From Christianity and Through Religious Violence via al-Qaeda to Deism
I am a Deist living in England and saw what you wrote about revealed religions not being about God. I love Nature and believe in the God of Nature. I am a survivor of the 7/7 bombings in London which also killed my husband, injured some of my friends and put me in a wheelchair and pain for life. I struggled for a long time trying to find a meaning to it all and tried to be an Atheist but the one reason I could not succeed in doing that is because I looked at Nature and thought there must be a Creator - all this must have been created by a Creator. There could not be design without a Designer. But I couldn't find any way to believe in God without religions. So I studied them all.
It was religion specifically Islam, (although I must admit they were fanatics), who put me in my wheelchair and pain. And for that they think they will be rewarded by having entrance to Paradise. Well of course I could not believe in that religion because any God must be a God of love and there is no love in that way of thinking. Then I looked at Christianity - but there is no love in that either because what sort of God would require the sadistic blood sacrifice of his own son to save the world and then send all those who failed to believe in him to hell to be tortured for eternity? Then I looked at the Eastern religions with their doctrine of karma and their caste system and saw that treat the dalits, (outcasts) with utmost cruelty and barbarism. I looked at all these religions and all I saw in all of them was superstition, hatred and control. And I still believed in a God of love.
I also believed in scientific medicine and not faith healing or all that gobbledegook. But still I could not find how God could fit into that because a lot a scientists are against religion. But the more I studied science the more I saw order behind things. Science being more the evidence of a God than proving that there is no God. And then I came across Thomas Paine and Deism and suddenly it all started to make sense.
I got blown up because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got pain because of scientific reasons because my body was injured. I wasn't being punished because I didn't believe and because I wasn't an agent of Satan and or his demons, (which don't exist anyway). I didn't get hurt because of karma and had lived a bad life in a previous existence. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
And there is a God - but one of reason who has given me a brain to think with so I can find a way around my problems together with other people who can think such as doctors and the people who research and produce medicines to stop pain and this is the way forward. Not following the understanding of religions from the dark ages who fill people with superstition based on fear and control. I am glad I had enough belief in the power of my own intelligence and knowing that this was given to me by God to help me go forward.
Your website has been one of the things that has pulled me through my darkest hours and I thank you for it. And God for my God given reason to make sense of things where people practise their own darkness by relying on revealed religions and faith even when they demonstrably do not work. Thank God for reason which has shined like a beacon to me when I was trying to make sense of things. And thank God to him for creating it so it could be a path by which we could come to know him more.