The memoir concludes with an adaptation of a piece published twenty years ago in the inaugural issue of the journal Quaker Theology.
An escape hatch is opened. Can I, in good conscience, climb through it?
The draft board holds a hearing but doesn’t listen, lays a snare that fails, and then goes silent while the FBI investigates me. While marking time, I embark on psychedelic adventures.
I notify the draft board of my conscientious objection to war; the board refuses to recognize it. I quit school, leave home, and wait for the government’s ax to fall.
Two brief, closely-related sections. As I am slowly separating myself from Catholic piety, the necessity for a moral decision about war leads me ultimately to reject the Church and embrace pacifism.
Further vocational misadventures, including being ordered to watch an old horror film rather than study for a crucial midterm.
“The house of cards that is the Catholic moral system was my childhood home”: a critical look, with autobiographical anecdotes, at the unsound and abusive nature of basic Catholic morality.
“Moral theology admits that the habit of sin, considered in itself, may be and often is completely sinless.” Seriously.
Installment #2, in which, after being saved unawares from sexual abuse, I begin high school in a seminary far from home.
A sketch of my evolution, despite encounters with predatory priests and a vindictive draft board, from youthful candidate for the Catholic priesthood to adult a-theistic Quaker who still asserts that “God is love.”