Why Deism? Now my mind is free and happy.
How I Became a Deist
by Jayson X
Dear Friends in Deism,
Here is how I became a Deist. I was born on Christmas Eve 1969 and
placed for adoption that very day. About a month later, I was
adopted by two wonderful people, Richard and Linda. Richard
was an all-star athlete who served as a sailor during the Vietnam
War and later moved back to what was basically his hometown. There,
he became a much respected police officer. Linda, who was of
Syrian-American heritage, was a devout Eastern Orthodox Christian.
Within a year of my adoption, Richard suddenly died from lung
cancer, which was caused by Agent Orange exposure. He used to
regularly load the toxic defoliant as he served on the aircraft
carrier, the USS Independence. Thus, my wonderful adoptive
father died from a very questionable practice in a very questionable
war before I ever had the chance to really know him. The suffering
a war causes does not end when the firing stops. It lasts for
I do not remember the first time I knew that I was adopted or that
my adoptive father died from Agent Orange exposure, because my
adoptive mother raised me with that knowledge. To this day, I am
exceedingly thankful that she did. It is generally better to know
the sad truth than to live a happy lie.
Knowing about my adoption and the unjust and devastating death of
Richard made me more philosophically inclined than most. From an
early age on, I thought to myself, Why is the world so messed
up? What should we humans do to fix it?
Christianity, at first, seemed to be the answer. It taught much
good morality and that God would empower us through Jesus Christ and
the Holy Spirit to do as much good as we can. I figured that if
everyone chose to be as good as possible, things like unwanted
pregnancies, the Vietnam War, and the use of Agent Orange would not
happen. I also wanted to go to Heaven because this life was full of
suffering, and I wanted to help others do the same.
Eventually, I became an Eastern Orthodox Christian priest. Well, if
you ever want to know something very well, try to teach it
seriously. I became an expert in both Christianity and the
Bible because I was trying to teach it seriously. The salvation of
the world was at stake!
I never imagined at that time that I would ever reject my inherited
religion. I was raised to believe that Eastern Orthodox
Christianity alone was the one, true faith. Yet, I started noticing
that many of the Christians I knew probably would have been better
people if they were raised in a simpler religion, a rational
religion that taught the best of Christianity without the rest. I
believe that such a religion would teach that we should base all of
our beliefs on reason, God exists and is completely good, and God
will reward relatively good people and punish relatively evil
people. It would not teach that we should believe miracles which
probably did not happen, participate in rituals in order to be
saved, or tithe to pay for a church and a preacher.
So I took a leave from the ministry, and eventually got
excommunicated and deposed. Now my mind is free and happy. I would
much rather be a Deist than a member of a supposedly revealed
religion. If I were God, I would rather bless and save people who
were good and honest than evil and/or credulous. And that is
exactly the way God thinks, as far as I know.
I am very happy to be a part of the World Union of Deists. I thank
this most important organization for spreading the good news of
Deism and allowing me to use my credentials and talents to teach
people to base their beliefs on reason and still believe in God.
(Jayson X must use a penname because he's a
single parent and a school teacher in the US Bible-belt. As a single
parent he cannot risk losing his teaching position. This shows how much
further we must progress to really have true free-speech.)