Dear Prof. Dawkins,
As a theologically educated Pentecostal Christian (which many might think is an oxymoron) I saw your book The God Delusion in a shop and thought to myself, “How terrible! How could anyone not believe in God?”
I had already been studying the beliefs of other religions, however, so I decided that it couldn’t hurt to read a bit about what atheists believe. With that in mind, a few weeks later I bought your book and read it. My initial intention was to compare atheism to my (obviously true) Christian beliefs and see where it fell down, but in fact it didn’t fall down as I thought it would.
I can’t claim to have become an instant atheist, but reading your book sowed the first seeds of doubt that led me first to question aspects of my Christian beliefs, then to look at them in the light of the evidence, and ultimately to reject the whole thing a year or two later.
Contrary to what I was taught (and preached to others) when I was a Christian, true freedom only came when I rejected Christianity as nothing more than the product of fables, indoctrination and self-delusion and became an atheist. I have you to thank for setting me on that path.
Thank you for writing The God Delusion. It is no exaggeration to say that it changed my life.