Dear Professor Dawkins,
I'll never forget the moment in my life when I typed “Bill O'Reilly gets his ass kicked” in the Youtube search field, and a video entitled “Bill O'Reilly SCARED by Richard Dawkins” appeared at the top of the list. I had never heard of Richard Dawkins, thanks to mainstream American media, and, looking for a quick laugh, was actually not immediately concerned about what you had to say.
I was practically floored by your interview. Not only was I amazed at how easily you were able to make him look foolish, but your arguments made so much sense to me, something religion had always failed to do. Within days I had watched every video clip of your discussions and interviews I could find, and almost immediately shed my religion.
I live in southeast Texas, USA, so as I'm sure you know I have been cast into an extreme minority. I 'converted' about six months ago, and I still haven't told either of my parents. I was indoctrinated as soon as I could read, christianity of course, by a family who remains deeply religious; my father is a former minister.
I wanted to offer my deepest thanks to you, professor, for giving me a new appreciation for life and science. You will almost certainly be the most influential educator I ever encounter. I encourage you to make an appearance in the Houston, Texas area- I would be ecstatic to see a live lecture. I'm saving to buy your 15 DVD set, and I'm starting my Richard Dawkins book collection as well. Again, thank you for a clear thinking oasis, and thank you for my freedom!