Dear Professor Dawkins
Up to 12 months ago I would have considered myself rational, logical and open minded to all topics under debate, and currently studying science and genetics in college it would seem natural that I should be atheist, right? Alas I was not, and I cannot, unfortunately, claim ignorance either. For I was one of those Faith heads you refer to. The ones who believe that lack of proof was even more reason to believe. To my shame I even managed to struggle through Sam Harris's gem, Letters to a Christian nation (because surely I was not one of those Christians, a creationist, so it was okay). I live in Ireland, and two things we hold so close to ourselves, as part of our identities even, is our republicanism and our Catholicism. To the point that many teachers in my growing up would consider it anti-Irish to go against either of these ideals. It was, and still is, in some areas considered the greatest honour to die for these causes. I do not hold this as an excuse, but to say, I do know what it is like to have something like your religion be more than just a personal belief, and I sympathise with anyone trapped in the proverbial closet because of the influence religion has in their society.
As far as conversion, I am now happily an atheist. To Professor Dawkins, who I cannot thank enough, I only hope you continue to teach and enlighten. And to the claim that your book may only covert the 'on the fence' believers, do not lose faith, us Faith heads are not impervious to logic and rational, and you are the master of it.
P.S. Loved Selfish Gene, Blind Watchmaker etc, and was fascinated by you paper on 'viruses of the mind'