“religion is under attack from without and from within. From within it is corroded by extremists who use their faith as a means of excluding the other. … If you do not believe as I believe, you are a lesser human being. From without, religious faith is assailed by an increasingly aggressive secularism, which derides faith as contrary to reason and defines faith by conflict. Thus do the extreme believers and the aggressive nonbelievers come together in unholy alliance.”
The second was much less analytical and far more touching to hear. CNS reports
Blair explained how a teacher knelt and prayed with him as he worried about his ailing father.
“Now my father was a militant atheist,” he said. “Before we prayed, I thought I should confess this. ‘I’m afraid my father doesn’t believe in God,’ I said. ‘That doesn’t matter,’ my teacher replied. ‘God believes in him. He loves him without demanding or needing love in return.'”
“That is what inspires,” Blair said, “the unconditional nature of God’s love. A promise perpetually kept. A covenant never broken.”