Question: Do you know just how big the Deist movement is nowadays? –Snurp
Answer: Well, I could always go with the Steven Colbert route. Give me a few seconds in Wikipedia and I’ll have the world believing that Deism is the world’s number one religion with numbers that make Christianity look like a tiny little cult. But, to be serious…
The deist movement was hit with a few major set backs in the past. For some Christian deists, the expansion of liberal Christianity in the 2nd Great Awakening brought some back to the fold. For others, as Dawkins would say, they went one god further. Seeing no reason to claim the existence of god, many became atheists and others seeing no clear evidence either way became agnostics. Christian propaganda later would lump Deism in with Atheism, and more recently the both and agnostics, pantheists and transcendentalists under the negatively connotated buzzword of Secular Humanists. However in recent times, Deism as a concept has been gaining in popularity. From personal experience, I have seen many people leave faith for reason as their religions push in more fundamentalist and literalist directions. I have seen departures based on disputes on the origin of the universe, homosexuality, the roles of women, and free will vs. determinism. I think that as Humankind continues to reconcile the spiritual with science, that Deism will make a comeback.
Brian Humanistic Jones