The Jesuit New World Order

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


The U.S. Congress was corrupt and un-Christian from the beginning.
Capitol (kap'i tol) n. The official seat of the Congress of the U. S. at Washington. 2 [C- or c-] The building occupied by any State legislature. 3 The temple of Jupiter Maximus at Rome, on the Capitoline hill.
Capitol, 1.
the official center of ancient Rome, on one of its hills; a spot sacred to Jupiter, with a temple and a fort. 2. The bldg. in Washington, D.C., where Congress assembles; also the bldgs. in the state capitals of U.S. used as the seats of govt. The Capitol at Washington was begun in 1792 and completed in 1905[??]; was partially burned by the Br. during the War of 1812. Its cost, more than $16,000,000.
(kap'i to lin or ka pit'o lin) n. The smallest of the 7 hills of Rome. -- adj. Pert. to the hill in Rome having two elevations, one the Tarpeian Rock, the other the site of the anc. Capitol, or to the dieties worshiped there.
(Webster's Unified Dictionary and Encyclopedia, 1960.)
Capitol, n. [F. capitole, fr. L. capitolium, fr. caput head.] 1. The temple of Jupiter at Rome on the Capitoline hill [Capitol Hill; the "Hill"]. 2. The edifice at Washington in which the Congress of the United States holds its sessions; also, U.S. (often not capitalized), the building to which a State legislature meets; a statehouse. Webster's Collegiate Dict., 5th ed. 1947(WRD).
Cap-i-tol, n. [L. Capitolium, < caput, head.] The ancient temple of Jupiter at Rome, situated on a summit of the Capitoline Hill; the hill itself; a similar Roman edifice, as in ancient provincial cities; in the U.S., the edifice occupied by Congress at Washinton; also [often l.c.], a state-house.&Mac220;Cap'i-to-line (-to-lin), a. [L. Capitolinus.] Of or pertaining to the Capitol at Rome, the hill on which it stood, or the god Jupiter (of whom worship the Capitol was the seat.] The New Century Dictionary, 2 vols., D. Appleton-Century Company, 1927-46(WRD).
"We have built no temple but the Capitol, we consult no common oracle but the Constitution."&Mac220;Rufus Choate [former member of Congress]. September 1993 Calendar. The Capitol on the 200th Anniversary of the Laying of its Cornerstone on September 18, 1793, Published by The United States Capitol Historical Society, 200 Maryland Avenue, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002(WRD).
References to classical dieties in the U. S. Capitol's architecture and symbolism
Her historical name is Persephone. She stands atop the United States Capitol Building in Washington, DC.
The act of standing upon property is an aggressive legal demonstration. Your lawyer will tell you that standing upon a thing is an ultimate proof of ownership in adverse possession.
Persephone, with the ancient pagan heritage she embodies, quite literally... owns the entire facility she crowns. The United States Congress belongs to her.
But how did Persephone (officials gave her the name Freedom) achieve her place of honor over Washington? Who put her there? When? Under what circumstances? What is the theological history of this “only authorized Symbol of American heritage”? What is her future?
Persephone was the Graeco-Roman goddess of the psyche or soul. She was abducted by Saturn’s son Hades, who enthroned her as queen-consort of his dominion, the underworld. Significantly, Persephone was distinguished by fifth-century Athenian scholastics for her... immaculate conception.
In 1854, Pope Pius IX issued an encyclical defining Immaculate Conception, an unbiblical scenario which holds that the Virgin Mary, like her son (and like Persephone), was “preserved free from all stain of original sin in the first instant of her conception.” Within days, federal legislators in Washington became obsessed with expanding the Capitol dome. According to one official publication, “Never before or since has an addition to the Capitol been so eagerly embraced by Congress.” Legislation was hastily passed which incorporated the new papal doctrine into the new dome’s cupola. A week later, the “immaculately-conceived” goddess Persephone was ordained to surmount the legislative center of the United States.
Persephone was sculpted in Rome and installed atop the Capitol on the 47th anniversary of the death of America’s first Roman Catholic Bishop, John Carroll. The event was heralded by 47 gunshots, thirty-five from a field battery on Capitol Hill, twelve from the surrounding forts.
The Capitol, incidentally, is erected on property owned by Bishop Carroll’s family. In the 1663 Maryland records, the exact site was recorded under the title “Rome,” its owner a man named “Pope.”
Roman Catholicism is a universal secular government domiciled at the Vatican City State in Rome. Its sovereign, the Pope, is an absolute ruler who is deemed infallible. In the political context, the Roman Catholic Church has been determined by the United States District courts to be a foreign State (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Case No. 85-1309).
The Roman Catholic Church State, if it may be so called, requires universal obedience to the decrees of its omnipotent pope and his various councils. Vatican Council II’s Constitutions on the Church (1964) require secular officials, “whoever they are, to expend all their energy for the growth of the Church and its continuous sanctification.”
Are the American people being ruled by a foreign sovereign for whom the United States is a useful tool in his management of world order? The world at large is totally ignorant of the occult symbolism which lies behind the famed statue of liberty which sits astride the harbor of New York, symbolizing its true inner character and purpose. The sculptor who made the great statue was Italian. His name was Auguste Bertholdi. His work was greatly influenced by the ancient sculptor Phidias who made gigantic statues of the ancient goddesses, particularly Athena, the "goddess of wisdom" and Nemesis (another name for Venus), a goddess who held a cup in her right hand. Before beginning the statue of liberty project, Bertholdi was seeking a commission to construct a giant statue of the goddess "Isis," the Egyptian Queen of Heaven, to overlook the Suez canal. The statue of Isis was to be of "a robed woman holding aloft a torch" (Statue of Liberty: 1st Hundred Years, Bernard Weisberger, p.30, quoted in Beyond Babylon, James Lloyd, p.103)
Our Obvious But Hidden Pagan Heritage

