Hail Independence!

INDEPENDENCE DAY: America the Fragile?

Once again, we mark the anniversary of The Declaration of Independence, that traitorous 1776 statement which lead to the foundation of the United States of America. Those colonials who wanted to shed foreign rule ostensibly intended their territorial union to be a secular republic—a most unusual endeavor in the annals of human history. As a philosophy of individualism and self-determination, Satanism’s fundamental principals endorse “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” as promised fundamental “rights” that should be ensconced in a governmental system serving all participating in that society. Yet, from that auspicious conceptual beginning, not all under the newly-crafted dominion were enjoying the benefits of that document’s unique pledge.

I have always considered that embracing the full range of facts, rather than holding to some propagandistic portrait—whether positive or negative—to be crucial for making informed evaluations of any situation. Let us peruse pertinent data.

This nation was almost irrevocably shattered during the Civil War, fought from 1861 to 1865, wherein the seceding Confederation of Southern States was eventually crushed by the northern Union, reuniting the USA. This conflict that lead to abolishing slavery was surely a proper act towards fulfilling the original founding declarations. That period of legally-endorsed slavery created wounds that still fester, leading to an ongoing nationwide state of unrest. 

It took that bloody war to liberate subjugated peoples and significant amendments to the Constitution of the United States to bring them into acceptance as full citizens. Women did not gain the right to vote until 1920—decades after the conclusion of the war between the states. The Equal Rights Amendment, whose first version was introduced to Congress in 1923, nearly a century later has not been ratified in all 50 states and is under assault in some quarters. In 2015, same-sex marriage became legal throughout our entire nation, yet that is now being contested by theists, based on the primitive moral codes ensconced in their scriptural fantasies. In June of 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, barring discrimination based on sex, extends as well to claims of gender identity and sexual orientation. But that, too, is being resisted under the false banner of “religious freedom”—a shabby white peaked hood that covers theism-spawned hatred of those who do not wish to submit to their dictatorial dogmas. So, while America continues to evolve—and that has been its strength—the progression towards universal equity is not a cakewalk. There are people, emboldened by their fears of those who do not share their religious doctrines, who nakedly oppose that originally proffered equity which had lead to this nation being a beacon to many seeking to increase liberty in their lives.

The 1797 Treaty of Tripoli states 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 dominated by an established religion, which would then force widespread obeisance to its theism-based morals and doctrines. Yet the theists never ended their efforts to have their repressive perspectives legislated, and they have been making headway towards establishing their doctrines as law. We secularists must master and preserve the mechanisms which exist to maintain that rare treasure—the separation of Church and State. There is an additional consequence to widespread theist thinking—the belief in things that do not exist—which has brought us to our current state of domestic conflict.

This resistance to accepted civil order and the progression towards equity for all of our nation’s citizens originates with that faith-based thinking which calls for a dismissal of facts and the following of nonsensical beliefs, reality be damned—and it surely has been. QAnon conspiracy believers are overwhelmingly Christian, and that is not a coincidence. You believe one set of lies about a sky-daddy and his crucified kid, then you can believe other false narratives about pedophile politicians feasting on babies and supposedly worshipping Satan. The demonstrable fact that Christian denominations have overwhelmingly been proven to be tainted with systemic pedophilia in our courts of law, is yet another part of reality that these lunatics refuse to acknowledge. We have arrived at a point wherein a disturbingly high percentage of American citizens has embraced grotesque fictions, and some seem prepared to support these unfounded beliefs with violence. While the rise of theist terrorism around the globe has been deeply troubling, that we now must confront domestic terrorism originated by people who function on blind faith—both religious and political—should be alarming to the utmost.

Our nation is currently polarized, a situation stoked by the theistic fantasist mind-set which may yet tear asunder the union which had been formed in 1776, as happened 160 years ago. Will there be a new secular strength rising to combat this tide of irrationality and theocratic madness, or will that American promise be shown to be just an ephemeral, fragile pipe dream? In this time of deep national divide, today is thus worthy for reflection upon what the future might hold for the principles embodied in the essential nature of the United States of America, and whether those might be cultivated…or obliterated.

Charles Ives was a boldly experimental American composer whose own independence from the established musical thinking and practices of his time, brought forth a body of work outside of the compositional main stream. His music was later embraced as pioneering, and in many ways reflective of what could be seen as essentially American. His use of collage-like layering of various musical lines, meant to capture actual audio experiences, also serves as a powerful metaphor for the diverse “harmony” which has been fundamental to the American experiment in society-building.

The third movement of A Symphony: New England Holidays is titled “The Fourth of July.” In its roughly six minutes, this music encompasses a vision of freedom that doesn’t require a lock-step agreement, accepting instead some tension and dissonance, which is the result of various currents being allowed to follow their own intentions, without needing to subjugate alternative approaches to fulfillment. 

Here is Michael Tilson Thomas and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a perceptive performance. I invite you to let these musicians conjuring Ives’ genius thrill you with this stimulating musical composition. May it lead to an understanding of what America has been and should continue to be—a motley multiplicity which permits you to be your own sovereign, while others do the same in their quest for personal fulfillment. 

Hail Independence—now and henceforward!

—Magus Peter H. Gilmore