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September 03, 2014

Politico Writer: The "Founding Tea Partier" Was An "Atheist In All But Name," You Know*
*Except About the Part About Not Believing in God

I read this article the other day. I read all the way through, to discover evidence of Dr. Thomas Young's atheism.

Per this Politico writer, the evidence that he was an atheist is found in his voluminous writings about his belief in Deism.

You know, Deism, that religion that... uh... acknowledges a God... as you can tell from the word "Deism," which seems to have something connection to "Deus."

I think maybe Politico's editorial ears should have pricked up about some Possible Agenda creeping into their otherwise objective pages when they read this not-at-all strident concluding sentence:

Thomas Young knew this all along. Maybe if we could bring his life and ideas back from the forgotten side of history, we could look forward to a modern version of the Tea Party--one that dispenses with the counter-revolutionary fraud of Christian nationalism and recovers something of the extraordinary philosophical radicalism with which the American experiment in self-government began.

By the way, the link is to Charles C.W. Cooke rebutting this claim, not the Politico article itself, which is Silly.

What the article wants to say, or could say, if it wanted to be accurate, is that Young did not believe in Christianity, per se. Many of the Founding Fathers were Deists, a sort of soft religion which I frankly think came from -- and I don't want to sound conspiratorial here, but this sounds this way -- the very popular Freemasonry movement and philosophy.

Deists tended to be sympathetically inclined towards Christianity, without firmly believing in the factual accuracy of the Gospels or the mechanism of Salvation. Some believed more, some less.

But Freemasons do indeed believe in God. In fact, the Freemasons have a requirement on this point: You must acknowledge God to be a Freemason. (Or at least a Freemason told me so, before he drugged me and framed me for murder.)

Wait, what the hell am I talking about Freemasons for?

Oh right, Deism sounds pretty much like a Freemason style of religion, stressing a sort of general appreciation of the natural and the divine without endorsing any particular creed.

But even if it's not: Deists do believe in God.

Just like it says on the tin.

Anyway, while Deism certainly isn't the sort of religion that people in structured religions would call much of a religion, it does include the idea that there is in fact a God.

Below, a clip of Jonah Goldberg discussing Deism, a topic occasionally referenced in his book Liberal Fascism:

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