The Calivinist rigor that had long been followed in the American churches were now getting quite redundant. The rationalist ideas of the French Revolutionary era had done much to soften the older orthodoxy. For example Thomas Paine declared that all churches were set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit. American anticlericalism was seldom this virulent, but many of the Founding Father, including Jefferson and Franking, followed these liberal doctrines of Deism that Paine had promoted throughout his literature.
Deists relied on reason rather than revelation, such as on science rather than the Bible. They rejected the concept of original sin and denied Christ's divinity. However Deists believed in a Supreme Being who had created a knowable universe that had endowed human beings with a capacity for moral behavior.
Deism furthermore helped to inspire an important spin off from the severe Puritanism of the past. The Unitarian faith, as this spin off was called, gathered momentum in New England at the end of the eighteenth century. They believed that there was only one God, and there was no trinity with him. They stressed the good natures of people, like Puritanism, and believed that one could go to heaven by good works. [continues]
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