Deism in the United States

Deism in the United States

According to a 2005 study by Baylor University, Americans who believe in God can be placed into four categories: Type A – Authoritarian God, Type B – Benevolent God, Type C – Critical God and Type D Distant God. And, they determined that just under 25% of the respondents identified with the Type D God, what most would conclude is the God that Diests would identify with. And, while Religious Deists would describe God as distant in this world but benevolent in the next world, they would also identify with this Type D God figure.

In 2008, Baylor University repeated its study. This time, they asked which people believed in a personal God (theist), no god (atheist or agnostic) or in a non-personal God (deist) but without giving them these formal designations. Here are the results: Theists: 70%, Atheists/Agnostics 12%, Deists 12%.

As the Religious Tolerance.Org site concludes, this suggests that between 12 and 24% of the adult US population is probably deistic whether they declare or realize it or not. This implies that over 70 million Americans are deists “even though the great majority of them haven’t the foggiest idea what “Deism” means”.

Religious Deism targets three groups of people in society: (a) other deists, (b) disillusioned Christians, and (b) agnostics. Using the above information about deists (12%) and about agnostics (6%), and if we accept that 20% of people who believe in a personal god are disillusioned (probably a low figure), Religious Deism’s target audience in the US is 1/3 of the population – and possibly close to 45% if we use the information from the 2005 Baylor University study. So, while deists and Religious Deists are formally a very small minority of the US population, informally “we” are actually close to a majority. So, if you believe in Religious Deism theology, reach out to us – we have a lot of people to reach out to and we need your help.


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