Dear Professor Dawkins,
I am a 15 year old who is unfortunate enough to be raised in one of those most education hating, conservative states known as: Kansas. I would like to include my testimony on the events in my life that lead me to atheism.
My father is an atheist/agnostic, and my mother is a Christian. But since they got divorced I have lived with my mother all my life. We went to church every sunday, small groups, VBS, and I went/am going to a Christian school since the 1st grade. When I was around 8 year's old we were at church and one of the elders was talking to me about hell. He said how bad it was (the teach munching, eternal suffering and so forth), so being an 8 year old I blindly accepted Christianity to avoid going to such a place.
From 8-12 I kind of lived by life as an ignorant child, not afraid to show my bigotry towards homosexuals and any other type of sinner. I was just living my life blindly following my religious authority. I was segregated from the rest of the world, I didn't know anyone else had other views (besides other religions). Atheism was unheard of.
When I was 13 (grade 7), we were in science class, and we were given the assignment of writing if we believe in evolution or intelligent design and why. No one in my class understood evolution, not even in the teacher. I remember one class we all went around and said one reason evolution is wrong. For grins and giggles I will enlighten you on what was said in these classes: “If we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?”, and “Why aren't there half monkeys/half humans today”.
That assignment basically drove me to what I am today. It sparked my interest for science, religious falsehoods, and education. The desire for these things brought me to actual facts, and those facts disagreed with the bible. After that I completely rejected the idea of God, and have been an atheist ever since.