George Washington’s favorite play was a tragedy, Cato. It was the most popular play of the age, and Washington had seen it performed many times.  Cato, the Younger, was a Roman statesman, brave soldier, stoic philosopher. Cato fights heroically for the Republic against Julius Caesar, then kills himself rather than submit to monarchy. The play is imbued with the Roman Republican virtues of honor, valor, integrity, loyalty, hope, and freedom of the individual. To inspire his ragged troops, Washington even had them perform it at Valley Forge in 1778.  He quoted from it often in conversation and letters--even in his Farewell Address. Some newspapers even used its lines as masthead themes. Its spirit was “in the air,” lines of it were familiar to people who had never read or seen the actual play.   Likewise, even today, every American knows a variation of one line taken from it.  For, in 1776, when Nathan Hale said, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country,” his British executioners and everyone else knew its source, and because of its connection to the Roman Hero, Cato, its message was all the more powerful  (There’s a copy of the play in the back with a marker at the passage.)  Oh, by the way, Cato died in 46 BCE. He was a Pagan.

My topic today is “Our Obvious But Hidden Pagan Heritage”.

We often hear of a “Judeo-Christian” influence inherent in our government and society. We hardly ever hear of our pagan roots.  I hope to demonstrate that those roots are everywhere among us and very deep. Pointing them out it might be the historically fair thing to do.

Given my title, a legitimate first question might be: “How can something be obvious but hidden?” I suspect that on one level, this might be analogous to someone telling you your shoelaces are untied: you look down, see that they are, and, of course, it is obvious.  Though I hope that some of the things I shall point out this morning are not all that obvious and that they will have a deeper and more long-lasting import that simply tying laces.  Being aware of them might also help us keep from tripping into an historical trap whose network of snares, I believe, is being laid surreptitiously throughout the land. But that story is a topic for another day, and perhaps another forum.

My talk relates to two UU Principles: 1) A free and responsible search for truth and meaning; 2) Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.  After my talk, I trust you will perhaps feel more aware that the “Pagan part” of this web is certainly connected to us as UU’s and as Americans--to our history, and our national character; and that you will agree that it deserves our respect and indeed merits being remembered.

I have been researching this topic for a few years; I was prompted to bring it to fruition now because I have come to believe that today our pagan heritage is being generally ignored, sometimes denigrated, and often swamped by an historically revisionist viewpoint with religious motives. This revisionist trend got its big push during the Civil War; more about that later.

