American Samizdat

Thursday, January 11, 2007. *
A San Mateo woman is getting messages from God and painting them in five-foot-tall letters on the roof of her house. The city wants her to stop doing it. Her neighbors want her to stop doing it. But Estrella Benavides says she can't do that.

"I am going to keep going, because it is all I can do," she said. "God chose me to be His servant. There is such a thing as freedom of speech."

Benavides, a 48-year-old woman who lives alone in her yellow house on Cottage Grove Avenue, began painting the giant messages about a year ago, about the time her husband moved out and she lost custody of her son. Last month, she had two large pins inserted through her lips, to keep her from eating as part of a religious fast. God told her to do that, too.

[Article continues at link. If Benavides did these same things but in the name of Paul Bunyon, would she be viewed the same way?]
posted by Trevor Blake at 7:18 AM
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