It gets to you after awhile. You spend time discussing these skeptical issues with folks on the jblogosphere and frumskeptics group and you start to think that there really are a lot of thoughtful Jews out there who know there are significant issues with Orthodoxy. Many of them aren't as skeptical as you are, sure, but they at least know there are problems and can rationally appraise the situation.
You can actually have a conversation with people and you can be speaking the same language.
So I decided to spend some time on a different kind of discussion board online and I've been there for about a month or so. This discussion board is made up predominantly of young (college age mostly) straight-up Orthodox Jews. There are a couple with some interesting histories, but I was nearly alone in my skeptical views amongst a sea of unqualified full believers.
It's like talking to a wall. Not only do they not understand where you're coming from, they believe that your intent is sabotage and for the most part do not even attempt to defend their beliefs. And when they do try to defend themselves they don't even know how to think. You make an argument and they don't understand. You actually have to walk them through it one 'if-then' step at a time. They are so sure they are correct even though it is fully apparent that they are fully ignorant on so many key concepts. It's like they don't want to think - they don't care! They are dead-set in their ways at the ripe old age of 20 years old.
They make piss-poor arguments that folks on the jblogosphere would tear apart in minutes, while there they all nod their dittoheads in solemn agreement. It is incredible seeing how these youth's minds are in such subservience to the thinking patterns forced onto them as yeshiva students. They don't think for themselves and they can't even conceive of thinking outside the box.
These people are the future of Orthodox Judaism. And these were the MO type no less!
As long as I could almost fool myself that Orthodoxy could be composed of all the thoughtful people we find on the jblogosphere I am comfortable with my place in life and the path I've chosen. Traditional is good when thought is free. But when I see the real company of the future and the type of thinking I am externally associating myself with I think to myself, "What am I doing here? These are people whom I want to be identified with?"