Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(1063)

Jan 30, 2013

Dear Professor Dawkins,

I would like to express my sheer gratitude and immense appreciation for your continual efforts in speaking out against religious indoctrination. I myself am a recovering Catholic after the first 23 years of my life, and possibly like other fellow ex-Catholics had no comprehension of the damage the Catholic institution has dealt to humanity, or what it stood for. I never truely fathomed the stigma associated with being labelled a Catholic, and even though I was raised one from birth, I can honestly say I always felt very uneasy about believing the myths and fables that epitomise the Judeo-Christian faith right from the beginning.

I had questions, but I dare not ask them. Nor did I share the church's views on homosexuality, the requirement of pitying fellow human beings because they didn't recognise my version of God, the 'pro-life' position or other purely biblical moralistic codes the institution tried to indoctrinate its followers to adhere to. But one Catholic tenant that was instilled and inhibited my intellectual development was that faith was unquestionable; that religion was taboo and was to be afforded an unjustifiable respect above all else.

However, after reading “The God Delusion” while waiting for a plane, that veil was lifted. Ever since then I find myself compelled to learn about everything I was denied and taught to virtuously ignore as a child. My academic background in physics had already taught me how truely beautiful and magnificently intricate the world is, but thanks to you and others like you, I have been shown the door to a world more awe-inspiring and magestic than I could have ever dreamed.

You have awoken a passion inside me that I feel I've been denied for too long, and have since joined the Humanist Society in my area to assist in their efforts to provide a humanistic alternative to religious education in primary schools.

I must that admit that willfully removing the cross I wore around my neck for the majority of my life was a psychologically difficult thing to do, but such difficulty paled in comparison to the elation felt after finally and unashamedly being exactly who I was, and no longer afraid to say so.

I've been wanting to say this to you for the longest time: You are a true hero.


Stephen Edwards

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