It is my great hope that someday I will have the opportunity to meet you or attend a lecture (or other affair) you might be involved in. In the event that I should never get this chance, however, I wanted to thank you for your unwavering dedication to all things reasonable, truthful, and scientific.
I do not begrudge anyone the opportunity to tell their conversion story; however, I will not bore you with mine. Instead, I would like to tell a brief story using an appropriate, albeit rather cheesy, analogy.
I grew up very Catholic, which could be compared not unreasonably to a prison cell. One day, an admittedly liberal Jewish Rabbi walked by my cell and dropped a key—unknowingly, I might add—within my reach. I did not try to pick it up. A bit later, my older brother came by and saw the key still on the ground. He rolled his eyes, put the key in the lock, and went on his way. I still did not move toward it. Mr. Christopher Hitchens walked by, saw the unlocked door, and opened it wide for me. I saw now that there was a way out, but I was still afraid to move.
Finally, a British evolutionary biologist named Richard Dawkins came into the cell and said, “Come on, then. There is nothing to be afraid of out here.” (He then had to leave quickly because the cell was in the American Midwest, and a mob of angry Christian fundamentalists had caught up to him.)
Thank you, Professor Dawkins, for showing me the world outside that door.
Wishing you the very best,
Evansville, Indiana, USA