I hope you burn in hell and... no, just kidding, this is not a hate mail.
I´m happy to see that your converts´ corner is getting larger and larger, as it is, in my opinion, a great source to witness the power of reason.
As for my conversion, it is not as dramatic as others i could read about on your website, but for me it is just as important as those.
I´m an average looking person, born in Sweden and raised in Italy (i hope you´ll forgive any errors in my writing). Although my parents aren´t religious, the rest of my family is strictly observant Catholic, and while my father and mother never interfered in my spiritual point of views on life, universe and everything, the remaining religious part of my family was absolutely enthusiastic in
indoctrinating me. When i was eight years old i was already a "believer". Well, as much as a child CAN be a believer. But a major event made me seriously religious.
I got sick, Lyme disease, and it got so far that i suffered meningitis. The doctors saved me, but at my return home i discovered that the whole community had been gathering in big prayers for me, and they convinced me that it was God that saved me. I was eleven years old.
The first earthquakes that shocked my faith happened when i was fourteen. I started to read some books, and started to think about God and religion. I was young, but still, logic projected a shadow of concrete nonsense over my religious beliefs. I was scared. I had visions of Satan, and i spent restless nights waiting for the fallen angel to enter my room, laughing at me. Every night i saw how the flames where on their way to my bed, where i was laying wet by my own tears.
So one day, in complete desperation, i talked to God and begged him to hit me with lightnings if i turned my back on him, just before transforming into a cruel atheist beast, that my Catholic relatives had warned me for.
God didn´t kill me.
I never really have been able to shake off all my fears, but i became non-believer.
So, i was never a believer when i read your book. But you are responsible for a minor conversion that is, as i already mentioned, important for me.
Now i´m twenty years old and i can say with honesty and pride that i am an Atheist, a radical one, and not Agnostic, as i used to be.
Being able to argue for my new, Atheist position, with the power of logic, science and common sense, and feeling confident in my opinions, is helping me overcoming my old religious ghosts and nightmares. And i have partially you to thank for that.
I really want to write thousands more pages about the subject religion to you, as it really matters to me, but i hope i managed to condense my story of conversion here, that it is understandable and useful to you.
p.s. Oh, almost forgot. I don´t want to be a priest anymore. I want to be a physicist. Alternatively an MMA pro fighter ;)
With great esteem, Jacob Romano