Religion is always a touchy subject for people. Though I think religion should be debated freely and without ill-will amongst individuals, most do not agree with my outlook. In the seldom moments the issue of one's belief does come into conversation it is generally in passing and rarely expounded upon. Once every blue moon, someone will ask me what religion I follow. When I answer "I'm a deist," the conversation is over. More often than not, whoever I'm talking to doesn't know what a deist is and probably thinks it will piss me off if they ask for an explanation. So, with that in mind, I present to you a short primer on deism and why I love it.
First, and foremost, deism has nothing to do with the Catholic subsect Opus Dei. Rather, deism is the belief that there is in fact a supreme God that exists. That this God did create the physical universe and that God granted all mean the power of reason. As as deist, I reject supernatural revelations (such as God speaking to Moses) and religious dogma (opposing accepted Church views). Furthermore, deists see the Holy Bible as more of an Aesop's Fable written by man to control man. The God we accept is one that does not mingle in our affairs. He does not affect our affairs, nor does he suspend the natural laws of the universe.
Deism has existed for a couple centuries and some of its most vocal supporters include Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Hobbes, James Madison, John Adams, and Thomas Paine among others. I bring up these legendary historical figures not for the purpose of converting you or to claim some supremacy, but rather to illustrate that deism isn't some crackpot religion that was formed out of need for a happy medium between atheists and Christians. Deism is the religion of the enlightened. We believe that man must make his own decisions and we were granted the power of reason to accomplish this. It is only through reason that a human being can lead a good life.
Most deists do not pray, but if some choose to they do not pray in a form of supplication ("Please God grant me"...) but rather in an appreciative manner ("Thank you for..."). Growing up, I was raised a Methodist. To this day, I can't even tell you exactly what that means. Shortly after my cousin died, I became a vehement atheist. After meeting my soon-to-be-wife, I converted to Catholicism. Unfortunately, I've always been extremely skeptical about religion simply because of my nature. Catholicism takes it to a whole new level. I soon became disgusted with it and basically swore off religion entirely. A fellow Freemason sent me an article about deism and, as I read through it, I knew that I found my new home. Each point in the article drew a mental nod of agreement from me.
I'm not advocating anyone suddenly switch their religion, nor am I attempting to convert and/or preach to you. I merely wanted to explain what deism truly is. If you are interested in learning more about it, I highly suggest visiting Deism.com.