Dear Professor Dawkins,
It took me 30 years to pry myself loose of the Roman Catholic religion I was indoctrinated into. Unfortunately I haven't been able to bring my family into the light of reason with me, at least not yet. It was merely 5 weeks before I purchased “The God Delusion” that I became atheist. In that time though, I was fully content to not confront others on their dogmatic beliefs. Live and let live as they say. Maybe it was because I was so afraid of losing touch with my social networks…I don't even personally know anyone else who is atheist. Perhaps because of the undue amount of respect for faith that we seem to so value in our society. But even more so I feel it was because I felt unprepared to defend my position.
Having read your book, I am no longer a soft target for apologists. I feel much more prepared, and motivated to challenge others on their false beliefs. I will not be a strawman, and I will do everything I can, in the most compassionate way I can, to educate my family and friends.
At the heart of the matter, I've seen in my own life that religion does a great disservice to the human mind. It trades curiosity for a warm fuzzy feeling and false certainty. Thankfully I had somehow managed to keep my curiosity in dormancy all these years and in the end I had the courage to follow it directly out of church.