The fascinating thing about the broad popularity of Deism among the luminaries of eightteenth-century America is that it is so rational. Deism, or natural religion, acknowledges the existence of a Supreme Being but, at the same time, acknowledges that we cannot know anything specific about this being. It is the perfect reconciliation of the religious intuition many of us share, with the limits of what we can confirm as fact. While insisting on the existence of a Creator, Deism denies that there is any rational basis for the overly specific dogmas associated with the anthropomorphic mythologies we call--collectively--organized religion. Because there is no rational basis for the differences between the world's organized religions, if you are a Deist, tolerance is central to your philosophy.
Neither can scientists who insist on fact alone disqualify the religious intuition that so many of us share. That widely shared religious intuition is itself a fact. And there is so much about creation that we simply do not understand. Most of the matter and energy in the universe is "dark"--it does not appear to react with the matter and energy we see. Given all we do not know about the universe, there is nothing irrational about Deism.
Among the many exceptional things about our first President was his ability to rise above the constraints and conventions of his world through the application of practical reason. After the death of his father when he was only eleven, George Washington's education was limited to about the eighth-grade level. Yet this man, with no formal military training, became the Commanding General of an army that defeated the most powerful army in the world at the time. This man served as president of the convention that produced our Constitution. By the end of his life, he understood that the institution of slavery was inconsistent with the principles of that Constitution, and provided in his will for the emancipation of the slaves at Mount Vernon. This man understood that reason was consistent with his faith in a Supreme Being, but was not consistent with the many dogmas and prejudices associated with the common practice of organized religion.
Happy birthday, Mr. President!