World Union Of Deists
God Gave Us Reason, Not Religion
January 2023
In This Issue:

Thomas Paine Was and Is Indispensable For True Progress

Critical/Negative Deism and Positive Deism

Stop and Think

News of Interest to Deists

Thought Provoking and Inspiring Quotes
Thomas Paine Was and Is Indispensable For True Progress
January 29, 2023 is 286 years since the birth of Thomas Paine.

Thomas Paine was born on January 29, 1737 to a lower-income working class family. In spite of the fact that he was not a trust-fund baby, Thomas Paine changed the world for the better!

Struggling to make ends meet in London, England in 1774, after suffering through the death of his first wife and child, a divorce from his second wife and a business failure and a bankruptcy, Thomas Paine had the wonderful opportunity and great fortune to meet the Deist Benjamin Franklin. Ben Franklin recognized the profound character and genius of Paine. He suggested that Tom Paine should go to America and make his home there. Franklin wrote a letter of recommendation for Paine, to help him secure employment in America. In all probability, Ben Franklin more than likely gave Paine the money he needed for his journey to America, since Paine was then living hand to mouth.

On November 30, 1774 Thomas Paine arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately he was ill with typhoid fever and was so weak he had to be carried off the ship. It took six weeks for Paine to recover from his illness. He was cared for by Ben Franklin's physician, Benjamin Rush.

In March of 1775 Paine secured a position as editor of the Pennsylvania Magazine. He wrote many important articles using a pen name for the magazine. Some of his articles were in opposition to slavery and others giving reasons why the people in the 13 English colonies should break free from England and the British monarchy. Paine's writings on the topic of the people in the colonies breaking with their mother country culminated with his powerful pamphlet Common Sense, which he wrote in the last part of 1775 and published on January 10, 1776. The rational and moving arguments in Common Sense won enough popular support for the breaking away from England by the American colonists to actually make the American Revolution a reality. The financial windfall from the sale of Common Sense was altruistically donated by Tom Paine to the American Revolutionary cause, despite his own unstable financial situation.

Starting something is a lot easier than seeing it through to its completion. After the American Revolution was started, the American rebels suffered one devastating loss after another. The Continental Army was pushed out of Long Island, New York, which was followed quickly by another crushing defeat at Fort Lee, New Jersey. The rebel army was chased completely out of New York and New Jersey and was licking its wounds across the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, just five months after the signing of the Deistic document the Declaration of Independence.

The Deist George Washington knew the power of Paine's pen. He asked his fellow Deist Thomas Paine to write an inspiring pamphlet to encourage the people to continue their work to sustain the American Revolution. Thomas Paine wrote not just one pamphlet to accomplish this, but a series of 13 pamphlets called The American Crisis. The first in the series of The American Crisis Washington had his officers read to his remaining soldiers on December 23, 1776, just two days prior to the crossing of the Delaware River and the Battle of Trenton the day after the crossing. This victory literally saved the American Revolution from failure.

By holding on against the odds and never quitting, the American revolutionaries were able to win enough battles for the Deist Ben Franklin to secure the financing of the French government. This financial and material backing by France ensured the victory of the American Revolution and its life improving ideals. However, without the inspiring and challenging writings of Paine, the battles would not have been won and the French would never have backed the American Revolution. This, in all probability, would have caused the American Revolution to fail.

After the success of the American Revolution, Thomas Paine was not at all finished with working to make the world a better place. He wrote The Rights of Man, which was to counter the arguments of British conservative Edmund Burke's anti-revolutionary Reflections on the Revolution in France. Paine was attacked by the British government for The Rights of Man and the book was banned. In 1792, in answer to sedition and libel charges, Paine wrote, "If, to expose the fraud and imposition of monarchy ... to promote universal peace, civilization, and commerce, and to break the chains of political superstition, and raise degraded man to his proper rank; if these things be libellous ... let the name of libeller be engraved on my tomb."

Next Thomas Paine wrote The Age of Reason. This Deistic book is, in my opinion, the very best and most important book ever written about God, Deism and religion. It may be surprising to many people, but Paine's primary reason for writing The Age of Reason was to persuade people in France who were rushing towards Atheism, to stop and think, and to realize that religion is not from God, but is the product of greedy men who depicted God as a jealous, genocidal and threatening entity for their own selfish reasons. In a letter to the American Revolutionary Samuel Adams, who was a Christian and who took issue with Paine's The Age of Reason, Paine wrote:

"With respect to the "Age of Reason," which you so much condemn, and that I believe without having read it, for you say only that you heard of it, I will inform you of a circumstance, because you cannot know it by other means."