Let’s start with an overview.  Until around the time of the Civil War, it was generally understood, that though Christianity has an important role in our society, we were nonetheless a secular nation with strong roots in pagan antiquity, particularly Greece and Rome. Our national symbols and monuments clearly reflected this, and they still do. There were and are, also, many untold and unheralded aspects of our culture, things that we encounter every day, without even thinking twice about them, that we inherited from the Pagans. Yet, we never hear pundits talking about any inherent Pagan dimension to our society.  

A definition of terms is always in order. If you Google, “paganism definition,” you will get some 630,000 hits; you are in for a long year. Today, however, I ask you to appreciate that since I’m not analyzing Paganism, or neo-Paganism  per se, for the purposes of this paper I am simply using a definition you will find in a standard dictionary, namely: a person who follows (in most cases) a polytheistic or pre-Christian religion (not a Christian, Muslim, or Jew). In short, the items I want to share with you are said to be pagan because they pre-date Christianity and Islam and they are not Jewish or Hebrew.

My plan, with your kind indulgence, is first to examine briefly just a few of an enormous number of these vibrant pagan gifts integrated into our everyday lives.   Then, for a change of pace, in part II, move to more overt, officially recognized concrete symbols.  Now, I realize that very few, if any, of these gifts and symbols will be new to you, but I hope to suggest to you that they deserve a more pronounced prominence in our collective thinking, as they reflect our interconnectedness.

To begin, I would like to ask: How many of us recall and are conscious of the name of the alphabet we use; are children who are learning it today being taught where it came from?  Well, I haven’t done a survey on this, but if my own experience and my own connections with students are any guide, the fact that this is a gift from the Pagans is not really stressed, and is often essentially ignored. What I usually here is: the English Alphabet.

Would it hurt to be reminded that our alphabet is the Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, evolved from the Etruscan Alphabet some time before 600 BCE; it can be traced through Etruscan, Greek, and Phoenician scripts to the North Semitic alphabet used in Syria and Palestine about 1100 BCE. Around 500 BCE, the Greeks deviated, and started writing from left to right; that’s why we do?

What I am suggesting is that if that simple history were presented and highlighted, it might alert our children to an interdependence with their Pagan heritage that would broaden their horizons and enhance their appreciation for an important gift from the ancient past.  As they got older, they might look for more and perhaps find other “connections” that are now totally ignored.

Another gift is the sexagesimal (sexagesimal) system. [No, it’s got nothing to do with sex.]  Indeed, some, perhaps all, of you may be familiar with it, but I venture to say that for most people it, or its origin, is not actively in their consciousness, even though they use it every day.  We might want to recall that the Sexagesimal is a numeral system with sixty as the base. It originated around 2000 BCE,  and we still use it for measuring angles, geographic coordinates, and time itself.

Did you ever wonder why a circle is said to have 360 degrees; there are 60 minutes of arc in a degree, etc.; likewise, why does an hour have 60 minutes, and a minute 60 seconds? Well, you can thank the ancient Sumerians.
These mere conventions  seem to us almost part of “nature.”

Until I was an adult, maybe I’m the exception, I never heard of the sexagesimal system; I certainly didn’t realize that I was using it every time I looked at my watch.  Who were these Sumerians, anyway. Well, they were from Sumer, probably the earliest know civilization in the world, located in Mesopotamia, now Irac

Iraq has been in the news regularly for almost this entire century, but has any commentator ever mentioned that we use a mathematical gift that came from Iraq even when we calculate our co-ordinatates to fly there? If they did, wouldn’t that help spread the idea of respect for the interdependent web of which we are a part? Mightn’t that help us feel just a little more “connected” to that sad land than we do?

With respect to  time measurement, as you know, the sexagesimal system stops at seconds, which are sub-divided using the decimal system, based on ten.  Now, where did that come from, I wonder? 

Before proceeding, I want to pause to say that during my research on this project, I was suprised regularly at finding so many things from pagan antiquity, that I was reminded of the Saturday Night Live bit, that you may remember, where a group of guys are sitting around a table in a Chicago bar, in Chicago, drinking beer.  And anytime someone asks a question like, “Who’s the greatest team?” or “Who’s going to win the championship?” they would all respond in unison: “Da Bears!”  Only in my case it became: “Da Greeks” ” or “Da Pagans,” or in the case of the decimal numerical system:  “Da Romans”.

