I have been atheist for many years but like many people tended to keep this quiet so I didn't 'offend' anyone or their religion. I unfortunately despite my atheism gave religion the special treatment that other's give it despite the fact it does not and should not deserve it.
Since reading the God Delusion and several other books by Richard Dawkins, Dan Dennett, Christopher Hitchens etc I have come to realise that I should not keep quiet and let the problems caused by religion continue if I am able to try and change the situation. I now proudly tell people when asked that I am atheist and I am unafraid to argue my points and if they take offence.
I am very grateful for the brave work done by people like Prof Dawkins to raise awareness of a far reaching and I believe growing issue with indoctrination of children and the subsequent abuses this engenders. The works I have read give me, for want of a better word, ammunition to argue and explain the areas which concern me. I always thought that religion was a problem but didn't know how to say so in a meaningful way. These books have enabled me to do so and I am immensely grateful for Prof Dawkins' and the others work to enlighten us all.