Learn about How to Help Lady Liberty and Washington D.C.
When Sarah Palin’s background was examined during her run for Vice President several years ago, her link to the New Apostolic Reformation was revealed. With my background of defending American symbols from the religious right, I began to point to this link with great concern as a possible turning point for religious freedom in this country. Most people laughed at me, not believing that such a fringe element of society would ever make an impact on the mainstream. This week, I’m saddened and surprised to see the mainstream press finally covering this concern. (NPR's Terry Gross on 10/3/11) It took a “siege” on Washington for the media to pay attention, but at least I’m beginning to hear these issues discussed.
John Benefiel and Cindy Jacobs, the main organizers of the DC40 initiative, want to exorcize the demons in Washington and change the name of our capital to the “District of Christ.” Their logo replaced the Statue of Freedom atop the Capitol dome with a Christian cross. They misconstrue and deliberately misinterpret the Lady Liberty goddess images and convince their followers the Statue of Liberty is demonic and should be destroyed. They are particularly threatened by the Goddess tradition, which they see as witchcraft based on the Great Whore of Babylon described in the book of Revelation. Many in this movement perceive the Catholic veneration of the Virgin Mary as the same Satanic conspiracy. Nor are Mormans Christian enough, apparently, as is seen with the recent attacks on Mitt Romney's faith.
The New Apostolic Reformation is linked to Rick Perry’s campaign for president, which means this formerly fringe element has achieved a level of funding and political power where they can now reach the kind of audiences to make a difference. Suddenly their war vocabulary of “fan the flame” and “shields locked” and “no compromise” used in conjunction with their intolerance of homosexuality and non-Christians is taking on a new importance. Other Republican candidates with ties to “dominionist” beliefs are Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, and of course, Sarah Palin.
Please check the facts behind these symbols before falling for this hate-speech rhetoric. The real reason our founders borrowed symbols from the Greco-Roman era is far less exciting than a secret plot to get Americans to unwittingly venerate pagan icons. Though the majority of our founders were Christians, to be sure, what the Founding Fathers deliberately did not create was a Christian nation. They created a land of religious tolerance, so that all faiths could worship as they choose without persecution from the state. Christianity was not being promoted. Religious tolerance and liberty were being promoted. Our Founding Fathers declared that it was the American way to be respectful of those who worship differently.
American symbols are all about balance and unity. The female divinity has been used since the beginning of time to represent nurturing and life-giving. That our founders were not afraid to embrace goddess symbolism shows their understanding that humanity’s war-like tendencies can be balanced, in part, by veneration of the female ideal. They loved the idea that Minerva stood for peace (when her sword was pointed downward) and wisdom, but that her flip side as the goddess of war meant our country was strong in defense. The Statue of Liberty is not holding any implements of war, and instead is holding a torch of enlightenment to symbolize that education and learning are the pathways to true freedom and liberty.
Jesus Christ gave us a parable about the Good Samaritan. He showed that even the most pious of his religion passed by someone in need due to one code or another, while the good (pagan) Samaritan, who was not of the accepted religion, is the only one who helped his fellow human. The message here is that you don’t have to be pious in the accepted religion of the day to do the right thing in his eyes. Doing the right thing is helping your fellow human on a daily basis with the moral being to accept those who follow different religions.
Making Christianity the law of the land, and working to convert all Muslims and Jews and Pagans, etc. to Christianity, is not only un-American, but in my opinion, it is un-Christian.
Bob Hieronimus, Ph.D.
For the past two decades the author has been writing books and appearing on television documentaries on the History, Discovery and National Geographic Channels warning about this fringe element of the religious right and the implications to our nation’s religious freedom if they achieved more funding or political power.
1) Write Letters to the Editor or to your Congresspersons. Tell them you will not stand for historical revisionism especially from politicians trying to legislate their personal morality. Maintain religious freedom in the USA!
2) Support the reputable blogs listed in this article – share/link to them on Facebook!
3) Use your creative energies and create artwork based on the goddesses of Freedom and Liberty. Visualize them surrounded by healing and protective energy.
Prayer is powerful. Those who know this from personal experience use prayer for seeking guidance from G-d about their own lives, for healing themselves and others. One can use prayer to praise G-d for the miracle of life itself and the things we have to be grateful for. Many people like myself, pray to G-d for divine insight about the world and how to bring peace and harmony to everyone on earth.
I have never in my entire life received a message of hate from prayer nor heard a message of division. I have never while praying, received any instructions that involve intolerance, elimination of other people, or lack of understanding that souls have many ways to find Him, of finding that inner home of the heart which G-d Illuminates within each one of us.
The G-d of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, the same G-d that Jesus worshipped, does not advocate bigotry – but always the exhortation to eliminate bigotry within us. The “Christ” being paraded about as a slogan in the DC40 Campaign of Christian militants, is not what the Jewish sage they love ever taught.
If Jesus is the teacher, what he teaches us about becoming ‘anointed priests’ is what the Ancient Hebrews teach as well – to become an anointed one requires complete and total self-mastery, complete and unwavering love of and compassion for all people. Which of those who now preach intolerance and claim revelatory discretion can resurrect the dead, lay hands on the sick and heal, surrender their egos to experience the revelation of Oneness, and show us what every human being is designed to accomplish; to become prophets who bring the world to unity, love and compassion for each other and faith in One G-d?
To complement this spiritual work of self-refinement, is what the Statue of Liberty guards, a nation made of independent States in which every person is guaranteed religious freedom and political representation as citizens of their State. Therefore, the only Christ District the DC40 should be focused on, is the one in their hearts, the place of each person’s seat of self-governance.
Zohara M. Hieronimus, D.H.L.
Kabbalistic Teachings of the Female Prophets, 2008
Sanctuary of the Divine Presence, 2012
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