used in finding out what the Scriptures teach about pagan image worship and the Mary.

      • abbey

        Remnant: You are WAY off base. These people are NOT worshipping a statue. If that were true, then even a cross would become a pagan image. And that just is not the case. Think ‘representation’.

      • PabloKoh

        A contract the homeowners signed would have stipulated the agreed to rules of the property held in common. They have broken their contract and their obligation to the association they belong to. The condo association needs to go to this family’s pastor and have the pastor explain the situation to them.

      • Myrtle Bobby

        Don’t live in an HOA if you can’t obey the rules. If there was an 11th Commandment, it should be: “Thou shalt honor the covenants, conditions and restrictions.” I have no pity on these people. Common ground does not belong to them.

      • Jon Weiss

        Myrtle Bobby,
        Are you sure that the “common ground” does not belong to them? From the photo in the article, it would appear that the statue is affixed to or at least leaning against a wall, probably (I do not know for sure) the outside of the Vasko Condo. Before you make such a judgment, you may want to review the text of the agreement Vasko signed to live there, if the entire structure is considered the residence, then the outside wall is not common ground, but is rather, Vaskos property, based on the slip-shod actions of the HOA of denying parking (an action unrelated to the placement of the statue) I would hold the actions of the HOA “suspect” based on their past performance. As the article states the issue may end up in court, if it does, the outcome should be very interesting, providing that the court does not go “Kelo” on them.

        For those not versed in the Kelo decision the courts in that case held that the city had the right to seized private property and sell it off to commerical interests in order to make a fast buck, leaving the person wio owned the property with nothing. Unfortuately, New London CT, where the case occurred, stuck its tax payers with a “pig in a poke” since the commercial interests who were going to buy the property went under leaving the city with a now useless property that the city is required by its own laws to pay the upkeep.

        There is a God and I do love poetic justice. New London getting the shaft in the Kelo case, is proof.

      • Wake Up

        Tim, if rules are rules, then what about the most important set of rules – the US Constitution?

        Remember these words “the free excersize of religion may not be infringed”

      • Uddercha0s

        @remnant You venerate statues & icons, you do not worship them. Huge difference.

      • Tom G

        @Remnant- It is honor, not worship. That you are taught different should make you question your teacher. One of the commandments says: “Honor your father and your Mother.” Jesus obeys (present tense) all of the commandments. He doesn’t mind that His mother is honored, He does it in heaven also. Since He is our brother, she is our mother also. See Rev 12:13&17 “woman who brought forth the male child” and “the rest of her offspring, those who keep the commandments and hold fast to the testamony of God.” We are commanded to honor her, our mother.
        Consider also at the cross, Jesus said to the beloved disciple (that’s you and I): “There is your mother.” Perhaps you should consider if you, a beloved disciple, should ask, “Is it I Lord” when sitting at the table.

      • Ghost

        There is a right way and a wrong way to do anything, if the COA had a ligitimate problom with the statue they should have given the owners of the statue a deadline to remove it, then if the statue was there after the deadline, they should have acted thru the courts, not remover the statue themselves. Being an officer of a COA is not the same as being an officer of the courts or an officer of the law, and does not grant one the authority to do as you please with the property of others.

      • den

        I think they did plus the fines too.

    • Clyde

      Property rights and unequivocal land ownership were among the rudimentary building-blocks of this republic.

      These concepts have been eroded by the overuse and cavalier application of eminent domain, through draconian and excessive property taxes on the part of insanely corrupt ruling-class-minded bureaucratic crooks, and through purchasable units on “common ground.”

      Yeah, that’s some “ownership” we got going here.

      I think, collectively, we’ve done been had.

      • Robbob

        What the flap are you talking about. This is a condomenium association not a town. When you buy a condo, you are NOT buying any land. You are buying a volume of space inside a structure that you do not own either. This familiy was occujpying property they had no ownership interest in.

      • Mac

        “This familiy was occujpying property they had no ownership interest in.” Sorry, there you are wrong. When you own a condo, you own a fractional interest in the common elements. Otherwise you would be unable to cross the parking lot to get to your “airspace” without trespassing. Were these elements general common elements, it means everyone get to use them, limited, only certain people. But the property owners own a piece of the place where they had the statue.
        I don’t know if they are being persecuted or not, but I do know the COA had only a marginal claim in taking something which they do not own on property the condo owners have a fractional legal interest in. The COA is going to lose this case.

      • Dano

        Kuddo’s. God Bless you, you are a true patriot and could not have said it any better.

      • mahone

        Clyde, I’m not disagreeing with you; however, when the federal government changes the rules of property ownership, i.e., the recent eminent domain changes to allow governments to seize private property and pass it to other private citizens, it puts a whole new slant on things. Law is not inviolate to the Federal government, so why should it be to the gentleman with the dispute with his home owner’s association?

