To my white friends

I especially hope many of my white friends, especially Quakers, might attend the Fourth of He Lies community potluck. If you are a white person, like me, try to imagine how black, indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) feel about all the celebrations and speeches going on now related to the 4th of July.

You can find out how some BIPOC folks feel by attending the Fourth of He Lies community potluck Sunday, July 3rd at Cheatom Park, 1100 Day Street, Des Moines, from 4 – 7 pm. Children welcome.

In 2017 I retired to Iowa after my career at Indiana University Medical Center. It was difficult to leave the many friends I have in numerous justice communities in Indianapolis.

I am blessed to have made so many new friends in the Midwest and work with their/our organizations today. That includes working, directly or indirectly with all of the organizations below that are sponsoring the community potluck, with the exception of Satanic Iowa. I made an assumption that didn’t turn out to be true, i.e., that they were related to what I thought Satanic was. All I know is what I found on Wikipedia this morning. “The Satanic Temple, often abbreviated TST, is a nontheistic religious and human rights organization that is primarily based in the United States,[1][2][3][4] I hope I can make it to the potluck and learn more.

Before I learned what The Satanic Temple really was about, I had no doubt my friends in the other organizations below approved of them being included as sponsors of the potluck.

This also brings to mind the term “fusion politics” that I learned from Rev. William Barber. The concept is to unite disparate organizations around the issues they agree on and can work on together.

Finally, I’m working to get Quaker communities to embrace the concepts of Mutual Aid. An important part of Mutual Aid is to work with all of the justice organizations in the vicinity of the Mutual Aid community. This potluck is an opportunity for Friends to learn about organizations doing great work in our communities. Organizations they might become involved with in their own Mutual Aid communities.

Join us for a community potluck hosted by Iowa organizations while we speak truths about July 4th. Plenty of food, music, and fun will be provided as local leaders uplift issues they are facing in their communities.

Bring chairs, blankets, and fun stuff!
Children are welcome!

Hosted by Great Plains Action Society, Iowa CCI, Cedar Rapids Sunrise. Other organizations are welcome to join–to bring some food, to table and speak! Please contact Sikowis at for more information.

The colonists obsessed about British regulations on immigration and trade and what they considered an excessive number of British officials present in the colonies. They ignored the injustices they inflicted on others. They rose up against figurative enslavement by the Crown while literally enslaving people in America.

What we get wrong about the Fourth of July. If our deepest values are democracy and equality, then why do we celebrate a slaveholders’ rebellion as the birth of our nation? By Kermit Roosevelt III, The Boston Globe, June 30, 2022

Sponsors of the Fourth of He Lies

Great Plains Action Society. An indigenous collective working to resist and indigenize colonial institutions, ideologies, and behaviors.

Buffalo Rebellion is a coalition of Iowa grassroots organizations that are growing a movement for climate action that centers racial and economic justice!

Formed in 2021, Buffalo Rebellion is comprised of seven Iowa organizations: Great Plains Action Society, DSM Black Liberation Movement, Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice, Sierra Club Beyond Coal, Cedar Rapids Sunrise Movement, SEIU Local 199, and Iowa CCI

Iowa Coalition for Collective Change. Uniting communities. Promoting equality. Transforming organizations.

We are the Des Moines Black Liberation Movement. #DSMBLM

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
With thousands of members from all walks of life, we get things done on critical issues

We are Sunrise Cedar Rapids, a group dedicated to fight climate change.

Not to be confused with the Church of Satan.

The Satanic Temple, often abbreviated TST, is a nontheistic religious and human rights organization that is primarily based in the United States,[1][2][3][4] with additional congregations in CanadaAustralia, and the United Kingdom.[5][6] Co-founded by Lucien Greaves, the organization’s spokesperson, and Malcolm Jarry,[7][8] the organization uses Satanic imagery to promote egalitarianismsocial justice, and the separation of church and state, supporting their mission “to encourage benevolence and empathy [among all people].”[9] The Satanic Temple has utilized satire, theatrical ploys, humor, and legal action in their public campaigns to “generate attention and prompt people to reevaluate fears and perceptions”,[10] and to “highlight religious hypocrisy and encroachment on religious freedom.”[7][11][12][13]

The Satanic Temple does not believe in a supernatural Satan; instead it employs the literary Satan as a metaphor to promote pragmatic skepticism, rational reciprocity, personal autonomy, and curiosity.[8] Satan is thus used as a symbol representing “the eternal rebel” against arbitrary authority and social norms.[14][15] Adherents generally refer to their religion as “Satanism” or “Modern Satanism“,[16] while others refer to TST’s religion as Compassionate Satanism or Seven Tenet Satanism.[17][18]

The organization’s participation in public affairs includes political actions as well as lobbying efforts,[19][20] with a focus on exposing Christian privilege when it interferes with personal religious freedom. It considers marriage a religious sacrament that should be governed under the First Amendment’s protection of religious liberty which should prevail over state laws.[21] Because the group regards inviolability of the body as a key doctrine, it also views all restrictions on abortion, including mandatory waiting periods, as an infringement on the rights of Satanists to practice their religion.[22]

Wikipedia – The Satanic Temple

Satanic Iowa

The crown and the colonists were both determined to seize lands from native peoples and to continue enslavement. But their interests were also hostile to one another and war was the inevitable result. White settlers wanted full independence for themselves and no control over their actions at all.

The indigenous populations were nearly eradicated in the decades long quest for conquest. Expanding slavery was an integral part of those efforts against native peoples. Genocide could not be carried out completely nor could any accommodation be made with European nations in the quest to control land from sea to shining sea. That is why the settlers declared their independence. 

The process of decolonizing ourselves is a difficult one. We have been cut off from our history and we don’t know where or how our people played a part. As we try to educate ourselves we may find it difficult to give up traditions that we have claimed as our own. Regardless of personal choices made on July 4th, the causes of the Declaration of Independence must be known and acknowledged. That is the beginning of true independence for Black people.

THE TERRIBLE ORIGINS OF JULY 4TH By Margaret Kimberley, Black Agenda Report.
July 3, 2021

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