Thomas Paine High School Essay Contest!


The World Union of Deists First Annual
Thomas Paine Essay Contest!

The importance of Thomas Paine has been terribly minimized in history and society. As the great free thinker Robert Ingersoll said about Thomas Paine, "With his name left out, the history of liberty cannot be written." In order to correct this injustice and to help make certain that Thomas Paine continues to guide us in our struggle for progress, we are very happy to announce the World Union of Deists'  First Annual Thomas Paine essay contest for high school students!

This essay contest is for current high school students including home schooled students from all over the world. By promoting Thomas Paine and his ideas, we want to bring to young people of today the "flash of enlightenment" that Thomas Edison speaks of in this quote: "I have always regarded Paine as one of the greatest of all Americans. Never have we had a sounder intelligence in the republic . . . It was my good fortune to encounter Thomas Paine's works in my boyhood . . . it was, indeed, a revelation to me to read that great thinker's views on political and theological subjects. Paine educated me then about many matters of which I had never before thought. I remember very vividly the flash of enlightenment that shone from Paine's writings and I recall thinking at that time, 'What a pity these works are not today the schoolbooks for all children!'  My interest in Paine was not satisfied by my first reading of his works. I went back to them time and again, just as I have done since my boyhood days."

The essay can be of any length and should include what kind of example Thomas Paine is to the student and what he or she has learned from Paine's writings and from how Tom Paine lived his very productive and just life. Each essay should contain the student's ideas on Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason. All essays must be received by the World Union of Deists by January 8th of the year of entry. Winners will be announced on Thomas Paine's birthday, January 29th of each year. The prize money will also be paid in full at the time of announcement and a certificate will also be awarded. The three winning essays will be posted at and

The third place winner will receive $250.00; the second place winner will receive $500.00; the first place winner will receive $1,000.00!

Contestants can email their essays in the body of an email to:  Please include your full name, mailing address, age, school you are attending or if you are being home schooled. Or, you can mail the hard copy essay to: World Union of Deists,  P.O. Box 47026, St. Petersburg, FL 33743 along with the same above information.

Regardless of which way you send your essay to us, you need to print out and have your parent/legal guardian complete and sign the below permission form. Please mail the hard copy of the permission form to us at our above postal address.

We look forward to reading your essay on Thomas Paine and The Age of Reason and wish you the very best of luck!

Progress! Bob Johnson
World Union of Deists


If you'd like to print out Deist leaflets announcing the WUD Thomas Paine Essay Contest along with the permission forms for local distribution, please click here. Thanks!


Parental/Legal Guardian Permission Form


I, _______________________________________________________, being a parent/legal guardian of



who's address is, ________________________________________,

_______________________________________, ______________, ______________,
                            (Street or P.O. Box)                                                    (City)                                                                        (State/Province)    (Zip code)

________________________________ hereby give my child permission to enter the Thomas Paine essay contest being conducted by the World Union of Deists, L.L.C.


(Parent's/Legal Guardian's signature)


(Date signed)


All essays and signed and completed permission forms must be received by the World Union of Deists, L.L.C. by January 8, 2008. Please mail this signed and completed form to:

World Union of Deists
P.O. Box 47026
St. Petersburg, FL 33743 - USA


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Help Get the Word Out About Deism! Thank You!