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Deist

Faithbook Deist

God gave us reason, not religion.

How Do You Imagine God?
God in America and USA WEEKEND Magazine are partnering to explore Americans' images of God.

How do you imagine God? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I believe God is the eternal universal creative force that is the source of the laws and designs found throughout Nature. 1 person liked this

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I believe the designs in Nature, the study of which is science, is evidence of Nature's Designer, or God. I believe God gave us life and reason and we should use both to the very best of our ability in our efforts to make a better world.
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My most powerful moment of belief is every day and night and every time I make time to contemplate the order and beauty of the Universe and Nature.
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My greatest moment of doubt was when I was a Christian and I realized the Bible promises of faith-healing were not true and are not real. At that time, it was in November of 1984, it clicked that just because the Bible and Christianity are not real does NOT mean that God is not real! That was the start of my Deism.
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My spiritual life means working to let people know that they are not limited to only the "revealed" religions, to atheism or to agnosticism; they have a true rational and spiritual alternative in Deism. That is why I started the World Union of Deists in 1993 and www.deism.com in 1996.
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator The biggest misconception about my belief system is that Deists believe God created the Universe and then just let it operate on its own and never gets involved in human affairs. Since the closest Deism comes to having dogma are the two requirements of belief in God based on reason and rejection of unreasonable claims, Deists are free to believe whatever makes the most sense to them. For example, some Deists believe that God never intervenes in human affairs while other Deists believe as George Washington did that God does intervene through Providence but that Providence is "inscrutable." Likewise, some Deists believe in an afterlife while others do not, etc.
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Thomas Paine
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator The simple reason based sincere belief in God and not having any "holy scriptures" or "word of God" other than the Creation itself which only God could have created.

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator As a child I believed in Jesus and Christianity. I was born into a Roman Catholic family and was an alter boy for several years.
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My spiritual journey has been fulfilling. I'm very thankful that Thomas Paine wrote The Age of Reason and that a college professor had it on the reading list. That allowed me to eventually evolve into a Deist and Deism has taught me how to shed the man-made trappings of "revealed" religion.
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I was raised as a Roman Catholic.
Are your beliefs or practices different from your parents? If so, how and why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My parents both remained Roman Catholics and died as Roman Catholics. I became a Deist when I was 28 years old. I'm now 54. My parents, I believe, were stuck in tradition and that's why they remained Catholic. Seriously questioning the Catholic dogmas was simply not done. I questioned them and became a fundamentalist evangelical type of Christian in my late teens and remained so until I became a Deist at age 28. Our beliefs are/were the same in that we both believe/believed in God but they added all the rituals, dogmas and doctrines of the "revealed" religion of Roman Catholicism to that original simple and natural belief in God and I did not.
If you have children, did becoming a parent change your relationship to faith? If so, how? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I have one adult daughter. Becoming a parent did not change my relationship to faith.

How I Practice My Faith

Where and when do you practice your faith? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Since Deism is a natural and not a "revealed" religious philosophy/belief, there are no rituals in it. Deists believe we should do our very best to help, as Thomas Paine wrote in The Age of Reason, "our fellow creatures" and do our very best to make the world a much better place. To Deists the entire Universe is "the word of God", we don't have a special time or place to "practice our faith." Most Deists don't refer to Deism as a "faith" and seem to agree with the French Deist Voltaire who wrote, "What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason."
Does your family practice more than one religion or faith? If so, how do you blend the traditions? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator In my household we're all Deists.
How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator It's easy to live as a Deist because Deism is natural and free of man-made dogmas, rituals, and teachings which go against our God-given reason.
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator The thing that most represents my belief in God/Deism is a collage of a galaxy, a strand of DNA and a fetus with the words, "Trust Nature's God."
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition most fully represents my Deism.

Religion & the Public Square

What should be the role of religion in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator None.
Should courses about religion be taught in public schools? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes. But they should be taught objectively, not preached. When they make unreasonable claims such as Christians will have power to heal the sick and will have greater powers than it is claimed Jesus had (John 14:12), it should be put to the test to see if it's true or false. Also, especially in America where many of the key Founders were Deists, Deism should be given as much time as the "revealed" religions.
Should the Bible, Torah, Quran or other religious texts be taught as works of literature in public schools? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes, but objectively. If taught objectively many students will see the unreasonable and hateful claims and teachings made in all three of these man-made texts. They will then be better able to decide if they want to continue to embrace them or not.
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator No really. All three of the Abrahamic "revealed" religions have false teachings about their own superiority. As long as those beliefs are taken seriously, no real progress can be made and religious violence will continue.
Do you feel comfortable discussing your faith with others? Why/why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes. I feel very comfortable discussing Deism because it is so grounded in reason and it's so natural.
Do you feel that you have a duty, because of your faith, to put your beliefs into action? What are some of those actions? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I feel as a human being I have a duty to do my best to make the world a better place. To do that I do all I can to let others know about Deism and that they have a choice and are not limited to "revealed" religions or to atheism or agnosticism. Also, whenever I'm able to I give money to Muscular Dystrophy Association and contribute to relief efforts. I want to eventually have Deist Reason Centers around the world where people can go to learn about Deism as well as for literacy classes and for free medical and dental care.
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator The three Abrahamic "revealed" religions can only hurt a free society. For example, the Torah teaches that any nation that does not serve Israel will be "utterly wasted" (Isaiah 60:12) while the Koran teaches about putting "terror in the hearts of those who disbelieve (Surah 3:151) and the Bible teaches at Romans 13:1-7 that we should all fear "the powers that be" and be obedient to them or else we'll be damned. And none of these "revealed" religions ever speak out against slavery! They are not good examples for secular society!
Has 9/11 had any impact on your thoughts about religion? Are you more/less interested in learning about other religions? Do you feel more/less comfortable expressing your religious beliefs? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator 9/11 did not impact my thoughts about religion because as a Deist I already knew the Abrahamic "revealed" religions are no strangers to violence.

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Published October 11, 2010

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