"I have said in the first page of the first part of that work that it had long been my intention to publish my thoughts upon religion, but that I had reserved it to a later time of life. I have now to inform you why I wrote it and published it at the time I did."

"In the first place, I saw my life in continual danger. My friends were falling as fast as the guillotine could cut their heads off, and as I every day expected the same fate, I resolved to begin my work. I appeared to myself to be on my death-bed, for death was on every side of me, and I had no time to lose. This accounts for my writing it at the time I did; and so nicely did the time and the intention meet, that I had not finished the first part of that work more than six hours before I was arrested and taken to prison. Joel Barlow was with me and knows the fact."

"In the second place, the people of France were running headlong into atheism, and I had the work translated and published in their own language to stop them in that career, and fix them to the first article (as I have before said) of every man's creed who has any creed at all, I believe in God."

(The complete letter can be found here. It, along with all of Paine's writings on God, Deism and religion are included in The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition.)

The success of the American Revolution in the political realm, made a Deistic Revolution in Religion possible. Prior to the completion of the American Revolution, there was not a nation in which people could openly and freely discuss and debate religious issues. Blasphemy laws made this impossible. The American Republic's Jeffersonian and Constitutional principle of separation of religion from government made this long overdue debate possible. In The Age of Reason Paine wrote:

"Soon after I had published the pamphlet Common Sense, in America, I saw the exceeding probability that a revolution in the system of government would be followed by a revolution in the system of religion. The adulterous connection of church and state, wherever it had taken place, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, had so effectually prohibited by pains and penalties, every discussion upon established creeds, and upon first principles of religion, that until the system of government should be changed, those subjects could not be brought fairly and openly before the world; but that whenever this should be done, a revolution in the system of religion would follow. Human inventions and priestcraft would be detected; and man would return to the pure, unmixed and unadulterated belief of one God, and no more."

The World Union of Deists has been working diligently for 30 years to bring Thomas Paine's Deistic Revolution in Religion forward. The first step in this herculean task is to educate enough people about Deism to make a profound difference. Currently far too few people even know what Deism is. The more we advertise and promote Deism, the more we correct this problem. Please contribute to our efforts to bring about Thomas Paine's Deistic Revolution in Religion by clicking here, here or here. The progress of Deism cannot be stopped if all Deists do their share!
Unfettered Journey is a truly thought-provoking, inspiring and empowering novel. I'm thankful our fellow Deist, Gary Bengier, wrote it, and that I read it. If you've already read this wonderful book full of Deistic ideas, and that actually mentions Deism, please write a review of it on here. And if you haven't already read it, do yourself a favor and down load it now and read it for free (it's available in both Kindle and Apple formats) by clicking on the above image! Gary has generously decided to keep his book available for free to Deists for as long as he can!

Progress! Bob Johnson
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Critical/Negative Deism and Positive Deism
by Bob Johnson
Many Deists believe there are two separate types of Deism, critical/negative Deism and positive Deism. This is an incorrect belief. Deism is both of these (the statement in the image at right, "God gave us reason, not religion" is an example of both the positive of Deism, God giving us reason, and Deism's critique of "revealed" religions, God not giving us religion). Deism is unapologetically critical of all falsehoods. Whether or not the falsehoods are religious falsehoods does not matter to Deism, Deism will expose and oppose them.

Deism is also strongly positive about the reality of the profound and amazing awesomeness of The Supreme Intelligence/God and the profound wonder and beauty we are all surrounded with and are a part of as members of Nature and the Universe.

Being only critical or only positive is irrational and counterproductive. A balance is needed of being both critical and positive. That combination of the two is plain and beautifully simple Deism.

I found this 32 minute video of a lecture by professor Alan Charles Kors, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania. The lecture is an introduction to Deism in the 18th century (he pronounces Deism as ˈdāˌizəm instead of ˈdēˌizəm). He does a wonderful job in presenting Deism, and I highly recommend watching the video to all Deists and other freethinkers. The important point is made in the lecture that critical Deism and positive Deism are distinctions created by historians and religious scholars, but that in reality both are parts of Deism and are interrelated.

The critical part of Deism is also positive because it shines the light of reason on the ungodly lies and harmful myths of the "revealed" religions. Love of The Supreme Intelligence/God, which is very positive, is a great motivator for Deists to promote the truth that none of the "revealed" religions are from The Supreme Intelligence/God and that none of their "holy" books which they claim are God's word are actually God's word. In The Age of Reason Thomas Paine brought this important fact out when he wrote:

"Had the cruel and murderous orders with which the Bible is filled, and the numberless torturing executions of men, women and children, inconsequence of those orders, been ascribed to some friend whose memory you revered, you would have glowed with satisfaction at detecting the falsehood of the charge, and gloried in defending his injured fame. ... Is it because ye are sunk in the cruelty of superstition, or feel no interest in the honor of your Creator, that ye listen to the horrid tales of the Bible, or hear them with callous indifference?"

