My friend Leslie Zukor has been running a service project for a few years now where she donates freethought books to prisoners. It’s to balance out the amount of Christian literature that seems to be prevalent in prisons everywhere.
The prisoners who request and/or receive the freethought books are usually very excited and thankful.
One of them recently sent Leslie a letter, which she shared with me.
The transcribed letter (with slight grammar fixes) is below. Take note of the amusing middle paragraph:
I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to receive your kind package containing a number of freethought books. It is also important for you to know how extremely valuable your service is to people in my situation, for currently you represent the only source of distribution for such material. And for that you deserve much praise. You most certainly have found a gaping niche and are filling it admirably.
As a point of amusement you will no doubt be interested to learn that when I was called to the mail-room to take delivery of the above, the officer, upon examining some of the titles, immediately sought the chaplain’s opinion. And, although the look of disdain on his face spoke volumes, he nevertheless was obligated to allow me possession of the entire parcel. He now ignores me in the hallways!
I sincerely hope that you will continue to provide assistance to folks such as myself for many years to come, for I am keenly aware of its significance. Therefore, here’s wishing you much further success. And again, thank you for your kindness, generosity, and prompt attention to my letter.
So, to recap:
If you’re a prisoner, the officer is fine with you.
If you’re a prisoner who reads Richard Dawkins, then the officer gets worried.
That makes sense…