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.
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.
“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.”
There is no salvation. There is nothing I can do, or anyone do for me, that can rescue me from being what I am: a human animal conditioned in every sense. No deliverance from guilt, pain, death. No act, belief, or experience that would make acceptable the unacceptable. No person, institution, concept, or intuition to hope in. Nothing to hold, seek, or look forward to.
I sense that our motives for taking part in an action for peace are crucial to the effectiveness of that action. But I am not clear about my motives. I can’t say with confidence that I am moved more by love for enemies (in this case, warmongers and other violent people) than by a desire…