Dear Professor Dawkins,
I have just finished your outstanding book “The God Delusion”. I wanted to take a moment to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation for assisting me through a difficult point in my life.
I am a 36 year old American who was brought up in a Roman Catholic household and attended grades K through 8 at a Catholic school. I am a member of the military and have deployed several times in support of the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Roughly 10 years ago I started to lose my faith. Because of my childhood I suffered intense guilt and would not even vocalize my doubts for fear of what people would think of me, but more importantly I felt as though I would lose a piece of my identity. I went so far as to explore many different religions in search of the one that I could believe in. It was quite a struggle and I tried all that I could to regain my lost faith, to no avail.
It was not until after I read your book that I was able to begin to tell my family and friends that I did not believe in a god and finally accepted myself as an Atheist. I cannot tell you the kind of weight I felt was lifted off of my chest. Your book made me realize that I am not wrong for what I believe. That it is o.k. to not have religion in your life. Pieces of the book seemed as though they spoke directly to me especially when you stated that someone can say that they believe and want to believe, but if that belief is not there, than you cannot make it so. (I apologize for the paraphrasing.)
Thank you again sir. I just wanted you to know what a positive impact your writing has made on my life.