Indeed, the only real problem with the term for his purposes may be that it isn’t intellectually lazy enough – that it doesn’t create an umbrella big enough for liberal-Protestantized Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists to huddle under as well. And reading his post again, maybe that’s what he’s getting at: That we need Christians and Jews to “retain their distinctiveness in at least a notional sense,” as he puts it, in order to make other faiths feel comfortable joining the liberal tent – rather than remaining outside out of fear that they’ll be swallowed in a Judeo-Christian sea. But ultimately, he does want religious distinctions to be swallowed in a Judeo-Christian (or liberal Protestant) sea: He wants us to emphasize the distinctions between Christians and Jews in the short run, because that’s the only way to de-emphasize the distinctions between Muslims and Christians or Jews and Hindus over the long run. No to Judeo-Christianity, in other words, but yes, eventually, to Judeo-Zensufi-Hindianity.
I think Ross hit the nail on the head. Unlike some New Atheists I don’t see supernatural belief declining toward triviality, therefore, I want it to be “manageable.” Additionally, unlike someone like Sam Harris I don’t view religious moderates as milquetoast gateway drugs to “authentic” fundamentalist religion. Some atheists are prone to accepting the position that fundamentalists are the most honest religionists, that they take the beliefs of their faith seriously and consistently. For various reasons I do not believe this (though I once did when I was younger). Fundamentalist and non-fundamentalist religion may both be grounded in supernatural claims, but the former is dangerous to a pluralistic society, so I naturally favor the latter. I have no theoretical problems with exclusive religious claims, and take no offense if someone believes that I am going to hell, but the social consequences of several fundamentalisms coexisting within one society is not one of amity in the long term. So yes, I want to diminish the differences to the point where there is an operational syncretism, and affiliation to specific religious traditions is one of personal preference or family tradition. I think we’re going in that direction already. The vacuous assertion common in the mainstream that one is “spiritual” and not “religious” is another sign….