Originally Posted by carve
It doesn't matter what he referred to himself as. That was his practice.
It doesn't matter what he referred to himself as? Are you saying you know better than he what he believed? That he was not familiar with Deism?
This country was founded on the belief that right are inherent. This isn't even really a belief as it is demonstrably true; if you lived by yourself on a deserted island, you could do whatever you pleased. Rights can only be limited by people, and thus the inherency of rights is fact- not belief. Any question about why rights are inherent is pure speculation; we only can know for certain that they are.
The country was founded on the belief that the inherent rights of man were given by God. That any government that infringed on those rights was acting in a manner that was offensive to God and therefore illegitimately.
Since you seem to like Jefferson:
"Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?"
--Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XVIII, 1782. ME 2:227
"The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them."
--Thomas Jefferson: Rights of British America, 1774. ME 1:211, Papers 1:135