Of Religious Disagreement and (Feigned?) Hypersensitivity


The city seal of San Gabriel, California


Continuing along the lines of my post earlier this morning . . .


Many years ago, I read an article about the successful struggle (as I recall the outcome) of a Protestant group in Cache Valley, Utah, to have the Logan Utah Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints removed from the seal and/or stationery of the City of Logan.  Their claim was that having such a religious symbol on official city materials marginalized and thus, in some sense, injured non-Mormon citizens of Logan.


I thought this was nonsense.


I grew up in San Gabriel, California.  Across the street from my high school, and something that I saw virtually every day of my childhood and youth at least once and often several times, was the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, founded by Father Junipero Serra in 1771.


For that reason, the (somewhat corny) slogan of my home town was and is “San Gabriel: City with a Mission.”


The official logo of San Gabriel, California


Did having the iconic bell tower of an eighteeenth-century Catholic church on my home town’s official letterhead, official vehicles, official seal, and city logo marginalize me, a non-Catholic, in any way?  No.  Did I ever feel that it did?  Never.   Did it  injure me?  Absolutely not.  Would I have endorsed a campaign to have it removed from all official materials on grounds of separation and church and state?  Never in a million years.


The San Gabriel Mission is a venerable historical structure in which all citizens of the city should take pride, regardless of their own religious affiliation or lack thereof.  And, I would argue, so too is the Logan Temple for citizens of that town.


I’m entirely unsympathetic to people who seem to go out of their way to take offense, or at least to claim that they’re offended, and who have to reach for their smelling salts if they hear a choir, or see a historic church on a city seal, or find themselves confronted by (quelle horreur!) a nativity scene.  Interacting with people who don’t share our religious faith (or lack thereof) or who disagree with our politics is part of life, and such people should, in my judgment, get one.


Posted from Chicago, Illinois.





"5 Reasons Why Mormons Are Happier"
"Lost Boys: Moms of Radicalized Western Jihadists Form a Support Group"
The Tabernacle Choir's Current East Coast Tour
  • http://plainandpreciousthing.blogspot.com/ Rozann

    Absolutely! I asked my parents, when I was in elementary school, why fish sticks were the entrée every Friday. The simple explanation that it was to accommodate the many Catholics in our school was enough for me and I never felt threatened or offended by that generous (in my mind) accommodation. I agree, people should ‘get a life’ and stop being mortally offended because there are believers in their midst.

  • lds mom in okc

    I am always struck by the arrogance and hubris of those who think the Constitution guarantees the freedom FROM religion, and not the freedom OF religion AND the free expression thereof. We also do not have a constitutional right to not be offended. I believe the intent of the founding fathers was to protect religion and the freedom to express our religious beliefs publicly from the intrusion of government regulation–not to protect government from religion. My ancestors and my husband’s ancestors have fought for our freedoms going all the way back to the Revolutionary War. My husband is also a veteran. My husband has an ancestor who was lynched by his neigbors for opposing seccession during the Civil War. My dad, a Vietnam veteran, often liked to say that he may not agree with you, but he will fight to the death to protect your right to exercise your freedoms. We also both each have parents who have lived under communism, so we have taught our children the importance of freedom and the blessings of living as citizens of our great nation.

  • Sikh Anon

    Every city needs a saint or two. Chicago should add St Wendelin, the patron saint of sheep and goat herders. He could lift the billy goat curse on the Cubs.

    I have roots in Chicago and my first ancestor in America was Wendel Geit. I think his line was from goat herders in the Palatine.