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Age of Absurdity: No Wonder I’m Crazy

I went to private Catholic schools through high school. The first thing we did every morning was face the flag and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Then we turned, faced the crucifix and said a prayer to Jesus. Over time, these little rituals became entirely rote, devoid of any meaning or emotion.

The high school was an all-boy’s Catholic military school. A colonel in the U.S. Army was director, a Catholic priest was the principal. We wore militaristic uniforms and sometimes marched around carrying M1 rifles . . . 15, 16 years old.

We attended different classes all day, but the two required classes through four years were “religion” and “military.” In religion class, Father White told us about the Bible, often read from it, and explained Christian concepts of charity, mercy and love. Then the bell would ring and I had eight minutes to get to military class, where Sergeant Stock showed me the best places to stick a man with my bayonet.

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