I don't know if I mentioned it, but my father came from an Orthodox Jewish family (original last name Itzkowitz) and my mother came from staunch Irish Catholic. Before I was born, they agreed that if I were born a boy I would be raised a Jew, and if I was a girl I would be raised Catholic. How's that for pre-determing your religious faith?
My memories of Christmas was my mother getting drunk and lunging at my dad with a butcher knife, acusing him of "killing Christ." (On ordinary days they got along quite famously!)
I was brought up a devout Catholic -- sang the Mass every dawn in Latin, attended parochial school with the Nones, yettata , yettata... My father got sick with cancer and went into the Catholic hospital next to my school so I could come to see him on my lunch hour. The night he died, I went insane and in desperation called the priest who had encharged himself with my spiritual salvation. The Rectory was next door to the hospital. Father Coleman got on the phone and, hearing my hysteria replied, "You called me at 2 a.m. about your father who is a Jew and is going straight to hell?" And hung up. And I hung up my rosary beads.
Ever wonder why I am a zen Buddhist, think of that.
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