Happy 4th of July

“Neither Pagan nor Mahamedan nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the Commonwealth because of his religion.” - Thomas Jefferson, quoting John Locke

Hail to the pen and muse of Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence! Hail to those who’ve honored the true spirit of our founding documents, who defended us with arms, who challenged us with nonviolence, and reminded us of our true nature through art and rebellion.

"Washington as a Freemason," The George Washington Masonic Memorial.

"Washington as a Freemason," The George Washington Masonic Memorial.

“…the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…” - Article 11, Treaty of Tripoli, 1796 (signed by President John Adams)

Let us not forget that the United States was shaped by indigenous Native religions, TranscendentalismDeismFreemasonry, and free-thinking products of the Enlightenment, just as it was shaped by Christianity. Let us not forget the pre-Christian “pagan” roots of our democracy, our republic.

“Every president, every politician, who takes the oath to uphold our Constitution, are taking an oath that the founders knew would allow for men and women of every faith (or even no faith) to someday take their place among our leadership. They are taking an oath on a document crafted by men who are products of the Enlightenment, whose thinkers looked to ancient pagan thinkers, politicians, and philosophers for wisdom and guidance, unencumbered by the filter of the Christian church. The religious pluralism of the United States of America is a pluralism that had its first breaths in ancient Greece, and later ancient Rome, where a variety of gods, goddesses, cults, sects, and traditions had to live together in a civil society. To return to Professor Majid’s essay, “one can’t imagine the American Republic without the Founding Fathers’ knowledge of Greece and Rome.”Democracy, republicanism, are core pagan inventions, and no matter how Christian the hand who steers the ship of State, those ideals remain lest our institutions crumble.”

Let us be thankful that our founders understood completely that religious freedom meant all faiths, even if they were Pagans, or claimed no religion at all.

“But it is objected that the people of America may, perhaps, choose representatives who have no religion at all, and that pagans and Mahometans may be admitted into offices. But how is it possible to exclude any set of men, without taking away that principle of religious freedom which we ourselves so warmly contend for? This is the foundation on which persecution has been raised in every part of the world. The people in power were always right, and every body else wrong. If you admit the least difference, the door to persecution is opened.” James Iredell, North Carolina, one our first Supreme Court justices, appointed by George Washington.

Happy Independence Day! Also, happy belated Canada Day to my neighbors up north.

About Jason Pitzl-Waters
  • Hecate_Demetersdatter

    Excellent post; I’m bookmarking this one. 

  • Sunweaver

    The Classical foundation of this thing we call “America” is evident both in the words of the founding fathers, the architects of our nation, as well as in the literal architecture of our nation’s capital. You see more columns in DC than crosses and the claim that this is a “Christian Nation” just doesn’t hold when you open your eyes and see what’s in front of you.
    Hail Columbia!

    • Lyradora

      When you really think about it, the National Mall — with it’s monuments to Presidents, social revolutionaries, and soldiers — is really a collective ancestral shrine.

  • Guest

    Those interested in DC might like Jim Wasserman’s Secrets of Masonic Washington - it is loving to DC, mostly wonderful pictures, and it isn’t “conspiracy theory” b.s.  http://www.studio31.com/DC-Masons.htm 

  • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

    Another excellent post!

    Even the phrase “We hold these truths to be self-evident” is pregnant with Pagan influences. The very idea of “self-evident” truth is foreign to Christianity, which relies solely on “revealed truth”. This distinction was recognized and emphasized by ancient Pagans in their critiques of Christianity. And this distinction is also tacitly acknowledged by the Christians in their fervor for “evangelizing” (after all, one does not need “missionaries” in order to “spread” something that is “self-evident”).

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    A fine invocation of our multi-faith roots, Jason.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rapture.hoax2011 Roy Linford Adams

    This is a major loss to those who are trying to convince the country that the declaration was written by christians, for christians and based on the bible. Here’s the author being all inclusive and (GASP) Secular!!!

  • http://profiles.google.com/thorncoyle T Thorn Coyle

    Nicely done, as always, Jason. Thanks.

    Here is a Declaration of Interdependence:

    http://www.thorncoyle.com/blog/2012/07/04/declaration-of-interdependence/

  • Donald Michael Kraig

    I’ve always thought that 4/7/1776 was more accurately the inception date for the U.S. It was followed by a difficult pregnancy that included war with Britain, disagreements between the states, and failed attempt to give birth to a unified whole with the Articles of Confederation.

