I am not sure why, but my memory was stirred today about a controversy back in 2004 in Los Angeles County, California. It involved The American Civil “liberties” Union. (Yes the same ACLU that this week sided against the First Amendment and against Religious Liberty by arguing that any business owner that opposes the HHS mandate is no different than a racist shop owner that refused to serve African Americans in the past).

In 2004 these ACLU radicals sued the County of Los Angeles arguing that the presence of a very tiny cross on the seal (see upper right) violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. Never mind that the cross was part of the history of that area, wherein Catholic Missionaries evangelized the area, established missions, and named most of the towns (including Los Angeles) for Catholic Saints. Never mind too, that the seal was dominated by a large image of Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit trees. Never mind all that, the cross had to go according to the radicals at the ACLU. Pomona could stay for all they cared.

Thus the County was forced to remove the Cross, choosing therefore to revamp the whole seal. To their credit they did put a mission Church on the new seal (see at lower right), though you’d sort of have to guess what it is, without a cross on top. Pomona was also on the outs and replaced by a very politically correct native woman.

Since that time many other battles to remove crosses (mostly won by us) have been undertaken. The latest battle is in Steubenville, OH where secularists have pressured the city to remove a cross from the City Logo. Never mind that the logo pictures the city skyline, and that the University of Steubenville is a dominant part of that skyline, and a major institution in that city. No, never mind, the cross has to go. The issue is headed to court. More HERE.

All this gets me thinking where the radical secularists and radical atheists/agnostics will turn next. Does it not make sense that they will turn to the very names of many American Cities, especially in places like California, Texas and Florida? Remember that “San” and “Santa” mean “Saint” in Spanish. “Cruz” means “Cross,” “Sacramento” means “Sacrament” and so on. How much longer will the radicals be able to “tolerate” such names that practically shout the Catholicism they hate most of all?

Consider the names of just a portion of the towns and places in question:

California: San Diego, San Miguel, San Francisco, San Bernadino, San Clemente, San Miguel, San Luis Obispo, San Jose, San Rafael, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles (aka, Nuestra Senora de los Angeles de la Porciuncula), Santa Cruz, Santa Clarita, Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley, San Gabriel Mountains…..

Texas: Corpus Christi, San Antonio.

Florida: St. Augustine, St. Petersburg, Port St. Lucie, Santa Rosa Island, St. George Island, Port St. Joe.

Will they seek to rename these?

Before you dismiss this as a wild notion, consider well that the atheistic Communists in Russia did just this, most significantly renaming the Russian city of St. Petersburg to “Leningrad.” Consider too the usurping of the word “marriage” by the radicals, and the word “gay” as well. (To younger readers, “gay” used to mean “happy.” It most certainly does not mean that today).

Language is important, and the radicals know this. City names that bespeak religion, and especially those that reference the Catholicism most hated by them, will surely be on the list of the things they want to scrub from their “brave” new world.

Just one more thing to be ready for, and another reason to pray for a miraculous conversion of large numbers in our culture. These beautiful city names bespeak a time when faith was an animating principle for many and illustrate that faith was very woven into the very cloth of our culture.

Oh, I suppose after a heavy post, it might be good for a little levity. Here’s a video I put together a few years back of the Pope’s travels with a Johnny Cash song in the background that mentions lots of city names.

27 Responses

  1. Nick says:

    Why doesn’t the Church just call out these secularists for being discriminatory by their hostility toward religion and, in the case of ACLU, racist by comparing the plight of non-whites to the “plight” of abortionists?

  2. jess says:

    A quick search on DuckDuckGo for ACLU + Catholic returned this link in it’s results: http://www.aclu.org/religion-belief/aclu-michigan-defends-catholic-man-coerced-convert-pentecostal-faith-drug-rehab-prog

    I took the (short) time to search because I wasn’t aware of an ACLU bias specifically against Catholics. Of course, I may have read into the post something which is not there, but nevertheless, any such bias appears to be missing from the ACLU’s agenda in the case linked above, which may serve as a source of balance in assessing the ACLU.

  3. Karl P says:

    I do enjoy, here in Maryland which sadly continues to fall further and further into the liberal way, driving down St Charles Pkwy, past streets like St Mark, St Paul, St Peter, St Ignatius, etc. Seems appropriate for the birthplace of the Catholic faith in America. But that’s just irrelevant history. Mgsr Pope-you are right, we need to STOP giving in on the battle for the language. I believe Orwell made that clear in “1984″.

  4. Namatsi says:

    Why cities only. One day someperson will complain loudly about the ‘Roman Catholic Church’ prefering Our Universal Communion of Love’ instead.
    Once upon a time, Monsignor, you wrote about attributes of the Church. One of these attributes is ‘She is hated and derided by the world’.
    Take courage. The gates of hell wont prevail against her. They do prevail when each individual allows them.

  5. WSquared says:

    “Never mind that the logo pictures the city skyline, and that the University of Steubenville is a dominant part of that skyline, and a major institution in that city. ”

    Given your mention of language and Leningrad further down, may I venture to call what you’ve just described in this post “secularist realism” (as opposed to “socialist realism”)?

    “Language is important, and the radicals know this.”

    And we Catholics should know this and deem language important, too. A very telling example of this within the Church occurred this last Advent with the new translation (as was those complaining that the word “consubstantial” was “too hard” and sounded “weird,” never mind that it’s more theologically accurate and less ambiguous. And never mind that most people got used to it and didn’t have a problem with it). Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi: the law of prayer is the law of belief is the law of living.

  6. RichardC says:

    Has he ever been to California, PA or to Switzerland, FL?

