Whenever we have occasion to drive to the airport or to visit friends in Cleveland, my husband and I pass through a town called Eaton, the seat of the county north of us. A population of 9000, according to the town’s website. As we come into town, we pass a water tower that has the town seal painted on it.
As you’ve probably guessed, my attention is drawn to the cross and open book–presumably the Bible–that appear on the upper left.
I don’t have much info ready to hand about this seal, not even when it was adopted. (I’m intrigued enough to wish I had such info at my fingertips, but not invested enough to go dig it up.) But whenever we drive past, I wonder: What message did the people who initially designed and adopted this seal think they were sending by including a cross? Was it…
- “In this town, we believe in a high standard of public morality”?
- “Whatever may divide people in this town, we all share a Christian [Judeo-Christian?] heritage”?
- “We honor the heroic founders of our town, who fought against Muslims in the Barbary Wars”? (That info was ready to hand.)
- “We would really prefer that no Jews move into our town, though we could probably tolerate them since at least they use part of the Bible”?
- “We oppose godless Communism”?
Whatever may have been the original intentions, in the current political-cultural climate, the seal takes on the additional meaning of
- “In your eye, ACLU.”