    In my opinion, the true date of the birth of the United States of America was September 17, 1787, the day the Constitution Convention adopted the U.S. Constitution, the document that, with 27 tweaks, has kept our country together through good times and challenging times.

    The U.S. Constitution clearly states where our right and authority to stand among the other nations of the world. That right did not come from any god or goddess. That right did not come from any king or royalty. That right did not come from a bunch of wealthy people intent on making us a plutocracy.

    That source of our right to be a free nations is clearly laid out in the largest words on the original document, the first three words of the preamble: We the people.

    Many people talk about Darwin and the “survival of the fittest,” but few have read “On the Origin of the Species.” In fact, the concept of survival of the fittest is rarely mentioned. Instead, Darwin notes that cooperation among members of species is far more likely to bring continued vitality and success.

    Indeed, if we focus on “I got mine. Screw everyone else” as some politicians and pseudo-religionists would have us do, the UNITED States of America will devolve and die like the states of feudalism. If, instead, we work together for the good of all—wealthy and poor, any religion or non-religion, any gender or sexuality, any culture, and skin color—then the USA will not only survive, it will thrive.

    • Hotstreak12

       good response, but don’t forget that many of the founding fathers were fairly wealthy land owners and Benjamin Franklin was forced to compromise some of the language in the declaration to appease the slave holding southerners. It may say we the people, but the driving force has always been men of means seeking freedom, and a big part was due to unfair taxation.

    • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

      Most of the original Constitution is concerned with the protection of the property and interests of the wealthy and the privileged.

      It was only once the first 10 “tweaks” were put in place that the “rights” of all individual citizens were explicitly enumerated (and this only once it became clear that a new Revolution would erupt otherwise).

      And it was not until the 13th, 14th and 15th “tweaks” were applied (which, sadly, took most of another century to accomplish) that the category of “citizen” was extended to include all men, regardless of race. Ironically, this was also the first time that the highest law of the land explicitly excluded women, but the good news was that this was done only because now women could no longer be excluded implicitly. The inclusion of women come with tweak #19, and then tweak #24 came along and, very importantly, eliminated the “poll tax”.

      Nearly everything that most Americans associate with freedoms and rights enshrined in “The Constitution” actually lies in these 15 crucial “amendments”.

      As already noted, the first ten amendments came in direct response to the threat of out and out armed rebellion by the common people, whose blood had secured Independence in the first place. Amendments 13-15 came about only as a result of one of the bloodiest conflicts in human history up to that point. The 19th amendment was won through more peaceful means, but also by a massive, century long popular struggle. Finally, the 24th amendment was a direct result of the Civil Rights movement.

      • Theophile

         1919 Marked “the year of stupid amendments”  by 1929 the idiocracy had taken hold, with the proof of the great depression…We were able to repeal the 6+6+6=18th but the creation of organized crime & the FBI, stayed just the same. The Sufferage of the irreversible 19th amendment will continue to make us a emotional, kneejerk, it’s all about feelings at the poll place nation, and quite the Jezebel led Babylon till were gone.

        • Crystal Kendrick

          Wow, that’s some rather deep misogyny right there.
          “…and quite the Jezebel led Babylon till were [sic] gone.” And this nearly made me shoot coffee out of my nose. What century are you living in, Theophile?

  • Hotstreak12

     and now a few quotes from our founding fathers

    Thomas Jefferson: Christianity is the most perverse system to ever shine down upon man

    John Adams: This would be the best of all possible worlds of there were no religion in it

    Benjamin Franklin: Lighthouses are more useful than Churches

  • Charles Cosimano

    George Washingon is no long spinning in his grave.  He has spun out of the grave and has drilled halfway down to China.

    • Theophile

       That’s funny till you consider the location of hell, I wonder if he’s stuck.

      • Hotstreak12

         that would be relevant if any of us actually believed in hell. But I agree with Charles, and am waiting for some poor Chinese farmer to find poor George rolling around in his field.

        • LeohtSceadusawol

          The farmer could likely be accused of stealing a national treasure/relic.

  • http://therioshamanism.com/ Lupa

    Incredibly useful and concise–I like it! Happy 4th (slightly belated) to you as well!


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