The Mass of Mithra mentioned by St. Justin was a main item in a vast conglomeration of such [false] rites. It commemorated a primordial conflict between good and evil in which the divine hunstmen Mithra, a pseudo-Christ personifying light and goodness, accomplished the salvation of the world by pursuing a bull, symbolizing darkness and evil, into a cave. There, on orders from the Sun-god Ormuzd, he dispatches the bull with a sword, whereupon all visilble, material creation pours out of the bull’s dead body.
Supported by the Roman Emperors, mithraic worship came originally from the east, in a long line of descent from Cain and the kabbalists of Egypt and Babylon, spreading first along the Euphrates and thence through Europe along the Rhine and the Danube. Even after the public cult was outlawed by Constantine, mithraism continued to flourish in England, where the Roman legions had built so many temples from London to York, that the country became known as the Island of the Bull and eventually “John Bull”. In The Arrow and the Sword Hugh Ross Williamson voices the suspicion that the butchery of St. Thomas a Becket in his cathedral may in fact have been a ritual murder in the mithraic tradition, committed out of hatred for the Church. As with Masonry and priesthood in general, only men were devotees, whose initiation took the form of a “baptism” simulating the death and resurrection similar to the Masonic initiation ceremony of the “raising of the Hiram”.
Because the central rite was the sacrifice of a bull, whose carcass the celebrants shared in a common meal commemorating the one shared by Mithra with the Sun-god after the killing, the English became known as “beefeaters”. Vestiges of this rite are said to sruvive in Germany today, and a mithraic origin is generally ascribed to Spanish bullfights. Major Masonic ceremonies, like those used fo rthe dedication of the U.S. Capitol and so many other public buildings in America, traditionally culminated in feasting on roast ox, which for all we know, may have provided the original inspiration for the Texas barbecue, the hamburger and who knows how many suburban cookouts!
In classical times Mithra was always depicted wearing the famous Phrygian cap, a red, floppy sort of stocking cap of eastern origin often worn by slaves who had gained their freedom. Adopted as a universal symbol of liberty, by the eighteenth century it had become a permanent feature of democratic iconography. It was worn by the French opera singer enthroned in Paris as the goddess Reason on the high altar of Notre Dame Cathedral during the French Revolution. With a tricolor cockade pinned to it, it also topped the Roman fasces adorning the famous “Declaration of the Rights of Man” promulgated by the Revolutionary Assembly.
Here in these United States, any tourist to the nation’s capital can see the Liberty Cap on the heads of the allegorical figures of Freedom and Young America in the blasphemous “Apotheosis of George Washington” painted by Brumidi inside the dome of the U.S. Capitol. The huge figure of Liberty standing on the dome itself would also be sporting the cap had it not been for the objection of the future President of the Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis, who was U.S. Secretary of War at the time and in charge of construction. When not worn by a human figure, the cap alone is often shown borne aloft at the end of a pike or a sword as an emblem of freedom. Sometimes it merely floats over coats-of-arms like a crown. However displayed, it has been figured on the Continental dollar, on America’s first gold pieces, the so-called “Morgan” dollar and many other coins throughout U.S. history. It would be tedious to enumerate all the state seals on which it can be found, not to mention those of the Senate, the U.S. Army and other official bodies.
That Catholics in America have never taken exception to the Phrygian cap as a national logo is one of the triumphs of Americanism. That so egregious a symbol of man’s revolt against God can pass unnoticed among them testifies not only to the ignorance in which they have been kept, but to the devil’s skill in leading them to accept it as part of their Christian heritage. This is nothing new, however, for St. Augustine tells us that a priest of Mithra he was acquainted with used to tell him, “Our man with the cap is himself a Christian!” As St. Justin pointed out, the mystery religions made every effort to pass themselves off as such. An ancient mithraic hymn actually reads, “Thou had redeemed us too by shedding the eternal blood!” The blood is only the bull’s, but with its Christ-like savior and its concept of sacrifice leading to resurrection, the myth was close enough to Christian doctrine to mislead many not well-grounded in the faith. So schoolchildren today, praying God to shed His grace on America and crown its good “with brotherhood from sea to shining sea,” are blissfully unaware they may be addressing the Masonic God of the Universe in the words of their national hymn.
Solange Hertz, On the Contrary, Tumblar House, 2011