"Great Star" flag's union was a grand pentagramAmerica was Founded on Pagan Ideals A grand pentagram was the "Great Star" flag's union

Some Americans who are poorly educated in history claim that our nation 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:

Top row: Left, U.S. Supreme Court. Middle, Ft. Independence Flag, 1781 (detail). Right, Statue of Liberty.
Middle row: Left, Last Liberty Tree, Maryland. Middle, Merrymount revels, unattributed engraving (detail). Right, Washington Monument at sunset.
Bottom row: Left, Ft. Moultrie Flag, 1775. Right, Lady Passion's arrest, 2003.


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Latest update: 30 Jan. 2011