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L.A. County Seal Endorses Christianity

This letter originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times on January 10, 2014.

January 10, 2014

Letters to the Editor
Los Angeles Times

To the Editor: 

Re "L.A. County seal again to feature a Christian cross," Jan. 8

In 2004, when the Board of Supervisors voted to remove the cross from the L.A. County seal, the Anti-Defamation League commended the supervisors "for showing respect for the diversity of the people of the community."

On Tuesday, the board reversed course, restoring the cross — universally recognized as the symbol of Christianity — to the seal. This act sends a divisive message: that the county officially endorses Christianity over other faiths.

The ADL seeks to safeguard religious freedom. We believe the best way to do so is through the separation of church and state embodied in the California Constitution and the U.S. Constitution.

This constitutional requirement in no way reflects hostility toward religion. Rather, it reflects the founders' profound respect for individual religious liberty and diversity in America. This separation is a primary reason why America is the most religious of all the Western nations.

The board showed respect for the diversity of its residents when it voted to remove the cross almost a decade ago. On Tuesday, it fell down on the job.

Sincerely,

Amanda F. Susskind
Pacific Southwest Regional Director 

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