Dear Mr. Dawkins,
I am a 27 old woman living in central South- Africa. Now if you know anything about South-Africa you will know that that the Free State is probably the most conservative part of the country. South-Africa, especially the white Afrikaans speaking South-Africans are very, very religious, and in my mind very close to the the fundamentalists of America.
I've always had a questioning nature, which brought me a lot of trouble especially at church, Dutch Reformed. I read extensively about evolution and have been an atheist for the last 3 years. The thing that was the last nail in the religious coffin for me was your book, The God Delusion. It literally changed my life.
The thing is that living in such a conservative environment means that I have to be a closet atheist. I am quite outspoken about the things I feel strongly about and a few key people are aware of my beliefs- or lack thereof. But at work and with my family, who are super religious, I cannot be myself.
I cannot wait for the day that I can admit being an atheist to any and everyone without being judged solely on religious merit. But sadly I doubt that, that day will come in my lifetime.
I want to thank you for enlightening me, and for being that outspoken voice that I cannot be. To me you are a hero.