Dear Mr. Dawkins,
I sincerely and thoroughly explored and studied the various religions of the Earth in a search for a personal experience with God. I am a college educated, extremely bright woman with a love of science and a true grasp of the concepts of evolution and relativity. I just wanted to know for myself. So, one day I went to a fundamentalist Christian church and the sermon was about “hearing” from God. Many people got up and talked about their experiences of God talking to them. So, I prayed fervently that I would hear from God. And, I did. Except, that it was not a loving or even impartial God. It was an evil, psycho God…the God of the Old Testament that I had learned about in Catholic School. I tried and tried to appease this God and in the process was tortured beyond belief. I just wanted it to go away. 5 months after it started, I asked a psychiatrist for help. We worked with medicine and when we got the dose high enough, the hallucination switched to just being me. For 9 months, I worked on all the things I had experienced. Things I couldn’t explain, like phone numbers I had only seen once being read back to me when I went to look for them. Eventually, one beautiful, wonderful day, I realized, that everything that had happened to me was just a hallucination. I realized that there was no God. On that day, the hallucinations completely and forever stopped.
It has now been over 3 years since that day and I have held true to my atheism. In fact, even my very religious parents have come to believe that all religion is just delusion after watching my ordeal. You see, I was an incredibly stable person. But, I must say, reading your book, The God Delusion, has had a very soothing effect on me. It has made me feel safe. For three years, I have held true to my atheism because without it I could get sick again. After reading your book, I realize that the atheism I hold so dear is just the only logical and reasonable conclusion. And, for that, I thank you.