I just finished "The God Delusion" and I was amazed at your ability to take every thought and doubt I’ve ever had about religion, God, creation, evolution, natural selection and more, and turn in to a fact-based reasonable argument. I must admit, I was one of those "abused Baptist children." My parents decided for me that not only would I be a Baptist but that God wanted me to be a minister. They sent me to Jerry Falwell’s college (it was called Lynchburg Baptist College [LBC] then). Somehow I realized this was my chance to alter my life in a way I chose. On the advice of my college counselor, I took the least religious subjects possible, TV & Radio. Eventually, I became the Technical Director of "The Old Time Gospel Hour" (Falwell’s TV show) and Director of his radio program of the same name. I knew Falwell on a first name basis and actually spent time in his home. I learned how to use music, timing and the "right" camera shot to move people emotionally. This added to the Falwell financial coffers. Long story short, I gradually became more doubtful of my "faith". Nothing made sense. Eventually, I dropped out of LBC and became a firefighter for the city fire department.
Nearly a decade later, still confused, I went back to college and took a philosophy class at a secular school. Here I learned through reason and science that there was no proof of a God. But I was never courageous enough to admit it. I preferred to call myself an agnostic. You stated in your book that your hope was that after completing it, the reader would be an atheist. Well, in my case, you have succeeded. Perhaps more accurately, you have brought me "out of the closet". I now have more respect for my only life here on earth and I intend to make the most of it. Thank you for giving me a push in the right direction. I hope to see you when you come to Austin in March.