U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder has lost her mind over a tiny little cross. The smallest hint of Christianity–historically accurate or not–must not survive the Jacobin purge of all things religious from the public square.
In 1957, the seal of the County of Los Angeles included a cross above the Hollywood Bowl. It was barely noticeable unless you were looking for it. Then in 2004, a group of thin-skinned jackasses who are offended because a county named “The Angels” had a seal depicting the symbol of the Christians who founded it threatened to sue.
So the county board redesigned the seal and depicted the San Gabriel Mission, which was founded by Catholic missionaries in 1771, sin cruz. (That’s “without cross” in Spanish for those of you who are reading more political tones into this.)
Yet the actual Mission San Gabriel Arcángel building–the one in the seal–if you look really closely, has a cross above the bell. Yes, there it is!
So in 2014, the county board slipped that tiny little cross into the seal. And everyone on the Left Coast tore their clothes, threw dust on their heads, and donned sackcloth for the secular blasphemy of adding a religious symbol to a government icon.
The ACLU along with a gaggle of Jacobins (some pretending to be Christian) sued, claiming the tiny cross represented an endorsement of religion.
The county supervisor board’s outside attorney wrote this perfectly reasonable defense:
The San Gabriel Mission is a key component of the history, including the secular history, of Los Angeles County. The depiction of the San Gabriel Mission with a cross on its roof on the County seal is historically and architecturally accurate, and the cross on its roof is necessary to make the image identifiable as the San Gabriel Mission. An objective observer, familiar with the history and context of the image, would not find that the County intended to promote one religion over another or that the depiction constitutes an unconstitutional aid to religion.
In other words, the oldest structure in the county is identifiable by the cross on it, otherwise, the seal just includes a depiction of a rather generic building, which is meaningless.
But meaningless is exactly what the Jacobins demanded, and got.
In her 55-page opinion (she obviously spent a lot of time thinking about this, but only one day conducting a trial), Snyder wrote a stunning disproof of logic, common sense, reason and scale:
Unlike textbooks or educational guidelines, the County’s seal is not an educational tool, but a symbolic and representative one, not unlike a flag or a badge. It carries with it an aura of prestige, authority, and approval. By singling out the cross for addition to the seal, the County necessarily lends its prestige and approval to a depiction of one faith’s sectarian imagery. The County also provides a platform for broadcasting that imagery on County buildings, vehicles, flags, and stationary…[T]he Court concludes that an “‘informed and reasonable’ observer who is ‘familiar with the history of the government practice at issue’” would perceive the County’s addition of the cross to the 2004 Seal to constitute approval or endorsement of a particular set of religious beliefs.
Judge Snyder should be ridiculed for her obvious slant. It’s not the cross itself that she condemned, it’s the fact that the county board added it back to the seal after removing it. Her argument is very simple: Once you back down to the threat of a lawsuit from the Jacobins, you can never step forward again.
She never ruled that the original seal with the cross above the Hollywood Bowl is equally unconstitutional, although that cross had no architectural or physical value–it was a naked acknowledgement of the county’s Christian heritage. What was left unsaid is that Snyder believed the county board must have had a ten year plan–a nefarious and theocratic conspiracy to remove the Hollywood Bowl cross in 2004, then replace it with the San Gabriel Mission cross in 2014.
What scheming reactionaries they must be. I’m surprised Snyder didn’t rule that the cross must also be removed from the mission itself.
In the smallest detail, in the most innocuous places, all history of American’s Christian heritage must be erased by the Jacobins. Banning a tiny cross on a county seal, you will be made to care.