About Writing 3: The Stylebook in My Head
Forgiving Feirtag

Couldda Been 2: Raised Catholic

My mother was raised Presbyterian; her father even toyed with the idea of becoming a minister. But at age 15, after marrying my dad and leaving home, she went church shopping, because she no longer wanted to be a “namby-pamby grape-juice-drinking Presbyterian.”

This, I suspect, led her to favor denominations which used actual wine as a sacrament, so no Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for her.

She attended the Sunday services of a half dozen different Christian denominations. It boiled down to Catholic or Episcopalian. She attended several services at each. She loved the smells and bells and the beautiful churches and the way the priests were dressed.

But she noticed that every Catholic sermon mentioned hell, and not a single Episcopalian sermon mentioned it. She was more interested in pomp than damnation, so she became an Episcopalian, and thus, in the way of these things, so did I.

I have always been grateful to her for that choice. No offense intended, but the ex-Catholics of my acquaintance (numerous friends, one of my lovers) seem to have been pretty badly damaged by the judgmental nature of that religion. As the National Lampoon once put it, God is either a hairy thunderer or a cosmic muffin. I prefer my God to be a cosmic muffin.


Peggy Coquet

I was baptized in my dad's religion (Baptist), but when my parents split the sheets, we reverted to my mother's: Episcopalian. I'm so glad! You know: the religion where you don't have to check your brain at the door.

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