It is dangerous to think that religions are different paths to the same wisdom
To the most casual observer, it should be obvious that all religions are not one!
Why the new atheists want a war against "religion" is self-serving. The broader the definition, the larger target. When I interviewed Christopher Hitchens I pointed this out. What do all the following have in common?
“Snake-handling pentecostals, Mother Teresa, voodoo, the pope, ‘fear-ridden peasants of antiquity’, Muslim suicide bombers, animists, polytheism, monotheism, henotheism, the archbishop of Canterbury, séances, Thomas Aquinas, an evangelical huckster ‘dressed in a Little Lord Fauntleroy suit,’ pedophiliac Muhammad, the ‘tawdry myths of Bethlehem’, the ‘vapid and annoying holiday known as ‘hanukah,’ Mormons, ‘hysterical Jewish congregations,’ atheistic Buddhism, the ‘sordid’ theology of Pascal, Martin Luther King, rednecks, the Dalai Lama, Native American peyote sacramentalists, ‘cobbled together ancient Jewish books’, WWII era Japanese emperor worship, and male circumcision."
What they have in common is...uh, is...that the world is more than it appears to be??? But if that's the case atheists like the late Carl Sagan qualify. In fact, everyone who believes that something transcends their present condition, i.e., anyone who wants to better the human condition qualifies and that makes the word "religion" almost as meaningless as the word "spiritual".
But why multiculturalists would want to homogenize the world's religions is not nearly so obvious. Stephen Prothero calls their bluff in his new book, God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World--and Why Their Differences Matter. I'm sure Prothero and I have deep difference but I appreciate him giving the raspberry to the dangerous, misleading, sentimental bilge that all religions are essentially one. Here is a distillation of his basic thesis. He's a good writer too. Enjoy.