NH Baritone wrote:I don't believe any "religions" have relinquished both belief in the supernatural or belief in their central human figures, be they mortal or supernatural, as a basic component to their "faith."
That's true, but I wonder if that's so important given the high level of migration between religions these days, of which your story is but one example.
Well, deities, spirits, and/or venerated revealers are inevitably present at the heart of all religions, and this fact has carved out a big canyon between me and just about all religion practitioners, i.e., folks who think all those things matter in the present day.
Even in college, I looked around because Christianity was ceasing to make sense to me. After decades spent in intensive church and academic study, this is, in all likelihood, a case where familiarity has bred contempt. In the end I was left unenthralled with Christian mythology.
Baha'i attempts to unite all religions, but in practice it has simply become another fowl in the flock of faiths.
Secular Buddhism has some practices that prove useful. (Sam Harris and Susan Blackmore are both meditators, and so am I.) I can even present a cogent argument that the "self" is an illusion. But the veneration of Gautama Buddha and the centrality of his teachings defy reason and too readily crumble into hero worship.
It comes down to this: If you insist that there is a supernatural element to life, then you are in some way religious. Some atheists still believe in a variety of superstitions, and I'll probably have just as much disappointment in their peculiarities as I do those who are formally religious. But it is largely the theists who keep gleefully insisting that God's finger is stirring the soup, and that, to my mind, is kind of crazy.