Dear Richard Dawkins,
My name is Mathew Ferrari and I was brought up a Roman Catholic. When I was about 11 my faith started to wain. How could a big man in the sky create all of this? I started to see God as just an excuse for people to use who are too lazy to do some real digging. Well time passed and I kept these thoughts to myself, until the Catholic School I was attending was having Confirmation. I told my mother, who is a good mother but pressured and chained by religious unthinking conformity, that I didn't believe and therefore did not want to be confirmed. She replied "Mathew, I feel like I've failed you as a mother. I'm so disappointed I can't believe you don't believe in God" So I, a young boy of 12 or 13 was pressured into making the sacrament through guilt. but in grade nine the following year, I started to watch your Youtube videos. I was enthralled and I finally "came out" to my parents. "Mom, dad, I am an atheist." This time, with your support I beat the guilt and to this day I am an atheist. People always laugh when I tell them I'm a "Practicing Atheist" They think that Atheism is the believe that something happened somewhere and here's the world. Obviously it is not. When people ask me what a Practicing Atheist is, I tell them that I, as an Atheist am educated (to some extent, I'm only 17) in evolution and other science. I follow other Atheists' work, and I stick up for Atheism whenever I hear it being insulted or made fun of.
As I mentioned before, I go to a Catholic school. This is unfortunate, but as a teenager I have to go where I feel the most comfortable. Most of my friends go to this school and since I only have one year left, I just want to graduate with my friends. Amusingly, I'm starting to obtain a reputation with teachers at my school, they all know me as "that kid who preaches Atheist pride" For my grade 11 speech I created a speech on why organized religion has been a blight on our world ever since the Jews left Egypt and massacred Canaanites. For my independent Study Unit for religion class, I presented a seminar on Ancient Astronaut Theory, (The theory that ancients believed Extra Terrestrials were Gods. I don't know about you but I think it's a creative spin to religion) and my teacher went berserk. She kept muttering things like "Bull**t" and "My A*s" during my presentation. (How very Christian of her?) She even threatened to fail me when I told her that Jesus Christ is more likely to have been half Extra terrestrial that the son of a God. My point is this bravery to oppose the authority in a school system where everyone is deluded comes directly from you. You are the champion of Atheism, and I will continue to defend us wherever I go.
One more thing, I was quite upset when Evolution was hastily ran through in the last three days of the semestre in my Grade 11 Academic Biology Class. I know I should have expected it from my school but, shouldn't science stay in the science classroom and religion in the religion classroom?
That's all for now, thanks a lot
With Great Respect,