Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(559)

Jan 30, 2013

Dear Sir,

I have read The God Delusion with the highest interest. Please allow me to share my experience :

I was raised in a catholic school in a catholic family. I went to college in a free thinking environment at the Free University of Brussels, which was greeted with suspicion by my direct family. The free thinkers were not very active though and I was left with my unconvincinb belief in some god, superior but not attached to any religion.

I moved to the Midwest in 2005 to be stunned by the local religiosity, beyond my understanding. Discussions over Intelligent Design, or the Pro Life arguments, stated with so much violence, find a way in the most respectable business newspapers, what a shock !

Reading your book clarified many issues to me : I don't believe anymore in a superior being, whatever its name. Now I claim to be an atheist. I thank you for that.

I could not agree more with your arguments about education and religion. When our first daughter was three, my wife and I decided to let our kids decide if and what they want to believe. They are not baptized which is not common in my country Belgium.

I think it is important that atheists make their voice heard and not allow all the religious people take centre stage.The road to more information will a long and rough one though, judging how people are living with religious references on a daily basis. Lord here, and God there, unceasingly.

I agree with you that religion allow people to put labels on whom they should hate and persecute. Nevertheless, in Belgium my country, I know by experience that language can also be a powerful tool for discrimination, rejection and the focus of hatred, which is not to be understood given the size of the country and the number of mixed marriages.

I strongly encourage you to continue your work which I personally consider to be of Public Health, and contributes to a better being of all people. Thank you

Luc Delepine
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