And Benjamin Franklin, likely the only deist
among the founders, said, "Whoever shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world.
His version of deism stunningly includes atheism and, operating under a false dichotomy, he assumes that anyone who was not incontrovertably an orthodox Christian was by default an atheist deist
In Jackson-McCabe's second essay, "'Jewish Christianity' and 'Christian Deism' in Thomas Morgan's The Moral Philosopher," he concentrates on the work of Thomas Morgan, a British Deist
roughly a decade younger than Toland.
Although he admits that there were "few committed deists
in America" (naming three minor characters who had nothing to do with any of the founding documents), Green claims that the Declaration of Independence is entirely deistic.
British names: the philosopher-statesman Lord Bolingbroke, the revolutionary martyr Algernon Sidney, the metaphysical poet Alexander Pope, the deist
Shaftesbury, the Whig polemicists Thomas Gordon and John Trenchard, the freethinkers Anthony Collins and John Toland, and various Scottish philosophers.
Considered carefully, The Religion Virus will motivate fruitful discussions that help the humanist community broadcast increasingly effective memes to atheists in both camps, as well as to deists
and liberal church members alike, whose public advocacy is essential to the goal.
But I think that scarcely anyone of the Deists
has written on behalf of that evil cause so maliciously, so cleverly and cunningly as the author of this dissertation.
Although raised in the Calvinist environment of New England, young Benjamin was exposed at an early age to the writings of renowned English Whigs and deists
, John Locke and Joseph Addison.
As with the Deists
, such reflections on the extent of 'superstition' in the Pacific (and indeed in Europe and particularly Catholic Europe) did not preclude a firm belief in a Creator God.
Since about 1500, successive generations have interpreted the fragmentary and refractory image of the Druid, shaping him to their own ends: esoteric visionaries, regional antiquaries, radical deists
railing against priestcraft and conservative Anglicans commending hierarchy, Romantic poets praising sublime woodlands and industrialists 'discovering' an ancient tradition of mechanical expertise, English patriots celebrating the British super-state and Welsh patriots seeking to resist that superstate--all have looked to Druidry, usually as a predecessor and role model, more rarely as a warning, a dangerous Other.
One of the studies finds that the vast majority of American teenagers are what the researchers call "therapeutic moralistic deists
Most were deists
who believed in God on a rational basis without reference to revelation or scripture.
For example, the most influential American founding fathers were Deists
, not evangelical Christians.
Marc Fumaroli explains how the way to the 1763 expulsion of Jesuits from France was prepared by the anti-Jesuit polemics of two groups otherwise largely opposed to each other: Deists
Other religious-sounding invocations, such as the phrase "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" in the Declaration of Independence, were standard language used, not by conventional Christians, but by deists
in the 18th century.