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. And the history of this nation, both before and after its beginning, is a wide ranging tapestry of heroism and horrors, wherein humans behave as poorly as one generally expects, but a brave and intelligent few set a course that held much promise for an evolving system whose promise might lead to greater liberties and widespread individual autonomy—eventually, after some terrific struggles.
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, as I’ve warned repeatedly, the theists never end their efforts to have their repressive perspectives legislated, and recently they have been making significant headway towards establishing their doctrines as law. We secularists are challenged to master and preserve the mechanisms which exist to maintain that rare treasure—the separation of Church and State.
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 161 years ago. Will there be a new secular strength rising to combat this swollen 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 carefully cultivated…or obliterated.
Michael Torke is a gifted contemporary American composer whose style arose from 20th Century “minimalist” techniques. One can also readily hear aspects of jazz and film scores in his colorful, expressive works. UNCONQUERED is a four movement symphony written in 2016. From the composer’s program notes:
“To write a piece of music inspired by the ideals of the Revolutionary War would be seen as a natural response in the 19th century, but a dubious one in the 21st. Nevertheless, doing so is hardly a political act. For me, it comes from a love of history and a regard for the aspirational. It is not inherently xenophobic or chauvinistic to feel pride in a country established on principles that value life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—a nation where, if an artist wants to express something, he is not hindered.
“Unconquered draws its inspiration from the Battle of Saratoga, which was a decisive turning point in our war of independence when, after General Burgoyne surrendered his British Army, France entered the war, and her support was crucial to our eventual victory. Summon, the first movement, evokes the call to assemble the forces. Dawn suggests not only the dewiness of a new day, but also the surprise of an unexpected attack. Advance calls to mind bravery amid the frenzy and chaos of the battlefield. Finally, Liberty celebrates the triumph of the Continental Army; freedom from British rule; and the burgeoning of a new nation. Neither battlefield nor bloodshed is depicted in this piece: only the expression of moods conjured by these images.”
You can follow this link to hear all four movements of what is a stirring and optimistic work:
Hail Independence—now and henceforward!
—Magus Peter H. Gilmore