America was Founded on Pagan
Some Americans who are poorly educated in history claim that the United States of America was founded in 1776 upon Christian ideals. They're wrong. Democracy and republicanism are historically Pagan ideals, directly opposed to churchly authoritarianism.
Most of America's traditional patriotic symbols are deeply Pagan. After all, the roots of her Revolutionary values of equality, cooperation, and liberty grew, not from Jerusalem, but from pre-Christian Athens (demokratia, Greek for "rule by the people") and Rome (res publica, Latin for "the people's thing") — as well as the common-law and council-house of Anglo-Saxons, Iroquois, and other indigenous folk.
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Paganism is, by definition, polytheistic, accepting and honoring many Gods and Goddesses. Like Nature Herself, it encourages diversity, tolerance, and pluralism in creed, color, language, gender, occupation ... provided everyone respects the Whole and does not try to grab the entire pie for himself. Paganism is by far the oldest and most universal form of human spirituality.
Fundamentalist Christianity/Islam/Judaism, however, is by definition monotheistic, insisting on only One God and rejecting all Others as false. This relatively new and unnatural notion of faith has spread hand-in-hand over the last few millenia with other forms of centralized "one-way-only-isms" such as governmental monarchy and economic monopoly — because after all, it's much easier to conquer and control your fellow creatures when you've got the corner on God's Will.
America's Founders weren't just political rebels. Most were also religious non-conformists, and many (like Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson) outright spiritual radicals. They were clear in their conviction — born of brutal historical experience (the Spanish Inquisition, Henry VIII, the Thirty Years War, the Witch-trials, etc.) — that political tyranny and religious intolerance are intimately linked. The motto they adopted for the new United States was not "In God We Trust" — which Congress decreed to be official only in the Cold War 1950s, as "God-fearing" capitalist propaganda against the "godless" communist enemy — but rather E Pluribus Unum, "From Many, One." It's no accident that this expression of unity-through-diversity originated with Virgil, a Roman poet — and a Pagan.
Explore Coven Oldenwilde's Pagan U.S., and you'll:
- Learn why America's proudest symbols are temples, pentagrams, and goddesses, and how you can use them in spellcraft for justice and peace.
- Read about our "matriotic" philosophy as Wiccan activists — together with an unabashedly Pagan poem by Thomas Paine in praise of the Liberty Tree.
- Find out about the "Pagan pilgrim," Thomas Morton of Merrymount, who defied the Puritans with his May Day revels and witty mockery of their hypocrisy.
- Discover what America's Founders actually said they believed about religious freedom and diversity and the new nation's commitment to being one nation, under many Gods — as opposed to the many fabricated quotes being widely circulated on the Internet in attempts to prove the Founding Fathers were exclusively pious, Bible-believing Christians.
- Consider whether it's disrespectful — or patriotic — to refuse to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Experience with Lady Passion and *Diuvei what it was like to be brutally arrested for protesting the Iraq War on the day it started (which motivated us to help lead a successful campaign to reform the Asheville Police Dept.); and peruse our useful tips for protestors.