I have done quite a bit of heavy reading in the past months and years in my own personal, philosophical search for meaning.
Although I tend to be viruntly anti-religion, as seen on these boards, I really only reject the notion of organized religion, not the idea of God.
What I was surprised to find out is that apparently, many of the Founding Fathers were of like mind.
Thomas Paine has long been a hero of mine, and probably is the person founder I identify strongest with. It is said that he believed in God, but when ministers and priests came to him on his deathbed he shooed them away.
Thomas Jefferson was another well known deist, who generally did not seem to accept the ideas that organized religion purveys.
One I was surprised about was George Washington. Being more a warrior then a philosopher, I had assumed he would be a hardcore christian. However, from wikipedia-
[i]His adopted daughter, Nelly Custis Lewis, stated: “I have heard her [Nelly’s mother, Eleanor Calvert Custis, who resided in Mount Vernon for two years] say that General Washington always received the sacrament with my grandmother [Martha Washington] before the revolution.” After the revolution, Washington frequently accompanied his wife to Christian church services; however, there is no record of his ever taking communion, and he would regularly leave services before communion?with the other non-communicants (as was the custom of the day), until, after being admonished by a rector, he ceased attending at all on communion Sundays. Prior to communion, believers are admonished to take stock of their spiritual lives and not to participate in the ceremony unless he finds himself in the will of God. Historians and biographers continue to debate the degree to which he can be counted as a Christian, and the degree to which he was a deist.
He was an early supporter of religious toleration and freedom of religion. In 1775, he ordered that his troops not show anti-Catholic sentiments by burning the pope in effigy on Guy Fawkes Night. When hiring workmen for Mount Vernon, he wrote to his agent, “If they be good workmen, they may be from Asia, Africa, or Europe; they may be Mohammedans, Jews, or Christians of any sect, or they may be Atheists.” In 1790, he wrote a response to a letter from the Touro Synagogue, in which he said that as long as people remain good citizens, their faith does not matter. This was a relief to the Jewish community of the United States, since the Jews had been either expelled or discriminated against in many European countries.[/i]
Ethan Allen was another.
Benjamin Franklin, yet another.
Some say James Madison was- and if he wasn’t, he was a huge proponent of Seperation of Curch and state.
I have been reading “Team of Rivals”, and it seems that Abraham Lincoln was also despondant at times over the lack of his belief in an afterlife. He rarely talked on religion or his personal beliefs.
So my question is, if all of these guys were deists and created and led the country, why are we at the point now where a man can’t get elected if he doesn’t attend church every Friday, Sunday, and Tuesday. Why are five GOP candidates proud to raise their hands when asked if they don’t believe in evolution?
Why has our country become the only country that’s gone fuckin backwards?
And again, I’m not attacking Christianity specifically. I don’t really care what card the preacher carries, but the more philosophy and science I read, the more ridiculous the idea of a vengeful god sending souls that he created to hell becomes. I’m not against the idea of God, but I don’t know why questioning a candidates’ loyalty to Christianity has become one of the main points of elections.
Just meandering thoughts of mine.