Isaac Bonewits and honoring Liberty

Isaac Bonewits had a deep commitment to the principles of pluralism, democracy, freedom, and liberty, as evidenced by his many efforts and writings on these topics. I’ve collected links to some of those resources available online which people involved in the Hail Columbia efforts might wish to use.

When the statue of Freedom that stands on top of the Capitol was temporarily brought to ground level for cleaning and restoration, Bonewits led a group that consecrated it to the purpose of promoting the ideals which it personifies. This is the same statue that Hecate and I have been referring to as Columbia, since we see the American ideals of freedom and liberty as aspects of the same goddess, patron of the district named after her. In the same spirit, Bonewits encouraged Pagans to observe July 4th as a holiday honoring her in her many forms and has an entire page of Liberty Rite Materials for that purpose, including the following suggested re-dedication of the statue to be used on Independence Day or “times of democratic danger:”

In the Name of the Earth Mother, the ever changing All Mother; and in the Names of all those deities who have ever been worshipped in this land, ancient or modern; and in the Name of our most holy Goddess and the Mother of our Land, Liberty:

We once again charge and consecrate the sacred statue of Her that stands high in the air over our nation’s Capitol. Let it be a constant influence on that ceremonial center of our country. Let it cause all our public servants to make, enforce, and judge the laws and policies of this nation in accordance with Liberty’s highest ideals of freedom and justice for all. Let it encourage generosity of spirit and action towards the poor and oppressed at home and around the world, and prevent our would-be rulers from supporting tyranny and injustice at home or in other lands.

Let this statue, our nation, and our holy Goddess Liberty Herself, be ever defended from the forces of evil and oppression, both foreign and domestic. Through it may She protect the people of this land from all those who would destroy or enslave us in Her name. Let the fires of freedom burn bright, revealing all that evil ones might wish to hide, and lighting the way for Liberty’s children.

Bonewits also suggested several varieties of political spells for democracy, which he summarized as “Casting spells now so we can cast votes later!”

For further reading, Bonewits also issued a Call to Arms asking people of good will “to start consciously fighting back against deliberate ignorance, religious bigotry, and sanctified violence — that is to say, against Fundamentalism.” Readers may not agree with all of his conclusions, but the arguments are thought-provoking, especially in light of the present increase in fundamentalist Christian activity.

This post was written by
Literata is a Wiccan who studies theaology and enjoys developing poetry and rituals. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, including Mandragora and Anointed as well as multiple periodicals. She also blogs at Forging Futures and writes for her own site, Works of Literata, . When she's not leading Rose Coven, reading Tarot or communing with nature, she works on her Ph.D. dissertation in history and enjoys travel and spending time with her husband and four cats. Please note that everything Literata writes here is solely her own personal opinion. It does not represent the position of any organization with which she is affiliated.
  • Since the Twin Towers fell, I have watched as more of our freedoms erode. Traveling on an airplane requires a loss of dignity, and traveling in a car is not much better as "suspicious" activity is monitored. Fundamentalist Christians have moved into everyone's bedroom for years, but getting into all our souls is simply NOT acceptable. Our faith is our business – find something else to occupy your time like feeding the hungry like Jesus taught you to do.

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