      • dadoodoodoo

        They should have just said that the statue represents the “99%”, and everybody would have backed off.

      • den

        Mac you are talking about an easements(walking up to your condo) you cannot be prosecuted for using your easement.
        The condo association are correct so long as the contract is accurate.

    • Z22

      Times are interesting for sure.

    • Steve Vasko

      Nope, please I would want people to view there points., Its America freedoms is what we are suppose to be about.

      • Steve Vasko

        Scott, Since the case was heard before and Common Plea Court and dismissed w/ prejudiced given those results and not appealed by The BOD we figured it was a done deal. I actually never knew once a Judge makes a ruling and that’s it. Well guess not the harassment continued. Im still wondering were the 4000K come from when the fine after the Judgement was only 300+ dollars than in a few months went to 4K. When asked no answer was given. Maximum fines is 150 by-laws. And when a Judgement is dismissed don’t we have a double jeopardy laws. I’m reading all these about the regs being violated and we are just ignorant to the rules _. okay well we will find out one way or another.

      • Scott Fawley

        Has anyone set up a fund to help you pay for court costs and the fines? If so, let me know where to send some money, please.

    • omstrat

      I bet if someone left a small mosque there no one would DARE touch it. Cowards like you love to mock Christians but you’d soil yourself if you offended Islam

      • Albert MacMeda

        While I get & agree with your point (people defend excesses by moslems and overly persecute Christians) you’re comparing apples with oranges. Of course, if a moslem put up a statue of Mohammed someone would declare a fatawa on him or her so, of course, that’s not going to happen.

      • UraDumbArse

        “Christians” who are as ignorant as you have murdered countless millions of people over the years, based on -made up- -self-serving- “prophecy”.

        You could join the modern world and denounce the mind-control techniques infliicted on you using “stories” from bronze age mythology,

        Or go ahead and “worship” Zeus. It makes as just much sense – to a thinking person who has not been brainwashed and indoctinated since birth.

        Sincertely, UraMoron.

    • Ken Bowser

      Liberals accuse folks of being Nazis. I find that stunningly ignorant since Nazism is a far LEFT form of government

      • chet huntly

        When did moving a statue become news? Who cares?

    • Gilda Vasko

      There is a statue of Buddha up in our neighborhood. We have no problem with it.

      • freevirginmary

        Look out for the “Free Mary” on my patio doors. I’m rooting for you Gilda, so is Buddha! Just rub his belly for good luck! And you know who, can rub his a$$!

      • JPeach

        Once the association allows a statue of Buddha, it allows all other statues. It has by fiat stricken that rule down.

      • Robbob

        Are you a Vasko in the story? Is that house part of your association or just in your neighborhood?? If in the assiociation is the Buddah part of the exclusive use area of the owner? Some condo assotiations are a mix of stand alsone fee simple property and multiunit buildings with fee simple airspace units. JPeach, quit making assumptions.

    • Santa Dude

      Rudolph just pooped on the rug again!!!

    • Robbob

      You all are backwards. This is solely an issue of someone violating the rules of the conominium association. In a condo, you only own from the inside paint inwards. You do not own or have occupation rights to the grounds outside except parking spots. This has nothing to do with religious percecution. This would be no different than if this familiy owning a standalone home and putting their statue on their neighbors property. That neighbor can have it removed at any time. And the strawman postulate is so yesterday. “If they are against a Christian theme, they MUST be for a theme from a different religion”. This is evidence of a very simple mind.

      • Albert MacMeda

        It is true they should have obeyed the rules as they worked to make them more reasonable. But every day you read about how ridiculous homeowners’ associations are and yes, often because some atheist gets into a position of power and makes trouble for everyone. We don’t know enough about this story to know how much that is also true here. Or maybe not. Don’t know enough to say.

      • Albert MacMeda

        Oh and you’re dead wrong about “only owning from the inside paint inwards”. You still own as usual, but you’ve agreed to certain restrictions that apply only to all those who’ve joined the same homeowner’s association as you. That’s why I would never, ever join one. Too many idiots like the ones running this one.

      • Much Ado About Nuttin

        Robbob you are right on.

        I can tell you that after years in real estate I am sick and tired of people who enter into contracts (whether for a mortgage or an HOA agreement) then “cry wolf” when it becomes inconvenient for them. IMHO they either a)knew what they were getting into, or b)should have known. As adults it’s all of our responsibilities to understand what we’re committing to when we enter into a contract… and if we don’t either find someone who can explain it or cancel the deal.

