Sunday, April 19, 2009

Deism Is Spiritual, Not Political

I have seen, several times, some people associate Deism with politics, and an assumption that Deists have only a single direction as to their political views. Usually this slant is toward a liberal political party. I have also seen where this behavior of relating Deism to politics pushes people away from Deism.

I believe this is a mistake which we should not make, and certainly we should not repeat. We don't want to lose Deists because of the political views of just a few. Some people are simply more reserved then that, and many do not normally express their political opinions. Even if political views were to be expressed, it would preferably not take place in a spiritual or religious arena. The two are not necessarily related.

But the biggest issue I take with the mix of Deism and politics is this:  As Deists we do not believe in dogma. We don't blindly follow, but use our God given gift of Reason to make our own decisions. Once politics is injected into the equation, suddenly everyone becomes a lemming - Deists are liberals, and liberals are Deists, and there is no in between. If you dissent from the political views of others within the group then you become an outcast, and thus you are scorned and shunned. Suddenly it becomes zealotry, fanaticism and militancy, which is not Deism. Deism is not blind faith in clergy or political leaders, which goes against the very principles of our Deistic beliefs.

I refuse to be a card carrying member of anything except Deism. I will do the research on all matters and reach my own conclusions without the need for political affiliation. I refuse to be a political zombie, mindlessly following  the political crowd.

Let's leave politics out of our spirituality. I believe it makes all of us better Deists.

One Deist Φ


Dan Mesmer said...

About a year ago, I saw a poll in one of the Deist forums. It asked forum members to indicate their political affiliation. There were a large number of responses. At the time I reviewed the results, it was clear that Deists come from every part of the political spectrum. "Reason" is available to all.

Last year, I endorsed Barack Obama on my Deist web site. I received no complaints, whatsoever, for having done so. My web site is a dot com rather than a dot org, so, among other things, I am free to make political endorsements. I think your suggestion to distance politics from Deism has wisdom, but I think Deists, including myself, will take the suggestion as a suggestion. To do otherwise, could make the exclusion of politics seem rather dogmatic.

Chuck said...

Here, here. I am a political junkie like many, and I am a religious junkie, but they are a bad mix. I think we all should do our own thinking. Independent thinking is anathema to modern politics. Modern politicians need herds of followers who let other people do their thinking for them.

OneDeist said...

Thanks for the feedback Dan and Chuck.

Dan, of course we don't want to create dogma, but there were a couple of factors motivating me to write this post. First, an encounter where all parties involved have apparently married Deism and politics together, with zero tolerance for diversity. Second, guidance to others - especially those who are new to Deism - that politics and Deism aren't necessarily associated.

The encounter I had, smacked of militancy. It reminded me of those documentaries on certain militia groups where they pick out a verse or two in the Bible then combine them with their political views. They use the verses to validate their fanatical viewpoint, and of course no one dare say anything to the contrary.

Politics is part of life, but not inherently part of Deism. I believe the greatest thing that could happen to modern politics is a bunch of Deists. Not because someone will tell us who to vote for, or what party to belong to, but because we are especially independent and would vote good people into elected office.

One Deist Φ

Dan Mesmer said...

One Deist, I think your above reply is superb.

Cage SC said...

Deists are Liberals?

That'll be the day!

As a staunch fiscal and military conservative I find such an assumption to be both demeaning and derogatory. I have found little in my personal life to support it...but then, as always...that's probably just me.

You see, I'm the only Deist/Theist I know. I tend to be outspoken and have a reputation for being the one that will actually come out and say what everyone else is thinking. Don't stand next to me in a food line and use food stamps or state debit card to purchase doritos and milk duds while your cart is full of music CDs and DVD movies and not expect me to publically call you out on it.

I lost my faith in Faith while serving almost a quarter century in the military. Seen WAY too much human crap lay good people who believed (in miracles, I guess) only get both disappointed and dead.

I believe in reason, research and logic and the truth they reveal. Because of this I am out of line with fellow conservatives in that I have absolutely no viewpoint on abortion, yet can despise groups such as Planned Parenthood as the money making machine they are based on evidence alone. Being neutral on abortion does not make me a Liberal and being totally disgusted with the shame business of PP doesn't make me a Conservative. (There are two or three other "issues" that might throw me in conflict with other Conservatives...but the one is enough to make my point.)

Reason, observation and research alone warned me about Obama's complete lack of leadership and managerial skills as well as his firm entrenchment within liberal Euro-socialist dogmas. He was an obvious slave to his political faith and religion of "progessivism" and the chances of him changing while president seemed highly suspect. But trying to explain that to people caught up in the media hype of being a potential part of history by the shear giddiness of being able to elsect the first Black president, regardless of credentials, was just too much to overcome.

Frankly, attempting to do so was exactly like trying to dispell the mob mentality of those who chose to celebrate New Years Eve (1999/2000) as the beginning of the new millineum with simple knowledge of arithmetic would explain that THAT event wasn't for another year...People want a party, feel good and have a reason to get in a photo op and 2000 and Obama were "good enough" excuses, the truth be damned. These consequences of electing Obama, however, have proved much more profound and debilitating.

In MY mind, a true Deist (think Jefferson) could in no way, much less good conscience, have voted FOR Obama...AGAINST McCain, perhaps, but NOT for Obama.

Bottom line: I agree...You're correct! Deism IS spiritual, not political. But I fail to see in ANY light how it could be embraced by social Liberals as I know them. It requires them to actually use the mental tools made available to reason the natural order of things. Being self-reliant, earning a living, tending our our neighbors needs without outside help or influence, protecting ourselves, families and way of life are natural tenents of any society, large or small. A government is not needed and is often contrary to those tenents.

Certainly having a government giving oders as to how one can perceive, reason and learn is nothing but facism. And that is the leading direction of the Liberal view on government today. Such is NOT in keeping with the Deist I am. I could no more be a "Progressive" than I could be a Nazi!