Michael, you have a very strong sense of community, which is wonderful. By the “social other” James is talking about everything that is not “ourselves”; other people, the climate, the weather, the country, and everything that brings us into being through our parents and intimates into adulthood. The social other existed before us and will continue after us. God is not part of the social other, God is the “Other other” over and above all this. Of course mimetic desire influenced by the “social other” can be good or bad, it is only when desire leads us into conflict with others can it be described as misconstrued. Have you read the French thinker Simone Weil on Idolatry? She is very clear about desire for God or desire for the world or the “great beast” as she calls it. You are absolutely right in saying that we must imitate what is healthy or good and not what is destructive.