The ancient pagan world also gave us a duodecimal numbering system (base 12). There are twelve signs of the Zodiac, twelve months in a year, and twelve European hours in a day or night. [Speaking of the Zodiac, it is certainly a fact that in this “non-pagan” society, if a newspaper stops printing the daily horscope, the letters come pouring in.]

If you ever wondered why we call a grocer a grocer, the root goes back to the duodecimal system--even though it’s spelled with a “c,” it goes back to gross with double “s”.  12 is a great number when you’re selling items in small quantities as a grocer does.  It has 1,2,3,4, 6 and 12 as factors.
Being a versatile denominator in fractions may explain why we have 12 inches in an imperial foot, 12 ounces in a troy pound, 12 old British pence in a shilling, 12 items in a dozen, 12 dozens in a gross, 24 (12 x 2) hours in a day, etc. The Romans also used a fraction system based on 12, including the unica, which became both the English words ounce and inch.  So the next time you buy a dozen donuts, maybe you’ll be reminded about our continuing interdependence with the old pagan world.
Then we have the binary numeral system, or base-2 number system,which  is used internally by virtually all modern computers.  I trust you find it of interest that the ancient Indian mathematician, Pingala, presented the first known description of a binary numeral system around the 6th century BCE
Now, I’d like now to say a few words about words.  They are, of course,  one way we can try to connect to each other, but are they in any way a Pagan part of the interdependent web?  Well, let’s take a peek. 
When I was teaching French, and the students would see that a French word like, say,  télévision, looked just like the English word,  they would sometimes say something like, wow, they use “our word.”  Well, as a linguist I always found this pleasantly amusing, for two reasons, really. First,  it’s only our word because we borrowed it (out of the interdependent web of existence?).  As typically happens with something totally new, when the television was invented, there was no word for it.  So, in such cases, we might ask: “Who ya gonna call?”  The answer often was, and still sometimes is: “Da Greeks,” or “Da Romans”. In this case, it was both: Tele is Greek for far; vision is Latin for sight.  We see a similar combo in words like telephone, telegraph, etc.; and various pagan roots are found in many thousands of other common words we use every day.

In the case of the word, television, there is also a certain irony. The word was first introduced at the 1900 World’s Fair, in Paris. A Russian, Constantine Perskyi, used it, in French, to describe one of his gadgets. So, English  actually borrowed this word directly from French, as we have many thousands of others over the years. So, the French weren’t using “our” word at all: we were using “theirs”. Our pagan roots are very deep, and as roots, usually below the surface.  I think we should be aware that when we say it is “our” word, or “their” word, each pronoun has a very expansive meaning, particularly if we are aware of our pagan heritage and interdependence]

Graduating quickly now from words to discourse itself, I would like to share just one example of a pagan heritage in how we communicate--especially when we communicate well.

As you will recall, an important part of education in medieval universities and for many centuries thereafter was the Trivium.  That is: Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic.  The main sources for the rules of rhetoric were Greek and Roman.

Then Pagan influence got renewed and reinforced by the Renaissance.  Quoting Will Durant, [The Renaissance was a time when]:

“. . . the Humanists captivated the mind of Italy, turned it from religion to philosophy, from Heaven to Earth, and revealed to an astonished generation, the riches of pagan thought and art.

Writers of the Baroque Period, the 17th and 18th centuries, were also deeply schooled in Greco-Latin turns of phrase.  Our Founding Fathers read these authors, and became imbued with those ideas and rhetorical devices.

A favorite was the tricolon. This is an arrangement of words or phrases in a group of three.  The three are related, usually expressing a different aspect of the same thought

You may be ahead of me on this one, but we can ultimately thank “Da Greeks”  and “Da Romans”  for “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”; and “Our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”  Pagans are not the source of these concepts necessarily, but certainly for the power of the phrasing.

[Though, I might suggest that the idea of “pursuing happiness” here on Earth was certainly a pagan idea, resurrected by the Renaissance;  a positive idea, implying that humans are not born prone to evil; and it is in sharp contrast to the “veil-of-tears-to-be-endured-until-the-afterlife” point of view that predominated for so many centuries before our Founding.]

