Dear Professor Dawkins
I hope you’ll perhaps permit me to call you Richard. I know I thanked you when we met last night at the opening reception for writing The God Delusion – a book that has changed my entire existence – but after having spent time with you personally, I feel compelled to try to explain how much this weekend, meeting you in particular, has meant to me. I cried last night. Sobbed, actually. You wouldn’t know, but for years your name was one I hated – was taught to hate – someone who actively stood for everything in opposition to what I held dear. To pick up a book by you and read it would have been unthinkable just 10 years ago. Dan Barker (& the desire to understand “the other side”) started my deconversion process, but reading your book unlocked an entiely new world for me. The best new world. This conference has been nothing short of transformative for me.
I apologise if I’ve appered to stalk you a bit 🙂 but I’ve been so drawn to you, to know and understand and learn from you as a real live person instead of the bogeyman of the past. . .
It has been an absolute pleasure to spend time with you and I hope to encounter you again many times in the future. For the very first time in my life, I feel that I’ve found my people. This is just the beginning of the most exciting journey, and you have been and will continue to be a true inspiration for me to not only change my own life but to go out and change the world. . . the world became much smaller today, by becoming bigger.
With much love and with my deep respect. . .