Today we mark the anniversary of The Declaration of Independence, when we traitorous colonials told the monarch of Britain that the 13 states were united and free of foreign rule. Our founders intended this new union to be a secular republic—a very rare thing! Americans now popularly use this day, or the nearby weekend, as a means to enjoy a summer holiday with convivial gatherings, barbecues, and evening fireworks displays. Commercial enterprises lure folks toward capitalist excess with varied discounts for their wares and services. While we Satanists partake, or refrain, from all of this as we please, we also make time to reflect on the significance of the manifestation of this nation whose expressed values have favored self-determination for its citizens.
Satanism champions freedom, individualism and personal satisfaction so naturally we endorse the country that in 1776 promised its citizens “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” as fundamental rights. We also find inspiration from the bold proclamation in the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli that “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” This inherent secularism rejected the age-old practice of governments being infested by an established religion which would then force widespread obeisance to its theism-based morals and doctrines. Hence all religious displays should be kept from governmental properties—a position we’ve held from our beginning.
When properly functioning, the American social system serves as an ongoing experiment advancing a progressive societal framework permitting individuals to control their own destinies. This is achieved via a social contract offering equity under the law which, to a certain degree, promotes meritocracy while eschewing the inherent “mob rule” of democracy. The complex structure of this republic was intended to prevent any rising demagogue from seizing power based on popular support.
Viewing the past endeavors of our species, most freethinkers understand how exceptional is this approach to organizing our interactions. Yet it could be but an ephemeral aberration in human history, as is betokened by recent global governmental shifts towards populism. Diversity can readily be quashed when majorities are fear-driven and seek scapegoats for whatever issues prevent them from what they think should be the personal fulfillment they believe they are owed.
Those who join us, our allies who cherish personal sovereignty, must grasp that maintaining the flame of freedom requires active vigilance. Acquiescence to those who would limit our autonomy, whether motivated by supernaturalist delusions or socio-political collectivism, will douse that precious fire. Today, we ponder the fragility of individual liberty, and the currently ebbing freedoms of speech and expression—now actively being suppressed from both right and left extremes of the political spectrum. It is in the intellectual spirit of those who founded this nation to affirm our determination to preserve unbounded thought and utterance in resistance to all who seek our silent subjugation.
Here’s to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness! May many nations vehemently reject the meanness of thought and poverty of empathy which fosters a terror of diverse ways of thinking, speaking, and living. We must not permit the growing ranks of the cowardly to stifle our myriad means toward self-deification!
Hail Independence—now and henceforward!
—Magus Peter H. Gilmore