Then something happened. I started to change. I quit trying to inject myself and my opinion into everything I read and finally listened to what I was being taught, read the words that were right in front of me instead of the words I thought were on the page. I had a lot of preconceived notions I had to quell. And when I did that, I came to understand Christianity in a whole new light.
I still believe that the ideas I espoused in my first post are self-evident and true regardless of religion, that they are based on reality and are thus immutable, but I found that the Bible is an incredibly realistic text. A lot of the platitudes that people had been parroting at me over the years -- and that I foolishly took to be real Christianity -- were, at best, misunderstandings of Scripture and, at worst, willful misrepresentations meant for personal gain.
I have traveled various paths to get here: atheism, paganism, occultism. What I discovered about these various paths and about secularism is that they all have "self" at the center. When you're praying to a god in a pantheon or when you disavow God altogether, you've put yourself and your wants at the center of your universe. We can't all be the center of the universe. It's no wonder we can't all agree on common goals.
All those so-called "Christians" that claim that Jesus never condemned homosexuality, that he says we shouldn't judge other people, and that sin is outside of us and not in our hearts has never read the Bible or is choosing verses that can be misconstrued out of context. These are people that are putting themselves and their own agendas ahead of everything else, in this case God and reality.
The people that I've met that are truly devout are some of the most realistic and functional people I have ever met. They are constantly striving to live lives that reflect very concrete tenets in a book that they revere as holy. The solipsistic masses scorn such beliefs, believing that they know better and that they are more enlightened than these silly Christians. I know: I used to be one of them. Now I'm trying my hardest not to be. It is so much more fulfilling to remove myself and my trivial needs from the equation and focus on living a life that is aligned with eternal truths.
Can you do this without Christianity? Probably, but I think that as a person of Western European descent it makes sense to embrace a religious tradition that has influenced so much of our history and culture. I would argue that our most productive times have occurred in conjunction with Christianity, and I would further argue that we should not take such a heritage lightly. If we are going to defeat the evils of this time that threaten to destroy all that we hold dear, we need something bigger than ourselves. Unity in God might just fill that need.