I’m sure you can think of many more, e.g.: “We cannot dedicate--we cannot consecrate--we cannot hallow--this ground”;   “Government of the people, by the people, for the people.”  Lincoln could not read Cicero’s speeches; but this device, which was not native to the English language, he had learnt by studying the prose of baroque writers such as Gibbon, who were steeped in the cadences of Ciceronian Latin and skillfully reproduced them in English.(I have a footnote on that last sentence, as it is a paraphrase from a book called The Classical Tradition, by Prof. Gilbert Highet, Oxford.  Copy in back.)

We mentioned measuring time earlier, which was really “relative” chronology, having to do with hours and minutes in relation to each other. As the last item of this section, I would like to move now to the measurement of what is usually called “absolute” or historical chronology, that is, dates in relation to some fixed point in history.  In short: the calendar.
The Julian Calendar, created in 45 BCE,  became the calendar in General use in Europe for some fifteen centuries, but it was off by about eleven minutes a year.  Such that, by 1582 it had gained some ten days, and Gregory XIII, decided to correct it; one major reason was that the holydays were not corresponding to their traditional seasons. 
Lots more could be said about Calendar history, but for our purposes today what is significant is that the Pope essentially accepted the Pagan gift intact. He made no particular effort to Christianize it.  Thus all the names are still clearly Pagan, some are even Pagan gods or goddesses. In English usage, even the Christian Sabbath, the Lord’s day, is still
named after a pagan god or symbol. As you are no doubt familiar with theses, I will only make a couple of comments:
(Read all this passim)
Sunday - Named after the Sun [The Cath. Encyclopedia: “derived from Egyptian astrology”.]
Monday - Named after the Moon
Tuesday- Named after Tiu, the Norse god of war
Wednesday - Named after Woden, the Anglo-Saxon chief of the gods
Thursday - Named after Thor, Norse god of thunder
Friday - Named after Frigg, a Norse goddess
Saturday -Named after Saturn, Roman god of harvests

As to why the week has seven days, a Pagan convention accepted world-wide, nobody really knows for sure. There are lots of conjectures. But no one disputes that it’s a Pagan idea.
Months (Read this passim)
January - Named after Janus, Roman god of doors and gates
February -Named after Februa, Roman period of purification
March -Named after Mars, Roman god of war
April -from the Latin apeire, 'to open'
May - Named after Maia, Roman goddess of spring and growth
June -Named after Juno, Roman goddess of marriage--[still lots of marriages in June, many by people who do not consider themselves pagan in any way.]
July - Named after Julias Caesar
August -Named after Augustus, first emperor of Rome

The rest don’t even make sense chronologically; but they do if you know history and our interdependence: That is, September, October, November and December come from Latin words that mean seven, eight, nine and ten.  So, we have a twelve-month year, whose last month means “ten”.  Wow! [Can you imagine explaining all this to some space alien if we ever have a “Close Encounter”?]ain and the American Colonies did not adopt the Gregorian Calendar until 1752--almost two centuries after it was created. The “error” by then had reached eleven days, so in that year Parliament declared that the day following September 2 would be September 14.  Also, New Years’ would be celebrated on January 1, instead of March 25
Because it shows just how deep these Pagan concepts are imbedded in our psyche, and our perception of nature and reality, I can’t resist relating to you something that should really be a footnote: In 1752,  when workers in England went to work on what they thought was September 3, only to be told that it was now September 14, serious riots broke out all over the place. The workers, believe it or not,  wanted to get paid their wages for the eleven days the government had cheated them out of 

