hello Richard. My name is josh and i am 25 yrs old and a Christian. i don't know if you ever get any positive feedback from Christians, so if not, then I will be the first to say good things to you...(if i really am the first, then you might have to print this out and hang it on your refrigerator). i just watched a bunch of your videos on the Internet (debates, interviews, and the documentary that had Ted Haggard in it). i agree with a lot of the things u say. i don't believe that creationism/intelligent design should be taught in schools, don't believe that prayers should be in school, don't believe the world is 6000 years old, and most interestingly, i do agree with u that most religious believers are simply the same religion that their parents are.
i don't think i'm a typical Christian in today's world. I don't go to a mega-church or believe that Christians should socialize in mass numbers like is popular nowadays. my beliefs are very simple and old-fashioned in that its based entirely on the person of Jesus of Nazareth. I disagree with my preachers on about 99% of the things they teach because it doesn't follow with the character of Christ. i am often criticized by fellow Christians because i love philosophy and science. i think its important for everyone to read Plato and Voltaire as well as Darwin and Hawking. if Jesus were alive today, i think he would encourage such studies.
When i was younger and a much more immature Christian, i would read something like the Origin of the Species and try to find places where I could argue with non-believers about. i wasn't reading it for what it was written to be, which is a book of science. i wasn't looking for truth, i was looking for a fight. if Socrates had been around me at that time, he would've scolded me intellectually for such childish antics.
if u ever wanna know why exactly i am a Christian, i would be happy to explain. i started typing that answer in this message but noticed it was getting kind've lengthy and that wasn't my original point for this email.
I've never been one of these people who hated another person simply because their opinion was different than mine. i have a simple admiration for the truth no matter where it comes from. so anyways...
i simply want to say thanks for the work u do and the insights you've given to science. I think its great and i like that its stirring up conversation even if u and i do disagree; people will always disagree on things. 10 eyewitnesses to a crime will each interpret the scene differently in most cases. what matters is that the controversial discussion gets people to thinking (a lost art in today's society). people who don't take the time of day to question why they do things and why they believe the things they do are, in my opinion, already in hell and they don't even know it.
if u have received any of those wild, crazy, hate-filled messages from other Christians, just look at my email and remind yourself that not all Christians are that psychotic and narrow-minded.
p.s. that preacher Ted Haggard was a major idiot. he had that plastered grin that reminded me of Jack Nicholson's Joker in Batman.