and Video Courtesy of CBS Channel 2, Pittsburg
December 16, 2011
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.