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Escape from Abraham's Alter

Created on Jun 11 2013
Dr. Dawkins...
I can only begin to detail how appreciative I am of your efforts to support science education, rationality, and reason. Your books and interviews (along with those of Harris, Coyne, and Hitchens) were of paramount importance to my "de-conversion".
I was raised in the ultimate, solipsistic echo-chamber imaginable. Born into a highly evangelical family, "homeschooling" (with all the inherent brain-washing) was the preferred method of indoctrination for over 12 years. As a consequence, I was "on fire" for the Lord. There was not a more convicted young man in my social circle. Additionally, I enjoyed more personal success than I truly deserved: I was chosen to attend the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and from there was selected to become a combat pilot in the Air Force. My purpose in providing this background is simply this: there was no cataclysmic catalyst for my atheism. I was not damaged by a pedophile priest or hurt by an overbearing, alcoholic father. I have a happy marriage, wonderful/fulfilling career, a top-tier education, and a picture perfect life.
Despite this ambivalence-fostering trajectory, my eyes were eventually opened to the mysticism and logically fallacious foundation of my Christian paradigm. The intellectual “microcosm of mediocrity” to which I subjected myself was no match for the clarity of vision and obvious, scientifically supported truth you and others present. My initial intention when picking up your book was to learn more so “I could be a better witness to the lost”…and so, the cognitive dissonance began. I was ravenously hungry; a person starved of rational “meat and potatoes”, I read everything I could get my hands on concerning morality, philosophy, biology, cosmology, etc. A year ago, my de-conversion was complete and this letter of appreciation is long overdue.
I am unsure where this newfound clarity will take me. Perhaps I will get involved with military-focused atheist groups (this particular sub-culture seems awash in the propaganda of evangelical Christianity). Whatever path I choose, I want you to know you are the originator, the architect…and for that, I am exceedingly thankful. If you ever find yourself in Oklahoma, it would be a privilege to meet you and share a quick cup of coffee. All the best…
AJ Schrag