> But how will such an alternative party ever come into view if we don't
> continually criticize the undemocratic structure of bourgeois politics,
> U.S.-style? How can such criticism ever be "beside the point"?
Your point is completely well-taken, but 'the' point was something else, namely whether religion and the religious are a positive social force, in principle and in actuality, both presently and potentially.
R.'s reply is condescending, but taken in context, it is also self-refuting, so no more need be said about it.