Ross Douthat needs no help from me in taking on the illiberal dogma of so many contemporary atheists. But this post reminded me of a favorite passage from (yes, it's true) Leo Strauss on the true (and perhaps ineradicable) foundations of religious belief.

God's revealing himself to man, his addressing man, is not merely known through traditions going back to the remote past and is therefore now 'merely believed' but is genuinely known through present experience which every human being can have if he does not refuse himself to it. This experience is not a kind of self-experience, of the actualization of a human potentiality, of the human mind coming into its own, into what it desires or is naturally inclined to, but of something undesired, coming from the outside, going against man's grain; it is the only awareness of something absolute which cannot be relativized in any way as everything else, rational or nonrational, can; it is the experience of God as the Thou, the father and king of all men; it is the experience of an unequivocal command addressed to me here and now as distinguished from general laws or ideas which are always disputable and permitting of exceptions; only by surrendering to God's experienced call which calls for one's loving him with all one's heart, with all one's soul, and with all one's might can one come to see the other human being as his brother and love him as himself.