Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(820)

Jan 30, 2013

Dear Richard Dawkins,

I am a recent “convert” to atheism, after many years as a devout and active Christian. I was raised as a Roman Catholic. Throughout my childhood and teen years I was active in my parish church. Around the age of fourteen I began following the apparitions of Our Lady of the Roses in Bayside, New York. I am not sure what you know of this purported apparition, but it very dangerous. I suffered incredibly as a result of religion. During this time I also developed a number of mental health problems, which I still suffer from. The terror of religion still haunts me to this day.

Fortunately, I was able to leave Bayside. For a number of years after, I was a member of the Anglican church. The Anglican church was certainly an improvement over the cult of Bayside, but I was still left with many unanswered questions. How to explain evil? Why are prayers unanswered? Why could God not just forgive us?

A few months ago I had the great pleasure of reading your book, The God Delusion. Your book was a definite aid in finally throwing off the shackles of faith. I can now start living for this life and making this world a better place. I have made it my own personal mission to bring others to at least question their faith. I never want to see another person go through what I went through.

Keep up the great work and I look forward to reading more of your books.
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