Following up the edit to my previous post, in which I suggested that the kind of god that moderate and wishy-washy religions tend to exonerate seems similar to the monarchy in the UK: devoid of political power and increasingly pointless. I was quite excited by this idea until I read an interview with Dennett, where he talked about exactly the same thing.
We differ very slightly over what is left when this happens. My view is that the trappings become the whole of the thing. If places like Disneyland and Las Vegas have taught us anything (and much of me hopes they haven't) it is that the trappings of a place or a thing are at least as interesting to many people as the actual things themselves. For example, a friend of mine insists that vegas is better than the various places it depicts in miniature. Isn't what we see in many of the more harmless religions the same thing? We are left with the trappings of the religion without the political power it used to command. This much is obvious, of course, but the result is heartening.
Just as the UK monarchy is becoming more of a pantomime every year, I hope that the UK's encumbant and unasked-for religion might suffer a similar fate.