Freedom is defined as “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” Freedom is an essential and necessary part of progress, and it is inseparable from Deism.
All of the various “revealed” religions not only lack the priceless quality of freedom, they attack it. They all attempt to steal freedom from individual people, and when they are able to, from all of society. These religions are designed by selfish and greedy clergymen to rob us of our freedom to think, speak and act as we please.
When the power of the “revealed” religions in government is weak, they are limited to attacking peoples’ freedom with threats that are primarily limited to the hereafter. In addition to threats of hell, they also attack a dissident member’s freedom through ostracizing them from the group, which often includes keeping them away from their own families. When the “revealed” religions are mixed with government, their power in the here-and-now increases.
They then inflict ungodly and horrendous punishments on people that often end in the death of those who dared to question their irrational man-made religious dogmas that are falsely advertised as being of Divine origin. Two cases in point are that of the freethinker Giordano Bruno who was tortured and burned alive by the Christians, and the Deist Cayetano Ripoll, who was murdered by hanging, being the last person to be murdered by the Spanish Inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church on July 26, 1826.
The theocrats in the religious right actively attack freedom with their lies that the Bible promotes freedom. One glaring example of this deceit is found on the site of Christian “historian” David Barton. He lies in a letter to Christian clergy in which he is encouraging them to get their flocks out to vote. Just one example of a lie taken from his letter is his claim that Isaiah 33:22 calls for three branches of government.
Barton must have assumed people would take it on faith and not use their gift from The Supreme Intelligence/God of reason and look into it for themselves. It’s plainly obvious that Barton is a liar by making this claim as is immediately evident when we read Isaiah 33:22 for ourselves. That Bible verse states: “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.”
There is absolutely no rational way to read this Bible nonsense and think, “Oh, God wants us to form a government that is composed of three branches of government.”
A direct assault on freedom by the authors of the Bible is found at Romans 13:1-7 which teaches the anti-freedom teaching:
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever, therefore, resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good.
But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath but also for conscience sake. For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
Obviously America’s founders, and everyone who took part in or supported the American Revolution or any revolution anywhere, did not at all take this Bible teaching seriously. If they did, they never would have resisted the powers that be and violently overthrow the government. They showed no fear of “the power.”
The above Bible-teaching strongly promotes the false idea of the divine right of kings and monarchy to rule over humanity by stating “there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” and “for he” (a ruler) “is the minister of God to thee for good” and “for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”
May it (the Fourth of July) be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. . . .
The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.
Contrary to popular sentiment, none of the “revealed”/hearsay religions promote anything close to individual freedom or a republican or democratic form of government. The French Deist Jean Jacques Rousseau summed this up well regarding Christianity when he wrote in The Social Contract:
But I am mistaken in speaking of a Christian republic; the terms are mutually exclusive. Christianity preaches only servitude and dependence. Its spirit is so favorable to tyranny that it always profits by such a regime. True Christians are made to be slaves, and they know it and do not much mind: this short life counts for too little in their eyes.
The truth to Rousseau’s above statement is seen in Luke 14:26, in which the anonymous author of this gospel has Jesus saying:
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”
(The World Union of Deists has a page up here that deals with this ungodly and anti-family and anti-life teaching attributed to Jesus.)
A more contemporary example of Christianity’s anti-freedom demand for individual people to submit to authority figures, and live cult-like lives of obedience is seen the best selling Christian apologetics book by C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity. In describing what a Christian society would be like, Lewis wrote it
is always insisting on obedience – obedience (and outward marks of respect) from all of us to properly appointed magistrates, from children to parents, and (I am afraid this is going to be very unpopular) from wives to husbands. Thirdly, it is to be a cheerful society: full of singing and rejoicing, and regarding worry or anxiety as wrong.
(I address this, along with all of Mere Christianity, in my book An Answer to C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity.)
The anti-freedom and pro-slavery beliefs and ideas promoted by all of the man-made “revealed” religions are blown apart by Deism! People are born free and designed to think, question and prosper. This is seen in the Deistic document The Declaration of Independence, in which the Deist author, Thomas Jefferson, wrote:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
A key reason the “revealed” religions promote anti-freedom and pro-slavery ideas and beliefs is because of the greedy and selfish clergymen who started these ungodly “revealed” religions. They wanted power and wealth at the expense of their fellow human beings. This is reflected in the content of the “holy” scriptures they, themselves, wrote.
The primary reason that Deism is able to blow apart the dangerous anti-freedom teachings of the “revealed” religions is because Deism completely rejects the idea those religions are based upon and dependent upon: The belief of Divine revelations as the basis of any religion or worldview.