It is sometimes suggested that since Gregory XIII was a pope, the calendar is “Christian.” Others still maintain that the Calendar is Christian because its “absolute” date is the birth of Christ, giving us BC and AD.  Yet, no one denies that the Gregorian Calendar is a revision of the Julian Calendar, which goes back to: “Da Romans”. Actually, it’s about as “Christian” as our alphabet is “English.” Nevertheless, this is a “hot” topic in certain circles these days.  Judging by letters-to-the editor of various local papers I read, and other non scholarly sources on TV and so forth, it seems that many people believe that BC and AD came about with the creation of the Julian Calendar and continued on into the Gregorian.   Well, I have read the history of this usage at length in various serious reference works, and, surprisingly there is no real dispute among scholars about when BC and AD came into common usage.
An excellent presentation, among the best I have found on this topic, is in the Catholic Encyclopedia, under “General Chronology.”  The Article is on the board in the back.  If you read it, you will discover that the terms BC (actually AC at first) and AD were first created by a monk named Dionysius in the year 527.  The Encyclopedia¸ goes on to explain that Dionysius made up some dates “rightly or wrongly” about when Christ was born. In spite of usage by the Venerable Bede in the 9th Century, “[Dionysius’s] system was adopted but gradually, and its use did not become general in Europe until after A.D. 1000.”  So, for more than a thousand years almost everybody, including the Pope, used the Pagan system of regnal dates, and no one said they weren’t Christians. A common regnal date in force until 525 CE was the reign of emperor Diocletian. In fact, the regnal dates were being used in Christian Great Britain long after Gregory’s changes. (samples in back).
[Indeed, the title of Gregory’s Encyclical  creating the new calendar is: Inter Gravissimas. He dates it at the end: “Datum Tusculi, anno Incarnationis dominicae MCLXXXI, sexto Kalendas Martii, pontificatus nostri anno x”; which translates as : “Given at Tusculum in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord 1581, sixth Kalends March of our pontificate, year 10.”  From this, allow me to point out that, the Pope is still using the Roman, Pagan style to indicate the day, and most modern Christians do not know which day is meant; he finishes with the regnal date. Further, the year itself could be interpretded differently depending on the modern  Christian Sect.  For those interested: the day is February 24th, that is, the sixth day before March 1st, (Kalends); the year is given in reference works as 1581/2, that is, it can be 1581 or 1582, depending on whether you date “BC” from the Birth or the Incarnation of Christ:  That gives a nine-month window. Even here there is some confusion created by the fact that the Venerable Bede and other Christian notables tended to identify Incarnation with the Nativity.]
By the way, I believe, Pope Gregory was wise for not having tried to Christianize the Pagan calendar further than it had been.  The French Republic, on the contrary, in 1793 decided to throw out all the old religious baggage.  They completely redid the calendar:  changed the names, instead of weeks had months of three ten-day periods called decades, etc. (They also introduced the Metric system, and they changed the clock to a ten-hour day.  Napoleon went back to the Gregorian Calendar in 1806. The Pagan roots are deep.
Our Founding Fathers, like Pope Gregory, wisely left the calendar intact.  Let’s turn our attention now to just a few of the other Pagan traditions they bequeathed to us.
In 1782 Congress approved the design of the Great Seal of the United States.  The Obverse and the Reverse sides both appear on the One Dollar Bill. I’m sure you are familiar with these words and images so I will say only that the words are not Pagan because they are in Latin, but because--and this is something that is usually ignored in commentaries, the expressions are based on texts by Pagan authors such as Virgil and Horace. The images are pagan. Nothing there is either Jewish, Christian or Muslim. (Some on display in the back.)
Another point: The Great Seal was adopted by Congress in 1782. Providence, as represented by the All-seeing Eye, is in keeping with the Articles of Confederation in force at the time for The Articles give thanks to: “. . . the Great Governor of the World. . .”.  Interestingly, just five or so years later, in 1787 when some of the same men helped draft the Constitution, to replace the Articles of Confederation, all references to Providence were carefully avoided, such that the document was completely secular. There is no question they kept religion out deliberately, since, during Ratification debates, they took much flack for its so-called “godlessness”. We shall return to this later.
I’m not sure if the following points are hidden or obvious.  I believe that there are conceptual Pagan influences in the Declaration and in the Constitution as well: especially, three among many:  the idea of democracy, a republic, a tri-partite government
If we ask for instance, who invented Democracy, the answer is clearly: “Da Greeks”. Whereas, the Romans, back in 509 BC,  had overthrown a monarchy, just like we did,  and formed a Republic that lasted for 450 years.  The Founders and Framers knew and used these Pagan examples as models for the political structure of our nation. Clearly, had they used post-Pagan examples, they would more likely have created a monarchy or an empire. On the other hand, if someone wants to argue that these three civic concepts are part of a Judeo-Christian heritage, I wish them Godspeed in there search for proofs.
Earlier, in mentioning the Civil War, I contended that the essentially Pagan nature of our institutions was generally recognized until then.  I would like to offer just one text from that period that supports that point of view in no uncertain terms, and which, to my knowledge has never been directly contested: namely, a famous letter, written in 1861--and which I’m sure you’ve heard of--from the Reverend W.R. Watkinson,  to Salmon Chase, Secretary of the Treasury. (A copy of this very short  letter is on the board in the back.) I’ll just hit the high points.
Allow me to set the stage first by saying that the Civil War had already started, and many thoughtful people, like the Reverend, were very frightened that the War could spell the total collapse of our Republic.
                   “November 18, 1861  AD
            Dear Sir: You are about to submit your annual report to the Congress respecting the affairs of the national finances.  One fact touching our currency has hitherto been seriously overlooked. I mean the recognition of the Almighty God in some form on our coins.  You are probably a Christian. What if our Republic were (not) shattered beyond reconstruction? Would not the antiquaries of succeeding centuries rightly reason from our past that we were a heathen nation?. . .”