        To those who see this as a religious freedom issue I say there are plenty of actual cases of religious intolerance in this country (against Christians and others) that are more worthy of your attention.

        Now to watch some football.

    • John Scott

      shishhhhhhhhhh I thought is was seperation of shirts and skates… good thing!!!

    • John Scott

      shishhhhhh at first when I read this it was about Jesus but now I think it is about…uhhhh I don’t really know!!! may be about American rights to freedom… or could it be about GUN rights… or just could be about a stupid thing that is about nothing… YEP!!! Wake up America, there are a lit more things to worry about..

    • Albert MacMeda

      A statue of Buddha, no problem. But this guy didn’t build a small church, so what are you talking about a mosque for? Sounds like the association rules are ridiculous but didn’t the guy know them when he chose to move there? And $4K in fines, that’s just ridiculous.

    • dbeall

      Entering someone’s property and removing something without permission is theft.

      • Dave

        But, entering upon property owned by the homeowner’s association and members collectively is not. Especially when the agreed upon bylaws of the community (which the people agreed to when they bought or leased the condominium) state that NOTHING shall be placed in the common areas (which is everything outside of their living quarters) and grants them the right to remove/confiscate after repeated warning and citation.

    • Warrior

      HOA are Communist manifestations of equal distribution of assets. If these people own their Condominium, they have no responsibility to protect the value of their neighbors home; just their own. HOAs are breeding grounds for the “Little Ole Lady Busy Body Mentality”. Covenants should be tested in court and ruled Unconstitutional–they destroy the “Bundle of Rights” normally associated with property ownership.

    • Jon Weiss

      I too am a Christian, I am also a soldier sworn to uphold the Constitution, as a result I have studied the Constitution and its creators and their thoughts in other writings. Above all else these men craved liberty, not oppressive rule. If people want to put up a Buddha, a Mosque, or a Nativity, as long as it is on their own property that is a Constitutional right.

      Even though the statue in question was placed on Common ground, simple courtesy demands that Vasko be asked to move it to his own property before they confiscate it. The Homeowners Association was out of line. This case like several others recently in the news, religious items , flags, banners, being ruled by HOAs’ as “In violation” is merely a case of people in a position of power (The HOA) running amuck. In the story it states …

      … “the homeowners association is holding the statue and has just taken away the couple’s rights for them to park on the property.”…

      So, exactly what does a statue placed under a person window in violation of policy or not, have to do with the right to park your car? The HOA cannot make a decent case for their position so they look to other quarters to press their point through pressure, by restricting other rights, what is next? If Vasko does not pay the fine are they going to cut off his lights and water, simply to prove their point?

      In several of the other cases the rules were ambiguous at best until the HOA’s decided to rewrite them, on the fly, to suit their own desires.

      This story is merely one more example of why we should never live in a community controlled by a draconian HOA, or allow any other group to exert such power without a challenge.

      • Jato

        As far as I’m concerned, a HOA is just another form of gov’t and legalized tyranny. As a nation, we need to get gov’t out of our lives no matter which form it takes: Federal, State, Local & Home Owner Associations! For those who believe that a HOA is NOT a form of gov’t, I offer this definition: government is control exercised over the actions of the members, the citizens, or the inhabitants of a community.

      • Just the facts

        I disagree respectfully. It has been found that the Mosques are being used as terrorist contact points and need to be disallowed in this country. They are a huge national security risk.

        Why do we continue to allow Mosques to infiltrate our country while we cannot build churches in Saudi Arabia where they money is comming from for this infiltration of Islam.

        Anyone who reads the Koran can see that it is a religion of conquest and hate towards anything not Islam. How can this religion be tolerated by any human with an ounce of common sense?

    • Dr. Rich

      Amie what is it about you that thinks the obviously devout Catholic would be
      intolerant of other faiths? You comment says more about your orientation of projecting you intolerances upon others without justification. Perhaps you might want to think how you interact with people.

      • Ann

        having them take down the display is one thing —but to fine them is just a way to make money—HMO”S are just a money slush fund —and a way to keep control over others—

    • Jawal

      The Condo association is right. A symbol on the door or door frame would not be removed. The outside of the Building is not common space; condo insurance regs reflect this reality. Common space needs to be neutral and it is not persecution to remove it.

    • Ray

      When i was a child I was better Christian, and I would scoff when the Pastor would tell us that someday Christians would be hunted and harmed. That to be a christian would be regarded as a criminal act, and the world would turn against Christianity. The Pastor said it was foretold in the Bible, a prophecy in fact. How could such a thing be possible I wondered? Christians mean no one harm to anyone. Why would anyone jail or hurt a Christian ?
      Yet here we are, the Prophecy is coming to bear, and while I am nowhere near as close to Christ as I was as a child, I can not tolerate the persecution of my brethren, and I am mean enough now to mean that.

