Dear Mr. Dawkins,
I am writing to express my gratitude for your book, The God Delusion. I am eighteen years old and, though raised as a Christian (albeit in a relaxed, not-very-religious household), I never quite bought into many of the ideas of Christianity. For example I cannot remember a time when I didn’t believe in evolution; it seems as though the idea that Earth was created in seven days never made logical sense to me (understandably). Yet I still counted myself as a Christian. Why, you ask? I believe it had a lot to do with fear of the unknown, and of course the ever-present question, “Why not believe?” Well, I have answered that question for myself: because I don’t wish to be led blindly any longer. I can no longer bear to faithfully believe in something which has been proven (in my mind) to be false, no matter what the consequences may be.
I would like to share an experience that made me realize that I had lost faith in God. About a month ago, on the last day of classes at my college, William & Mary, I attended a free pancake event that was sponsored by a religious group on campus. As my friends and I sat there eating our pancakes we were treated to a dance (to use the word loosely) put on by a few students from the religious club. Now, to call what they did dancing is to insult every form of the art. It was more like a bunch of kids jumping around to a Christian rock song with ridiculous grins on their faces. It was surprising to me that none of them appeared in the least bit embarrassed, a fact that I mentioned later when ranting to my roommate about the situation. When I had finished expressing my thoughts on the matter, I ended by emphatically saying something along the lines of, “….and what annoys me is that although they are so confident that they love God and God loves them, they don’t even realize that there is no God! We are alone! There is nothing else!” The emotion that immediately washed over me can only be described as a mixture of intense relief mingled with slight fear. I pulled out my copy of the graphic novel Watchmen and reread my favorite passage, the one that ends with the last two lines of my rant, and as I read it I knew without question that I was free.
And so I would like to thank you, because in reading your book I confirmed what I have known to be true for many years, though I dared not admit it to myself. Your book has educated and inspired me. Please continue to change the lives of others.