I’m an atheist which lives in a muslim environment of Indonesia. English is not my first language so first of all I apologies if you read this and find something that make no sense and other error. I send you this letter through my secret email with an alias to prevent any chance to link this letter to me.
I just want to tell you how much I appreciate what you’ve done to my live.
Very early in live I stop believing in allah and most of the supernatural tales. I found that the teaching that god will punish everyone and put them to hell if they don’t embrace islam (or any other religion) seems like something that the devil will do. It just doesn’t make sense that if someone was born in an isolated island, never heard of islam, never even heard of religion, never hurt a fly, just have to go to hell because of that. And that suppose to come from a loving and benevolent god.
You’re absolutely right when you say that labeling a child as a child of a certain religion is an abuse. Although I know that I’m an atheist very early, openly declaring my true believe, even in a simple form such as writing the name "allah" with a lowercase still give me shiver. The image of hell is imprinted to me and most of Indonesian brain. It does kind of remind me of Caligula.
For years I have been living in uneasiness for having to conceal my true believes everyday, for having to withstand such a mass ignorance of people. For year’s I feel as if I’m the only one that thinks shamans are ridiculous, fortune tellers are liars, and god is a sadistic, worship maniac, and stupidly inconsistent.
It’s not before I accidentally bump into Penn and Teller’s Bullshit show that I start to feel at ease. The show got me addicted, and keep me downloading tons of bytes of the show illegally (how can I get them legally in my country?). From that show I found about James Randi and his JREF which ultimately bring me to your site.
I still can’t come out of the closet, but at least I can get rid of some of the superstition around me because of the knowledge I’ve gather from you’re site and JREF (without mentioning atheism because that will ruin my chance to get them to hear my reasoning). I sometime also share my copy of the Bullshit show to my superstitious and religious friend’s (I hope Penn and Teller doesn’t mind). It’s really effective to get rid the superstition.
Thank you. And please keep doing what you’re doing. I truly hope that I will live to see the day where people realize the delusion.