      • UraMoron

        “Christians” who are as ignorant as you have murdered countless millions of people over the years, based on -made up- -self-serving- “prophecy”.

        You could join the modern world and denounce the mind-control techniques infliicted on you using “stories” from bronze age mythology,

        Or go ahead and “worship” Zeus. It makes as just much sense – to a thinking person who has not been brainwashed and indoctinated since birth.

        Sincertely, UraMoron.

      • Who is John Galt

        @u r a moron. Please do tell what millions of people have been murdered in the name of Christianity. Hint: You can’t, just another left wing lie repeated often enough that gullible fools like you think it’s the truth. Hundreds of millions HAVE been murdered in the name of atheism, Mao, Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot…the list goes on…..Not to mention those unborn babies murdered by the millions by your evil ilk.

    • Ann

      They do have Buddha’s all over the place, people use them in gardens and in the front yards near water falls, Hindi’s have the cow as sacred, and no one but now one would ever tell them that they have to take it down OR KILL A COW, I have never ever heard of anyone having to take down a Buddha ever!!! having a small prayer house in someones yard is fine—sorry,Muslims pray out side on rugs — Mosque are just meeting places to here the Imam , SO YES THIS DISCRIMINATION IN AMERICA — IT’S CHRISTIAN BASHING — AMERICA HAS JOINED IN — THIS IS NOT THE WAY OUR COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED — SORRY!!!

    • Will

      The statue was erected on “common” ground which is ground not owned or rented by Vasko therefore he has no legal right to use it in violation of homeowner association rules, particularly for his own purpose.
      As a renter, Vasko is obliged to follow the rules of his landlord or purchase his own property where he can do as he pleases.

    • jimbo

      Go back to the middle east and the stone ages.

    • T-Texas

      I am Christian and believe you haven’t saw anything yet.If I don’t like a object,icon or whatever I don’t look at it.Something like this should be up to the individual and not to some home owners association.The property belongs to me and tax people.

    • gc66

      Lets face it…….it’s over for the Christians…….just ask the muslims…….merry christmas!!

    • A. Levy

      1) Where do the Nazi’s who run this place get the authority to levy fines and categorise things as “illegal”?
      2) How are these Homeowners groups different from the Gestapo?
      3) If the people were any other religious group, (other than Christians) wouldn’t they be protected by the Constitution?

      • Dave

        1) From the contractual agreement which the family in this story agreed to when they bought/leased the condo.

        2) First, they aren’t a government group. Second, they aren’t persecuting any one’s religious practices. They were warned and cited MANY times before the statue was confiscated. Third, they’re not rounding up a particular religion to kill them. Your “gestapo” and “nazi” comments are ridiculous.

        3) No, this would not. The constitution protects people from the government’s curtailment of the free exercise of one’s religion (and the establishment of one religion, or religion in general, as the dominant belief system in the US). It does not protect people from the results of their contractual agreements. They agreed to the bylaws of the Homeowner’s association. They agreed to the fines, the warnings, and the eventual confiscation when they signed their contract that detailed violations, events of default, and other events that give rise to the homeowner’s association’s right to fine and confiscate.

        Any more questions?

    • S Smith

      What the familty should do is file a stolen property report and let the police act on it.

    • teaisstronger

      Hire an actor to dress up like the Virgin and stand on the front lawn. Now lets watch what they do.

    • TOM

      A “promise to the blessed mother”? Such nonsense. A good example of deluded magical thinking.

      • Tom

        Maybe you should try making a promise to the Blessed Mother. She may be gracious to give you some brainpower.

    • Mornin Joe

      you are a fool

    • sylvie

      You don’t have to be anit-christian to agree with the Homeowners Association. A Christian doesn’t need a statue, in fact such idols are actually against Christianity. Take a word from the wise, stop erecting statues and start praying.

    • CSHJ

      It doesn’t really matter whether he would agree to statues of other religions. The HOA rules which they agreed to (whether they knew it or not…..which is no excuse) stated they couldn’t put anything on common ground. I presume that the siding on his condo is considered common ground. #1 RULE: Never, ever, ever ever ever…………buy property run by HOA’s. They WERE nice people turned NAZIS with the power they have. They are just as bad as the FEDS. I’d rather live in a barn in the country.

  • Sarge

    My bet is he wouldn’t be offended, this was not a matter of offending anyone. it is about rules, the rules we all create and allow to be created so someone else can control us in one way or another. Remember, every rule, policy, law, regulation takes away a freedom from someone.

