Dear Professor Dawkins,
I have never believed in god from the moment I was able to think for myself ( 11yrs). I remember long arduous hours in church where I was forced to attend 'once a month' as a child - my duty was to appear on the first Sunday of every month as a 'brownie' (and after that as a ''guide') as was expected of every member of my club at the time, and swear allegiance to 'God and the Queen'. Finally at age of 13 I summoned up the courage to tell my parents I'd had enough and would rather be outside playing on my bike with my friends instead.
My atheism isn't about having my weekends stolen (although it did piss me off at the time). It DID seem ridiculous to sit and sing boring songs and look at a plastic dummy of a murdered person, and I remember always thinking that there was so much more interesting stuff going on outside. Enjoying nature, playing with my dog, messing around by the river and making dens up Horsenden Hill. The main fact of the whole charade was that **I just didn't believe what they were trying to make me believe.**
I am 38 now. I have never tried to hide my atheism but your amazing work has inspired me to not feel so awkward about it as I have so many times in the past. I have loved reading The God Delusion, the Blind Watchmaker, god Is Not Great by the late great and wonderful Christopher Hitchens, and Breaking the Spell too.
The more I read the more I want to learn (and have learned already) about this glorious place Earth that we all find ourselves on - so THANK YOU for that.
I am an English woman about to move to the US from Hong Kong. I am an Art teacher and am slightly apprehensive about the school systems there and about how I will be expected to approach religious subject matter. I guess I am mainly writing to you to assure you that I intend to educate young students there, inform them and challenge bigotry every chance I get.
Without sucking up (ok I will but I don't care) you are an inspiration to all free thinkers all over the world. I raise my glass to you sir.
ps. The way you read out your hate mail on you tube was a fucking scream haha