John Leo has an excellent column on how the ACLU is protecting the boundaries of church and state. But only Christian churches. Quite clearly, it's hypocrisy at work. If the symbol of one religion can't appear on a city seal, then neither should the symbols of any religion.
This time around, the folks with the magnifying glasses are leaning on the village of Tijeras, New Mexico, whose seal contains a Conquistador’s helmet and sword, a scroll, a desert plant, a fairly large religious symbol (the native American zia) and a quite small Christian cross. “Tiny cross” inspectors are not permitted to fret about large non-Christian religious symbols, only undersized Christian ones, so the ACLU filed suit to get the cross removed.
Last year the ACLU demanded that Los Angeles County eliminate from its seal a microscopic cross representing the missions that settled the state of California. Under threat of expensive litigation, the county complied. The cross was about one-sixth the size, of a not-very-big image, of a cow tucked away on the lower right segment of the seal, and maybe one one-hundredth the size of a pagan god (Pomona, Goddess of Fruit) who dominated the seal. Pomona survived the religious purge. She is not the sort of god that the ACLU worries about, whereas the flyspeck-sized cross was a threat to unravel separation of church and state, as we know it. What will happen if the ACLU learns that Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Sacramento, San Francisco, St. Louis and Corpus Christi actually have religious names? We shudder to think.