I recently discovered your WUD website and it has really been a pleasure (and relief) to read. This is my story on how I became what I now know to be called... a Deist.
I was raised by a Methodist mother and an Atheist father. Very confusing religious upbringing to say the least. As a young boy I was drawn more toward my mother's Methodist ways (since my father rarely, if ever, discussed religion). I began reading the Bible at the young age of nine. My favorite stories were about David and Goliath and the story of the strong Sampson. At around ten years of age, I began to second guess these stories and wonder about the validity of them. Why would God kill every man, woman and child in a flood if he was a loving and kind God? How DID Noah get two of every land creature inside that Ark? Why don't we see any miracles as mentioned in the Bible such as water to wine, walking on water, healing the sick and casting out demons? Why was there no mention of dinosaurs, since there was obvious proof of their existence in the bones scientist found? No one was able to satisfy my natural boyish curiosity and questions about the Bible. As a result, and of the useless rhetoric and religious traditions of worship, I slowly drifted away from organized religion all together.
By the time I was an adult, I knew I believed in a God and that all of this (the Universe) was not some cosmic accident. I also came to the conclusion that, however, I didn't know what to tell people when asked about my religion, so I used the most general and generic term I knew of.... the ever popular Christian!
I was not comfortable with this term to describe my spirituality. I say spirituality because I considered myself very spiritual but not religious. So, I began to research various popular religions and creeds in search of a better, more accurate term for my beliefs. In all of these mainstream religions I found a recurring theme. Man made rules governed all of them in some way or another... some even worshiped a man, which definitely was not within my spiritual constraints to do so. I began to lose confidence that there even WAS a term to describe my spiritual beliefs.
Then one day, I stumbled upon an article describing and debating the actual religious beliefs of our Founding Fathers. My interest became especially peaked when the article began describing Thomas Paine and his authoring of "The Age of Reason". This Tom Paine fellow felt exactly as I do! Furthermore, it was debatable that the rest of the Founding Fathers (Washington, Jefferson, Franklin) were arguably Deists as well, just not as openly public or courageous about it as Mr. Thomas Paine.
After researching this strange philosophy called Deism, I was excited to discover there was a name for my spirituality and beliefs. And I was especially proud of the fact that I was in good company, as there were many historical figures that felt and believed that same way.
I immediately ordered your book Deism: A Revolution in Religion, A Revolution in You; as well as signed up to be an official member of WUD. I look forward to learning more about Deism and how I can better help turn the light on for those still mindlessly following the revealed religions. I listened to the radio broadcasts listed on the WUD website, and would like to close with a quote that Jayson X said in one of the shows:
"God gave us all the Gift of Reason; Some just can't figure out how to open the box."