However, what I believe, how I choose to interpret these feelings and what they mean spiritually, that is a result of my meandering religious path through my Protestant upbringing, my Catholic teen years, my joining the Hare Krsna movement and studying other Eastern schools of thought, and my brush with new age literature, as well as knowing members of several faiths well enough to have a fair handle on what they believe. I also studied the anthropology of religion and got some insight as to how religions are created, and realized that many religions were created by people feeling the kinds of connections I feel and then trying to explain it, not just that they wanted to create a nice bedtime story to reassure themselves about the nature of the world.
As I moved through different belief systems, trying to find a whole system that "fit" what I believed or that seemed "right" to me, I gradually noticed that my sense of connection to the divine (as I conceive it) and the joy I felt as a result, did not change from faith to faith. I always felt that I was having a relationship with the same "person" no matter which name I was using.
I began to think about it from the perspective of a deity. You have this one planet among many with life forms upon it. Many sentient beings in a vast universe, in fact, more than one universe. Some of those beings are reaching out to know you, to love you, from their various cultures and with varying degrees of ability to understand and conceive of you.
Do you expect them all to follow just one religion? Do you really care deeply about the specific rituals they use to connect with you? What silly rules they follow in order not to invoke your wrath? Are you deeply concerned with their individual sex lives? Or are you more focused on the desire to see all these various beings strive to live in harmony with each other and evolve to take on their own parts in maintaining the "music of the spheres" as some call it?
If you try to communicate with them to encourage them to embrace a path of spiritual growth and harmony with others, would you try to impose the same form of worship and belief on all these diverse groups or would you look at each group and craft your message to resonate with their culture and level of understanding?
At the same time I was having these thoughts, I was reading more and more books by long time practitioners of various faiths, and seeing a commonality in their language and methodology that crossed religious boundaries. It seemed no matter where they started, or how different the details of their paths looked, they were ending up talking about the same kinds of things and using very similar language if one accounted for religious terminology.
I began to think that as we make progress we are all led to a similar level of realization, even if the outward form looks different to a casual observer. The Christian monk, former nun, Buddhist monk, Hindu guru, witch, etc., were really coming to a similar platform and the joy in their paths seemed identical.
Influenced, perhaps, by my American individualist conditioning, I came to believe that each of us should follow an individualized course of spiritual learning (our religion) that is best for each of us to connect with the deity or deities we feel called to connect with (if we feel called at all).
Therefore, I do not feel moved at all to debate the "rightness" of my position on any spiritual matter. I feel no need to convert anyone. If the fundie Christian feels they need a highly structured and strict religious environment and that works for them, go fundie! Just don't try to make your beliefs law!