I just thought I would share my personal experience with all of you here especially after reading this article
Like many Western Buddhists, I am on of them. I do not label myself "Buddhist" but rather, I am someone who is trying to improve my daily conduct in everyday life, just like everyone else.
When I came into the Dharma, I first had conflicts with my previous faith, Roman Catholicism. I still missed it because it is a very big part of my culture. A friend who is a Dharma practitioner and one friend who is a Hindu have helped me a lot and have been so supportive of me that I cannot thank them enough. Buddhism felt so foreign to me. I then learned to reconcile my path with my Catholic heritage. I have learned to make peace with my Catholic heritage (that at one time also despised).
Buddhism no longer feels foreign to me. I feel that Dharma in my heart, I feel it as if it were a part of my heart.
The thing that I love about the Buddha Dharma is that it teaches us to be respectful of other paths and to venerate things that are good. I learned that we are all sentient beings who want to be happy and liberated from suffering. Keeping this in mind, I realized that I am not that different from other people. I have contemplated Orthodox Christianity for a bit but I was disappointed with the amount of sectarianism. I still respect their path for the same reasons I told about.
Regardless of our spiritual paths, there is something to be attained and realized. I feel that the teachings of the Lord Buddha are indeed very universal. It appeals to me because no one is left out. Buddhist ideals are for everyone, regardless if Buddhist or not.