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From Delancey Place, a great daily email with excerpts from books on a variety of topics. This was yesterday's email, now archived on the site.

In today's selection -- a growing number of early Americans -- including James Madison and other founding fathers -- became deists, people who did not believe in the divinity of Christ and instead viewed reason as the source of religious knowledge. From the perspective of today, this seems unsurprising and in keeping with the Enlightenment philosophy of the time. But at the time it was highly controversial -- with Christian pastors excoriating deists as heretics and "infidels," and some deists actively asserting their deist faith in opposition to Christianity -- taking actions designed to taunt Christians and attending "infidel conventions":
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