Intellectual Virginity

In response to a good post over at Mere Comments about Hitch and other professional atheists, Diogenes found a good passage from C.S. Lewis. You might say this is a good summary of J. Budziszewski's article, linked here some time ago, on the logic of conscience.
The man who remains an unbeliever for such reasons is not in a state of honest error. He is in a state of dishonest error, and that dishonesty will spread through all his thoughts and actions: a certain shiftiness, a vague worry in the background, a blunting of his whole mental edge, will result. He has lost his intellectual virginity. Honest rejection of Christ, however mistaken, will be forgiven and healed -- "Whoso shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him" [Lk 12:10]. But to evade the Son of Man, to look the other way, to pretend you haven't noticed, to become suddenly absorbed in something on the other side of the street, to leave the receiver off the telephone because it might be He who was ringing up, to leave unopened certain letters in a strange handwriting because they might be from Him - that is a different matter.