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By David Carlin, The Catholic Thing, Jan. 7, 2022
David Carlin is a retired professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island, and the author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America.
Christianity has been under secular attack (as opposed to Islamic attack) for more than three centuries now, ever since the Deists began attacking it in the late 1600s. Deism began in England, but jumped over to France, where it flourished despite the fact – or perhaps rather because of the fact – that France was an overwhelmingly Catholic country.
In England, if you were a Protestant who didn’t like the Church of England, you could become a non-Anglican Protestant. England had an ample supply of dissenting churches and sects. Deism wasn’t the only alternative to Anglicanism. But in France, there were only two items on the menu of religions, Catholicism and Deism. If you didn’t like Catholicism (and many Frenchmen didn’t), you had little choice but to become a Deist. …