He derived the ideas, in fragmentary fashion, from Bolingbroke, who was an amateur Deist
and optimist of the shallow eighteenth century type, and so far was Pope from understanding what he was doing that he was greatly disturbed when it was pointed out to him that the theology of the poem was Deistic rather than Christian [Footnote: The name Deist
was applied rather generally in the eighteenth century to all persons who did not belong to some recognized Christian denomination.
It's as dependable as Oregon rain: In the weeks following our July 4 Independence Day celebration, people write in to declare that America's founders were not Christians and that they were just nature-loving deists
Stewart claims that most and nearly all of the founders were deists
who were closet pantheists and, functionally, atheists.
Specific essays and the volume as a whole argue that Baur is dependent in some way on the British Deists
John Toland and Thomas Morgan, both of whom wrote over a century before Baur.
His discussion of the founders' own religious beliefs starts with the same balance and nuance, arguing that the "portrayal of the founders as religion-despising deists
is as inaccurate as the claim that they were all born-again Christians.
The Wahhabis Seen Through European Eyes (1772-1830): Deists
and Puritans of Islam
Blake, for one, attacked deists
for this very reason.
Most religion in America now conforms to the requirements of modern, liberal government, and the "center," if it can be found, has shifted to something that in practice (if not in name) is close to what Jefferson had in mind for his Unitarians, or what he and his fellow deists
tended to call "natural religion.
The goal, which I share with many atheists, and also many deists
and thoughtful members of many of the newer liberal churches, is to clear the ideosphere of the harmful religion viruses that plague modern humankind.
This collection of essays explores the contributions of English Deists
, particularly John Toland, to historical exegesis of the Bible.
At any rate, he does not rise above the religion of the Deists
, of whom there are considerable numbers everywhere (so deplorable is the morality of our age), and especially in France.
Every one of the Founders listed in the following survey (with the possible exception of Benjamin Franklin) would reject such an appellation and in fact never referred to themselves as deists
(again, with a passing reference to himself made by Franklin).