The City of Angels may be bracing for another dramatic event and, oddly enough, it may have nothing to do with the climatic conditions in that region of the country. Recently the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced that it would sue Los Angeles County unless the governmental entity comes up with a plan within 14 days to remove a tiny cross from the County's official seal. The seal (which has been in use for 47 years) features the goddess Pomona holding various agricultural products grown in the county, along with symbols of the area's dairy, fishing, aerospace and oil industries. According to the county's website the tiny cross on the seal represents "the influence of the church and the missions of California." In a letter to the Los Angeles County board of supervisors, the executive director of the ACLU of Southern California noted: "When the County transmitted its newly designed seal to the California Secretary of State on February 27, 1957, the transmittal letter stated in plain language that the cross was included to represent religion." Responding to this letter, County Supervisors Michael Antonvich and Don Knabe announced that "Our history cannot be rewritten and it will not be rewritten," and went on to remark that the demand to remove the cross from the seal was "right out of a George Orwell novel."
The first link will take users to a news piece about the recent letter sent by the ACLU regarding the cross on the Los Angeles County seal offered by the Los Angeles Daily News. The second link leads to a like-minded piece offered by the Los Angeles Times [Free registration required] that discusses the reaction to the letter from the Board of Supervisors. The third link leads to a pointed editorial offered by the Los Angeles Daily News this past Tuesday. The fourth link leads to a webpage provided by Los Angeles County that explains the iconography and symbols used on the official seal. The fifth link leads to the religious liberty area of the ACLU website, which describes the various issues that the organization provides legal consultation and aid to, such as school prayer, religious freedom, and the use and placement of the Ten Commandments. The sixth and final link leads to the homepage of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, where visitors can browse their publications, read news about various ongoing stories that address the broad topic of religion and public life, and read transcripts of events and discussions sponsored by the Forum.