Absolutely .. we are all a product of our experiences and environment
..but I wouldn't say that salvation comes "in spite of our beliefs" .. it depends why we hold those beliefs.
In spite of our shortcomings, maybe .. we are sinners i.e. we are not all saints
Salvation is more to do with sincerity and intention than intelligence or creed, in my understanding
Well, here we part company......
It is a familiar opinion within the Buddhist fraternity - and others - that prior to the Great Journey of the Mahayana, we must prepare ourselves by the "smaller journey", more often associated with what could be termed "moral rectitude" and "obedience".
This is what the Pure Land/Shin Buddhist "Amida Looking Back" is all about. She stands, hands in the "teaching" mudra, calling the "faithful"," yet She turns her head, looking back, her first thought for those who, for whatever reason, do not or cannot come.
Am I judgemental? Yes, instinctively so. I am spiteful, instinctively so. Do I remember slights against me? Yes, I have the memory of an elephant in that regard. I give thanks to Amida, Reality-as-is, that turns such "ice" into the "waters of enlightenment". Give thanks that, in Christian terms, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness." (Corinthians, NT)
"Grace, if thou repent, thou shalt not lack. Yet who shall give ye that grace to begin?" (John Donne)