L.A. County caves on the cross

Decides not to appeal decision on San Gabriel Mission in its official seal
Mike Antonovich: “Once again, the ACLU was successful in bullying their way to rewrite history,”

Mike Antonovich: “Once again, the ACLU was successful in bullying their way to rewrite history,”

The following comes from a June 21 story on MyNewsLA.com.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday not to appeal a federal judge’s ruling finding a cross over the San Gabriel Mission on the county’s official seal to be unconstitutional.

The vote, taken behind closed doors, was 3-2, with Supervisors Don Knabe and Michael Antonovich dissenting, according to a brief announcement made in open session.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California sued the board in February 2014, challenging its decision to restore the cross nearly 10 years after legal wrangling prompted its removal from the seal.

A statement issued by the civil rights organization today said the group was pleased by the board’s decision.

“The ill-conceived and misguided effort to alter the county seal and favor Christianity over all other faiths has cost taxpayers at least $1 million,” the statement said.

“Today’s action guarantees that the taxpayers will not be forced to suffer further. It is time for the board to put its time, energy, and resources into representing all the people of L.A. County.”

Antonovich — who together with Knabe had argued that the cross was vital to the seal’s historical accuracy — accused the ACLU of acting like bullies.

“Once again, the ACLU was successful in bullying their way to rewrite history,” Antonovich said. “We ought to have appealed the decision. The U.S. Supreme Court would have ruled in support of it as they have ruled in previous cases. The historical facts are reflective in our educational program — the building of the missions is part of the fourth-grade curriculum in the state’s education code.

“The history of Los Angeles County began with the founding of the San Gabriel Mission which led to the founding of the Pueblo in Los Angeles and the beginning of the city of Los Angeles — the first city incorporated after the county was incorporated in 1850,” Antonovich added.

Mark Rosenbaum, chief counsel of the Southern California chapter of the ACLU, once countered 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.”

The county seal is displayed on buildings, vehicles and official communications.

U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder took the matter under submission in November after a one-day bench trial and made her ruling April 7.

Snyder wrote that the return of the cross “places the county’s power, prestige and purse behind a single religion, Christianity, without making any such benefit available on an equal basis to those with secular objectives or alternative sectarian views.”

Antonovich disagreed.

“This was an attempt to rewrite history by eliminating religion references from our history and culture — a hateful form of religious bigotry,” Antonovich said.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said it was time to move on.

“The court has spoken and, in the interest of the county, I think we need to move on and focus our attention on some of the more pressing issues, like the crisis of homelessness,” Ridley-Thomas said.

 

 

 

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  1. LA County should have never caved in on the Cross. The Cross represents Christ’s total victory over sin and death. What a beautiful and redeeming symbol to represent the love that Jesus Christ King of Kings True God and True Man God come to earth in the form of man to forgive the sins of all mankind so that man could share what God has prepared for us in all eternity for ever and ever. The ACLU should be ashamed of themselves for their sinister attempts in trying to destroy Christianity and all its beautiful symbols. In the end the ACLU and all the enemies of Jesus Christ and its Holy Catholic Church will have total victory. Until then Pray, Pray, Pray!

    • An argument like yours, John, is exactly why the ACLU brings the action and appears to have a case.

      It is sufficient to say that the cross has no more significance than historical accuracy in order to keep it on the seal. Los Angeles County owes its origins in the area to the Catholic missions, and the seal pays homage to that historical fact. Without a cross the mission looks like a Taco Bell, so the cross is necessary to preserve the authentic identity of the mission building.

      Why doesn’t the ACLU go after the goddess Pomona, whose image occupies the center third of the county seal? That seems more of an endorsement of religion than a miniscule cross atop a mission building does.

  2. I would just like to make a correction to the second last sentence. It should read in the end the ACLU and all the enemies of Jesus Christ and its Holy Catholic Catholic Church will be totally defeated. Until then Pray, Pray, Pray!

  3. Perhaps the ACLU would like to remove ALL religious references in California.

    Some examples: Sacramento (Sacrament), Santa Rosa (St. Rose), San Diego, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Ramon, San Rafael, San Clemente, Junipero Serra Fwy, San Pedro — you get the idea…

  4. Ann Chorbi says:

    California is ‘littered’ with Christian names……including the cities name…..City of Angels……good thing ACLU doesn’t know the Spanish translations 🙂 otherwise LA would have to be renamed and many other cities, streets, counties etc…..but they will keep chipping away…..but God is watching. He is always in control…..

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