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ACLU Sues L.A. Supes over Move to Restore Cross to County Seal

The organization calls elevating one religious symbol over all others "un-American."

The Los Angeles County Seal
The Los Angeles County Seal

A civil rights group today sued the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, challenging the recent decision to restore a cross to the county's seal.

The complaint filed in federal court by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California contends that restoring the cross was unconstitutional because it “favors the Christian religion over all other religions and divides County residents by religion and by adherence or non-adherence to religious beliefs.”

In a motion introduced by Supervisors Mike Antonovich and Don Knabe, the board voted 3-2 last month to add a cross to the top of the San Gabriel Mission in its depiction on the county emblem, which is displayed on buildings, vehicles and official communications.

Antonovich and Knabe argued that restoring the cross is vital to the historical accuracy of the seal.

Mark Rosenbaum, chief counsel of the ACLU/SoCal, responded that the two supervisors “are historians in the same way SNL's Father Guido Sarducci is a priest. These supervisors have exacerbated the constitutional slap at all religions by reinserting a Christian cross on the seal by means of a Pinocchio-style fib.”

Knabe called the lawsuit “frivolous”' and said the motion to “update” the seal “was in the name of historical correctness, not political correctness.”

“While the ACLU has chosen to engage in this issue, today I am up in Sacramento working with a bipartisan group of elected officials to protect our most vulnerable, the young victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking,” the supervisor said.

But the ACLU contends in the suit that historical accuracy “does not trump the Constitution.”

“In choosing to place a symbol of Christianity on the official seal, which appears on county vehicles, meeting rooms and elsewhere, the supervisors have chosen to violate the U.S. Constitution's Establishment Clause that guarantees the separation of church and state,” according to the ACLU.

“By elevating the symbol of one faith over all others, the supervisors fail to protect the rights of all religions,” Rosenbaum said. “That's simply un-American.”

--City News Service

nonoise February 07, 2014 at 11:16 AM
Putting the cross back on the county symbol is against the US Constitution and against the "establishment" clause. Separation of church and state is what this is all about and forced religion.
insideguy February 07, 2014 at 11:43 AM
What about the Spanish galleon? Doesn't everyone know that many slaves were brought to this country on Spanish slave ships? That should offend some people. Also regarding the image of the cow, a source of food for most; you would think that PETA and some vegan groups would object to that image. I could go on. Maybe the entire seal should be scrapped.
Nimby pimp February 07, 2014 at 03:06 PM
Hey, whadya say we scrap all history in general! So many rude and bloody things happened! We might even scrap the flag on the aircraft that dropped those atomic bombs on Japan while we're at it.
insideguy February 07, 2014 at 07:45 PM
Say! That's a great idea. Besides, someone is always trying to rewrite history and that gets confusing. Who do we believe?
La vie en rose February 07, 2014 at 10:30 PM
..there is also a mission and the Masonic symbols,and a tuna ..and is that a Holy Cow or just a cow? and,why a native Indian!?is that the Hollywood bowl under the stars??...you catch my drift?
insideguy February 07, 2014 at 10:43 PM
I am so completely offended. I don't think I can live in L.A. County any longer.
Nimby pimp February 08, 2014 at 02:59 AM
I am a very tolerant person, but the absence of the Derweinerschitzle logo is on the County insignia is more than I can bear.
nonoise February 08, 2014 at 10:55 AM
Not too many people praying to the cow so I wouldn't worry about that. The issue is separation of church and state and not putting one religion over another. And, not giving one religion more importance than another.
insideguy February 08, 2014 at 11:55 AM
Excuse me but cows are sacred in many religions such as Hinduism and Jainism and other eastern religions.
Nimby pimp February 08, 2014 at 12:10 PM
Noise spends her life hating, not learning.
insideguy February 08, 2014 at 12:56 PM
It appears that way. Closed minds create fear.
La vie en rose February 08, 2014 at 09:58 PM
Inside guy:the cow thing was my point:everybody sees what they want to see..
insideguy February 08, 2014 at 10:16 PM
La vie in rose, I was replying to nonoise's comment. I got your well put reference. :-)
La vie en rose February 09, 2014 at 10:38 AM
@insideguy: Thx for your praise!:-)
nonoise February 09, 2014 at 01:55 PM
If cows are an issue about religion then they too should be removed. The point is for government NOT to establish a "religion". That is in the US Constitution establishment clause. Read it. Get educated. It is not about hate. It is about inclusion of everyone of every religion or none at all.
T-Rexy February 09, 2014 at 07:49 PM
It's a tiny little cross on the logo. Just think of it as a plus symbol. Get over it.
nonoise February 10, 2014 at 09:52 AM
You don't get over something that is forced down your throat. Like Divine Saviour Catholic Church's amplified sound system 6-8 times a day. They recently increased the amount of times their bullhorns go off. Religion should not be forced down someone's throat or into their home. That is why the founding fathers wrote it into the constitution that the government should not "establish" a religion. It a cross is put on the symbol a budda should be put on there too and a jewish star and every other religion. Include all religions or none at all. The government "should not establish" a religion. It is called the establishment clause. Read it. Get educated. Stop forcing religion down other people's throats or into their homes.
nonoise February 10, 2014 at 09:53 AM
No church amplified sound systems with tape recordings of their bells and their off the wall and off key church music.
Fernando lopez February 11, 2014 at 12:52 AM
Damn I just got reminding why I stop reading the patch. Look nonise you got one dumbs up must be Rudy.
El Cid February 11, 2014 at 09:30 PM
@ Fernando & Nimby Pimp - Off Topic - Can you guys help promote Community Clean-up? This Saturday, February 15 at York Blvd/ Avenue 50 at 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Come out and join LBMS and FHS students, friends, families and community leaders! We need everyone's help to make this a successful event!
Fernando lopez February 12, 2014 at 08:41 AM
Ill participate. Do we need to bring anything?
El Cid February 13, 2014 at 09:26 PM
@Fernando- Fantastic! Please just show up! Bring friends too! All equipment will be provided for us! Dont' forget this Saturday, February 15 at 9 to 11 a.m. on York Blvd/Avenue 50.

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