Few people know that in the 1800s, America embraced a goddess with roots in ancient Rome. She became so prevalent that her representations stand in some of the most prominent places in the country. You can find her on the pinnacle of government capitol buildings, courthouses, state flags, monuments and even U.S. coins.
Her Roman name is Libertas, but she is also referred to as the goddess of Liberty, Lady Liberty and Columbia. Under the latter name, she became the very depiction of America.
Libertas is the goddess of liberty and personal freedom. Liberty is a blessing to a moral people. To the moral, it gives the freedom to live a life free of tyranny. But to an amoral or immoral people, it becomes a curse. For these, it becomes the freedom to seek material, fleshly desires and leads them down a path of slavery to sin.
This is the dual nature of the goddess Libertas. She promises freedom but sets a deadly snare. As a nation under Libertas slides in its morals, she offers the liberty to sin. This sin infects the nation from its citizens all the way up to the government officials who sit in high offices below her idolatrous feet.
How can a nation that claims to be "one nation under God" sit under the feet of an idol? And how long can a nation under the feet of an idol exist before facing judgment from God? I will explore this over a series of posts.
The goddess Libertas has been depicted with many variations. But her core attributes are easily spotted. She typically wears a flowing gown and/or toga and wears a crown of laurel leaves or holds a bough of laurel. She traditionally holds a rod called a vindicta and wears a cap called a pileous, both relating to the manumission of slaves.
Ancient Roman coins frequently incorporated the goddess with these features.
U.S. Coins Honor Libertas
Since the U.S. first started minting coins, its coins paid homage to Libertas instead of Presidents as required by the Coinage Act of 1792. As quoted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, "'upon one side of the coins, there shall be an impression emblematic of Liberty,' a mythical female figure who had appeared as a symbol of American colonial cartoons and prints."
Coins from 1793 to 1836 exemplify the evolution of this goddess in U.S. coins. Her likeness on the 1793 coin lacked her typical features and simply looked to be a bust of a woman with unkempt hair. But by 1836, the coin clearly depicted the Roman goddess, complete with flowing robes, a vindicta and a pileus.
This trend continues even into modern times, with various depictions of Libertas on at least nine coins released through 2017.
America Adopts Libertas' Image
Libertas also was used to depict America under the name Columbia. Columbia is the feminine name of Columbus and was a popular nickname for America from the mid-1700s through the early 20th century. Columbia's depictions are clearly based on the goddess Libertas. She was often used in posters for the U.S. Army, complete with features such as a flowing robe and a pileus. In one example, she hovered over soldiers of the ages holding her laurel crown.
The inclusion of Libertas into American culture was more than a symbolic representation. By incorporating these images, America placed its culture, money system and military under this Roman goddess.
So what are the implications of the U.S. adopting a Roman goddess as its own?
The Duality of Liberty
To understand the snare of Libertas, we can look back to her origins in Rome. The Romans deified her in 238 BC when Tiberius Gracchus built a temple for her. Gracchus and followers of Libertas like Roman Senator Cicero saw her as virtuous freedom. However, Cicero's political opponent, Clodius Pulcher, saw her differently.
Clodius used Libertas' personal freedom as a license to do as he pleased. Under her name, he sought selfish, lustful pursuits and debauchery. Clodius even constructed a second temple with his own image of her that Cicero described as the "portrait of a prostitute."
This is the snare of Libertas. To the moral, liberty is virtuous, but to the amoral or immoral, it becomes the freedom to do as one pleases.
To amoral politicians, Libertas leads to serving selfish interests instead of serving the public's interests. Such people seek power, not servitude.
To the unbelievers, Libertas manifests in a self-serving culture filled with sexual liberality, infidelity, pornography, abortion, divorce and materiality.
Libertas even manifests in the church as hyper-grace. Under hyper-grace, Christians use salvation as liberty to sin as though already forgiven; however, they remain in bondage.
The apostle Paul specifically addressed this very topic of liberty in his letter to the church in Rome. He explained in Romans 6 that those who sin, though they sin freely, are truly slaves to sin. And those who submit to Jesus are freed from such sin.
I will go as far as saying that Libertas' freedom is bondage under a demonic idol.
Libertas, the Demonic Spirit
As a false goddess, Libertas' image is an idol, and all idols are demonic. If you think this may be an exaggeration, see these quotes below from a New Age blog site, Mystical Shores:
"Many Pagans, Wiccans, and Witches invoke Libertas, in her guise as the [redacted—I'll discuss "Her guise" in the next post], in their personal rituals for freedom and liberation from any form of tyranny."
"In personal work, place Her likeness on your altar as either Libertas, or in Her guise ..."
Libertas even has a pagan festival dedicated to her. On April 13, the "nature spirituality church," Circle Sanctuary, recommends praising her:
"Call to mind Her image and imagine Her standing before you. Invoke Her by at least one of Her names: Liberty, Libertas, Lady Liberty, Goddess of Liberty, and/or Goddess of Freedom. Then name and give thanks for each of the freedoms that you experience in your own life."
Libertas promises freedom, but when her freedom becomes freedom from righteousness, it becomes slavery to sin (Rom. 6:20). In her snare, Libertas becomes a gateway to other demonic forces such as Jezebel, Baal and Molech.
So how would the country be affected if a colossal image of the goddess Libertas were placed at the "Gateway to America?"
Kevin Connelly is the author of West Clouds Rising, a blog which posts signs of the end of this age and explanations of biblical prophecy.
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