Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(1269)

Jan 30, 2013

Professor Dawkins,

I've got nothing new to throw at the table and whatever I have to say has already been covered on your extensive list of converts, but I still wanna give my two cents whether you (or anyone) actually read this or not. Because it really does mean that much.

You would love my parents, and we live in the Bible Belt. One Baptist and the other Catholic, they didn't really care for indoctrinating me or my brother. We took care of that on our own and both got fiercely Christian and then even more fiercely atheistic, in that order. As I'm hearing from all over the place now, something just never felt right with God, and whenever people talked about “bringing the light” everywhere it felt so dim and false; like talking about what Santa's going to bring and knowing the whole time that the North Pole's elves look just like polar bears. I've always been curious, too, about just how close all the stories sound to myths–because they MUST be, right?–but oh no no no, don't offend! C.S. Lewis asserted that Christianity just “fits,” that there's something earthy and natural about its particular setup, but I've never felt that way and it's completely a matter of opinion, just like all theology. I don't have to go into just how stifling it all is because you and others know far better than I do, but having the freedom to do it is still refreshing.

So Christianity didn't work, Buddhism felt too vague, Islam was a great big HAHA NO, and I tried Satanism just in protest (LaVeyan, not the type that actually recognizes God's existence). Not that His Noodliness didn't appeal as well, but I got dragged into that weird desire to belong somewhere and seriously believe something unlikely. And while I was stuck in a thoroughly Christian production as the thoroughly ironic role of Sunday school teacher, the play's director told me she believed in God because he'd given her a sign, and prayed that he'd give me one in the future.

Five years later I pick up The God Delusion and I SEE THE LIGHT.

Just in the first couple of chapters you tackled all the arguments I struggled with in philosophy and followed almost every one of my doubts through to the conclusions I should've seen all along, and for the first time it all makes so much sense. I'm not done, either; I want to understand all of it, not so I can plunge myself into a fearful journey under the finger of some lovingly malevolent Easter bunny, but because to put it Maher's way I'm tired of the Jewish zombie and all his imaginary enemies–and even if it's not possible (at least in my lifetime) to shrug off this commitment to ignorance, there have to be ways to make progress in spite of it.

I dunno that I'm technically a convert, but at any rate thank you for changing my life by making life itself obvious. I'm finally awake.

Georgia, USA

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