I was a waffling believer until 1995, and my daughter was born with a rare, disabling genetic disorder, inherited from a translocation I carry. My grandfather was a Pentecostal minister, and he and my grandmother – who believed she saw “God” as a child and was saved from certain death from a childhood illness to spread the word, huddled around me, saying that I needed to pray harder, so that she could be “healed”. As she got older and developed more severe issues, it was because I refused to attend church. I would get tickets to faith healer Benny Hinn in the mail. I was infuriated that they blamed me for a translocation I carried, as did their own daughter, my mother – and went on to learn about genetics, return to university, educate myself, question religion and realized not all that long ago that I just didn't believe in God, and why should I apologize for it? And then I saw Root of All Evil on a Canadian network. I ordered The God Delusion and have passed it on to my mother, who grew up in a fundamentalist Christian home which I believe has caused her a great deal of abuse (imagine forcing a young chld to learn to speak in tongues – as you say, child abuse!).
Since reading your book, I am no longer afraid to tell people I don't believe in God and in fact, feel armed to engage in defence of why I don't. Thank you for what I feel was the most significant book I have read in all my 37 years.