If you value truth/what is real and appreciate knowing the difference between what is true and what is false, which is necessary in all aspects of life, you will realize that Deism's objective and honest critique of the "revealed" religions is very much a positive. It helps people to free themselves from falsehoods and to recognize and embrace truths/reality.

Right now, the world is aflame with belief in the irrational and dangerous "revealed" religions. Currently there are 2.2 BILLION people who are under the influence of Christianity, more than 2 BILLION people who are under the influence of Islam and 14.7 million who are under the influence of Judaism. The "holy" books of all three of these Abrahamic man-made "revealed" religions have teachings which promote religious violence, and all of them have teachings which advance cruelty as all three depict The Supreme Intelligence/God as being cruel; Judaism by claiming God commanded the Jews to commit genocide against their neighbors and to own Gentile people as slaves, and Christianity and Islam by depicting The Supreme Intelligence/God as burning in hell for eternity the people who do not believe the ungodly anti-reason teachings of these "revealed" religions. As Thomas Paine pointed out in The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition, "Belief in a cruel god makes a cruel man."

When Deism openly critiques these "revealed" religions, it is extinguishing the flames of ungodly hate and fear-based superstitions fueled by these ancient "revealed" religions. This can do nothing but make the world a much better place.
God Gave Us Reason, Not Religion

This thought provoking and inspiring book makes clear the very important difference between religion and God. It takes the position that the laws and principles discovered by science in the known Universe allow us to have a belief in The Supreme Intelligence/God that meets the legal definition of beyond a reasonable doubt. Click here to order this Deism book in paperback, or click here to order it in PDF for instant download.
Stop and Think!

Can educating people to the fact that God gave us reason and not religion do anything but empower them to improve their lives and make the world a better place??
Order our new Thomas Paine Deism anti-cruelty t-shirt and help to get the word out about Deism every time you wear it! On the front it has Thomas Paine's statement, "I detest everything that is cruel." On the back is the Deistic statement, "God gave us reason, not religion" and our website address. Click here to order your new Deism t-shirt!
Visit Our WUD Video Page!

Our fellow Deist Tim Wingate has made some outstanding, educational and inspiring Deism videos. Tim has extensive knowledge of comparative religion and shares this knowledge with us in his videos. Click here to view his most recent Deism video!
Great Bible-study Book!
Bible Problems is both a great read and a great resource for objective Bible study! Order it on here!

For an interesting selection of Deism friendly books visit the site of Jayson X, the Deputy Director of the World Union of Deists. (Jayson is a public school teacher in the Bible belt and needs to use a pen-name.)
News of Interest to Deists

In some great news, a bill was recently signed into law that will put a statue of the Deist and American Founder Thomas Paine in the US Capitol. This will help correct the problem of too few people knowing about Thomas Paine, who is the most overlooked American Founder. The Thomas Paine Memorial Association was the driving force for this achievement. This, along with promoting Deism to as many people as possible, are great ways of honoring the most important Deist, Thomas Paine.

There will be an increase in religious violence in 2023 in the Jewish state of Israel and in the Israeli occupied Palestinian West Bank and Palestinian East Jerusalem. This was made evident when the newly formed Hebrew Bible-based Israeli government announced it will be annexing Palestinian land that has Jewish squatters/"settlers" on it as well as expanding its deadly, cruel and illegal occupation.

Israeli PM Netanyahu plans on making the study of the Hebrew Bible/Christian Old Testament much more widespread. When Netanyahu was Israeli PM before, he held regular bible-study meetings. The Hebrew Bible strongly promotes Jewish supremacy and Israel over all.

Hasidic Jewish schools, known as yeshivas, in New York City are cheating the government out of millions of tax dollars through special education scams.

Here's an interesting opinion piece regarding the mixing of religion with government. It points out the fact that many of America's key Founders were not Christians, but were Deists. However, it implies that they may have been Atheists of they had all the information available today. This is a common and a weak Atheist attack on Deism, which is proven false by Deists such as Albert Einstein, Antony Flew and Neil Armstrong.

The religious left likes to ignore or twist teachings from the Bible to make the Bible support the agenda of the left. This article shows how lame these attempts are. For example, Leviticus 20:13 states, "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." This is very clear that the Bible god wants gay men to be killed. The gay Christian clergywoman who wrote the linked to article claims, "...that Leviticus is specifically condemning sexual activity that involves incest." It makes no sense for gay people, or anyone who is opposed to killing gay people, to support any of the anti-gay Abrahamic "revealed" religions.

