Maybe it's the fact that she's French, but, at 125 years old, the Statue of Liberty looks as good as it ever did. Bearing the full name "Liberty Enlightening the World", the statue has stood as a symbol of the promise of new life in a country that embraces freedoms since being erected in New York Harbor. Like many other immigrants, the hearts of my ancestors (except my maternal grandfather's, because he was born on a boat steaming to New York City from Buenos Aires and was more preoccupied with the flesh-and-blood goddess who was cuddling him that the copper giantess in the harbor) must have beaten a little faster upon seeing the statue, with its promise of hope and opportunity. Of course, others have looked upon the statue, and their hearts have beaten faster for entirely different reasons:
While most people don't look on the Statue of Liberty with erotic longing, it's safe to say that most people don't see the statue as a demonic idol, foisted on an unsuspecting United States by French Freemasons. The crazy is so strong in this assertion, I think I have to embed the video:
It's funny how all those people who claim that the United States was founded as a Christian country ignore the goddesses who seem to pop up throughout our cultural history (many of whom are on my blogroll). Yeah, the country has always had a majority Christian population, but its culture is rooted in the values of The Enlightenment, and acknowledges an indebtedness to ancient Greek democratic principles and the ancient Roman (specifically, the Republic) ideal of the rule of law. Yeah, pagan goddesses are as American as apple pie and anti-intellectualism, and they are gorgeous.
I think I'll have to do an All Saints' Day piece on the pagan divinities who have snuck into the Communion of Saints (some of whom still make the grade, and some of whom have been dropped from the liturgical calendar.