Religious Deism and the Challenges and Pressures of Modern Society

It is important to point out that while RDs believe that the mindsets of relativism, dinkism, atheism and homosexuality are misguided from human and theological perspectives, they do not place a moral judgment on these groups of people. However, RDs have serious doubts that their lifestyles are in tune with what God wants from humanity. In fact, RDs insist that members of each of these groups, despite being misguided, can carry out the wishes of God on earth and attain life with God in heaven – even atheists. Nonetheless, RDs feel that everyone has the right to make judgments about whether someone whose decisions, actions and words are not in tune with their theology - privately with children and family and publicly as long as it is done appropriately - and to do so without fear of societal reprisals. For RDs, this judgment does not imply or include or allow them to discriminate against these people or be intolerant of their right to have these opinions and live these types of lifestyles. Below we analyze each of these group mindsets, describing what RDs feel are the most misguided and potentially destructive elements regarding the questions of children, family, humanism, selfishness, absolute truth, God and the afterlife.

Relativism – RDs find relativism to be the most dangerous of these four groups. Related in many respects to materialism and in some respects just as dangerous or more dangerous is the way in which American society today casually embraces relativism. Webster´s dictionary defines relativism as “the belief that different things are true, right, etc.....for different people or at different times” and goes on to describe the term as “a view that ethical truths depend on the individuals and groups holding them.” Tolerance, accepting and considering the opinion of others is not relativism. If there is no absolute truth in the world then technically there is no right and wrong which leads to an amoral world. It also would suggest absurdly that relativists are somehow smarter than the universe of philosophers throughout the years who have searched for and professed the existence of absolute truth. If life is about doing the right thing by others but there is no right and wrong, where is our moral compass? If there is no absolute truth then the search for the truth or for contradictionlessness is moot. And, effectively, this would lead us to have to conclude that there is no God, or at least no perfect, all powerful and benevolent God which is effectively saying the same thing. For a better understanding and explanation of relativism and its evils, see quotes we have selected from Chris Stefanick’s booklet Absolute Relativism.

One finds relativists in all walks of life, Christians and atheists, parents and “dinks”, and amongst heterosexuals and homosexuals. The problem is that the relativist attitude is very often confused with tolerance and therefore it makes relativism more acceptable and seemingly innocent. It is important to point out that tolerance implies respectful disagreement and coexistence while relativism insists that in fact there is nothing to disagree about since there is no real right and wrong, no absolute truth in this world. While relativists might have a vague sense of societal morality, they in reality hold nothing to be sacred, believing that it is ok to have children or not to have children, to maintain contact with your family or not to do so, to be selfless or to be selfish, to be materialistic or non-materialistic, to be heterosexual or to be homosexual, to believe in God or to not believe in God, to have a theology and believe in the afterlife or not to. Unitarians, while taking some moral stands, in many respects are classic relativists, maintained by a theology that is whatever its members individually want it to be. Atheists and agnostics tend to be relativists as well as many secular deists. And while Christians are opposed to relativism, it is disturbing to see just how many passive or non-thinking Christians fall into relativism by being careless or because they unconsciously confuse Christ-like tolerance with relativism. While relativism is bad, it does not have to be fatal from an RD theological point of view. Relativists like anyone else can come to appreciate the importance of others and for those confused relativist Christians, heaven on earth. However, the misguided mind set of relativists will almost certainly lead to a breakdown and abandonment of the priorities that RDs consider as absolute priorities.

“Dinkism” (Dual Income, No Children Households) – Relativism is disturbing but Dinkism is even more so. And, in fact, most Dinks have relativist mindsets. One could argue that while relativists might be confused about their thinking, Dinks live their relativism out further by not having children and concluding that children are not important in their lives. By doing so, Dinks also reject their human nature, one in which clearly we were created to procreate. To do otherwise goes against some of the most basic tenants of human nature. Atheists despite not believing in God, or classical deists despite not believing in an afterlife, are not Dink-orientated. Homosexuals for a variety of reasons under and outside of their control are more classical Dinks but by no means can or should be characterized absolutely in this way. Most people would insist that a Christian Dink is an oxymoron. However, they do exist, just like Christian relativists. RDs believe that the Dink mentality is misguided not only because it does not produce children but because it also implies a certain level of materialism, selfishness and even narcissism, things that are incompatible with Religious Deist theology. And, if a couple cannot have children, it can and should opt for adoption, one of the noblest things that anyone can do. While RDs disagree with “Dinkism”, they nonetheless recognize their right to choose this type of lifestyle. And, while they judge it to be misguided and potentially destructive, they do not discriminate against these people and remain tolerant of their lifestyle choice. We all have Dink friends and RDs are no different.

Atheism - RDs are certainly against atheism and believe that atheists are misguided and potentially dangerous because they do not believe in God or an afterlife. In fact, the most disturbing of these issues is not so much their lack of belief in God but more so their lack of belief in an afterlife and the hopelessness that this implies. However, while an atheist might be a Dink their mindset is not in favor of dinkism. And, somewhat ironically, atheists and RDs share some important similarities when it comes to children. One could argue that pro-family atheists and agnostics along with RDs generally hold nothing more sacred than their children. Likewise, while an atheist might be a relativist, relativism is not necessarily part of their mindset. And while RDs believe that atheists are probably less likely to recognize the importance of and participate in charity, this is by no means a strong generalization and RDs recognize that it might not even be a fair one.

