I get it, but that's not QUITE what I was getting at, re benevolence and compassion. What I see a lot, especially in meditation circles, is a cultivation of some pureness of your own spirit, as a result of which you're more able to be awesome to everyone, from your self-contained have-achieved-peace enlightenment bubble. Perhaps this is more a Zen thing than Buddhism as a whole. But I get the impression that it's more out of a sense of obligation or "we should be nice" or dogmatic benevolence or perhaps a long drudging "builds character" discipline. Similarly in many Christian communities, being nice is seen as a "we're supposed to be nice because it's nice and wouldn't things be nice if everyone was nice". Or in Jewish frameworks where X percent in charity is expected (I'm being slightly facetious).
It tends to come in a very "would-be enlightened" context from Buddhists, and "would-be pious" from Christians. Which completely disarms what could be a visceral transformative experience.
Which is strange, because I've read that part of the whole foundation of Buddhism was to NOT just go off in your own bubble, but to embrace your among-other-beings-ness. And similarly in Christianity. The whole impetus, in the written work, is to do things in the context of helping and perhaps even baring your spirit to others, not because it's a nice thing to do or makes God happy, but because this is actually the very mechanism by which it "works." And if you actually DO the (very difficult to grasp because it necessitates turning your life on end) stuff that is prescribed, then you say "holy fuck this is amazing." But almost nobody does it. They do some portion of it, as much as is comfortable, and as much as they think is necessary for their heaven-hotel-keycard. Completely oblivious that an unconditional giving of yourself among others is the end, the THING, not the means to later blessings.
I'm also of the opinion that the New Testament (the red words anyways) is a sort of debugging of the old testament. A followup. An "OK, we taught you all these laws, and groovy that you followed them. Now throw them all out the window." And said throwing your whole religious foundation out the window is the "meat" of it. I even have a personal theory that Christianity, especially the Pauline epistles, is intentionally filled with its own contradictions (e.g. love people unconditionally plus stone this person and that), such that the final step in a journey of Christianity is to reject the writings themselves, after having taken them to heart.
I think a lot of these traditions are actually going for the same thing. Or perhaps are in different stages or aspects of some spiritual progression continuum. One dude (human or spiritual being) stumbles upon some amazing spiritual insight and shares it with his community in a way that makes cultural contextual sense.
What I find extra fascinating is that one of the few communities today that actually regularly DOES go through at least some bit of the denying-of-self-and-embracing-a-new-way-of-being that I think probably both Buddhists and Christians are going for, is the gay community. Coming out. For some, it's an organic process that you grow into. But for many people, especially the long-closeted, coming out is completely obliterating your entire notion of yourself, as well as your entire social community's view of you, thrusting yourself into complete uncertainty and trusting the mercy and kindness of potentially frightening strangers that you may have considered "other". Like the people in maybe half of Jesus' parables. And this is also one of the few communities that's shunned by many major religions to some degree, especially Christianity. The very people who might be able to show you how to make your religion "work", are persona non grata.
Regarding troubling legacies, I consider those to be "people being assholes and using religion as an excuse." I think many religions, at least the foundational texts, are trying to teach you some sort of spiritual, mental, or interpersonal "skills" that change how you interact with the world. In most cases, the awareness and maybe even the "knack" for it seems to be lost within a few generations (replaced by interpretations heavy in ritual, mystical awe, mythology, and codes of conduct and morality), but it's still there in the texts. Forgiveness, jihad, etc. Skills. Not "this belief system aligns with my worldview so I'll put my support behind it and attend the club meetings and brutally slaughter members of opposing clubs."