In response to the letter by Mr. Wing, I followed his suggestion and did my homework and I found that the meaning of “deism,” put simply, is belief in a god who is hanging around somewhere and that Christ is deemed unnecessary.
Of the 118 “Founding Fathers,” signers of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of the Confederation and The Constitution, only a handful leaned toward deism. Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Ethan Allen and John Adams more or less embraced that philosophy.
Benjamin Franklin said of deism, “tho’ it might be true, it is not very useful” and "Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, the Creator… That He ought to be worshipped.” Later in life he said, “The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God governs in the affairs of men.”
Thomas Jefferson wrote “I tremble at the thought that God is just.” He also said, “I am a real Christian — that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.” And, although he often spoke against the Bible, he strongly supported religious freedom.
Patrick Henry said, “…this great nation was founded…by Christians, …for this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded…worship here.”
The strongest deist during that time, Thomas Paine, said with regret near the end of his life, “I would give worlds, if I had them, that the ‘Age of Reason’ had never been published. Oh, God, save me; for I am at the edge of hell alone….”
The vast majority of our Founding Fathers were regular church members who did not “pretty much reject the Bible,” as you state. Over 55 percent were Episcopalian/Anglican, 18 percent Presbyterian, and 17 percent Congregationalist. Of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, 24 held seminary or Bible school degrees — and not in Deism.