What a thoughtful, clear, and truly profound response – it takes tremendous time and energy to draw all this together and express it with such clarity!
I especially appreciate this passage:
For he [René Girard] makes quite clear that rather than being exhausted, we simply take for granted, in a thoughtless way, the extent to which our ideological habits and attitudes, our deepest values and sympathies, have been thoroughly penetrated by the Christian myth.”
That is a key realization – whether we embrace or reject it, Christianity is not just the default setting of our culture (at least in the United States), but an invisible filter through which we experience life.
Thank you so much for your generosity of time and attention addressing these questions arising from your essay – putting flesh on the bones, so to speak.