quote: “This isn’t just a Utah phenomenon”.
Utah is Mormon country. Dan does not mention Mormons explicitly, so, based on a previous statement (quote: And I did so under the blanketing term “Christian.”), I have to assume that he is addressing Mormons or Christians or both.
But, there is a problem. You see, Mormons are not Christians. Let me say that once more (in case it didn’t sink in the first time): Mormons are NOT Christians! There in itself, Dan makes a terrible mistake. He is bundling up the Mormon faith and the Christian faith as if they are one and the same. They’re not. The Christian faith is centered on Jesus Christ and the Bible, where as the Mormons have Joseph Smith as their prophet and the Book of Mormon as their holy book. (Dan, if you are reading this, please correct me if I am wrong.)
Furthermore, though Dan says that he sought out religion and studied them, could it be possible that he was going about it the wrong way? He says and I quote: “I’ve looked for what I believe truth to be.” Truth is absolute Dan. It doesn’t change from person to person or from season to season. What was Dan looking for, if he had already made up in his mind what truth was? Based on what Dan writes and my interpretation (correct me if I’m wrong Dan), he was looking for an established faith system that matched up with what he already believed to be truth. This is why he is able to say that all the major religions had good selling points, but not enough to close the deal for him to accept any one as THE religion. They all agreed with at least some of his own core principles, but none of them agreed with him all the way.
Each faith system may share a few common principles, but one cannot then make the false assumption that if they are in agreement on some matters, they are not too different from one another and must all lead to the same destination. Not true!
I cannot go in to each faith system in this post, but those who are really interested, can find the right resources that details everything out clearly.