Dear Mr Dawkins,
I am 25 years old and have been an atheist since I was old enough to rationalise and read relevant literature such as The God Delusion, The Magic of Reality and The Greatest Show on Earth. I am English but moved 5 years ago to Ireland (ROI). It is much harder to admit to being an atheist in this country than it was in the UK.
Having read The Greatest Show on Earth for a second time this summer I decided to purchase The Ancestor's Tale (excitedly) to further decrease my own ignorance. On approaching the till with the book I received a lovely smile which soon dissipated when the lady serving me looked at the book, looked at me, snatched it from my hand, tutted loudly, never looked at me again, abruptly demanded the amount, snatched the money, slammed the change on the counter (perhaps she didn't want to touch my hand in case atheism is catching?!) and pratically threw the book at me, no bag and no receipt.
So, I suppose I'm wondering would that have happened if the front cover had read: 'The Bible' and I am also wondering if the Bible (perhaps the Old Testament) is where she got her manners from?
I am the only atheist in my family, other family members include those of Catholic, Protestant, Evangelist and Jehovah's Witness beliefs.
I would like to thank you for encouraging rational thought and the teaching of science and for helping me to stand up and say "I am an atheist...and proud to be...because I have seen and read the evidence" even in a country where it is hard to do so.
Thank you Sir