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Protesting With and Against the Statue of Liberty

Photo from the January 21, 2017 Women's March on Washington, D.C.
Credit: Mark Dixon / CC BY 2.0

Der Spiegel cover, February 2017

Many people are dressing up as Lady Liberty in protests around the world, and dozens of articles and blogs in the past few days are illustrated with pictures of the Statue of Liberty in distress. And it’s no wonder our American Goddess is suddenly popular again – she’s the obvious choice when symbolically opposing Mr. Trump’s war of hatred on immigrants.

What is less known is how much hatred many in the alt-right harbor toward the symbol of Lady Liberty herself – and for reasons that have nothing to do with immigration. Even though the Statue of Liberty is admired as a symbol of universal compassion all over the world, and in fact replicas have been spotted in over 25 nations (including China, but not in Russia!), there are a growing number of Americans who are swallowing the conspiracy theories about her promulgated by the extremist Christians like the Dominionists of the New Apostolic Reformation. Their Christian fundamentalist upbringing has taught them to call her Satan.

Long before the debate over immigration took center stage, the evangelicals began conspiring to tear down the Statue of Liberty and replace it with a giant cross. Seriously.

New Yorker cover, February 2017

It gets even scarier when you understand that these fringe lunatics who fear the Statue of Liberty because she is a goddess (because, they reason, “god can’t manifest in female form so therefore she’s a demon”) have political sway on a very high scale. Mr. T’s nominee for Secretary of Energy is one of these hard-core believers. “Rick Perry’s Pastor Calls Statue of Liberty a Demon,” is one of many headlines from when he was running for president, but Perry is certainly not the only one in the Trump inner circle infected by the Dominionst philosophy of “no compromise,” who cast their political opposition as demonic.

Dr. Bob has been warning people for years to listen to these crazy attacks on our American symbols like the Statue of Liberty from the crowd who want to “return” us to being a “Christian nation.” Despite their historical inaccuracies, these conspiracy theorists must be watched and defended against. If you don’t believe our Statue of Liberty is in actual peril of being physically attacked by Americans who think she’s a demon, just remember how you used reject the idea that someone spouting hatred and bigotry and misogyny so blatantly could ever win the election. A quick Google search combining the word “secret” with the words “Statue of Liberty” will show you how much hatred is being directed at this beloved symbol by the same crowd who believe the Illuminati are controlling world events.

New York Daily News cover, January 28, 2017

When you see our lovely Lady Liberty out there protesting against the latest outrage from Mr. T, please also remember this warning. There is a growing faction of Americans who advocate literally dumping the Statue of Liberty into the Atlantic. Their spokespeople include the self-appointed apostle John Benefiel, advisor to Rick Perry, who calls the Statue of Liberty “a demonic idol right there in New York harbor… a false goddess, the Queen of Heaven… That Statue of Liberty in no way glorifies Jesus Christ.” Listen to his sermon here.

We ignore these claims at our peril.

Rather than fearing the Statue of Liberty because she is a goddess, we want Americans to embrace this best-known national icon specifically BECAUSE SHE IS A GODDESS. Focusing on the sacred feminine and mothering symbolism at the very heart of this nation’s founding would infuse our society with the compassion, nurturing, and enlightened liberty that are the hallmarks of goddess reverence. The Statue of Liberty represents the conscience of our nation, and as such, she has the ability to strengthen the qualities of female power in all of us.

Read more in The Secret Life of Lady Liberty: Goddess in the New World, by Robert R. Hieronimus, Ph.D., and Laura E. Cortner.

slll-authors-webAuthors Robert Hieronimus, Ph.D., and Laura E. Cortner inside the head
of the Statue of Liberty after the long climb to the top.

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