I have been reading The God Delusion and wanted to thank you for this incredible book. I was raised a Christian but never completely bought into the whole thing. In fact it was this disbelief that led me to becoming a Scientologist for over 25 years. Scientology promised a fact-based religion/mental health solution to all of mankinds ills. Very appealing to a young inquisitive mind. However, like most things these turned out to be hollow promises and the evidence of its failings are there for anyone who cares to look. When I left I found countless stories and writings from those who had traveled the same path as mine and also saw the same miserable results and shared the same doubts that we had all be warned not to discuss with each other for fear of losing our "future eternity". What was clear to me was that I was being lied to, tricked and deceived all in the name of saving the planet.
In reading your book, I see this is something common to all religions.
I found your finding of the correlation between education level and religious belief interesting and quite true. My wife has a number of clients who are Jehovah Witnesses and have spent many hours working on converting her. They almost all have no college education and have "trade"/blue collar jobs. This seems to be encouraged and drummed into their heads that university will poison your mind. They attribute my non-belief as a result of going to college. One of them even played the "Darwin endorsed creation on his deathbed" card. Scientology is similar in this regard. While there is no direct prohibition to higher education, L Ron Hubbard, whom his believers know is never wrong in any way possible, regularly would belittle educators, doctors, scientists, and other learned professions as having no clue as to what they were saying. You as a rank and file Scientologist continually hear this and having your kid go off to college instead of signing a 1 billion year Sea Org contract or joining staff at $75 a week is truly a mark of shame. I knew many Scientologists yet I would be hard-pressed to recall more than one whose child actually graduated college. Religion in any form poisons one mind into believing their faith provides all the knowledge and answers they will ever need. Truly sad.
Well I have to go, I have to clean the Virgin Mary stain from my bathtub.