What Now for Post Christian Deism?
As new Deism discussion groups pop up every few days it seems they are more hostile and disconnected from historical Deism. In some cases it's about trashing Christians at every opportunity often injecting secular Humanist dogma into the discussion or leftist politics. Other times it's an attempt to hijack a name to give credibility to utter religious nonsense.
Deism is searching for a reason to exist and it's right before our eyes - yet many can't or won't see due not to the trees in the forest, but the magic spirit within the trees blinds them to reason and seeing the forest. They pretend anything they can make up or feel is real and others should go along them in the name of "tolerance".
I fought the Religious Right in Appalachia, in the Bible Belt, and in public at much personal risk. They have lost, were never the threat secular extremists said they were, and are not a problem today - in fact they are becoming victims. They are not the enemy and very few engage in any form of violence, unlike the growing racial and political violence in the last two years from non-liberal Liberals.
Even more than Islam, irrationalism (often called post-modernism) is a full blown attack on reason and liberty more dangerous than the Christian Inquisition ever was. On our college campuses it's called political correctness; in the public sphere in general I call it Leftism that's basically Marxism, but race has replaced class and where New Age spiritualism has replaced outright atheism.
As a life long Deist my mission has never changed from the historical mission of American-English Deism - promotion of individual liberty, natural rights, and the primacy of reason and I will not tolerate threats to these ideals or compromise with others in the name of blind hypocritical "tolerance".
If Deism wants a reason to exist then it must clearly define what it is before it can confront the real threat.
Deism as originally understood was a broad idea of a Deity, God, Being or whatever name that created the Universe and governs by "providence". This Deity is non-controlling while creating the physical universe, its laws, and our basic moral laws; the Deity itself exists outside time and space which is extremely important. This belief is based on reason alone, observation of the universe, and skepticism of divine revelation to individuals and esoteric-gnostic speculation, what I call "self-revelation".
While "monotheistic" is not the sometimes vengeful Hebrew God of the Bible or the ONE or Demiurge of Greek philosophy and Plato, often a pantheistic being where "creation" emanated from a divine source.
The Deity does not perform magic and has no "Son", relatives, is not an American Indian spirit or any form of pantheism or other New Age nonsense such as Panendeism or pandeism. Matter inhabited by spirits or the Deity is superstitious nonsense and I will not engage in it. Ditto other New Age nonsense such as "higher conscience" or universal spirit, etc.
Deism has a very definite meaning, yet many try to claim things as Deism it couldn't possibly be. As J. Donald Butler in "Four Philosophies" (1951) defines Deism:
"Deism, God exist quite apart from, and is disinterested in, the physical universe and human beings. But He created both and is the Author of all natural and moral laws."
Deism originally sought to moderate and purify Christianity and other religions, not engage in religious hate. It sought to remove the irrational gnostic and pantheist elements and promote a reason based belief system.
With science accepting the "Big Bang" origin of the universe that should have put all this pantheist rubbish in its grave, instead it's everywhere. The earth is not a god or goddess, matter is not divine nor is it inhabited by magic invisible spirits, etc.
Modern American and Western culture for the last few hundred years has been defined by Enlightenment rationalism (at least in the English speaking part) and massive technological innovations resulting from empirical science. The foundation is individual liberty which means just what it says and government exists to secure that liberty. Without freedom and individual liberty advancement becomes impossible.
Nowhere is that concept more important than on the subject of religion which I define as things not seen or provable by empirical science. (This goes beyond organized religion to personal religion.) Just because people "feel" something is true doesn't make it true.
See Anti-Reason Attacks Science.
"Church" appears nowhere in the Constitution or any legal Founding documents, the term is religion. The State is to neither promote nor hinder the free exercise of or prohibit it, just as freedom of the press, speech, or peaceful assembly are protected in most circumstances. Be it Christianity or the plethora of New Age type dribble, the state is not to be involved or take sides. Certainly not use it to violate the individual liberties of its citizens.
All of our most basic rights have been under assault for the last 50 years and English/American Deism must lead a counter attack on New Age irrationalism and secular extremism. We must have an absolute separation of religion and state in politics, that includes protecting religious liberty from New Age religion flowing into politics.
That should be our goals not trashing religion and standing by as fanatics promote anti-religious tyranny. We must reject and oppose the spread of irrational New Age style mysticism and religious tyranny it spawns. God, reason, liberty!