  7. Nathan says:

    I never could quite understand why the ACLU is committed to defending every right in the first amendment with the exception of the second clause of the first right mentioned (the free exercise of religion). Instead of defending this one, they rabidly assault it. Odd.

    • Peter Wolczuk says:

      Things that can make one go, “hmm”
      The mere presence of the Cross is commonly believed by many to provide some measure of protection against demonic power, whether accompanied by faith or not. I’m not saying that I’m d’acc (in accord) with this believe, only that I have often encountered it. Could it be that someone, or some thing, is behind all these desires to remove (or at least limit for now, with an eye to eventually removing) any such beneficial effect?
      Going a bit further into what I admit is currently speculation, could it be that those, who so adamantly insist that the cross be be less present and not so close to everyone, are not so much motivated by atheism but, rather, by a desire to make the general public more accessible to a much darker and more destructive spiritual power; such as beings who are jealous of the human race since the time we were created by God?
      While I again admit that a single biblical quote does not necessarily make for a full dissertation, in Psalm 106:37 the variations of translations seem interesting, in this regard.
      Some versions refer to false gods, others refer to destroyers and The New Living Translation even refers to demons. Don’t know, myself, if traditional Jewish folklore holds a kinship between destroyers and demons but, will admit to this possibility. Could this be about demons, falsely portraying themselves as pagan gods, in order to ensnare? Does this give insight into why the ACLU made no complaint about the presence of an alleged “goddess” – even though their motive seems to be portrayed as a desire to remove religious displays that offend unbelievers?
      Dare I go a little further. Well, I again admit to speculation on my part, but all this makes me wonder if there’s a tie in with the removal of the “…daily sacrifice” Daniel 8:11-13&31, among other place(s)
      Christ on the cross is the greatest Sacrifice which image is seen daily by many, including unbelievers. Are the gloves coming off more and more as it gets down and dirty bare knuckle?
      I freely admit that this is not all my own contribution. It took prayer, meditation, fasting and a very uncomfortable shedding of pre-conceived notions since reading the original article. Going for breakfast now. God bless us everyone.

  8. Guy I. says:

    And….

    Santa Fe, NM (La Villa Real de la Santa Fé de San Francisco de Asís)
    St Paul, MN
    Monterey, CA (Mountain of the King)
    San Ysidro, CA
    San Diego, CA

    …and on and on….

  9. VistaNow says:

    It is expected, however we must continue to be salt, light, and leaven so that we maybe pillars not shaken or moved by the venomous energy of the enemy. we find strength and nourishment from the Presbyter, Bishops, the Holy Father and Jesus who told Peter: you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,* and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. That is why it is important Christian unity! we see many effects outside the gates. I can say more, but will save it for other posts. Father, help me to pray always!

  10. Proteios1 says:

    Oh, the atheists and their legal equivalent of boot jack thugs are harassing towns, schools, etc. in a vain attempt to purge the nation of all Chritian iconography, names, symbols, etc.

    The irony is that everyone defines themselves in reference to God. This isn’t less true for atheists. If they didn’t define themselves by God, they would simply say, I don’t beleive…and we’re done. But they are unified by their contempt for God. (this part always reminds me of the Sacred Heart of Jesus…an infinite love all to often not cherished, but condemned, ignored or forsaken). When I grew up atheists had no anti Christian battle cry. They just didn’t believe anything. I assume that doesn’t make for good social growth, recruitment, donations, etc. “hey everybody let’s not believe in God…ok?…and we’re done. Go home.”

  11. Tom K. says:

    I am reminded of the story of the Russian who was born in St. Petersburg, grew up in Petrograd, spent most of his adult life in Leningrad, then died in St. Petersburg.

    As for the Seal of the County of Los Angeles, at least they kept the golden calf.

  12. Richard says:

    The “tolerant/diversity” crowd despises only those that disagree. What hypocrites. Didn’t JESUS condemn hypocrites. As a matter of fact, the “tolerant/diversity” crowd are more violent and destructive than any group.

    Peace of Christ

    Rich

  13. Annette Strachan says:

    Re.the seal of the County of Los Angeles, the cross removed has been made tenfold, each is a monstrance,

    With the San Gabriel Mountains in the background the native American woman’s offering is, cereal? The

    Spanish Galleon San Salvador sailing into San Pedro Harbour. The first church, Mission San Gabriel. Not to

    mention the 1887 seal. How blessed are you.

  14. Annette Strachan says:

    Sorry I forgot to mention the fish.

  15. Robertlifelongcatholic says:

    Why don’t the Catholic bishops take this to the streets, like Christ the King processions back in the fifties and early sixties? It worked for Martin Luther King and his civil rights movement. Nothing will ever happen until you put some skin in the game. Just ask the apostles.

  16. Paula says:

    I wish the ACLU, Atheists, etc. would spend their energy and resources on issues of importance, there is so much real need, so much real injustice.
    PS: Loved the video!!!

  17. Marius says:

    This is not such a wild guess, Father. In Paris some of the old stone street signs still bear marks of the abbreviation “St.” scratched out during the French Revolution (a good example can be seen on rue St-Severin, just on the other side from the eponymous church.) This magical thinking is quite ironic in the people who profess to be rational above everything else – just like the atheists writing “god” with a lowercase “g”…

  18. JWH says:

    Going after the city seals and nativity scenes and whatnot, is a waste of time and money.

    But the reactions to some of these lawsuits is quite interesting. Did you follow the Jessica Ahlquist matter?

  19. Matt says:

    A judge in Las Cruces, NM ordered the ACLU to pay $10,000 for filing a frivolous lawsuit after they sued for the removal of 3 crosses in the town’s seal. It’s part of the town’s historic identity.

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