I tend to agree with you Original. I am a Christian, but I don't believe in "blind" faith. How can you believe in something your not familiar with or in someone you do not know. Yet, the "religious" faction of Christianity think that "faith" without heart knowledge impresses God and makes them acceptable to God. However, when the going gets tough in their lives, it is not long before they substitute their "faith" in God with their own resources to get out of their problem. I see it over and over again. You cannot believe in something or in someone you do not trust.
Trust comes through our day-to-day experience with people. We come to trust them because of their integrity, their faithfulness, often, their sacrifice to help us out. This trust increases until we find ourselves believing in their good intentions toward us. To me, to have trustworthy friends you can rely on is a wonderful thing in life. But, it comes out of having a relationship on some level with people from which we are able to observe their integrity and faithfulness as friends. We do not trust people we do not know, but as you observed, when we find people trustworthy, our belief in them naturally follows because we are persuaded they are for us and will stand with us when we need them. The gateway which guards our hearts opens to them and we relate to them differently than we do with just acquaintances.
I have found this to be the same process in my relationship with God. When I became open to Christianity, I really did not know much about God. I was drawn to him when I felt my heart filled with a love that I had not experienced before. It was something that didn't involve me; it just happened. I was so overwhelmed by the experience that I was opened to pursue Him further. This is much different than people becoming Christians out of fear or guilt or bible bashing with threats of hell or bribes of heaven. When they pursue God out of fear and guilt, a destructive pattern begins which is then reinforced and established in their lives by a religious system which is founded upon and which operates out of that same destructive mindset. This is the perverted concept of God that they then present to others which often causes the same emotional pain and suffering that they themselves endure behind artificial smiles and declarations of "joy" -- thus, much of the bitterness and hostility that is directed at Chrisitians and Christianity ...and most sadly, against God himself.
Through the years of my relationship with God, he has revealed himself to me through the scripture, through prayer and in the midst of all my life experiences, both good and difficult times. I have found him to be always for me, always there for me and best of all revealing the faithfulness of his love to me. It is through his grace, his care and his integrity toward me that I have developed a deep love for Him. As the apostle John said, 1John 4:19, We love him, because he first loved us. It's just as impossible to love God without first experiencing his love (just as we are). The "religious" also get this one wrong. "Loving" God out of their fear and distrust of him, they feel that God is then obligated to accept them.
It is why I never try to convince people to become Christians. The mind cannot be persuaded that God exists ... only coerced by fear or by threat to satisfy a "religious" formula such as the sinner's prayer or whatever in order to be admitted to the club. The reality of God can only be known by the heart. When the heart is enlightened, the mind then follows with "Ahhhh ...Wow! So that's what it's about".
Debate is mostly a waste of time. Minds are already set in their thinking on such matters. Lines have already been drawn. Even here, nothing changes from religious thread to religious thread. Sorry this is so long.