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PostPosted: 28 Jun 2008, 22:16 
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The United States: A Country founded on Paganism

by Pagan Jim

Pagan n. 1. A person who is not a Christian, Moslem, or Jew; heathen. 2. One who has no religion. -The American Heritage Dictionary

Although the common meaning of Paganism seems to imply atheism, a Pagan can worship any other god not common to the god of the Torah, the Bible or the Koran. This also includes those who worshiped gods before the advent of the Judeo-Christian religions. As Mortimer Adler put it: "Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, and Cicero were Western pagans. The Western peoples of pre-Christian antiquity were all pagans in the sense defined. Many remained pagans during the early centuries of the Christian era; and from the 16th century on, the number of pagans living in communities that were predominantly Christian or Muslim has steadily increased." [Adler]

So if we wish to find the origins of a government based on Paganism, we must establish two things: 1. The lawful documents, symbols and mottoes of the founding government do not contain any mention of Christian, Moslem, or Jewish religions. 2. The documents, symbols and mottoes of the founding government describe Pagan deities and concepts.

Since the government in question involves the founding documents and symbols of the United States of America, we must satisfy the above two criteria with evidence for Paganism and a lack of evidence for Christianity, Judaism, or Islam.

This becomes evermore interesting in light of the recent religious-right movement in their attempt to convince citizens that the American government derived from Christian principles. The inspiration for creating this article came from deceptive claims by right-wing Christians about Moses and the 10 commandments depicted on the Supreme Court building and other state courthouses (more about this below). This article shows their error by examining the very documents establishing the United States of America (the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution) and the symbols and mottoes used by the early Americans. In every case, Paganism prevails and Christianity does not. In fact, Paganism reveals itself so predominantly that it should give the reader pause to consider the power of Christian propaganda to deceive and disguise these obvious facts for so long.

...

Pre-independence America

Although the first colonists in America came from Europe (mostly Great Britain, Spain, and Holland), many of them to escape religious persecution (Christian persecution no less!), to establish a place of free Christian worship, these early European-Americans eventually succumbed to the government of Great Britain. The religious-right propagandists like to put emphasis on this period of American history because, indeed, these first European-Americans did live under Christian rule and it makes it seem as if these first colonists established the government of the United States. They did not.

Of course the first Americans did not practice Christianity at all. Native Indians lived in America thousands of years before the Christians invaded their land. These original Americans got dispossessed, slaughtered, or segregated to the will of intolerant Christians. Today's religious-right Christians conveniently leave out any mention of the original Americans, Pagan to the very core. Only a very brief period before the formation of the United States could Christians call America their land. The following gives a brief historical summary:

The Spanish founded the first European colony in North America at St. Augustine, Florida, in 1565. In 1607, the London Company founded the Jamestown colony. In 1620 the Mayflower ship lands at Cape Cod, Massachusetts and its colonists formed the Mayflower Compact (a true Christian document) to establish a form of local government. But these early Christian colonies (the Puritans) became so religiously intolerant that a few of the colonists began to rebel. In 1636 Roger Williams founded Providence and Rhode Island because his fellow Christians banished him from Massachusetts. Why? Because of his "new and dangerous opinions" calling for religious and political freedoms, including separation of church and state. Providence then became a haven for many other colonists fleeing religious intolerance. Just a few years later in 1646, the Massachusetts general court approved a law that made religious heresy punishable by death! In 1692 hysteria grips Salem, Massachusetts as suspects accused of witchcraft got arrested and imprisoned. These religious Puritans accused one-hundred-fifty people of their own citizens and they executed twenty of them. In 1700, Massachusetts passes a law ordering all Roman Catholic priests to leave the colony within three months upon penalty of life imprisonment or execution (New York passes a similar law). In 1702 in Maryland, the Anglican Church gets established as the official church. In 1706 South Carolina also established the Anglican Church as its official church.

All of this occurred well before the establishment of the United States.

...

The Declaration of Independence, a Pagan document

Although strictly not a lawful document, the Declaration of Independence, a pre-government document, revealed the first attempt by the American colonists to establish their own independence from Great Britain. The Declaration also mentions god where the religious-right of modern times have tried to use as evidence for their Christian god. But does the god of the Declaration speak about a Biblical god? No, not at all. Clearly the god mentioned describes a Pagan concept. Lets look at the Declaration's words directly:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Thomas Jefferson thought of himself as a scientist more than he did a politician. Consider that the "Laws of Nature" describe a materialist viewpoint, many times referred to as Newton's laws in the years following Newton's discovery of the laws of gravity, light, and calculus mathematics. (Thomas Jefferson greatly admired Isaac Newton and anyone who visits Monticello will see the influence he had on Jefferson.) Clearly Jefferson intended "Nature's God," not to refer to the personal god of superstitious Christianity, but of a physical god of nature, the laws of physics-- Nature's God. In 1809 Jefferson wrote, "Nature intended me for the tranquil pursuits of science, by rendering them my supreme delight." Clearly Jefferson thought of Nature as God.

But even if you do not feel persuaded that Nature's God means the Laws of Nature and you insist that it refers to a supernatural god, then you still cannot use it to support a Judeo-Christian god. Why? Because to call the God of the Bible as Nature's God would not only contradict the Bible but would constitute heresy in the minds of 18th century Christian leaders of both the Protestant and Catholic faith. Nature's God describes a Pagan concept because nature describes the world. The Biblical concept of nature describes the earth (the world), the planets, plant, man and animal as nature, but certainly not as a part of God. According to Christianity God and Jesus come from above. The God of Christianity does not come from this world:

The alleged Jesus said, "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world." [John 8:23] and "My kingship is not of this world..." [John 18:36]

But to the Pagans, many gods of nature exist. The Egyptian, Hindu, Greek and Roman religions describe a plethora of gods of nature. ...

(From NoBeliefs.com)

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PostPosted: 15 Jul 2008, 15:47 
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Oh please, don't tell me pagans are trying to hop on the 'this is a XXXXX country' bandwagon too.

Most of the framers of the Constitution (and the writers of the DoI) were nominally xian, of various rather liberal and mild varieties, nothing like the screaming rabid fundy godbotherers that seem to dominate the national dialogue these days. There were a few outright atheists who at least influenced the early formation of the country and government, but neither the fundies, nor atheists, nor pagans can claim that this is anything other than a secular nation based on the actual founding document, the Constitution.

Read Dispatches from the Culture Wars on Scienceblogs for what I think are the best, most well reasoned arguments about the nature of the country's founding.

Cheers.


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PostPosted: 15 Jul 2008, 16:00 
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I think the primary thing they're doing there is proving the non-xian aspects of the document(s and their writers.

talking about 'Nature's God' as being definately Pagan is, well ... stretching it a bit ...

Though I did read an analysis somewhere about how our laws have -much- more in common with Code of Hammurabi than they do with the Hebrew/ Christian religious codes. And we all know those babylonians were pagans ... :cheeky:

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PostPosted: 15 Jul 2008, 16:02 
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I dunno--- I know enough pagans who would believe it...

:eek:

:thumper:

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