In the recent past my cousin came to me claiming he was an atheist. In the past few years he has dabbled with religion and different spiritual beliefs in order to try and find something that worked for him. To say the least I was skeptical of his determination in aethism as his beliefs in the past were rather fickle. He seemed very excited about his new belief and eagerly recommended me some literature. Notable among the names of authors/philosophers he gave me were those of Bertrand Russell and yourself.
My cousin new that I was presently an agnostic (or at least called myself one) who had formerly been a Methodist Christian. He also knew that I had been struggling with my own beliefs, that I was searching for something concrete and rational. I must say he could not have recommended better. After reading your book The God Delusion I realized that I had been an atheist for a while, I simply did not realize it. Your aforementioned book and others of Bertrand Russell have provided me with the knowledge neccessary to support my views and to discuss them intelligenty with the theists and Christians that surround me. (I attend a college in the United States of America that is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Christian Association.) Armed with this knowledge I now have the courage to challenge my peers' beliefs when brought up in conversation. Every day I grow more and more suprised that many of these people have never had their beliefs challenged. Many of the challenged can respond with little more than childish arguments easily overcome with logic and reason, or at worst a gaping mouth and confused expression.
I simply would like to thank you Professor Dawkins for your admirable work presenting delusional masses with fierce wit, admirable courage, and reason.
Decorah, Iowa U.S.A.