Good, Tue, Jan 29 2013 #(268)

Jan 29, 2013

Professor Dawkins,
I came out to my family today about my rejection of religion. I am a nineteen-year-old who was raised protestant. My father strongly believes in Christianity while my mother has slowly become an athiest over the past several years, as have I. Even when I was much younger I recognized that there were severe flaws in Christianity, but had attributed them more to human practice than to the divine being itself. The belief that God existed but was largely misunderstood stayed with me for many years, but as I learned more about reality through personal experience and scientific education, I finally began to question the existance of God. I turned nineteen before I was able to fully admit to myself that I no longer believed in God.

For several months I wanted to tell my family about my change, but didn’t have the words to say it with mcuh confidence. So I turned to the internet (specifically YouTube) for insight and support. At first I discovered QualiaSoup’s videos which gave me new perspectives about religion, God, and the effects they have on society at a personal level. But once I had watched all of his videos, I realized I had an enormous hunger for more. Then I discovered you. Your online videos and interviews have not only given me the knowledge and perspective I desired, but also the passion I had never felt. Because of you I have been transformed from someone who simply didn’t subscribe to religion to someone with a intense passion to fight against it. You have inspired me more than any rock star, politician, novelist, parent, or god ever has. I have long had the inspiration to learn, but never before has anyone or anything given me such intense and heartfelt inspiration to act. When I came out to my parents today, it was the passion you gave me that helped me speak with confidence and pride. I can’t express how thankful I am to you and to people like you who are outspoken about the corruption that is religion, and the necessity for reason.

I hope to one day work along side you as a biologist or as a crusader for reason. But more importantly I hope to inspire others the same way you have inspired me. Thank you for everything you do.
Jon

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