    • Jack D Howard

      Zero Sum Freedoms? That’s not true….not even close. Go check out Dworkin on First Principles. Freedom itself, at its highest levels of expression, rests on some calculable rules or principles. They derive consistency, as the consent to govern from these First principes are understood.

      In a similar way, the right to express an opinion is designed to express unpopular opinions…the Founders know this. Now, these basics are treated as odd or crazy ideas (e.g., Ron Paul!…and I’m a Democrat!!!!) It’s time modern Americans started relearning these basic principles….but that may cut into video time.

      • Fluidizer

        Glen Beck tried to teach us, and you see what happened to him.
        By the way, how can you be a Democrat and refer to the Founding Fathers? Your hero Obama regard the Constitution as a “Hindrance” you know, and ignores it at every opportunity. You need to get with program dude.

      • Dave

        And Bush called the Constitution “just a piece of paper.” Both parties are corrupt. The only man that follows the constitution is Ron Paul.

      • Just the facts

        @Dave please educate yourself press Bush never said such a thing. Try just a simple fact checking first before you keep repeating lies.

        You are what is wrong with this country you just parrot what you hear and check nothing yourself.

      • Just the facts


        Ron paul is just as dangerous as your lies to promote him are.

      • Dave

        Wrong, he did say it. In fact he said it’s a “god-damned piece of paper.”

        Stop YOUR lies and educate YOURSELF. You lying piece of filth.

    • Bill Caldwell

      Those rules also protect other people’s freedom.

  • Sorry

    While I can be sympathetic to the guy’s religious piety and his desire to display the statue, the bottom line is, it’s not his property. He lives in a condo. The common areas belong to everyone, not to him, and he is going to lose any fight to defend placing HIS property, whatever it is, on the common grounds. It has nothing to do with religious freedom or beliefs.

    • Jack D Howard

      So, when one person (in this case, you) can simply dismiss HIS belief that it IS about religious freedom….well, that suggests a problem, doesn’t it? Now take a cluster of HOA board members, letting plants stay, or a banner, or a windsock…but no Mother Mary…then we have abunch of people just like you…and this man: well, it is ony one person, right? And he’s all alone, so we must be right. Yeah….let’s straighten him out: it’s not about his religion—-we told him so.

      • Karen H.

        Exactly, I bet if you look all over that stupid Nazi-like ‘condo association’ you’ll find there are condo owners all over who’ve got potted plants etc. on ‘common ground’ that aren’t bothered in the least. The problem when people say ‘don’t buy there’ is that there are TOO MANY places like that (plus individual neighborhoods) where you can hardly avoid these Nazis.

      • Dave

        You guys are basing your arguments on hypothetical situations. There is no evidence that there are items in common areas that are being allowed to stay. The fact of the matter is, this guy signed a contract that restricted his actions. He is not allowed to put up ANYTHING in the common areas. They gave him warning after warning and he refused to comply. They exercised their rights due to his breach of contract/default.

        There is only evidence that this family is violating their contract and thus are violating the rights of the Condo Association (that is, the right to have clear common areas that may be enjoyed by ALL homeowners). Now they are framing it as a “religious” fight, when the same result would have happened if they had decided to put up an Pittsburgh Steelers display or some other equally violative object in common space.

        This is about property rights and contractual rights, not about religion. Go talk to a lawyer, they’ll explain it to you.

  • Fritz

    I’ll betcha you can’t hang a Welcome Race Fans off your balcony either…… about moving?

    • Steve Vasko

      Actually there is a great deal of stuff hanging all over the place and that is fine with me, And as I seen the Condo Assoc. They been putting up Christmas decor that’s fine. what I find funny is Without The Blessed Mother to be Chosen by God as His Wife to conceive Jesus- we wouldn’t have Christmas so there is rather a oxymoron in understandings I guess.

      • eruthk

        FYI, Mary was Joseph’s wife, not God’s wife.

      • XtianDoctrinezLULZ

        @eruthk: Right. Polygamy is biblical, but it was usually the male having multiple wives. Some Catholics believe Mary was God’s wife *and* Joseph’s wife making her the only female bigamist in the Bible.

      • Guest

        You have a bigger problem on your hands then the condo association. And that is the elevation of a human being to god like status.
        Certainly Mary was a honorable and good woman but she was still a human and not Gods wife and Jesus is not our brother. Jesus is God and Mary was the mother of the hypo static human man part of Jesus, not the mother or wife of God.
        This pseudo worship of Mary is not biblical it is heresy and an abomination.
        That said I do support you in principle over the condo association.

      • Just the facts


        A simple search is only needed to show Christianity and the bible cleary is for one woman one man.

