I think that in practice, faith among laypeople in the U.S. (in the sense of non-ordained, not uneducated) seems to be rarely about belief in an actual deity, so much as a belief in the power of a group or organization that preaches love and charity to breathe life into its vision. It's a faith that the church can actually make things better for people - make sure they are safe and fed, give them meaning in the midst of the crushing dullness of the present, and hope for a better future for them and their children.
Seeing so many churches and prominent people of faith going out of their way to comfort the comfortable and oppress the afflicted is a terrible betrayal for people who try to have faith in the message of hope ostensibly championed by those who are working diligently to crush that hope. This doesn't have any direct connection to God (except that for whatever reason, God is not preserving his/her message). But that betrayal of trust by people can make it harder to trust people in general. This can be a deeper and more grievous wound than losing faith in someone who was never really there to begin with.
June 10, 2012
The betrayal of the faith
As usual, Leighton has an insight that needs some thought: