I'd like to begin this letter with a set of lyrics, taken from my favorite song, by my favorite artist.: "Imagine there's no countries, it not's that hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for. And NO RELIGION TOO. Imagine all the people living life in peace." - Imagine, John Lennon.
I have never heard lyrics which resonate with such truism. These lyrics are a downright challenge to the catastrophic divisiveness that religion creates. Of all the pernicious characteristics of organised religion, this divisiveness, the way in which it severs the human race up into separate, opposing categories, is, i believe, it's most damaging aspect. Not far behind, is the inability of religion to adapt to a changing world. Adaptation is key. We see it in law, demonstrated by the concept of judicial precedent and review. We see it in medicine and technology, demonstrated by new inventions and treatments, designed to correspond with a 21st century society. We even see it in life itself, demonstrated by evolution and natural selection, for which, unlike God, there is so much evidence for.
Religion is incapable of adaptation, due to the arrogant insistence of religious people to adhere so 'religiously' to their 'holy text', which was written thousands of years ago, by humans who didn't have the faintest idea of the universe of which they were a part of.
As a 17-year old, who is still engaged in education, thanks to your books and interviews, i have already been able to grasp a good view of the world in which i live. I'm proud to say i'm an atheist, and i'm proud to say i always will be. Moreover, i am relieved that i, unlike so many others, am not confined to the danger that is religion. And for that i thank you.
The truth is, it makes me sad that we live in a world where people are so ignorant to deny evidence-based explanations of the world they live in. It makes me sad that there are women all over the world who are subject to discrimination and oppression, and are denied the right to an education, all due to traditional religious beliefs. It makes me sad that there are billions of people around the world who are constricted, bound and chained, by the shackles of religious belief.
Religion is antonymous with unity, peace, equality and justice. And that makes me sad.