I don't think it's an issue of whether you're a Christian or Muslim or Hindu or Atheist or whether you believe that the entire universe was sneezed out of the nose of a being known as the Great Green Arkleseizure. I don't care what symbols you venerate, what rituals you perform or where you choose to perform them. To me, it is what you do with those things in a larger context that matters.
Sam Harris writes as if is in fact the symbols themselves which are flawed. He writes as if those symbols must be discarded, and new ones raised up in their place. He calls for a spirituality based on reason… but how easily the new forgets the old. What good is raising up new symbols if we treat those symbols the same way we treat the symbols we hold on to now? As absolutes, as certainties, as linear, unwavering, Almighty TRUTHS? What good is exchanging one absolute for another?
Whatever ideas we have about the world, whether we follow Christ's teachings or whether we believe in the value of the free market, if we allow those things that we value to be vaulted to the highest pinnacle of our thinking, if we allow ourselves to say "Through this is the only Way" and reject all other ideas as false idols… what will we have lost?
The danger of ideology is that it prevents us from using everything we have at our disposal to shape our societies. Whenever we surrender ourselves to ideology, we lose the ability we have to make real choices - the choices we make are, in effect, made for us.
Many people in Western society are concerned as to how we are to determine our morals and values - in essence, how we are able to shape our societies and allow them to flourish. My attempt to find an answer is this: We do so not by rejecting the Bible, or the Koran, or the writings of Bertrand Russell, or the plays of Shakespeare, etc.. because if we do, we are effectively cutting ourselves off from a source of human memory and wisdom. The challenge is to be able to find a "gestalt", if you will, a view of the wealth of human expression and experience that is greater than the sum of its parts. What parts we choose to use are dependant on where we are and when, but we must be able to hold all of it up and see everything as a potential source of wisdom. Rejecting any of it is like rejecting a part of ourselves.