So, ladies and gentlemen,  there you have it. The good Reverend recognized our Pagan heritage, and he is not happy about its heathen nature, which will be clearly evident to any future anthropologists and so forth.  He continues:

 What I propose is that instead of the goddess of liberty. . .

Again, forgive my interruption, but clearly, only pagans have goddesses, so my thesis about our pagan heritage is being supported by the good Revered. He continues describing what he wants in place of our goddess of freedom--basically the words God, Liberty and Law to be minted on our coins amid some earlier symbols.

 [we shall have next inside the 13 stars a ring inscribed with the words PERPETUAL UNION; within the ring the all seeing eye, crowned with a halo; beneath this eye the American flag, bearing in its field stars equal to the number of the States united; in the folds of the bars the words GOD, LIBERTY, LAW.]

He then continues:

 This would make a beautiful coin, to which no possible citizen could object. This would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism. This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed. . .

[ From my hearth I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters. To you first I address a subject that must be agitated.]

Well,  The Reverend Watkinson admits that our history shows we are a “heathen” (Pagan) nation, but—by putting the name of God on our currency—we will be placed openly under Divine protection—which many of us have “personally claimed.”  So he wants to meld his and Chase’s  personal religious conviction with official government symbols.  The Reverend, then, it seems to me, is clearly at odds with the Founders

For, as is evident from their letters and their lives, that just like the Reverend Watkinson, many were Christians, though some were Deists, some even Unitarians,  but they had all carefully kept their personal religion out of the instruments of government and its symbols, particularly (as we saw above) the Constitution This was a first in history. In the back of the Church I have provided a few samples: the Magna Carta, Mayflower Compact and others from the American Colonies, where, you will see, the personal, Christian, religion of the writers is everywhere in evidence. Not so, with our Constitution. 

At the time of the Civil War, it must be said that Reverend Watkinson was not alone in being afraid; his fear was not unreasonable.  But his fear spurred  him, along with many others, to turn heavenward for sustenance and to invite the power of the government to add its weight to their pleas. 

This letter, as you are certainly aware, was a major catalyst for causing the words, In God We Trust, to be first minted on the 1864 two-cent coin.   Eventually, in 1955, in another period of great fear-- nuclear holocaust with communists--the Government decreed that “In God We Trust” become our new Motto and be placed on the paper currency as well.  They kept the earlier pagan symbols of the Founders, but the new Motto no longer has a  connection with Virgil or Horace like that of the Founders.

The 1861 letter is in keeping with a powerful movement of the time, which attempted on three separate occasions to introduce a Bill to revise the very Preamble to the Constitution and change it to include references to Jesus and the Christian faith.  That movement continues to this day.