In Peter Byrne’s outstanding and fascinating book NATURAL RELIGION AND THE NATURE OF RELIGION – THE LEGACY OF DEISM, it’s stated the paramount difference between Deism/natural religion (many Deists don’t consider Deism to be a religion of any type, but see Deism as a natural spiritual philosophy) and revealed religion is,
“. . . a distinction between a supposed set of divine truths specially communicated by God in history and a real system of truths available to all by the use of the unaided reason.
This reason-based quality of Deism, to reject all claims made by the “revealed” religions to having received a special Divine revelation, empowers Deism and Deists to totally destroy the false claim all the “revealed” religions make and which all of them are based upon.
Once a Deist gets the point across to a person who is under the influence of one of the “revealed” religions that God gave us all our innate reason, and did not give us any of the “revealed” religions, they are empowered to break free of the mind-numbing and irrational nonsense of the “revealed” religions. Once enough people are reached with this vitally important Deistic fact, the end will truly be near for all of the harmful and ungodly “revealed” religions.
When we objectively look at history, the fact screams out to us that all the progress humanity has made originated in the reason-based minds and in the reason-based actions of those who went before us. For just one example of many, the ability to overcome blindness caused by cataracts was because of the reason-based hard work of the Roman physician Galen who corrected blindness from cataracts through surgery. This, and virtually all knowledge of the ancient Greeks and Romans, was lost when Christianity brought on the Dark Ages.
Because of Christianity, all of this lost knowledge had to be relearned. Christianity fought the work to acquire the lost knowledge of the ancient Greeks and Romans, as well as stripping people of the freedom to gain new knowledge. For example, Christianity outlawed dissection of human bodies, which took away the freedom of Deistic geniuses like Leonardo da Vinci to do dissections and forced them to work in secret, for fear of arrest.
It also did all it could to prevent people like Copernicus and Galileo from showing the ignorance of the Bible authors who put the Earth at the center of the Universe and had the Sun orbiting the Earth. Galileo had his freedom taken away to educate people to the truth, that the Bible is factually wrong, the Earth orbits the Sun.
Progress is impossible without freedom. Freedom to think independently, to fully use our innate God-given reason to the fullest extent possible, is the only road to progress and to better lives and to a better society. Deism, which is based on this beautiful and priceless gift from The Supreme Intelligence/God, strongly and incessantly encourages all people to fully use their innate God-given reason and to always apply it to everything.
Imagine how much our individual lives, along with society, will improve once Deists reach enough people with the knowledge of Deism. Religious wars and violence would come to an end because no one would believe they’re under Divine orders to attack and kill infidels and nonbelievers. Jews would not believe they’re recipients of a Divine gift of real estate, that God chose them “above all people who are upon the face of the Earth” and that God wants them to rule the world from Jerusalem.
Christians would not perform harmful and often deadly exorcisms on children nor withhold medical care from children, to the point of the death of the child, based on the Bible’s false promise of faith healing. Muslims would not believe God wants men to beat/scourge women who they fear may become rebellious towards the superior man. The hate against gay people and the misogyny common to all of the man-made Abrahamic “revealed” religions would dissipate and eventually cease to exist.
The cruelty inherent in all of the “revealed” religions due to their depictions of The Supreme Intelligence/God as being cruel and brutal, will end. This, in and of itself, will do much to lessen the cruelty and brutality of individuals and society, as the supreme example of these dangerous and negative traits will no longer exist. There are countless other benefits we, and all of society, will experience and benefit from once Deism renders the “revealed” religions powerless and replaces fear-based superstitions with reason and progress.
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The reason Deists are today able to be open Deists, is because of the sacrifice and altruism of wonderful people who went before us. People like Rousseau, Voltaire, Ben Franklin, Thomas Paine, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, just to name a very few, paid the price and did the work to create a society free of the mental and spiritual chains of the “revealed” religions.
They broke the ungodly bond of religion and government in the West through the European Enlightenment and the American Revolution. As Thomas Paine pointed out in The Age of Reason, the success of the American Revolution opened the door for a revolution in religion based on our innate God-given reason and Deism. It’s time for Deists everywhere to walk through that door, bringing as many people as possible with us!
Bob Johnson is a freelance writer in the Tampa area of Florida. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after a stint in Marine Corps infantry and reading Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason he became a Deist.
In 1993 he founded the World Union of Deists, and in 1996 he launched the first website devoted to Deism. He is the author of God Gave Us Reason, Not Religion, Deism: A Revolution in Religion, A Revolution in You and An Answer to C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. He has also written the introduction to Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition and Principles of Nature by Elihu Palmer.