When I was six I asked my father the question that had been bothering me for days. “If God created everything, then who created God?” He told me he didn't know and that's all I ever heard about it until I was in 8th grade. I asked a very religious girl at my school the same question. She said that our human brains cannot fathom that “he” has just always been.
That answer never fully satisfied me. I had been racked by Catholic Guilt my whole life, always knowing in the back of my head that it was a bunch of rubbish. Now, at 25, I picked up “The God Delusion” and I have been set free. You confirmed for me all the things I wanted to believe, by giving my gut instincts facts to back them up. It feels wonderful to no longer be on the cusp of belief and non-belief, to finally have confidence in what my own common sense had been telling me since I was a child.
And even now, with the constant bombardment of religious cards, conversations, and guilt trips I receive from my family, I am so secure in my decision to jump off that fence I had been straddling that I no longer get bothered by their attempts at re-conversion.
Thank you for confirming that I am not evil or stupid. And thank you also for the sake of my small daughter, who will never, as long as I am living, be forced to believe in anything she doesn't want to believe in. I have the responsibility to take her innate intelligence and nurture it, not quash it through a forced belief in nonsensical things.
Now let's see if that is possible in rural America!