I am in the process of reading The God Delusion and find that I breathe a sigh of relief. I am not a convert to Richard's views – I have held very similar views since, at the age of about 15, I rebelled against the regime of church and church choir membership imposed on me by my parents and began to enjoy cycle touring, which I found far more meaningful and pleasurable. I attended a Church of England College, where several well-meaning souls tried unsuccessfully to herd me back into the fold; my wife and I agreed to be married in church to keep our parents quiet (our fondest memory of the wedding was escaping relatively unscathed and leaving behing the assembled horde to continue the party for which we simply provided the excuse). Since then I have often been involved on the periphery of the Church due to my activities conducting and singing with various choirs, often performing sacred (for want of a better word) music – one of my favourite works is the Requiem Mass by Mozart, though with more emphasis on 'Mozart' than the Mass, having a brother who is a skilled church organist, and because of an interest in fine architecture. Because of this I have come across many people who simply presume that I agree with their superstitions; whenever I have tried to put forward an alternative point of view I have met with a variety of responses from pity and patronising tolerance through to accusations of being offensive and basphemous.
Through the years (I'm now 58) my attitude has gradually changed from indifference to my present position of being positively anti religion.
Over the years I have often felt quite alone, or at least greatly outnumbered when taking a logical approach in the face of well-meant but ill-conceived superstition and all its attendant ceremonial. I would, therefore, like to thank Richard Dawkins for being so outspoken in the cause of common sense. He has managed efficiently and eloquently to express the opinions I have held and the annoyances I have suffered far better than I could hope to do myself.
Thank You Richard Dawkins, and long may you continue to batter the bull….!
(At this point many of the people I've argued with in the past would place their head on one side, give a sickly sweet smile and say 'God Bless …!'
Excuse me while I speak into the large white telephone.