Dear Professor Dawkins,
I am currently reading for a degree in Marine Geography in Cardiff University, atheist and proud of it. However like many of the people writing into “convert's corner” I was brought up as a Christian.
My parents were not religious, and for that I am grateful every day as I cannot nor would like to imagine how different my life would be if they had been. My introduction to the Christian faith came through my primary school. At the age I was I believed in what the vicar would say mainly because I knew no better, but I believed in Father Christmas to the same degree.
I threw off the shackles of religion after attending an evangelical church with a childhood friend and his family. My faith was shaken for the first time when it was revealed to me by that church that my parents would one day suffer for all eternity in hell as they were not Christian. Up until then I had always assumed that only evil people like murderers etc. went to hell even if there really was such a place. Now I was being told that people would be tortured for simply having a differing opinion to the Christian faith.
Needless to say I soon abandoned religion but re-entered the faith at 17, mainly because my girlfriend of the time was Christian and I was convinced for a while by the “intelligent design” argument. When me and my girlfriend separated, I kept my faith until I on a whim I was curious about your book “The God Delusion”. Almost immediately upon reading it I was convinced and starting applying reason to all the questions that I had, and by the time I was finished I was a fully fledged atheist.
Thank you Mr Dawkins for not only ridding me of this superstitious rubbish, but also showing me how to apply reason and evidence to science and the modern world.