First of all I have looked into just about every major religion, with the exception of Islam, both to study it, during my inital journey away from the JWs, and after I became a Christian. Personally, I don find much merit in the world religions. I rejected Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age, JW's (which I was raised in), LDS, SDA, etc. of the basis of one question. That question is, "What must be in order for what is to be what it is?"
Actually it isn't even about religion for me. As I've said in other posts before, far too often it is only an intellectual matter for many and whether or not there is anything deeper becomes irrelevant as it is either not seen at all or is limited by a belief system. Again, I would include all belief systems here. Having a certain set of ideas does not make for a spiritual person.
By the way, how did you reject the New Age thing? I never did find out what that is.
None of the religions I mentioned adequately answer that question. Christianity answered that question in spades. My "pride" does not come from the fact that I know Christianity, or believe that I have relationship with Jesus that will save me from hell. It does not come from my belief that many will be eternally removed from God's presence after death. I get no pleasure from that. In fact that is what motivates a number of Christians to proselytizing. You know concern for the fellow man. However, I think that it is easier for the secular person to think that Christians are a bounch of nuts, wackos, idiots, etc. than to actually look at what the real issue is.
I agree, there is a tendancy to completely dismiss Christians as a group based on the behavior of some and that is unfair. I would have to point out, though, that it doesn't get any more real than a real person, if you're talking about a particular issue that is only conceptual. That's my point about pride, aside from obviously defending a certain identity it does not look at what is being defended - not in terms of how reasonable these ideas are, but that it is only an identity. Concern for the fellow man becomes a projection in this case, because while one may mean well their love is limited by their beliefs. Love your neighbor as yourself becomes about yourself rather than your neighbor, or more to the point rather than about love itself. To put it another way, we could say it is like love your neighbor as you believe they should be.
This is why I see fit to discuss the individual, we must know ourselves in a deep sense beyond the divisions of belief and concepts before we can actually love others as ourselves. Of course, one can choose to take part in a dialogue where both parties respects the unconsciousness of personal identification (whether it's yourself, the other or a third party) and only talk conceptually in a distanced sort of way, I myself do not find that satisfying when it comes to matters of spirituality.