Modern Deism

The goal of Modern Deism is the promotion and education of Deism to the modern world.  Most people have never heard of Deism and our goal is to change this problem. Unfortunately, the dictionary definition of Deism tends to push the idea that Deism is a “dead religion.”  However, this is a fallacy as Deism is “alive” and growing.

Link: Modern Deism

Comments

  1. MikeH says:

    I write as one who used to be a Christian but found that the Christian faith, and my supposedly having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, had not been of help to me personally. However I also have reasons for not being an atheist. I discovered web sites about Deism several years ago, and would now consider myself to be closer to being a Deist than to anything else.

    There is something that bothers me very much in the statement of principles in the Modern Deism web site (at http://moderndeism.com/html/deist_principles.html ), namely this:

    “You shall honor and be faithful to your Father, your Mother and your Loved ones”

    I have no quarrel about “your Loved ones”; however I do have a quarrel about “your Father and your Mother”.

    Of course if one has been treated well by one’s parents, and has been truly loved by them, and if one’s parents have been respectful and sensitive to one’s needs, then by all means honor and be faithful to them.

    However I think it is wrong to tell a person to honor or be faithful to a parent or parents who are or who have been abusive, or who are otherwise not deserving or worthy of honor. I would think that parents should have to earn the right or privilege to be honored or respected, just like anybody else in any position of authority.

    In fact probably the biggest single issue about which I found the Christian faith to be of no help to me personally was my very difficult relationship with my father.

    My dad did many very good things and very nice things, and I had many good times with him, and he was an excellent provider for his family. My dad was definitely far from being the worst father anybody ever had. Even so, however, my dad sometimes behaved in ways that were abusive, or bordered on being so, especially emotionally and psychologically (though I did receive my share of spankings when I was a kid).

    My dad often decided in Godlike fashion that I needed to be treated or talked to like I had committed a crime or a heinous sin if I had made an honest mistake, had honestly forgotten something, or if something did not quite meet his standards. And he would almost always say that what he was saying or doing was said or done out of “love”, and “for my own good”. And my dad was often very poor at understanding, or even trying to understand, from my point of view, something that I was struggling with, or some sensitive issue that was causing me to be frustrated, upset, or otherwise unhappy.

    My dad often seemed to have the attitude (though he would deny it) that being father of his children and head of the house gave him certain arbitrary privileges, and that because of all the good and nice things that he did and how hard he worked, he could do no wrong. If I were angry or upset with him or with something he said or did, the problem was always with me, never with him.

    My dad died a little over 25 years ago now, and I came to realize a little over a year after he died, after the normal grief had worn off, how angry I still was at him. I came to realize that he actually was abusive (or borderline so) at times. I.e. it was not just something wrong (or “sinful”) with me that I had problems with my dad and often was angry at or resented things he said or did (which anger and resentment often spilled to other people and to other areas of my life).

    Along with the realization that my dad had actually been abusive, or borderline so, at times, I also came to the realization that my being a Christian had been of no help to me in enabling me to deal with my dad those times he was obnoxious or abusive. In fact Christianity had aggravated the problem I had with my dad, with among other things the commandment to unconditionally “honor your father and mother” (which does not make any exceptions if one’s parents are abusive or otherwise not deserving of honor), and also with a passage in Hebrews 12 which basically says to gladly accept the chastening of the Lord, like that of a “good” father.

    That being the case I eventually came to part company with the Christian faith, and to absolve myself of any duties and obligations specifically imposed by the Christian faith (as opposed to duties and obligations incumbent on any good or moral person). I feel as certain as I do of anything that this was the right and healthy thing for me to do.

    I do not regard the Bible as being anything more than a book written and put together by fallible human beings, and exhibiting human fallibility and human prejudice just like anything else that has ever been written. I particularly regard the commandment to unconditionally “honor your father and mother”, which in the biblical text makes no exceptions if one’s parents are abusive or are otherwise undeserving of honor, as something in the Bible that is definitely wrong.

    Even though I realized that Christianity had not been of help to me, I still found I had problems with atheism. I eventually discovered web sites about Deism on the internet, and found that Deism came to make sense to me. I would consider myself to be closer to being a Deist than anything else. I have arrived at Deism almost by a process of elimination.

    I like what is said in the Modern Deism statement of principles: “You shall treat others with dignity and respect and you shall insist that others respect your dignity as well.” I think the commandment in the Bible to “honor your father and mother” should be taken out and replaced by a commandment to parents: “Thou shalt treat your children with dignity and respect, that they (the children) may come to treat themselves and others with dignity and respect.”

    The late Swiss writer and psychotherapist Alice Miller, in her books and on her web sites, documents the harmful consequences of accepting, “forgiving”, or exonerating parental abuse in the name of the commandment to “honor your father and mother”. Among these are physical illness, and passing the abuse received from one’s parents to one’s own children, or to innocent scapegoats (such as the Jews in Hitler’s Germany, or gay people, for instance, today here in America).

    Also to be noted is that if a person has been taught from childhood to be mortally afraid of challenging or questioning one’s parents, then that person is going to be afraid of questioning other authorities (religious, political, and otherwise) later in life.

    One of Alice Miller’s earliest books, now online, is titled For Your Own Good, which is a phrase my father very often used. She documents, for instance, how German Nazi concentration camp commanders and other Nazi officials all had very “strict” (actually abusive and soul-murdering) upbringings to which they claimed to owe a great deal. They all “honored their father and mother”. Alice Miller in her book has an entire chapter on Hitler, documenting how he was constantly beaten by his father and not loved by his mother, and how that made him into the person he became.

    Alice Miller’s web sites are at

    http://www.alice-miller.com/index_en.php

    and

    http://www.naturalchild.org/alice_miller/

    Her book For Your Own Good is online in its entirety at

    http://nospank.net/fyog.htm (scroll down for contents).

    By all means “honor and be faithful to your Father and your Mother” if they were good parents, and have treated you with respect, and have earned the right to be honored and respected. But with some people that is not the case with their parents. Again I think it is wrong to tell any person who has been abused by one or both parents to honor and be faithful to his or her parents, as was stated in the Modern Deism principles.

  2. MikeH says:

    Wanting to see if something I posted here a while ago is still in moderation.

    I seemed to have lost a cookie which caused my user information to displayed.

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