I would like to post a grateful word to Mr. Dawkins. I was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have never smoked, drank, done any drugs, I waited for sex until marriage, I served a mission when I came of age, went to a church college and met a righteous young woman whom I married in a Mormon Temple. I have had 29 years of prayer, scripture study, testimony bearing and general religious behavior. Despite this I have always had what I felt was a healthy skepticism for the Gospel. Many times through my life I have had serious doubts, “why does everyone else seem to have such marvelous experiences and I never have had an answer to prayer or any warm feeling etc.?” or “if a testimony is made through the bearing of a testimony, how is this not simply self-brainwashing?” or “why does living this lifestyle and hearing/preaching this doctrine always seem so easy and yet so contrived and ridiculous at the same time?” So on and so forth! I always got through these questions but each time emerged a little more disillusioned. I have always been able to look past the ridiculous extremists (think “we are going to watch the Glenn Beck conversion story for family night tonight”) and even though I am always a little annoyed that a large portion of our peace-loving, gentle religions hymns are battle songs I sing right along every Sunday. Anyways what I am driving at is that after so many years of trying to convert myself, praying for humility, testimony, strength to endure etc. I had enough. But I didn’t know what to do, so for the last few years I have been carrying on with the lie with no one the wiser. Then just a couple weeks ago I got your Delusion audiobook and have been listening to it over and over. What a revelation! Now I feel so free and at peace with myself. Thank you for that. I now have the problem of my small family, soon I will have to come out and even though I know she secretly harbors a distaste for the Church we both have a mountain of family bearing down on us. My main concern is that she will not think the boys will have a desire to be moral without religion. In my experience, religions effect on morality is very small compared to the examples of parents peers and mentors anyway. Mr. Dawkins and staff; thank you very much and wish me luck, the next few months will be difficult. My continuous thought is that while the immediate future may be a struggle it will pale in comparison to continuing in this lie for the rest of my life.
ps. the sad thing is that I am really pretty good at religion, if I had been born into a different church I probably would have made a career out of it like I have always assumed the innate atheists do in other church’s once they realize that the best gain that can be hoped for in the Gospel is a steady income.
also, it really is a surprise that even though I feel very much an Atheist (weird even to type that), I have no feelings of depression and I have no more desire to act badly than I ever had. I just feel very real, happy and finally at peace. Thanks for that