Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(837)

Jan 30, 2013

Professor Dawkins,

My entire life I have been pursuing truth. I come from a very
fundamentalist background. The church I attended when I was young is
called, "The Church of Christ," and it teaches an incredibly strict
interpretation of the Bible. When I was around eight (I had a vivid
imagination) I suffered from insomnia. I was terrified that I would die
in my sleep or the "rapture" might happen and I would go to hell. We
lived close to railroad tracks so sometimes when I heard a train; I
thought it might be the trumpet that is supposed to sound. I was never
formally a member (through the ritual baptism) because I didn’t really
believe it. Even at eight I thought a story about talking snakes seemed
more like fantasy.

I was forced to attend church services against my will until I was
seventeen. It was mostly for appearances. I guess that is what really
mattered. I never had a problem expressing my disbelief, but after
reading The God Delusion, I realized just how damaging religion could
be. In chapter nine, I can totally relate to the fear-mongering that
causes damage in many individuals. I remember family members dying who
were not members of the church and thinking that they were burning in
hell forever. That is quite a lot for a child to ponder while he is
trying to go to sleep at night.

Alex, from Missouri

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