Despite Saying They Wouldn’t, Los Angeles County Officials Are Still Using a Seal With a Cross on It

For almost a decade now, this has been the seal of Los Angeles County in California:

There’s a lot going on there, but check out the center right image. That’s supposed to represent the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, a Catholic mission dating back hundreds of years. It’s conspicuously missing a cross because, from 1987-2009, the actual building didn’t have one (due to it being destroyed in an earthquake, then stolen). It wasn’t until 2009 that the cross was restored on the building.

So last year, some members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors wanted to change the seal to reflect that. (Isn’t that convenient…?) The supervisors voted 3-2 to revise the seal to include the cross.

But that led to a challenge from the ACLU. In June, the supervisors agreed to drop the cross from the seal while the litigation was pending… but a new lawsuit filed by the ACLU of California says they’re still using the “revised” version:

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Colorado House Member Who Blamed Legalized Abortion for a Pregnant Woman’s Stabbing Announces Senate Run

Gordon Klingenschmitt (below) is the minister who got elected to the Colorado House last year despite a laundry list of jaw-dropping past statements.

After his election, he gained national attention for saying that a pregnant woman was brutally stabbed because abortion is legal, a comment that cost him a committee assignment.

So I guess it makes sense that he just announced he’s going run for State Senate. Because when you fuck up that badly, the people of your state should reward you with even more power.



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Tennessee Legislator Blocks Rape, Incest Exemptions in Abortion Bill Because They’re “Not Verifiable”

Explaining her decision to block an exemption for rape and incest victims from Tennessee’s newest proposed abortion restrictions, State Rep. Sheila Butt made the peculiar argument that such an exemption shouldn’t exist because rape and incest isn’t typically “verifiable.”

Democratic Rep. Craig Fitzhugh proposed the amendment, along with another that offered an exemption for mental health reasons, as part of the restrictions put forth in HB 977. The bill would mandate counseling and a 48-hour wait period for any woman who wanted an abortion, except in cases of medical emergencies. Fitzhugh’s proposed amendments would have bypassed the wait period for those additional cases.

Butt, a Republican, took umbrage with both suggestions. An exemption for mental health, she argued, was simply a “loophole for the abortion industry.” Her response to the exemption for rape and incest victims was equally callous.

This amendment appears political because we understand in most instances, this is not verifiable. Let’s make sure that these women have the information and the understanding to act.



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Faithful Hindus Give Their Gods Billions of Dollars in Gold, Resist Government Bid To Put It In Interest Accounts

Gods need gold:

India is the world’s biggest consumer of gold and its ancient temples have collected billions of dollars in jewellery, bars and coins over the centuries — all hidden securely in vaults, some ancient and some modern. … Now, the Narendra Modi government reportedly wants to get his hands on this temple gold, estimated at about 3,000 tonnes, more than two-thirds of the gold held in the U.S bullion depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky, to help tackle India’s chronic trade imbalance.

The Modi government is planning to launch a scheme in May that would encourage temples to deposit their gold with banks in return for interest payments, it is said. The government is likely to melt the gold and loan it to jewellers to meet an insatiable appetite for gold and reduce economically-crippling gold imports, which accounted for 28 per cent of India’s trade deficit in the year ending March 2013.

Even if the plan succeeds, it’s still not nearly as good as converting the gold into cash directly to help the poor. Why would gods be interested in precious metals in the first place? It boggles the mind that more and more gold accrues to Hindu temples and none of it is used for anything but adornments, at best. A lot of the yellow metal just sits uselessly in vaults, hidden away for hundreds, possibly thousands of years.



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Greenville (SC) County Council Members, Ignorant of the Law, Won’t Let Atheists Deliver Invocations

When it comes to invocations at government meetings, the Supreme Court said last year that prayers are fine — even sectarian prayers “in Jesus’ name” are fine — as long as the process is open to everybody. If they want invocations, city councils must set policy so that even minority faith groups have a chance of delivering them. And we’ve seen the consequences of this for a while now, with atheists, Pagans, and Wiccans making the most of their opportunities.

But that message seems to have escaped the 12 County Council members in Greenville, South Carolina.

They think they already have diversity:

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