Dear Professor Dawkins,
On religion and ideology I am with you all the way. Reading your book ‘The God Delusion’ was as if I were back listening to my father; in fact I felt you must have been there taking notes. We were never baptised because he said that my sister and I have to make our own decisions.
I have very fond memories of the way he would welcome the ‘Jehovas Witnesses’ and the Mormons who came knocking at the door, sit them down, ask my mother to bring tea and biscuits and begin theological discussions. Despite their not ever ‘winning’ a discussion, they would come back week after week almost as if they were testing their own faith. After the first visit they never tried converting him but enjoyed the lively arguments..
As we grew and attended school (in Sydney Australia), religion was taught although it was not examinable. Then as we entered our teenage years we went to Sunday school because there was the social life, it was there we met girls. The church elders were mad at me for two reasons; I was the first to turn up with the New Testament in modern English where I was promptly told there were 3’000 mistakes. The second reason was that I dragged all my mates off to the movies (picture show in those days) to see ‘Inherit The Wind’ with Spencer Tracey and Frederick March, based on ‘Six days or Forever’ the story of the ‘Monkey trial’ in Tennessee… the same debate that is going on still in this so-called enlightened world.
I could go on but have said enough. I would like to talk to you further about other phases of your work at a later date.
Dr. G. Turner.