Dear R. Dawkins,
First and foremost, thank you. I was never a Christian, but studying in a Christian boarding school (I'm 16) suddenly gave me lots of existential questions that I couldn't answer, at first. But then my consciousness slowly raised and now I'm well aware of how to defeat the same old religious arguments, repeated ad nauseam in the Church (we're forced to go there all Saturdays and have at least some collective prayer all days).
Recently, I've bought a Portuguese translation of your book, printed recently (August 2007). That definetely made my mind better than anything religious, so much that previously I was an “agnostic/deist”, and now I'm completely skeptical. Religion is not better than fairies on the garden.
What impresses me, and you defined well, is the respect they force us to show for Religion. You know, to smoke marijuana is bad, unless it is for some kind of wacko religious doctrine out there; then, we just “can't criticise”. Why? Why does the chaplain still hold a better authority than the scientist?
It's incredible how the same old Creationist arguments were repeated, even by my biology teacher. He's a bit more sophisticated than others, but all his “Evolution is faith” talk was easily beaten thanks to you, Dawkins, and to many others. Once I was reading Aristotle in my room, and that says a lot about how Religion still invades and pervades the modern world… As I said, I left the book near a Bible. One of my room mates came, put the Aristotle book on the shelf, and then pointed to the Bible: “This is all you need for your life… These 'philosophers', out there, they all thought hopelessly and uselessly”.
Thank you, Dawkins. You're brave and direct, and that's why so many hate you. Discussing Religion is a very delicate taboo, but you broke it; I'll summarise the Religious answer here: “you know, atheists are doomed. I believe in eternal doom, and all those who question it are all doomed”. I saw this in a site, and I wonder why humans still carry the worst mental plague with them.