Dear Prof. Dawkins,
I would like to take the opportunity to thank you very much fo your book “The God Delusion”. It helped me to finally break free of the religion I have long been a part of. I have been brought up in a rather extreme brand of christian faith (Mormonism). When I look back now it is hard to tell what actually happened to me.
As far as I can remember I used to be a science-oriented child. My parents also supported my interests by buying me a chemistry set and books about how to program computers. But when I was 12 years old my parents joined the mormon church. I really can’t remember why I also joined. I can only assume that it was the social pressure. But what I can remember is that at first I really didn’t want to go to church because everything seemed so unreal.
But over time something happened to me. I can’t really explain what it was. I actually started believing in some of the doctrines even to the extent that I was persuaded to serve a 2-year mission for the church. I guess it also was social pressure because that’s just what you are supposed to do when you have finished school. But fortunately I always enjoyed having my own opinion about certain things who I always considered to be simply weird which always made me uneasy when this weird part of doctrine was being taught at church.
When I returned I started studying computer science and the campus atmosphere finally got me back in touch with “sane” people. This had the effect that I finally wanted to end my conflict between the real world and the imaginary one of my faith. But I never succeeded in finding the strength to cut the social bonds between me and the people at the church which I really liked very much.
It was your book who gave me the confidence and mental strength to finally make a clean cut. I am really glad to finally have broken free and I can now fully enjoy a free life. The only thing that keeps coming back at me is the embarassment that it took me so long to get there (I’m now 28).
From what happened to me I can 100% agree that religion is dangerous and I would even go as far to say that it is a mental disease that can be very hard to cure.
Thank you very much and keep up the good work…
Greetings from Germany