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Created on Dec 11 2011
Dear Richard
Yes, I am a convert as a result of your book The God Delusion and have never been happier.
I grew up in a loving Baptist home but even from a young age had questions. However, one is quickly taught not to question and I never did (being a good Christian girl). But the inner nagging did not leave me. While at University I rarely attended church but when I started teaching returned to the fold once more. To my parents credit they allowed me to marry a non-Christian. It must have hurt them but they recognized his good character and integrity. I will not bore you with the whole story but over the next 20 years I gradually left the church and my Christian beliefs. Yes, it took that long! First I stopped attending church, then the Bible study group. The GUILT was terrible and it took many years to come to terms with that. But my search was not over. I wanted to get to a place that I, me, myself had got to having worked out for myself what I believed. If I was going to be Christian, I wanted to start over and do it on my terms and not because I had been told to. If I was going to be something else I did not want my husband just telling me I should share his outlook. Many more years of reading all sorts of alternative views, talking to people of various faiths etc and I was nowhere closer to deciding what my world view was. I was getting panicky as I turned 51.
Then I read your book and all the pieces fell into place!! And nothing can stop me now. There are not enough hours in the day to read and learn about the cosmos, evolution, origins, philosophy, biology as well as what the fundamentalists are preaching and teaching (scary!). I feel that if I am going to defend my viewpoint I must know as much as possible about a wide range of disciplines and topics. All this has helped me to be more analytical and to THINK logically. One does not have to be a scientist to think scientifically. It has been the most exciting time of my life and I am loving every minute.
The problem is that my close friends and relatives do not want to engage with me. Since I made my views clear they avoid talking about anything related to religion. This isolation is compounded by living in a small town in Zululand, South Africa. However, I am determined to continue educating myself and will be prepared when they are ready to talk to me.
Once again, many thanks to yourself, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Matt Dillahunty, P.Z. Myers and many others for being “out there” and making one feel part of a very sensible, inquisitive, rational, well-spoken group of individuals. You are all my life-line.
Renee
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