        “Augustine saw marriage as sacrament-friendly covenant between one man and one woman, which may not be broken. It was the Creator who established monogamy: Therefore the first natural bond of human society is man and wife.[30] Such marriage was confirmed by the Saviour in the Gospel of Matthew (Mat 19,9) and by His presence at the wedding in Cana (John 2:2).[31] In the Church—the City of God—marriage is a sacrament and may not and cannot be dissolved as long as the spouses live:”

        It takes a couple minutes to find these facts and it just shows how lazy people have gotten. They rely on others to do their research for them and then are surprised when they find out they have been passing on lies all the while.

        That is what is wrong with America today. THAT IS WHY OBAMA IS PRESIDENT TODAY.

      • Frank

        Liar. They have things in areas that are designated as allowable. You need to read the agreement you made with the Association before running your liar mouth.

    • John Scott


      • Steve Vasko

        Earthly Wife your right! Eruth and Jone so she was not punished. Heavenly Mother I have to say you have homework.if you actually care. If not okay. Immaculate Conception was no accident.

  • Pedro

    I’ll betcha you can’t hang a Welcome Race Fans off your balcony either…… about moving?

  • marilyn

    Any idea where this is? I sure wouldn’t want to live there. Ta’k about “rules and regulations”. I hate when homeowners associations get their “panties in a bunch”. It would only be for one month that the statue would be gone.

  • Lanny

    This isn’t Elm St in Baldwin. people PAY condo fees so they don’t have to look at 10 blowup snow globes outside their window

  • Hail Mary!

    Never buy in a place that has a homeowners association! You think your local municipality’s council is bad…imagine a bunch of neighbors in your business all the time!

    • Bill Duke

      You are exactly right. Homeowner associations are usually made up of aspiring dictators.

    • Religious Persecution

      Homeowners Ass, and yes I meant to do that, are a bunch of unemployed, bored, old ninnies, who like to snoop around and gossip about the neighbors, and LOVE nothing more than to have POWER over them! These are bored people, with NO friends, who need to GET A LIFE!! They are power mad, and are having great fun doing this to those people. I call it THEFT, and I would’ve called the Police the first day it went missing. I don’t care WHAT organization you’re in, you can’t STEAL someone’s property!! Yes, you can fine them, and they should pay for not moving it. BUT, you canNOT lay a finger on someone else’s property. It THEFT, EXTORTION, whatever you want to call it. It’s a CRIME! Call the Police. They will find the evidence in some Jerk’s possession. And I also wonder, if it was a Muslim Holiday, and it was a Muslim flag or something, WOULD anyone have said ANYthing? I doubt it.

      • cattyfan

        The association has the legal right to remove that statue, since for months they had notified the owners they were not in compliance with the rules that the home owners agreed to before they signed their purchase papers.

        I say this as a Christian…the condo association is right.

    • Mike

      I live in a place with a homeowners asoc. and am quite happy with it.
      No one is telling this man what he can or can’t do on his property.
      Our homeowners assoc. protects thoughtless morons from reducing my property values by their thoughtlessness.
      There are a few things I am not allowed to do that I’d like to but I agreed not to when I bought here.
      I live by these rules and expect others that live to also.
      I have seen developments around here that have no rules and some places are well kept and surrounded by places shamelessly junked up.

      • Fluidizer

        Its a case by case. If the Association is in opposition of the Constitution, like the one here it should be rendered illegal.

      • XtianDoctrinezLULZ

        Fluidizer, the association isn’t in conflict with the Constitution. This family is still free to worship whatever they want. This isn’t interfering with their rights one bit. It’s about the community’s right to maintain a consistent appearance throughout its property. If the religious nuts want to change the rules of the association. let them lobby to change them.

        The irony in all of this is that the people who consider this “bad” and rail against HOAs are the same ones who are usually for states rights — using the force of government to trample individual freedom. This, though, is entirely voluntary: you can buy a condo or you can buy a place without any kind of restrictions. If left to the devices of “states rights” we’d still have pockets of slavery, of states where women could neither vote nor use birth control, where restaurants and hotels could deny service to blacks or Jews, etc.

  • dennis

    I’ ve lived in neighborhoods with nutzy rules like this, but they supposedly help property values. On the other hand, everyone has had enough of people who become little dictators and get off on controling their neighbors by enforced rules no one cares about – doubt anyone even noticed this little thing below their front window. Luckily in the Dayton area, where so many are Catholic, seeing these little displays is a comforting sight up and down every street – do you think they should be required?? LOL.

  • Don

    Sounds like something the Anthem Arizona HOA (Parkside) would do.

  • Jim

    War on Christmas

    • Wisguy70

      With a $4,000 fine I don’t think its about Christmas. I don’t think it matters to the home owners association if its Mary or a Smurf. Their position is no items on common ground.

