I wanted to thank you for your concern for those of us that have been gripped by the snares of religious faith.
I'm a senior in Creative Writing at Azusa Pacific University, the largest Evangelical college on the West Coast. For twenty years of my life I've been indoctrinated in a Christian worldview. This indoctrination led me to initially pursue a degree in Theology and Biblical Languages to provide a foundation for seminary. The first challenge to my faith came in a lecture by Tom Honey on TED.com. I found that my understanding of god changed from a divine being to a sort of Einsteinian pantheism. It was through a very good friend who passed along a video of you speaking at UC Berkeley that I built up the courage to abandon the religious language I was using for the universe and to come out boldly as an atheist. Thankfully, I have a wonderful support system in my fiancee and friends to help me survive my final year at this institution. We are required to attend chapel three times a week and all of our classes have a mandatory “faith-integration” component. Needless to say, I'm rather sick and tired of the pseudo-education I'm receiving and regret some of the faith-based choices I made (like coming to this school). But despite my frustrations and the oppressive nature of my current environment you've helped me to see the beauty of life, to take each moment as truly precious and not just as some type of training for a future life, and to stand up for reason.