I appreciate the founding deists' struggle to reconcile their lack of understanding of creation with their refusal to buy into magical myths.
I hold the standpoint that if there exists some "pure religion" to be found, it would be found everywhere, not only in the American brand of the Jesus story, the dogma that "when you believe...you understand" and implicitly "non-believers need to be taught." If there is some pure religion, it would be a common element among all religion, and further among all people, in all countries. Gravity doesn't work any differently under a steeple or a cross from how it works in front of a cross-legged fat guy. What is universally true, is true everywhere in the universe.
The preemptive strike on Dawkins was unnecessary. I'm not a fan. Neither was the Cold-War-meets-party-politics prop piece. I agree with you that ignorance breeds ignorant religion and ignorant politics. I may disagree with you on what ignorance is.