  • Doug Rose

    Still can’t understand why some favor to move into one of the Nazi ruled HOA areas.To afraid of the Riff-raff…………

  • Jeff

    $4000 fine and removing their parking privileges is ridiculous, and abusive.

    • Observer

      People pay less fines for felonies. Enough is enough. Once again it will have to go to court and the only winners are lawyers.

    • Religious Persecution

      Yes, and it would be MUCH cheaper just to buy a new one! lol
      I also think it’s a violation of their right to practice their Religion.

      • Steve in Iowa

        The right to practice their religion? They have every right to practice as they see fit INSIDE their home. I’m 50/50 on this story, and the comments. The rules state no personal property on common grounds, but was there a definition of common grounds in the original HOA agreement the homeowners signed? There’s a lot of questions that are not being asked. Personally, I wouldn’t have a problem with the statue, they’re a tasteful yard decoration, most are kept in good repair.

  • JoelT

    My mother was the President of a Homeowner’s Association and I can tell you, the Association has no choice. It doesn’t matter what the violation is, Virgin Mary, US FLag, Lady Gaga poster. If you let ONE person violate the rules, you can NEVER win another case, and you will have every jerk in the complex breaking the rules. Soon the complex will be a dump, and no one will be able to get their money back when they sell. Associations go to court every day over stuff like this, and it is only when it is a US flag or some religious thing that the “News” people make a story out of it, just to get people riled up and generate ratings. When my mom died, we were able to sell her place for three times what she owed, thanks to the Association and the upkeep they did there. This person needs to SELL their place and buy their own house if they want to put things in their yard.

    • vergilius


      You gave a good, lucid answer. The common ground outside of a condo is exactly that. It is not the private property of the condo that sits behind it. There is no governmental restriction on religion in this case. The homeowners’ association is not a governmental entity. It has clearly defined rules that are agreed to when a person buys a condo in this particular location.

      • Wisguy70

        I agree vergilius. I don’t want to live in a condo for this reason, I understand rules why don’t the people who move in to the condos.

      • SGA

        One can still run afoul of the law regarding religion when not a governmental entity ( For example, if there was a “No Jews Allowed” sign the wrong would be obvious. This will be a very interesting court case, as both sides have the law on their side. Since there is often more weight on religious freedom, the condo association may have a problem.

    • themunz

      I agree. When you live in such places you are pretty much giving up the right to have such items in exchange for not having to worry about taking care of that space in return.

    • Paul Mayotte

      Your all missing the point. When people are religiously persecuted, those doing the persecution ALWAYS say “just move somewhere else” or “don’t come here”, or “these are the rules, take it or leave it.” If it is something like the color of your house, or how many outbuildings you have that is one thing, but when you say your religious beliefs or your patriotism will not be allowed, that’s when you cross the line. It has nothing to do with the “news” people making a story. It’s got everything to do with repugnant leaders (HOA presidents to country presidents) dictating what you can and cannot believe. Your mother’s enforcement of Nazi like rules (“I was just following orders”) has NOTHING to do with the selling of your mother’s place for three times it’s original price. The dollar has dropped in value by that much over that time and I’m sure the property area is highly valued (even if it were a trailer park you would be getting three times it’s value). Everyone loves their mother but she, and you, for defending her, are wrong, wrong, wrong.

    • 312capri

      That’s why I would never buy property under control of a supposed “Home Owners Association”! One of my son’s dealt with one in Houston, TX. It was a nightmare!

    • Tim Baker

      I clearly understand that, however, it seems common sense is not prevalent. If one is offended and complaines he must be accomodated? Not in this lifetime. I am a traditionalist Jeffersonion American. I shall not waiver, nor shall I concede to tyranny. Cheers.

    • SGB

      I hope they don’t move anywhere near me. I detest cheap statues in yards be they the madonna, budha or garden gnomes. My HOA has clear rules about that. They all do. Mind the rules or leave.

  • cinvb

    I wonder if this had been a Muslin symbol if the HOA would have dared touch it..probably not

  • Mike Stolee

    Generally speaking, this is symptomatic of us developing “communities” that get away from total private ownership. But if you chose to live in one of these (my late parents had, and they regretted every minute of it) “communities”, I’d like to see the next story say that the GLBT “flag” was forced down; or anything Islamic on the “property” told to get down. Face it: my friends working for major corporations were told to get their holy pictures and a Rosary out of sight during the working day or be fired. These same outfits now offer prayer rooms and foot stations for the Muslims. So the Muslims can pray 5 times a day and a business has to accomodate them, but a typical worker with a Rosary on his or her desk can get fired?!! This is out of control. We need to petition our city counsels to stop developing multi-housing and “communes” and start getting back to single, full ownership, properties.

