I know the flaming crazy emails are more fun, but here’s one of the nice ones I also get. It’s also a little bit unusual in that the writer isn’t a Christian.
I’m a long time reader first time writer. I’ve been following your blog for over 3 years now, and you have been one of the main influential characters that aided me in shedding my old Muslim beliefs and embrace rationality and skepticism. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for, well, being you really! I found your blog during the creationists hype back in 07/08, and was quite amused at your style of writing and boldness in calling bullshit what it is.
I used to be a “Muslim by flavor”; never really believed in hell, I agreed with the scientific biography of the cosmos but would say “it’s all guided”. I even rationalized certain theological dilemmas such as the problem of evil and logical contradictions when dealing with omnipotence/omniscience, and just shook my head in shame, silently, when fundies did terrible crimes in the name of Allah.
Long story short, as I moved away from home in Jordan and made it to the US and then Europe, what was previously censored and unreachable became available. It was when I finished watching Carl Sagan’s Cosmos in 09 that finally declared to myself: “no more bullshit!”. Life has been quite a joy since.
I’d like to thank you again for your passion, your words and your works, and assure you (in case there was a shred of doubt) that what you’re doing is leaving a positive impact on our planet. I wish you many years of furiously nifty posts, and when the time come to pass the banner that you’d have a protégé who’d live up to fit the shoes you leave behind.
It’s always good to be reminded that that the Islamic world is also full of intelligent and secular people.