Oh I'm sure my back yard tree god would lead to some sort of religious or dogmatic practice. I mean, odds are I'd tell someone about it. Then it becomes a question of why the tree god revealed himself to me. What was the purpose and so on.
Anyway, I don't deal with people based on their religious affiliation or some other generalization. I deal with them and relate to them as individuals. As such, its not so limiting if I have a friend that is of any religion or an atheist or what have you.
With regards to religion or politics, etc, I don't have much respect for people that come across as talking heads. Eg folks that just recite ad nauseum things they've heard others say. I certainly believe that if you follow any religion, the reason for doing so shouldn't be something as simple as "my parents did and I do as a result." Certainly, there are more than a few folks that were brought up in the church this way, for instance, but when you reach a certain age, I'd hope questions like "why and I here" and "why do I go to church all the time" and so are asked. And then, after searching, be able to answer questions like that.
Anyway, I'm not sure if there is much of a hang up here, though. Based on your background, boobzTwo, what really motivates the OP? I think, if asked, we'd all say that we prefer to do our own thinking. Not that we all do all of the time, ofc, and that we can't lean on those who have come before us. I'm just wondering if something in particular has you frustrated about folks not being able to "think out of [a] box."