A descendent of those efforts, completely disregarding our Pagan heritage, might well be the pending House Resolution # 888, ostensibly an attempt to designate the first week of May, 2008, as “American Religious History Week.” Introduced in December, 2007, it has over seventy “Whereases,” but the word, Pagan, does not appear in any. I believe there are other serious omissions as well as distortions of our history as well.  A copy is in the back for those interested.

In returning to my theme, I would like to finish up by having us examine in some detail one concrete pagan artifact that was in the news quite a bit around the time the Reverend wrote his letter.  Namely: The STATUE OF FREEDOM:

This bronze Statue of Freedom, by Thomas Crawford, is the crowning feature of the dome of the United States Capitol. The statue is a classical, allegorical female figure of Freedom wearing flowing draperies. Her right hand rests upon the hilt of a sheathed sword; her left holds a laurel wreath of victory (Roman symbol) and the shield of the United States with thirteen stripes. Her helmet is Roman, encircled by stars and features a crest composed of an eagle's head and talons, (standard of Roman Legions), feathers, a reference to the costume of Native Americans.
A brooch inscribed "U.S." secures her fringed robes. She stands on a cast-iron globe encircled with the national motto, E Pluribus Unum. The lower part of the base is decorated with fasces and wreaths. The fasces, of course, were a symbol of authority in Rome. The base could not better symbolize that we are indeed: standing on the shoulders of our ancestors.
The bronze statue stands 19 feet 6 inches tall and weighs approximately 15,000 pounds. Her crest rises 288 feet above the east front plaza.
This might well personify the “Goddess of Freedom” that the Reverend Watkinson decried.  Yet, this statue received universal support and acclaim.  Interestingly, the only real objection made during the designing of this statue was by Jefferson Davis, then Secretary of War, (1754).  The original had the figure wearing a Phrygian Cap, (liberty cap) a symbol of freedom, usually red, worn by freed Roman slaves. Davis objected categorically, insisting, "American liberty is original and not the liberty of the freed slave."

So, instead of a Freedom Cap, the stature wears a Roman Helmet, eagle, etc.   However, we should recall that the Liberty Cap had actually been carried by the Sons of Liberty, and other patriots, and it was often flown aloft on Liberty Poles, even in Southern States, during our Revolutionary War. By the way, the liberty cap came back to the Capitol: It’s a prominent part of the US Senate Seal, along with the Roman fasces. (copy in back of Church). Here is a picture of the Seal of the US Senate, and along side it I have placed a seated Liberty dollar, 1871, with a freedom cap atop a pole

Image:Senate Seal.svg Seated Liberty Dollar, with Phrygian cap on a pole (1871). 

Just as the Founders chose to call one legislative body The Senate, following the Roman example, the Dome stands on what the Founders chose to call the Capitol, the very word is from L. capitlium temple of Jupiter on Capitoline hill, one of the seven hills of Rome. An important model used for its original architecture was the Pantheon, home of the gods in Rome.  That building has deep Pagan roots. Interestingly, on “our” Capitol Hill, on September 18, 1793, adorned in masonic attire, George Washington laid the cornerstone. Let’s remember also, that the title by which George Washington is best known, given to him by his compatriots, is a translation of pater patrie, the honorific name given to several heroes of the Roman State, with particular attention to Cicero.

The final section of the statue of Freedom--in the middle of the Civil War--was raised on December 2, 1863, to a grand salute of 35 guns answered by the guns of the 12 forts around Washington.  Highly anticipated, this was a very big event and a happy one.  The statue had been on display on the Capitol grounds for many months.
Imagine, in 1864, just a few months after this magnificent symbol of our national spirit of freedom was erected, people were walking around Washington, no doubt looking up at this pagan symbol with pride, and perhaps, jingling coins in their pockets stamped with “In God We Trust.” The statue, of course, represents the same spirit that the French saw in us when they gave us the Statue of Liberty.
Surely, this magnificent artwork, and all the Pagan heritage I have outlined today (only scratching the surface, of course) reflect, in a special way, the UU belief in the our interdependence and our interconnectedness with all the lives, no matter their religion, that contributed to our character and our worthiness as a nation and a people. I think our Pagan Heritage deserves to be recognized as part of that--part of us.
So, now, one-hundred and fourteen years later, we still have our “pagan goddess” of freedom in the sky over the Capitol.   

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