    • Relious Persecution

      You are right. If I BUY a house or condo, I DARE anyone else to tell me what to do with it! Are they paying my mortgage? NO. I am. What are they gonna do, take my house? Let them try! You can’t tell me what to do in or on MY house. And if you try, I gaurantee I can find SOMETHING I don’t like about YOUR house and it will be reported too. Some people move into these places just because they want to terrorize their neighbors. I call it the “Napolitan complex”. Little people who like to push people around. Power trip!

  • john p

    i believe in god ,i believe in bearing arms. if you mess with one,you will meet the other

    • UraMoron2

      This comment makes perfect sense – to idiots like you who never made it past 3rd grade.
      Your gun money would have been better spent on remedial education.

  • Gene Zippy

    The whole problem is caused by religious self centeredness.

    No one is denying this family’s right to worship. Unless the Bible states that one must put up a statue of Mary in their front yard? It has nothing to do with religious freedom. Its just something he wants to do. Its against the rules of the contract he agreed to. Its a legal matter, not a religious one.

    • Anthony

      Still doesn’t give the association the right to take some one property. I lived in one of these places once they tried to tell me what I could put in my garage. I told him that if he wanted to see daylight tomorrow he better back off. But then again I’m Italian. Never heard from the association again about anything.

  • comprof

    These tyrannical home owner associations need to be done away with. They are no more than a bunch of power hungry potenital tyrants minding everyone’s business but their own.

  • William R. Smith

    Call Tony Soprano and ask him for a BIG favor before it goes to court……that’ll work!

  • Karl Stalin

    Thank god that hideous ceremonial icon is gone. I feel better now and will permit my children to once again walk past that condo without fearing that they will become assimilated into the Vasko cult. My poor daughter has had nightmares for months and now requires psychological intervention to rid her of the “stone beast” as she call it from her young mind. Such immoral decrements are not what this country is all about. Who do they think they are?

    • SlimShady

      Well isn’t that nice Karl. I doubt you ever worried about getting dragged into the “Vasko Cult”. As for your daughter, I would suggest you run up to her room when she’s gone and search for those drugs she’s obviously on. Failing that, you deserve to pay every psychohanalyst’s bill from every shrink you have to go to for bending her mind into a pile of mush with you own issues. But, that’s why you live there, isn’t it?

      • PIanoguy

        Slim, Have trouble recognizing sarcasm, do you? ;p

  • HOA Manager

    1. The First Amendment states CONGRESS shall pass no law, it does not prevent a private association from having it’s own rules.

    2. When he purchased the condo, he signed a lot of papers stating what his responsibilities are and what he is prohibited from doing. He’s gonna loose. The HOA has to enforce the rules in the CC&R’s and the Rules & Regs of the Association. If they fail to do so other homeowners can sue them for their failure to enforce.

    • George Thibault

      No homeowners association can make a rule that limits your inalienable rights to religious freedom. Could a homeowners association make a “rule” that says your first born will be subject to slavery? Signed or not, it is unconstitutional, unethical, and repugnant. Just because you get someone to sign a piece of paper (one, amongst many on the day of signing) does NOT give you the authority to take away that person’s fundamental American rights. The homeowners association is wrong, and they should be fined for every day the Vasco family was prevented from expressing their religious freedom. Disgusting.

      • Wisguy70

        Signing a contract mean nothing what is the world comming to. Why can’t people just stop moving into condo or follow the rules. As I have said before I will never live in a condo; but, people that choose to agree to the rules when signing a contract.

    • Mike

      The HOAS’s are tin pot dictators and will eventually persecute the wrong, unstable person. They will all be killed in a HOA meeting. Really, it’s inevitable. Perhaps even desirable to make these animals fear the very people they seek to control and persecute. Notice how they ALWAYS use the power of Gov’t to bend others to their will?

    • Steve Vasko

      HOA Manager, look again, No I signed nothing but a marriage license. Again you wrong me! Please before persecuting me and saying what I did, Check your facts!

    • RB

      So what is the name of the HOA involved and who by name sits on the HOA Board?

      If they are so sure of their position I can’t imagine any reason to not stand up and say who they are.

  • john p

    this country was built on religous freedom moron

    • HOA Manager

      Try reading the First Amendment some time. Where does it say you have the right to place your religious objects on someone else’s property?

  • gov't_h8r

    No doubt there were a hundred menorahs or menorrhagias left alone.

  • Arrrupupupupup

    I never understood why anyone would live in a condo. It’s like you own a ‘house’ on someome else’s property, but it’s really not your house. Bizarre!

    • SGA

      Condos are a rich man’s trailer park.

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