If you want to start an argument, get people talking about religion. Or politics. And if you combine religion and politics, well, you better stand clear. So, it was with no doubt some trepidation that Los Angeles County Supervisors Don Knabe and Mike Antonovich made a formal proposal to restore a cross to the official seal of LA County.
Some background is in order. Forever, the seal had a cross as part of it, then about 9 years ago, the Supes voted 3 -2 to remove the cross to avoid a lawsuit by the ACLU and others who felt that it violated the concept of the separation of church and state. When the seal was redesigned, a depiction of the San Gabriel Mission was added. The mission's cross, at that time, was either lost or under repair, but supposedly wasn't up. So, the Mission on the seal has no cross. Now the Mission's cross has been restored and reinstalled, so Knabe and Antonovich feel it's only right to redesign the seal again to reflect historical accuracy concerning such an important part of California's history.
If only it were so simple. The ACLU is once again gearing up for a fight, saying this argument about historical accuracy is a thinly disguised attempt to sneak the cross onto the seal again, and that it will just provoke needless debate and distract officials from doing the really important things they need to do to run a county. They say adding a cross to any government seal implies that government agency ‘'favors'' one religion over another. Well, get ready to hear arguments on both sides of this one, or all 9 sides perhaps. The Board meeting on Tuesday should be (finally) a really interesting one.
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