The Islamic terrorists of the Taliban have once again banned women from universities. Misogyny is a big part of all of the man-made Abrahamic "revealed" religions. However, Islam is the only one that commands Muslim men to scourge/beat women who they fear may become rebellious towards them (Quran 4:34). We need Deism, a new way of thinking which will help us to free ourselves from the ancient, ungodly and cruel "revealed" religions. God gave us reason, not religion!

A teen who was forced to go to church and Sunday school managed to get kicked-out of Sunday school by correcting the teacher regarding Greek translations he was getting wrong!

2023 is going to see a new push for school vouchers in Texas (and probably in many other US states). School vouchers use tax dollars to pay for tuition for students who attend private schools, the majority of which are Christian schools.

Here's an interesting article about proving Albert Einstein's theory of relativity for under $100.00!

In England a baby had to undergo heart surgery. The doctors used donated stem cells to inject into the heart of the baby. This was the first time this was done and it produced positive results. This may lead to children with heart problems no longer needing repeat heart surgeries.
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Thought Provoking and Inspiring Quotes

"Deism, then, teaches us, without the possibility of being deceived, all that is necessary or proper to be known. The creation is the Bible of the Deist. He there reads, in the handwriting of the Creator himself, the certainty of his existence and the immutability of his power, and all other Bibles and Testaments are to him forgeries."

"I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good."

"As to the Christian system of faith, it appears to me as a species of Atheism - a sort of religious denial of God. It professes to believe in a man rather than in God. It is a compound made up chiefly of Manism with but little Deism, and is as near to Atheism as twilight is to darkness. It introduces between man and his Maker an opaque body, which it calls a Redeemer, as the moon introduces her opaque self between the earth and the sun, and it produces by this means a religious, or an irreligious, eclipse of light. It has put the whole orbit of reason into shade."

"It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man."

"Is it not more safe that we stop ourselves at the plain, pure, and unmixed belief of one God, which is Deism, than that we commit ourselves on an ocean of improbable, irrational, indecent and contradictory tales?"

"The only religion that has not been invented, and that has in it every evidence of divine originality, is pure and simple Deism. It must have been the first, and will probably be the last, that man believes. But pure and simple Deism does not answer the purpose of despotic governments. They cannot lay hold of religion as an engine, but by mixing it with human inventions, and making their own authority a part; neither does it answer the avarice of priests, but by incorporating themselves and their functions with it, and becoming, like the government, a party in the system." (I think this is a key reason why so few people know what Deism is: Deism does not serve the interests of the powers that be. The editor)

"Were man impressed as fully and as strongly as he ought to be with the belief of a God, his moral life would be regulated by the force of that belief; he would stand in awe of God and of himself, and would not do the thing that could not be concealed from either. To give this belief the full opportunity of force, it is necessary that it acts alone. This is Deism. But when, according to the Christian Trinitarian scheme, one part of God is represented by a dying man, and another part called the Holy Ghost, by a flying pigeon, it is impossible that belief can attach itself to such wild conceits."

"The book called the book of Matthew says, chap, iii, verse 16, that the Holy Ghost descended in the shape of a dove. It might as well have said a goose; the creatures are equally harmless, and the one is as much of a nonsensical lie as the other. The second of Acts, verse, 2, 3, says that it descended in a mighty rushing wind, in the shape of cloven tongues, perhaps it was cloven feet. Such absurd stuff is only fit for tales of witches and wizards."

"'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death."

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it."

"Where knowledge is a duty, ignorance is a crime."

"Monarchy always appears to me a silly, contemptible thing. I compare it to something kept behind a curtain, about which there is a great deal of bustle and fuss, and a wonderful air of seeming solemnity; but when, by any accident, the curtain happens to be open - and the company see what it is, they burst into laughter."

"My own mind is my own church."

"Thomas did not believe the resurrection; and, as they say, would not believe without having ocular and manual demonstration himself. So neither will I; and the reason is equally as good for me, and for every other person, as for Thomas."

"... the Bible decides nothing, because it decides any way, and every way, one chooses to make it."

"There is a happiness in Deism, when rightly understood, that is not to be found in any other system of religion. All other systems have something in them that either shock our reason, or are repugnant to it, and man, if he thinks at all, must stifle his reason in order to force himself to believe them."

"... in Deism our reason and our belief become happily united."

Thomas Paine
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Bob Johnson
World Union of Deists
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