Spoken like a true 12 Stepper.
I have a Thai Buddhist friend and when she talks it sometimes sounds like there isn't much of a difference between god and Buddha. I am fairly sure that in original Buddhism the goal is a 'state of mind' (Not a destination) called Nirvana. However, like most everything else, christianity has bastardized that message. I presume she doesn't even know that she's doing it, though it is entirely possible that she may be just appeasing her xtian peers. Seems dishonest but unless you have experienced Alaska for some extended time you can't really understand how theocratic the prevailing mindset here is.
Sometimes it seems that even Utah may be more secular than AK.
I wrote something here a while back that touches on some of these issues.
"Theravada Buddhism, atheism, and clearing up some misconceptions"
There's a big difference between 'real' Buddhism and what people believe it to be...
I've heard lots of people say that if you're an atheist, you're not spiritual. I think that people wrongly confuse spirituality with religion. Spiritualism, to me at least, is nothing more than feeling connected with the things around you. Getting in tune with nature, as it were. We all need that feeling of connection with the things around us. Isn't that kinda what the hippie movement was about? Love and peace and connection? Tree hugging? They, I think, rejected the mainstream of spiritualism and made it their own, albeit with lots of drugs as a catalyst. You only have to listen to Neil DeGrasse Tyson talk about the universe to feel the wonder it holds. The fact that we are "star stuff" brings me a great deal of joy. Buddhism is just a spiritual philosophy, not a religious one, I think.