J. David Velleman makes a couple of revealing admissions in the course of a longish post deprecating conservative "people of faith."
First, theres this:
Although I dont think that moral seriousness requires religious belief, I do think that it requires faith.
What he means here is that moral seriousness requires faith in reason.
Second, theres this:
I now consider myself an atheist, not because I think that I have conclusive reason for denying the existence of a personal God, but because I take His nonexistence, as it were, on faith. My willingness to embrace this indemonstrable vision of the universe is of a piece, to my way of thinking, with my commitment to the incommensurable value of persons as ends in themselves, the value that underwrites my moral code.
It turns out that his atheistic faith in reason is intimately connected with his "commitment" to human dignity, i.e., a kind of Nietzscheanized Kantianism. But is it not possible--just possible--to regard human beings as having dignity because they are created in Gods image? If thats possible, then liberalism and religion are not inimical and Vellemans atheism needs another explanation, since his isnt sufficient.