The Church, the Draft Board, and Me
George Amoss, Jr., is writer and editor for the blog The Postmodern Quaker: an experiment in publishing.
He has kindly allowed us to share information about and links to his recent memoir, “The Church, the Draft Board, and Me,” first published as weekly installments between February and April of this year, and now available in a PDF version from The Postmodern Quaker.
Amoss writes on the Memoir page of his blog:
“The Church, the Draft Board, and Me” recounts my conflicts with the Catholic Church, whose ethics were called into question by the war in Vietnam, and the U.S. Selective Service System, which refused to honor my conscientious objection to participation in war.
In telling that story, it sketches 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.”
I am grateful to Friends Bess Keller, whose patient reading and extensive editorial suggestions were most helpful; Chuck Fager, who encouraged me beyond the first two, shorter, drafts with “Keep writing,” and who suggested some changes in the final draft; and Gary Gillespie, whose succinct comment on the first draft — “You left out the drugs” — helped me realize that a brief piece couldn’t do justice to the story
Section titles, hyperlinked below as the sections are posted on The Postmodern Quaker, are as follows:
- Introduction: “Make love, not war”
- The Church, Part 1: The Call
- The Church, Part 2: “The Habit Covers a Multitude of Sins”
- Sidebar 1: The Absurdity of Catholic Morality
- The Church, Part 3: Seminary Again
- The Church, Part 4: Taking Flight
- The Draft, Part 1: The Question of War
- The Draft, Part 2: Conscience and Conflict
- Sidebar 2: Letter to Father Robert
- The Draft, Part 3: Watching and Waiting
- The Draft, Part 4: Decision
- Postscript: Becoming an A-theistic Quaker
A PDF of the entire composition is available: click here .
Images – from Amoss’ Memoir
- Seminarian (on the priest’s right side)
- Conscientious Objector application
- Quaker Welcome.