As a result, an RD would find a pro-family, non-relativist, pro-charity atheist to not only be a model person but, despite his/her lack of belief in God, someone worthy of consideration for an afterlife with God. Since RDs believe that the attainment of the afterlife is solely based on action, they believe that despite their lack of “faith”, God will consider a worthy non-believer alongside of deists and Christians at the time of their reckoning

Our concern, like in the case of dinks and relativists, is that the atheist does not have the natural philosophical/theological and social motivation and supports that RDs and Christians have to recognize the path to the afterlife and to stay on this path. Therefore, RDs believe that the likelihood of atheists staying on the path is not good. Without faith in absolute truth, RDs believe that atheists walk without a true moral compass.  And, without this compass, the great majority of humans, atheist or otherwise, is going to miss the true path or find it incredibly difficult to follow it.   Also, without belief in an afterlife, RDs do not see how atheists can maintain the hope that is necessary to stay on the path until the end.  While there might be some exceptional atheists who can find, follow and stay on this true path, RDs believe that the overwhelming majority of atheists, like all humans, will not have the vision or wherewithal to complete this journey.

Homosexuality – RDs believe that the mindset of homosexuality is misguided and potentially destructive because it contradicts our most basic biological human nature, something RDs believe is God-given and therefore sacred, and by nature because it tends not to be pro-family. Also, RDs stress that this has nothing to do with societal norms which RDs will not allow to influence their theology. Past societal norms suggested that homosexuality was morally wrong and permitted and sometimes promoted discrimination against homosexuals, sometimes very severe discrimination and treatment, something that RDs believe was and is wrong. Today, it seems as if societal norms have swung around completely to the belief that everyone should accept homosexuality as a norm, a standard behavior that should not only not be questioned but that should be embraced. As a result, today, because of this growing dictatorship of relativism, one cannot speak out against it or teach their children differently if they disagree since it does not fit with their religion and theology. RDs believe that if it is ok for someone who finds relativism, dinkism and atheism misguided to be able to say so publicly and teach their children along these lines. This should also be the case for homosexuality.

Many will try to say that people consciously decide to be a relativist, a dink, and/or an atheist but that many homosexuals are born with the “homosexual gene”. However, there is no scientific evidence that homosexuality comes from the womb and it can be argued that there is plenty of evidence that homosexuality comes from social context. Yes, there are people who are born more or less feminine or masculine. However, someone’s masculinity or femininity does not mean that someone is homosexual or heterosexual. In fact, for someone to argue this would be arguing what one could say is a sexist slur. In 1987, the movie In & Out wrongly perpetuated this stereotype, trying to make the point that if a man demonstrates some, more feminine characteristics than typically masculine traits that he should somehow come to grips with the fact that he must be gay. Ironically, this attitude supports stereotypes that the homosexual community has tried to fight for years. In this context, if a woman dresses like a man, then she must be homosexual and contrarily if she is pretty or dresses like a lady, she must be a heterosexual? Or, even more confusing are misguided attempts to use homosexual male stereotypes to assign someone’s sexuality. These stereotypes actually contradict since someone who carries themselves like a macho man or someone who dresses/acts like a metrosexual could be considered hitting the male homosexual stereotype on the head despite being almost polar opposites.

More important than all of these above issues is the fact that homosexuality has proven to be and by nature lends itself to dinkism and away from the importance of raising families. As a result, with RD theology so strongly focused on family, RDs see homosexuality not as immoral but nonetheless as distracting from this overall, overriding RD imperative and therefore misguided. The above remarks require further clarification. RDs do believe that the homosexual community has a serious challenge when it comes to its adhesion to the dink mentality. However, RDs also recognize that there is a sizable group of homosexual couples who want to have families. And, RDs realize that the societal norm and legal restrictions up until recently and perhaps even still today in some parts of the U.S. and the world is that only heterosexual parents are appropriate for raising a child. Therefore, there has been reluctance and in some cases restrictions from some groups to allow homosexual couples to adopt. RDs understand the reservations that other groups have towards the question of the appropriateness of adoption by homosexuals. And without a doubt, RDs believe that the best home for all children is a traditional home with a male father and a female mother.

In a perfect world where there were enough parents to adopt all of the orphans of the world, RDs would probably believe that without knowing the parents, a heterosexual parental unit is probably going to be more appropriate and healthy for the upbringing of children than a homosexual parental unit. However, the world is not perfect and there are not enough parents to adopt all of the orphans that need homes. And, despite a tendency towards dinkism, RDs recognize that there are a lot of homosexual couples who can and would offer orphans a warm and loving home. And, to emphasize the importance of children to Religious Deists and the relative indifference that RDs have towards homosexuality in and of itself, it is important to clarify the following three assumptions. RDs would consider a homosexual couple that wanted to adopt a child to be much better aligned with RD principles than a heterosexual dink couple that had no interest or intention of starting a family. And, depending on how the homosexual couple raised their children with regards to morality, RDs might find a relativist heterosexual couple to be more off target. And, if a homosexual couple wanted to raise a family, was not relativist AND believed in God and an afterlife, RDs would argue that they would be much more in tune with the truth according to RD theology than a heterosexual atheist couple with children. So, RDs in many cases if not in general would consider homosexuality to be much less of a concern or to be less misguided than atheism, dinkism or relativism.