Dear Dr. Dawkins,
I wanted to thank you for your work. I'm an American college student raised Methodist. Although my parents were by no means very religious (in fact, it was my mother that dragged the rest of the family to church) I developed into a very closed-minded religious child. I knew more about the bible (the nice bits they teach us in church) than all my friends combined, and I was proud of it. I also was so superstitious that one Halloween night I stole all the garlic from my mother's cupboard and sprinkled it over any entry to the house. I also thought that the cross hanging over my door some how magically protected me from evil demons. (Yes this is embarrassing now to write, but I just wanted to give an idea of my religiosity as a child) I, however, was one of the lucky ones. History has always been my passion, and the more I studied it (particularly the middle ages) I started to see how more and more conflicts were caused by religion. This planted a seed of doubt in my previously firm beliefs. I eventually looked at the bible in a historical context (up until then it had been detached from the time line in my mind, it's own separate happening) and I saw that the bible contradicted it's self on many occasions and was written by many authors all "claiming" to be writing what god wanted. I was astounded to find that I had lost my christian faith. In the aftermath I turned to Buddhism for a few years and flirted with Atheism. I was never able to take the plunge until an Atheist professor at my college recommended your book "The God Delusion" to me after I showed her a paper I wrote (for fun) discrediting religion. I was lucky enough to find her considering I attend Lynchburg College, right next to Liberty...I dare not say "university". (They call us "Sinners on a hill", a name we're proud of) After I read your book I was finally able to take the plunge and say out loud "I am an Atheist..." It felt like a wave of relief washed over me. I could finally breath. My family and friends (especially the biology major friends) have been very supportive. I am also on the verge of showing my mother the light. I just wanted to say thank you very much for helping to cure me of this virus.