Sunday, June 25, 2006

Twelve deists and an anarchist

[My theology doesn't have a name, the best I can come up with is deist... and it sure looks like I'm in good company]

There's been much talk lately about Michael Newdow, a Californian atheist who has fought a series of legal battles seeking to bar religious references from American public life suing to remove the phrase "In God We Trust" from U.S. money and coins.

No doubt this latest battle over how much GOD we want in our government will take a long time to be resolved, but before we really get started, let's consider this:

The first six and four later Presidents of the United States had strong deistic or allied beliefs.

Deism (the belief, based solely on reason, in a God who created the universe and then abandoned it, assuming no control over life, exerting no influence on natural phenomena, and giving no supernatural revelation) was championed by Enlightenment thinkers such as Voltaire and some of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin are among the most well-known of the American founding deists.

Thomas Paine, another Founding Father, published The Age of Reason, a treatise that popularized deism throughout America and Europe. Paine wrote that deism represented the application of reason to religion, finally settling problems that formerly were thought to be permanently controversial. Deists hoped to also settle religious questions permanently and scientifically by reason alone, without revelation.

A proto-anarchist, Paine advocated a liberal world view, considered radical in his day. He dismissed monarchy, and viewed all government as, at best, a necessary evil. He opposed slavery and was amongst the earliest proponents of social security, universal free public education, a guaranteed minimum wage, and many other radical ideas now common practice in most western democracies.

The definition of anarchy that I most ascribe to is: Absence of a ruler, ruling class, ruling political party or parties, or power elite.

Sounds good to me! But until we find a group of people that can actually handle this concept I'll trust my fate to the police, military and a few elected politicians. In the mean time I'll keep working on understanding and remaining open to as much spiritual and scientific discussion as I can wrap my mind around. I love this world and find all it's people and their disparate cultures and stories fascinating.

Reporting from the underground...

Stan Morris