01: Deism, the religious philosophy held by some U.S. founding fathers and Enlightenment thinkers and many scientists, is gaining a new following, as well as organizational structure through the work of the World Union of Deists (WUD).
Deism teaches that God created and reveals himself through creation and natural laws rather than revelation and direct involvement in the world. The WUD was founded in early 1993 by former fundamentalist Christian Robert Johnson, but the group really took off after 1996 when it started its web site, www.deism.com. Thanks to its exposure from the web site, local chapters of the WUD have been formed in eight U.S. states and in Australia, England, South Africa, and Malaysia.
Aside from providing a support group for isolated Deists, the WUD has involved itself in political issues, such as revoking the tax exempt status of religious organizations in the U.S. and opposing organized religious activities or beliefs in public schools.