With his impressive achievements as journalist, editor, writer, politician, diplomat and inventor Benjamin Franklin became one of the leading figures of the American enlightenment and a celebrated (though not uncontested) icon of American culture. Among his numerous agendas the issue of religion and religious tolerance was one of his major concerns. Considering his predilection for ironic rhetorical self-masking, the present article will not enter the controversial debate on what Franklins religious positions really were but rather focus on the communicative strategies by which he offered his specific agenda in the matter of religion for public negotiation. A central (though not the only) textual document in the discussion will be the Autobiography. Although Franklins anecdotes and reflections concerning the issue of religion are widely dispersed throughout the different parts of the text, in their sum they form a powerful argument for the idea of religious tolerance, an idea which is in line with the authors radical utilitarianism. The article will first deal with the textual strategies that help to convey that idea. In a further step, it will discuss its significance within the context of Franklins own time as well as within the further development of American religious and political culture.