Let me just start off by introducing myself. My name is Stacey Capper, I’m 17 years old and I live in Northern Ireland. The first time I heard the name Richard Dawkins when around two years ago, when I first started grammar school and the name had been mentioned several times in R.E. and many a time frowned upon. I never really paid attention in my studies back then so I took no notice. This year I started studying A Levels and chose Religious Studies as one of my subjects. I found this to be a fantastic choice, despite being the only non believer in my class. I wouldn’t say that I’m a complete atheist, maybe more of a ‘de facto atheist’. The only time I have the slightest inclination that there could probably be a God would be when talking about the ontological point of view of how the earth came to be. After years of hating R.E. and avoiding every class I have, I am surprised to say that I’ve become somewhat of a nerd this year. My teacher is a Christian herself but never criticises anything I say and appreciates my opinion. I have been brought up in a religious household; all of my family were Christians, I was made to attend church every week; nobody DARED to blaspheme at all. I began doubting God since the age of 11 and from 15 I basically became ignorant of his existence altogether. I started reading The God Delusion just a week after starting my R.E. course and have found it absolutely compelling. It has helped me be more open about not believing and allowed me to be the person I want to be instead of pretending to have faith in something that isn’t there.
What I’m basically trying to say is, thank you Richard Dawkins, thank you for allowing me to have a ‘God’ of my own in you, and for allowing me to have a guide and role model to talk and read about. I know some people will probably read this and think “This girl is thanking someone for leading her astray from God?!” and to be completely honest, I wouldn’t be writing this letter if I didn’t think that God had abandoned me in a sense. So thank you, sir.
I hope this letter reaches you personally, or somebody associated with the website and just maybe, I might even receive a response. You have been, and will continue to be a huge inspiration on my life and I look forward to losing myself in many more of your written material.