Dear Mr. Dawkins,
I was born in 1960, the first-born of Irish Roman Catholic parents, so naturally I was baptised into the Catholic Church. I was a “good boy” as a primary school student – at least superficially – and served as an altar boy, read the lesson in my local church, collected and counted the money: all very faithful and conservative.
As an adult, I joined the police force, became more active in my local church, sang in the choir, all the usual stuff – but I always had doubts, questioned the logic of what I was hearing from my elders and betters. Some time in my early forties I finally accepted that I was being deliberately obtuse in continuing to cling to the idea of a divine benevolent being, left the church, left the choir (I wasn’t much of a singer anyway!) and decided to call myself an atheist.
There followed a period of loneliness and some despondency when it seemed to me that I was the only person in the world that did not adhere to an organized religion. This is rural Ireland, after all, and religion is a large part of identity!
Then I read “The God Delusion”. Thank you. That book logically explained many of the reasons I had left religion behind, and also many reasons that I had not even considered. It also convinced me that (and this seems silly now) that I was not alone in my lack of faith, and in fact that I may be part of the majority.
Anyway, enough rambling. Keep up the good work!