Dear Professor Dawkins,
I was a raving fundamentalist Christian in my teenage years who lost faith in the religion after reading the bible and seeing how absurd it was.
Unfortunately, I went from Christian fundamentalism to a sort of spiritualism in my early to mid twenties. I despised you at that time. I thought you were an ignorant and arrogant fool.
Being a curious person, I had to find out exactly why all these brilliant and highly educated people like yourself could possibly not believe in a spiritual reality of some sort. So I began delving into a little neuroscience, philosophy, and evolutionary psychology and within a couple of years I was incapable of taking the idea of a human soul seriously. Just finished selfish gene which was icing on the cake.
I want to take this opportunity to formally apologize to you. Also, I would like to say that you do NOT come across as arrogant to me anymore, but as one of the kindest and gentlest people on the planet. Your work along with Sam Harris' work have prompted me to publicly declare my atheism without embarrassment, even in a workplace where almost everyone is a fundamentalist. I turned a Jewish coworker onto you and Harris and she was able to wash herself of years of torturous guilt from her religious upbringing.
So have hope! These books, talks, and appearances do alot of good in the world and are changing the zeitgeist very rapidly. But there's a long long way to go, so don't stop.
With deep gratitude,