Religious conservatives in America have argued that America was founded as a Christian nation, implying that Christianity ought to be honored in political discourse and policy. Others call this ‘Christian revisionism’ and argue that the founding fathers had no such intention. It is difficult to find the ‘truth’ of the matter in American history. Regarding the place of religion in early American society there doesn’t seem to be a simple answer. The same can be said about many of the other issues important to people of that time. In the early eighteenth century, the belief was prevalent that the world’s first religion was that of the Hebrew patriarchs, and high culture radiated from Solomon’s temple. Within the same century this was challenged by historical scholarship and archaeology. Likewise, the current historical analyses of that time are not in complete agreement. William Blake accused Isaac Newton, John Locke and Francis Bacon of using reason without spiritual understanding. But other accounts argue Newton relied on Biblical revelation, as well as the mystical necromancy still in favor during his time. Newton’s theories were then used to promote mechanistic science. Similarly, the history of Freemasonry in America includes both positive contributions and worrisome tendencies. Many characters of Masonry’s medieval mythology were discredited in the eighteenth century, but were simply replaced without reworking the related political and cultural assumptions. For example, Noah replaced Hermes Trismegistus in freemasonic thought. Plato was called in to represent a system of magical correspondences after medieval practical magic had been discredited.
The pursuit of good principles would require awareness of these old ideas in order to bring them in line with current wisdom, but America’s predominant ideologies haven’t been open to analyses of their doctrines. This can be illustrated by the stance of the church concerning ‘pagan’ influences in America. Discussion would have to begin with the church’s acceptance of pagan philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, as well as the ongoing influences of Hermeticism. This has been a source of confusion in religious discourse and many of its effects are actually visible in American culture, for example, in the poor condition of the National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. It has been acknowledged that the cemetery is a problem. There is a principle that might shed light on this problem, but it is derived from sun worship. This would be controversial, to say the least.
Because Freemasonry was instrumental in the layout of the Capital and because this institution shared many ideas with the learned world, it might seem inevitable that Arlington Nation Cemetery would end up in its current location, west of the Capital. Freemasons honored the great achievments of ancient cultures–especially the Jewish culture, but also the culture and learning of Egypt. In ancient Egypt, the city of the dead was always built to the west of the city of the living. However, the Cemetery at Arlington was not planned as a cemetery. Before the Civil War the land west of Washington D.C. was the residence of Robert E. Lee. It only became a cemetery during the War as a way to punish Lee who chose to fight for the Confederacy. Bodies were buried as close to the house as possible in order to make it impossible for the Lees to return.
In ancient cultures, the city of the dead always contained the Omphalos or navel, representing the geodetic center. In Egypt this was called the “navel of the world” and was a point of orientation with the cosmos, connecting the earth to the heavens. Priestesses presided over the cemeteries of the ancient world. However, America’s founders may have intended the Capitol dome to be the geodetic point and center of the world, and they laid its cornerstone accordingly. In a concrete way, this might provide the philosophical basis for the combined role of priest and king.
It has been said that sun worship is the most scientific form of pagan worship. However, a system of worship is only rational if it is complete. Many customs implied by sun worship have never been present in American culture, having been abolished long before the first Pilgrims arrived on American soil. This is a result of ideological attacks on cosmological principles. One early instance of this took place in Persian Mazdaism. The first reform of Mazdaism was in about 1200 BC, and represents the changes common to Aryan politics. Evidence has revealed that invaders who considered themselves ‘noble’ determined to conquer and rule the populations they encountered. However, the customs of the conquered cultures hindered these ambitions. The customs had to do with the real estate laws of the conquered lands. To be a king, one had to marry an heiress. Further, in the event of divorce or the death of the heiress, the king had no further claim to his kingdom. Property remained with the heiress or her daughter, or reverted to her clan, disappointing dynastic ambitions. In time, the invaders prevailed by using bigamy, trickery and lies—and they reformed the cosmology until it could no longer limit their power. The Aryan rejection of the female principle and its related customs would have led to the loss of clan property and sovereignty.
By contrast, although America lacks the complete cosmological structure, American leaders have argued for equality. Washington thought education would end the monopoly of power. Thomas Jefferson, although not a Freemason, used Masonic metaphor when he said that wealth and birth represent “pseudo-aristocracy”. True aristocracy involves republican social arrangements. Freemason DeWitt Clinton rejected John Locke because his ideas were for the children of gentlemen. There had been a time when Freemasons claimed an esoteric or hidden knowledge denied to lesser people, but in 1793 Clinton celebrated education and the ideas of natural equality. However, the struggle for political supremacy never ends. Too big to fail banks and Big Oil are two of America’s home-grown dynasties.
J. J. Rousseau argued that the phrase, “Christian republic,” is made up of mutually exclusive terms. He referred to the fact that the Christian church is not amenable to democratic institutions. In Christian history, limited roles for women have coincided with the alliance of priesthood and dynasty. Yet the first Christians lived with all things in common. Paul the Apostle wrote to the Galatians,
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Paul’s words could illustrate principle, while the church’s monarchical tendencies represent a misuse of dogma and ideology.
After the Revolutionary War, the ‘ancient’ sect of Freemasons began to call themselves high priests and claim equality with the church in the realm of the sacred. This was the beginning of their dispute with secular Christian leaders and eventually led to their downfall.
See also: Hermes in India
1. Bullock, Steven C. Revolutionary Brotherhood: Freemasonry and the transformation of the American social order. University of North Carolina Press. 1998
2. Ovason, David. The Secret Architecture of Our Nation’s Capital: the Masons and the building of Washington D.C. Century Books, Ltd. London. 1999